TAGRISSO® Superior to First Generation EGFR TKIs in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

November 27th, 2017

Approximately 10% to 15% of Caucasian patients and 35-50% of Asian patients with Adenocarcinomas, harbor activating EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) mutations and 90% of these mutations are either Exon 19 deletions or L858R point mutations in Exon 21. EGFR-Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) such as TARCEVA® (Erlotinib), IRESSA® (Gefitinib) and GILOTRIF® (Afatinib), have demonstrated a 60% to 70% response rate as monotherapy when administered as first line treatment, in patients with metastatic NSCLC, who harbor the sensitizing EGFR mutations. However, majority of these patients experience disease progression within 9 to 14 months. This resistance to frontline EGFR TKI therapy has been attributed to acquired T790M “gatekeeper” point mutation in EGFR, identified in 50% – 60% of patients.
TAGRISSO® (Osimertinib), is a third-generation Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) TKI and in a randomized, double blind, phase III clinical trial, demonstrated superior efficacy and tolerability compared to the Standard of Care, as first-line therapy in patients with advanced EGFR mutation positive NSCLC. This benefit was seen even in those with CNS metastases at study entry. These new finding are very likely to change the treatment paradigm for NSCLC patients whose tumors harbor EGFR mutations.

 


TAGRISSO® Superior to First Generation EGFR TKIs in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

November 27th, 2017

SUMMARY: Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and accounts for about 13% of all new cancers and 27% of all cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates that for 2017 about 222,500 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed and over 155,000 patients will die of the disease. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers. Of the three main subtypes of Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), 30% are Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC), 40% are Adenocarcinomas and 10% are Large cell carcinomas. With changes in the cigarette composition and decline in tobacco consumption over the past several decades, Adenocarcinoma now is the most frequent histologic subtype of lung cancer. Approximately 10% to 15% of Caucasian patients and 35-50% of Asian patients with Adenocarcinomas, harbor activating EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) mutations and 90% of these mutations are either Exon 19 deletions or L858R point mutations in Exon 21. EGFR-Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) such as TARCEVA® (Erlotinib), IRESSA® (Gefitinib) and GILOTRIF® (Afatinib), have demonstrated a 60% to 70% response rate as monotherapy when administered as first line treatment, in patients with metastatic NSCLC, who harbor the sensitizing EGFR mutations. However, majority of these patients experience disease progression within 9 to 14 months. This resistance to frontline EGFR TKI therapy has been attributed to acquired T790M “gatekeeper” point mutation in EGFR, identified in 50% – 60% of patients.

TAGRISSO® (Osimertinib), is a third-generation Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) TKI presently approved by the FDA, for the treatment of patients with metastatic EGFR T790M mutation-positive NSCLC, who had progressed on prior systemic therapy, including an EGFR-TKI. Previously published studies suggested that TAGRISSO® may also be effective as initial therapy for EGFR mutation-positive advanced NSCLC.

FLAURA is a randomized, double blind, phase III clinical trial, conducted to compare the efficacy and safety of first line TAGRISSO® to TARCEVA® or IRESSA® (which are considered Standard of Care as first line therapy), in NSCLC patients with activating mutations EGFR Exon 19 deletions or L858R substitution mutation on Exon 21. This study randomized 556 advanced NSCLC treatment naïve patients, with EGFR Exon 19 or 21 mutations in a 1:1 ratio, to TAGRISSO® 80 mg orally once daily (N=279) or Standard of Care EGFR-TKI, IRESSA® 250 mg or TARCEVA® 150 mg, orally once daily (N=277). Patients were stratified by mutation status (Exon 19 vs 21 mutations) and race (Asian vs non-Asian). Patients with CNS metastases who were neurologically stable, were allowed in this study. The Primary endpoint was Progression Free Survival (PFS).

The median PFS was 18.9 months with TAGRISSO® compared to 10.2 months for the standard therapy (HR=0.46; P<0.0001), suggesting a 54% reduction in the risk of disease progression, compared with Standard of Care. TAGRISSO® extended the median Time To Progression by about 9 months. This PFS benefit was consistent across all subgroups of patients, including those with and without CNS metastases at study entry. The Objective Response Rate (ORR) with TAGRISSO® was 80% compared with 76% for TARCEVA® and IRESSA®. The median Duration of Response with TAGRISSO® was 17.2 versus 8.5 months in the comparator arm. The median Overall Survival was not reached. Grade 3 and 4 toxicities were lower for TAGRISSO® (34%) compared with 45% for TARCEVA® and IRESSA®. Toxicities led to treatment discontinuation for 13% and 18% of patients in the TAGRISSO® and comparator groups, respectively.

