medwireNews: Patients with platinum-refractory, metastatic urothelial carcinoma harbouring ERBB3 and HER2 alterations could benefit from treatment with afatinib, which targets the ErbB family of enzymes.
Although the phase II trial did not meet the criteria for further recruitment, as only five – rather than the required seven – of the 23 afatinib-treated participants met the primary endpoint of remaining progression free at 3 months, the researchers have reason to hope that afatinib could be an option for certain patients.
Targeted next-generation sequencing of 21 available samples showed that five of the six participants with ERBB3 mutations and/or HER2 copy number amplifications achieved the primary endpoint. By contrast, none of the 15 patients without alterations achieved 3-month progression-free survival (PFS), and median PFS was significantly shorter for these patients, at 1.4 months compared with 6.6 months for those with alterations.
“[A]fatinib deserves examination in a larger number of patients with molecularly altered [urothelial carcinoma], including evaluation in those with negative prognostic variables such as liver metastases and histologic variants, to characterize the range of alterations that are predictive of benefit”, Peter O’Donnell (University of Chicago, Illinois, USA) and fellow investigators conclude in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
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