Dr King on the Need for Less-Toxic Therapies in Advanced Gastrointestinal Cancers

Daniel King, MD, PhD, discusses the need to develop less-toxic regimens for advanced gastrointestinal cancers.

Daniel King, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Institute of Cancer Research, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Northwell Health, assistant professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Health, discusses the current treatment landscape and the need to develop therapies with few toxicities in advanced gastrointestinal cancers, including esophageal, pancreatic, and colon cancer.

King emphasizes the significant toxicity associated with the existing regimens. Even when comparing currently available regimens for the treatment of an individual patient, this evaluation often involves treatment paths using different toxic agents, he says.

King underscores the importance of developing treatment protocols that maintain efficacy and are associated with reduced toxicity, he says. The current standard of care often involves highly toxic regimens, which can significantly impact the patient's quality of life. As a result, there is a critical need for advancements in therapeutic approaches that mitigate these adverse effects, he continues.

King points to the pancreatic cancer space as one example of an avenue for improved treatment without increased toxicity. He explains that the emergence of KRAS inhibitors is promising because these inhibitors have shown efficacy without inducing additional toxicity in patients. This could represent a notable advancement, given the historically limited therapeutic options for pancreatic cancer, which is often associated with poor prognosis and high resistance to conventional therapies.

Given the limited toxicity observed thus far with KRAS inhibitors, the emergence of these agents could open up potential combination therapies for patients with pancreatic cancer, King continues. By integrating KRAS inhibitors with existing chemotherapy regimens, there is a possibility of enhancing therapeutic outcomes without exacerbating toxicity.

King's insights highlight the critical need for ongoing research and development in the field of oncology to create more effective and less toxic treatment regimens for patients with advanced GI cancers. In the pancreatic cancer space specifically, the emergence of KRAS inhibitors could bring a targeted therapy approach to the treatment paradigm.

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