It was concluded that TAGRISSO® demonstrated superior efficacy and tolerability compared to the Standard of Care, as first-line therapy in patients with advanced EGFR mutation positive NSCLC. Studies are underway, assessing treatments, following resistance to TAGRISSO®. Osimertinib vs standard of care (SoC) EGFR-TKI as first-line therapy in patients (pts) with EGFRm advanced NSCLC: FLAURA. Ramalingam S, Reungwetwattana T, Chewaskulyong B, et al. Presented at: 2017 ESMO Congress; Madrid, Spain; September 9-12, 2017. Abstract LBA2_PR.


MisMatch Repair Deficiency and MicroSatellite Instability May Predict Perioperative Chemotherapy Benefit in Operable GastroEsophageal Cancers

November 27th, 2017

SUMMARY: The American Cancer Society estimates that about 28,000 new cases of stomach cancer will be diagnosed in the United States for 2017 and about 10,960 people will die of this disease. It is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. Patients with operable Gastric or GastroEsophageal adenocarcinoma frequently receive perioperative or neoadjuvant chemotherapy prior to surgical resection, as this has been associated with a modest improvement in Overall Survival (OS), compared with surgery alone. However, approximately 50% of the patients undergoing surgical resection will die of recurrent disease. Further perioperative chemotherapy can be associated with significant toxicities. For patients with GastroEsophageal cancer receiving neoadjuvant treatment, there are presently no validated prognostic biomarkers, and patient selection is based on preoperative clinical staging.

The DNA MisMatchRepair (MMR) system is responsible for molecular surveillance and works as an editing tool that identifies errors within the microsatellite regions of DNA and removes them. Defective MMR system leads to MSI (Micro Satellite Instability) and hypermutation, triggering an enhanced antitumor immune response. MSI (Micro Satellite Instability) is therefore a hallmark of defective/deficient DNA MisMatchRepair (MMR) system and occurs in 15% of all colorectal cancers. Defective MisMatchRepair can be a sporadic or heritable event. Approximately 65% of the MSI colon tumors are sporadic and when sporadic, the DNA MisMatchRepair gene is MLH1. Defective MisMatchRepair can also manifest as a germline mutation occurring in 1 of the 4 MisMatchRepair genes which include MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2. This produces Lynch Syndrome (Hereditary Nonpolyposis ColoRectal Carcinoma – HNPCC), an autosomal dominant disorder and is the most common form of hereditary colon cancer, accounting for 35% of the MSI colorectal cancers. MSI tumors tend to have better outcomes and this has been attributed to the abundance of Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes in these tumors, from increased immunogenicity. These tumors are susceptible to PD-1 blockade and respond to treatment with checkpoint inhibitors such as KEYTRUDA® (N Engl J Med 372:2509-2520, 2015). Other MSI-High and dMMR (MMR deficient) tumors include, Endometrial and GastroIntestinal tumors and to a lesser extent Breast, Prostate, Bladder and Thyroid tumors.

MSI (Micro Satellite Instability) testing is performed using a PCR based assay and MSI-High refers to instability at 2 or more of the 5 mononucleotide repeat markers and MSI-Low refers to instability at 1 of the 5 markers. Patients are considered Micro Satellite Stable (MSS) if no instability occurs. MSI-L and MSS are grouped together because MSI-L tumors are uncommon and behave similar to MSS tumors. Tumors considered MSI-H have deficiency of one or more of the DNA MisMatchRepair genes. MMR gene deficiency can be detected by ImmunoHistoChemistry (IHC). MLH1 gene is often lost in association with PMS2. Approximately 10-20% of Gastric cancers are MSI high or MMR Deficient. Several retrospective studies have suggested favorable outcomes in patients with Gastric cancer with high MSI tumors, although none of these studies had a control group.

In the MAGIC trial (The UK Medical Research Council Adjuvant Gastric Infusional Chemotherapy), which is an open-label, multicenter, phase III study, patients with resectable GastroEsophageal cancer were randomized to receive either 6 cycles of perioperative Epirubicin, Cisplatin, and Infusional 5-FU (3 cycles before and 3 cycles after resection) plus surgery, or undergo surgery alone. In this study, patients treated with perioperative chemotherapy had improved Overall Survival (OS) compared with patients treated with surgery alone (5-year OS 36% versus 23%; HR=0.75; P=0.009).

