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Dr. Adashek on Targeting Molecular Alterations to Treat Multiple Tumor Types

Jacob J. Adashek, DO, discusses how targeting molecular alterations is key for treating multiple types of cancer.

Jacob J. Adashek, DO, a medical oncology fellow at Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, discusses how targeting molecular alterations is key for treating multiple types of cancer.

It is important to recognize that cancer is a molecular-driven disease, according to Adashek. Rather than attempting to treat patients by their tumor types, it is important to consider any molecular alterations that their tumors may harbor, Adashek says.

In June 2022, the FDA granted an accelerated approval to dabrafenib (Tafinlar) plus trametinib (Mekinist) for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients aged 6 years and older with unresectable or metastatic solid tumors harboring a BRAF V600E mutation who have progressed after prior treatment and who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options. That decision was based on findings from phase 2 ROAR basket study (NCT02034110) and arm H of the NCI-MATCH study (NCT02465060), in which the regimen produced overall response rates as high as 80% in those with BRAF V600E–mutated solid tumors, including high- and low-grade glioma, biliary tract cancer, and select gynecologic and gastrointestinal cancers.

To further advance cancer care, it will be important to take a step back from focusing on treating specific tumor types and looking more at the molecular alterations shared by these diseases, Adashek adds. Although tumors may have different origins, developing treatments that target specific alterations can result in new therapeutic opportunities that span tumor types, Adashek concludes.

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