Patients with a rare incurable digestive tract cancer responded well to a combination of two drugs that block the path MEK and BRAF, which lead to disease.
At the 30th Symposium EORTC-NCI-AACR on molecular targets and cancer therapy in Dublin, Ireland, Dr. Zev Weinberg reported the results of an international clinical trial dabrafeniba trametiniba and in 36 patients with biliary tract cancer and adenocarcinoma of the small intestine. In these patients, there was one of the most common mutations in BRAF -BRAF V600E, which affect the development of cancer. He said that the volume of the tumor was reduced by about half.
"As of the end of October, six patients still respond to treatment, and responses lasted for at least six months in seven patients. In some patients, life expectancy has increased by a year without disease progression. The median survival increased to 11.3 months, and some - up to two years ", - said Dr. Weinberg of the University of California at Los Angeles, USA. - These are patients with a rare, aggressive cancer that has a very poor prognosis, and for which therapeutic options are limited. Cancer has not responded to previous treatments. "
Studies of other cancers, such as melanoma, thyroid cancer, lung cancer, showed that the combination of drugs which inhibit both ways BRAF and MEK, can be effective.
"This is one of the few studies of targeted treatments for biliary tract cancer and adenocarcinoma of the small intestine, and the first time we got the information about the medicines targeting BRAF mutation in these patients. Cancer of biliary tract need to be tested for the presence of mutations, "- says Weinberg.
As dabrafenib and trametinib administered in the form of tablets: 150 mg dabrafeniba twice daily and 2 mg trametiniba once daily. All patients had progressive cancer that has begun to spread to other parts of the body. Although most of the side effects of the treatment were controlled, it was fatigue and fever most unpleasant.
These types of cancer are rare, they occur in 1-2 cases per 100 000. They are difficult to detect at an early stage. As a rule, patients can not be cured, and most treatments are aimed at slowing the growth of cancer; Only about 5% continue to live five years after diagnosis. Due to the fact that cancer is difficult to treat, the data on the effectiveness of the second or third-line treatment is limited. Large international tests are the best way to test new treatments. The new data represent a potential treatment option for patients with mutant BRAF.
"Testing of new treatments for rare cancers such as cancer of the biliary tract, is difficult because of problems with the dial a sufficient number of patients to obtain meaningful results The results demonstrate the efficacy of the combination dabrafeniba and trametiniba." - says James L . Gully, Director of the Medical Oncology Service at the Center for Cancer Research in the United States.