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Oncotarget | 2017
Young Kwang Chae; Keerthi Ranganath; Peter S. Hammerman; Christos Vaklavas; Nisha Mohindra; Aparna Kalyan; Maria Matsangou; Ricardo Costa; Benedito A. Carneiro; Victoria M. Villaflor; Massimo Cristofanilli; Francis J. Giles
The fibroblast growth factor/fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGF/FGFR) is a tyrosine kinase signaling pathway that has a fundamental role in many biologic processes including embryonic development, tissue regeneration, and angiogenesis. Increasing evidence indicates that this pathway plays a critical role in oncogenesis via gene amplification, activating mutations, or translocation in tumors of various histologies. With multiplex sequencing technology, the detection of FGFR aberrations has become more common and is tied to cancer cell proliferation, resistance to anticancer therapies, and neoangiogenesis. Inhibition of FGFR signaling appears promising in preclinical studies, suggesting a pathway of clinical interest in the development of targeted therapy. Phase I trials have demonstrated a manageable toxicity profile. Currently, there are multiple FGFR inhibitors under study with many non-selective (multi-kinase) inhibitors demonstrating limited clinical responses. As we progress from the first generation of non-selective drugs to the second generation of selective FGFR inhibitors, it is clear that FGFR aberrations do not behave uniformly across cancer types; thus, a deeper understanding of biomarker strategies is undoubtedly warranted. This review aims to consolidate data from recent clinical trials with a focus on selective FGFR inhibitors. As Phase II clinical trials emerge, concentration on patient selection as it pertains to predicting response to therapy, feasible methods for overcoming toxicity, and the likelihood of combination therapies should be utilized. We will also discuss qualities that may be desirable in future generations of FGFR inhibitors, with the hope that overcoming these current barriers will expedite the availability of this novel class of medications.
Oncotarget | 2017
Ricardo Costa; Benedito A. Carneiro; Mark Agulnik; Alfred Rademaker; Sachin G. Pai; Victoria M. Villaflor; Massimo Cristofanilli; Jeffrey A. Sosman; Francis J. Giles
Purpose Nivolumab and pembrolizumab are antibodies against the programmed-death-receptor- 1 (PD-1) which are associated with distinct immune related adverse effects (AEs). This meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials aims to summarize current knowledge regarding the toxicity profile of these agents. Methods PubMed search was conducted in February of 2016. The randomized trials needed to have at least one of the study arms consisting of nivolumab or pembrolizumab monotherapy and a control arm containing no anti-PD-1 therapy. Data were analyzed using random effects meta-analysis for risk ratios. Heterogeneity across studies was analyzed using Q and I2 statistics. Results Nine randomized trials and 5,353 patients were included in our meta-analysis. There was evidence of significant heterogeneity between studies. The pooled relative risk (RR) for treatment-related all grade AEs and grade 3/4 AEs was 0.88 (95% CI 0.81-0.95;P=0.002) and 0.39 (95% CI 0.29-0.53; P<0.001) respectively favoring anti-PD-1 therapy versus standard of care approach. The RR of treatment-related death was 0.45 (95% CI 0.19-1.09; P=0.076). Patients treated with PD-1 inhibitors had an increased risk of hyperthyroidism [RR of 3.44 (95% CI 1.98-5.99; P<0.001)] and hypothyroidism [RR of 6.79 (95% CI 3.10-14.84; P<0.001)]. All grade pruritus and vitiligo were also more common among these patients. The pooled absolute risks of pneumonitis and hypophysitis were 2.65% and 0.47% respectively. Conclusion Approved PD-1 inhibitors are well tolerated, associated with significant low risk of severe treatment-related AEs and increased risk of thyroid dysfunction, pruritus, and vitiligo.
