Here are some of the important updates from CancerNetwork last week you might have missed in the world of oncology, featuring novel combinations for triple-negative breast cancer, genetic testing for gastrointestinal malignancies, and the FDA approval of belumosudil for chronic graft-versus-host disease.
Each Monday, CancerNetwork® highlights the most important content from the previous week in oncology news.
This week, some of the focus is on treatment for triple-negative breast cancer, with research on leronlimab plus carboplatin showing a survival benefit, while the KEYNOTE-522 study showed an event-free survival improvement. Other updates include a comparison of GOZILA and COLOMATE studies for patients who have gastrointestinal malignancies and the FDA approval of belumosudil for those with chronic graft-versus-host disease.
Patients who were given leronlimab—a CCR5 antagonist designed to target multiple therapeutic markers—with carboplatin experienced a 72% decrease in cancer-associated macrophage-like cells after 30 days on the treatment. Investigators linked the decrease in cancer-associated macrophage-like cells to a 300% increase in mean progression-free survival, as well as a 450% increase in 12-month overall survival. Additionally, circulating tumor cells have appeared to be related to slowing progression and lower mortality.
Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA)-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) assays have advantages over classic tissue-based analyses because of their low invasiveness and availability of repeated sampling. Because of the low incidence of target gene alterations such as HER2 or BRAF V600E in gastrointestinal cancers, very large screening platforms are needed to develop genome-based clinical trials.
For those reasons, ctDNA-based screening studies are being actively conducted; among them are the GOZILA (Guardant Originates in Zipangu Liquid biopsy Arrival) study in Japan and the COLOMATE (COlorectal Cancer Liquid BiOpsy Screening Protocol for Molecularly Assigned ThErapy) study in the United States.
Investigators examined neoadjuvant pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy followed by single agent pembrolizumab in the adjuvant setting compared with the neoadjuvant chemotherapy and adjuvant placebo. The phase 3 trial represents the first time an anti–PD-1 therapy has yielded a statistically significant event-free survival result in this patient population.
At the 3-year follow-up, 84.5% patients in the pembrolizumab group were alive and did not experience an event compared with 76.8% of patients in the placebo group.
At the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, CancerNetwork® spoke with Edmund Qiao, a fourth-year medical student from University of California San Diego and lead author of a study about prostate cancer prevention in African American men.
This approval follows a priority review for the new drug application (NDA) that was granted back in November for the Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase 2 (ROCK2) inhibitor. The submission of the NDA was supported by data from the phase 2 ROCKstar (KD025-213) trial (NCT03640481) of belumosudil at 200 mg daily or twice daily in patients with previously treated cGVHD.