Michael K. Gibson MD, PhD, discusses the importance of addressing unmet needs related to treatment for patients with gastrointestinal cancers.
Michael K. Gibson MD, PhD, research director, Translational Research in Head and Neck Oncology, Vanderbilt Health, associate professor of medicine, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, discusses the importance of addressing unmet needs related to treatment for patients with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.
Despite advancements being made across the GI cancer treatment arena, unmet needs remain. The ultimate goal is cure, Gibson begins, adding that this is the main unmet need and bar that investigators are continuing to try to overcome.
One of these areas of concern is the search for available targets for clinicians to investigate, Gibson expands. Moreover, how to combine or sequence the drugs available for the current 4 markers of interest in the GI space remains a challenge, Gibson says.
To address this area of concern, Yelena Y. Janjigian, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and colleagues launched the phase 3 KEYNOTE-811 trial (NCT03615326), investigating patients who have advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma with overexpression of HER2, Gibson continues. This trial produced what is now the standard-of-care treatment for this patient population of chemotherapy plus immunotherapy, which in this case is pembrolizumab (Keytruda). It is now known that there is plausibility in further investigating combinations and sequencing currently known targets. With additional investigations into this arena, clinicians will be able to provide patients with better and effective therapies down the road, Gibson concludes.