Journal of Hematology & Oncology | 2017
Sachin Gopalkrishna Pai; Benedito A. Carneiro; Jose Mauricio Mota; Ricardo Costa; Caio A. Leite; Romualdo Barroso-Sousa; Jason Kaplan; Young Kwang Chae; Francis J. Giles
Wnt/β-catenin signaling, a highly conserved pathway through evolution, regulates key cellular functions including proliferation, differentiation, migration, genetic stability, apoptosis, and stem cell renewal. The Wnt pathway mediates biological processes by a canonical or noncanonical pathway, depending on the involvement of β-catenin in signal transduction. β-catenin is a core component of the cadherin protein complex, whose stabilization is essential for the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. As multiple aberrations in this pathway occur in numerous cancers, WNT-directed therapy represents an area of significant developmental therapeutics focus. The recently described role of Wnt/β-catenin pathway in regulating immune cell infiltration of the tumor microenvironment renewed the interest, given its potential impact on responses to immunotherapy treatments. This article summarizes the role of Wnt/β-catenin pathway in cancer and ongoing therapeutic strategies involving this pathway.
Oncotarget | 2016
Young Kwang Chae; Andrew A. Davis; Benedito A. Carneiro; Sunandana Chandra; Nisha Mohindra; Aparna Kalyan; Jason Kaplan; Maria Matsangou; Sachin Pai; Ricardo Costa; Borko Jovanovic; Massimo Cristofanilli; Leonidas C. Platanias; Francis J. Giles
Genomic analysis of tumor tissue is the standard technique for identifying DNA alterations in malignancies. Genomic analysis of circulating tumor cell-free DNA (cfDNA) represents a relatively non-invasive method of assessing genomic alterations using peripheral blood. We compared the concordance of genomic alterations between cfDNA and tissue biopsies in this retrospective study. Twenty-eight patients with advanced solid tumors with paired next-generation sequencing tissue and cfDNA biopsies were identified. Sixty-five genes were common to both assays. Concordance was defined as the presence or absence of the identical genomic alteration(s) in a single gene on both molecular platforms. Including all aberrations, the average number of alterations per patient for tissue and cfDNA analysis was 4.82 and 2.96, respectively. When eliminating alterations not detectable in the cfDNA assay, mean number of alterations for tissue and cfDNA was 3.21 and 2.96, respectively. Overall, concordance was 91.9–93.9%. However, the concordance rate decreased to 11.8–17.1% when considering only genes with reported genomic alterations in either assay. Over 50% of mutations detected in either technique were not detected using the other biopsy technique, indicating a potential complementary role of each assay. Across 5 genes (TP53, EGFR, KRAS, APC, CDKN2A), sensitivity and specificity were 59.1% and 94.8%, respectively. Potential explanations for the lack of concordance include differences in assay platform, spatial and temporal factors, tumor heterogeneity, interval treatment, subclones, and potential germline DNA contamination. These results highlight the importance of prospective studies to evaluate concordance of genomic findings between distinct platforms that ultimately may inform treatment decisions.
Oncotarget | 2016
Ricardo Costa; Benedito A. Carneiro; Timothy J. Taxter; Fabio Tavora; Aparna Kalyan; Sachin A. Pai; Young Kwang Chae; Francis J. Giles
Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR) are transmembrane kinase proteins with growing importance in cancer biology given the frequency of molecular alterations and vast interface with multiple other signaling pathways. Furthermore, numerous FGFR inhibitors in clinical development demonstrate the expanding therapeutic relevance of this pathway. Indeed, results from early phase clinical trials already indicate that a subset of patients with advanced tumors derive benefit from FGFR targeted therapies. FGFR gene aberrations and FGFR gene rearrangements are relatively rare in solid malignancies. The recently described FGFR3-TACC3 fusion protein has a constitutively active tyrosine kinase domain and promotes aneuploidy. We summarize the prevalence data on FGFR3-TACC3 fusions among different histological tumor types and the preliminary evidence that this rearrangement represents a targetable molecular aberration in some patients with solid tumors.
