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Noted This Week

May 3–9, 2024

In a study involving more than 1,500 patients who were treated with chimeric antigen-receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in Philadelphia and at Stanford University in California, just 2.3% and 3.4% of patients, respectively, later developed secondary cancers. Notably, none of the cancers were directly linked to CARs—with no insertions of CAR molecules into the second primary cancers, Endpoints News reported. Penn’s Carl June, MD, discussed the data, which have not been published in a scientific journal, at an event hosted by Friends of Cancer Research and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in Washington, DC. The FDA began investigating cases of CAR T-cell cancer-linked cases late last year, and the agency now requires drug companies to add boxed warnings to the products (Cancer Discov 2024 Feb 1 [Epub]).

Compared with chemotherapy, Jiangsu HengRui Pharamceuticals’ PARP inhibitor fuzuloparib—alone or combined with apatinib—prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) in Chinese women with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer with a germline BRCA1/2 mutation, according to data presented at the ESMO Virtual Plenary. Patients were randomly assigned to receive fuzuloparib, fuzuloparib plus the company’s VEGFR2 inhibitor, or capecitabine or gemcitabine chemotherapy. Women who received any fuzuloparib had improved PFS, but the greatest difference was seen in those who received the combination compared with chemotherapy—11 months versus 3 months, respectively. However, the rate of treatment discontinuation was higher with the combination therapy than with monotherapy or chemotherapy—7.1%, 0%, and 3.4%, respectively.

For patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) with KIT expression and at least a 35% risk of tumor recurrence, 6 years adjuvant imatinib yields a longer disease-free survival (DFS) benefit than the standard 3 years of treatment, researchers reported at the ESMO Virtual Plenary. This prolonged use led to a significantly improved 3-year DFS rate—87% versus 55%, respectively. However, the data are immature, so researchers could not offer specifics on when resistance might develop or on overall survival. The downside was that 6 years of treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor caused more side effects.

At the 2024 American Urological Association Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX, researchers reported that 75.2% of patients with high-risk non–muscle invasive bladder cancer experienced a complete response when treated with cretostimogene (CG Oncology), an investigational oncolytic immunotherapy, as part of the single-arm, phase III BOND-003 trial; the 105 patients who were assessed were all unresponsive to Bacillus Calmette Guerin. Twenty-nine patients maintained a complete response for at least 12 months. Median duration of response was not reached. There were no grade 3 or higher treatment-related adverse events.

Geneoscopy announced that the FDA approved the noninvasive colorectal cancer screening test ColoSense for adults ages 45 and older at average risk of developing the disease. The test uses RNA biomarkers, which the company said “are not subject to age-related methylation patterns that can lead to variability in test performance.” In the CRC-PREVENT study, which involved more than 1,800 patients, ColoSense demonstrated 93% sensitivity for detecting colorectal cancer and identified 100% of stage I colorectal cancers, at which point the disease is most curable (JAMA 2023;330:1760–68).

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