Dr. Pishvaian on Implications of Entrectinib Study in Pancreatic Cancer

Michael Pishvaian, MD, PhD
Published: Friday, Mar 09, 2018



Michael Pishvaian, MD, PhD, director, Phase I Clinical Program, co-director of the Ruesch Center Pancreatic Cancer Program Medical Oncology, Otto J. Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancer, Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the implications of a study of entrectinib in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.

According to Pishvaian, this study shows that there are new things to treat patients with—they just require more research. This was a very small subgroup of patients, which was found through extensive molecular profiling efforts. Some of the standard molecular profiling next-generation sequencing DNA tests do not identify these fusions. RNA-based tests are the best way to go about looking for these fusions, according to Pishvaian.

However, it means that when you find these driver mutations, even in a small subgroup of patients, they can benefit from targeted agents, explains Pishvaian. This dramatically improves quality of life and offers benefits to these patients. This trial looks promising, as it opens the door to second- and third-generation drugs that target NTRK fusions, or ALK or ROS1-rearrangements.
 


Michael Pishvaian, MD, PhD, director, Phase I Clinical Program, co-director of the Ruesch Center Pancreatic Cancer Program Medical Oncology, Otto J. Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancer, Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the implications of a study of entrectinib in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.

According to Pishvaian, this study shows that there are new things to treat patients with—they just require more research. This was a very small subgroup of patients, which was found through extensive molecular profiling efforts. Some of the standard molecular profiling next-generation sequencing DNA tests do not identify these fusions. RNA-based tests are the best way to go about looking for these fusions, according to Pishvaian.

However, it means that when you find these driver mutations, even in a small subgroup of patients, they can benefit from targeted agents, explains Pishvaian. This dramatically improves quality of life and offers benefits to these patients. This trial looks promising, as it opens the door to second- and third-generation drugs that target NTRK fusions, or ALK or ROS1-rearrangements.
 

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