Eudocia Q. Lee, MD
Novel agents are showing impressive ability to cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and impair tumor development in several malignancies, raising the prospect of achieving a long-elusive goal of anticancer therapy. With advancements in lung cancer leading the way, investigators are increasingly seeking to incor-porate into clinical trials patients who develop brain metastases from primary tumors else-where in the body.
“Historically, most trials of systemic ther-apies have excluded patients with brain metastases on the assumption that patients with brain metastases made poor clinical trial candidates,” said Eudocia Q. Lee, MD, senior physician and assistant professor of neurology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. “But there’s data that properly selected patients with brain metastases can participate in phase I studies and provide important information.”Multiple trials, many of which are detailed below, are providing important results to guide clinicians in the effective use of targeted therapies and immunotherapies, setting the stage for additional breakthroughs in the treatment of what remain highly therapy-resistant cancers.
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