The authors in this study additionally evaluated patients with operable GastroEsophageal cancers with High MicroSatellite Instability (MSI-H) or MMR deficiency (dMMR), and compared their survival with patients who had MicroSatellite Stable (MSS) GastroEsophageal cancer, when these patients were treated with surgery alone or surgery plus perioperative chemotherapy. The authors thus assessed survival outcomes based on MSI/MMR deficiency. Of the 503 clinical trial participants, MSI results were available for 303 patients and both MSI and MMR results were available in 254 patients. Patients who had High MSI or MMR deficiency treated with surgery alone, had a median OS that was Not Reached (NR) compared with a median Overall Survival (OS) of 20.5 months, among those who had neither high MSI nor MMR deficiency (HR=0.42; P=0.09). In contrast, patients who had either a High MSI or MMR deficiency, treated with surgery plus perioperative chemotherapy had a median OS of 9.6 months compared with a median OS of 19.5 months, among those who had neither High MSI nor MMR deficiency (HR=2.18; P=0.03). The overall concordance rate between MSI-H and MMR deficient status was 97.6%.

Based on these findings the authors concluded that patients with operable GastroEsophageal cancer with High MicroSatellite Instability or MMR deficiency, did not benefit from perioperative chemotherapy and could be spared from the toxicities of chemotherapy. These patients may benefit from therapy with PD-1 inhibitors, although this will need to be further investigated. If independently validated, MSI or MMR deficiency, determined by preoperative biopsies, could be used to select patients for perioperative chemotherapy. Mismatch Repair Deficiency, Microsatellite Instability, and Survival. An Exploratory Analysis of the Medical Research Council Adjuvant Gastric Infusional Chemotherapy (MAGIC) Trial. Smyth EC, Wotherspoon A, Peckitt C, et al. JAMA Oncol. 2017;3:1197-1203.


Alcohol and Cancer A Statement of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

November 17th, 2017

Alcohol consumption is an established risk factor for several malignancies, and is a potentially modifiable risk factor for cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of WHO, classified alcohol as a group 1 carcinogen. The American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and US Department of Health and Human Services all recommend that men limit intake to one to two drinks per day and women to one drink per day. People who do not currently drink alcohol should not start for any reason. There is a clear association between alcohol and upper aerodigestive tract cancers (larynx, esophagus, and oral cavity/pharynx). A recent meta-analysis of cohort studies among 209,597 cancer survivors showed an 8% increase in overall mortality and a 17% increased risk for recurrence in the highest versus lowest alcohol consumers. The benefit of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular health likely has been overstated and the net effect of alcohol is harmful. Alcohol consumption should therefore not be recommended to prevent cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality.


SUTENT® (Sunitinib malate)

November 17th, 2017

The FDA on November 16, 2017, approved SUTENT® for the adjuvant treatment of adult patients at high risk of recurrent Renal Cell Carcinoma, following nephrectomy. SUTENT® is a product of Pfizer Inc.


GAZYVA® (Obinutuzumab)

November 17th, 2017

The FDA on November 16, 2017, granted regular approval to GAZYVA® in combination with chemotherapy, followed by GAZYVA® monotherapy, in patients achieving at least a Partial Remission, for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated Stage II bulky, III, or IV Follicular Lymphoma (FL). GAZYVA® is a product of Genentech, Inc.


SPRYCEL® (Dasatinib)

November 17th, 2017

The FDA on November 9, 2017, granted regular approval to SPRYCEL®, for the treatment of pediatric patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) in the Chronic Phase. SPRYCEL® is a product of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.


ADCETRIS® (Brentuximab vedotin)

November 17th, 2017

The FDA on November 9, 2017 granted regular approval to ADCETRIS®, for the treatment of adult patients with primary cutaneous Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (pcALCL) or CD30-expressing Mycosis Fungoides (MF), who have received prior systemic therapy. ADCETRIS® is a product of Seattle Genetics, Inc.


ALECENSA® (Alectinib)

November 17th, 2017

The FDA on November 6, 2017, granted regular approval to ALECENSA®, for treatment of patients with Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK)-positive metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), as detected by an FDA-approved test. ALECENSA® is a product of Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc./Genentech, Inc.


ZELBORAF® (Vemurafenib)

November 17th, 2017

The FDA on November 6, 2017, granted regular approval to ZELBORAF® for the treatment of patients with Erdheim-Chester Disease (ECD) with BRAF V600 mutation. ZELBORAF® is a product of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.