Cancer Treatment Reviews | 2017
Ricardo Costa; Ami N. Shah; Cesar Augusto Santa-Maria; Marcelo Rocha Cruz; Devalingam Mahalingam; Benedito A. Carneiro; Young Kwang Chae; Massimo Cristofanilli; William J. Gradishar; Francis J. Giles
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 10-20% of cases in breast cancer. Despite recent advances in the treatment of hormonal receptor+ and HER2+ breast cancers, there are no targeted therapies available for TNBC. Evidence supports that most patients with TNBC express the transmembrane Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR). However, early phase clinical trials failed to demonstrate significant activity of EGFR-targeted monoclonal antibodies and/or tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Here, we review the recent discoveries related to the underlying biology of the EGFR pathway in TNBC, clinical progress to date and suggest rational future approaches for investigational therapies in TNBC.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | 2018
Ricardo Costa; Hyo S. Han; William J. Gradishar
PurposeTriple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for approximately 20% of breast cancer cases. Although there have been advances in the treatment of hormone receptor-positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive breast cancers, targeted therapies for TNBC remain unavailable. In this narrative review, we summarize recent discoveries related to the underlying biology of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT)/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway in TNBC, examine clinical progress to date, and suggest rational future approaches for investigational therapies in TNBC.ResultsAs with other subtypes of breast cancer, aberrations in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway are common in TNBC. Preclinical data support the notion that these aberrations predict TNBC inhibition by targeted agents. In a recently published phase 2 clinical trial, an AKT inhibitor (ipatasertib) improved outcomes in a subset of patients with metastatic TNBC when combined with paclitaxel in the first-line setting. In addition, new compounds with distinct specificity and potency targeting different PI3K/AKT/mTOR components and cognate molecules (e.g., mitogen-activated protein kinase) are being developed. These agents present a wide range of toxicity profiles and early efficacy signals, which must be considered prior to the advancement of new agents in later-phase clinical trials.ConclusionsThe development of drugs targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway for the treatment of TNBC is an evolving field that should take into account the efficacies and toxicities of new agents in addition to their interactions with different cancer pathways.
Drug Design Development and Therapy | 2016
Ricardo Costa; Benedito A. Carneiro; Sunandana Chandra; Sachin G. Pai; Young Kwang Chae; Jason Kaplan; Hannah Garrett; Mark Agulnik; Peter Kopp; Francis J. Giles
Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy, with over 60,000 cases reported per year in the US alone. The incidence of thyroid cancer has increased in the last several years. Patients with metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) generally have a good prognosis. Metastatic DTC can often be treated in a targeted manner with radioactive iodine, but the ability to accumulate iodine is lost with decreasing differentiation. Until recently, chemotherapy was the only treatment in patients with advanced thyroid cancer, which is no longer amenable to therapy with radioactive iodine. The modest efficacy and significant toxicity of chemotherapy necessitated the need for urgent advances in the medical field. New insights in thyroid cancer biology propelled the development of targeted therapies for this disease, including the tyrosine kinase inhibitor sorafenib as salvage treatment for DTC. In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a second tyrosine kinase inhibitor, lenvatinib, for the treatment of radioiodine-refractory thyroid cancer. Although associated with a significant progression-free survival improvement as compared to placebo in a large Phase III study (median progression-free survival 18.2 vs 3.6 months; hazard ratio 0.21; 99% confidence interval 0.14–0.31; P<0.001), the benefit of lenvatinib needs to be proved in the context of associated moderate to severe toxicities that require frequent dose reduction and delays. This article reviews the evidence supporting the use of lenvatinib as salvage therapy for radioactive iodine-refractory thyroid cancer, with a focus on the toxicity profile of this new therapy.
Cancer management and research | 2017
Sarah Chuzi; Fabio Tavora; Marcelo Rocha Cruz; Ricardo Costa; Young Kwang Chae; Benedito A. Carneiro; Francis J. Giles
Immune checkpoint inhibitors, including cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) inhibitors, represent an effective treatment modality for multiple malignancies. Despite the exciting clinical benefits, checkpoint inhibition is associated with a series of immune-related adverse events (irAEs), many of which can be life-threatening and result in significant treatment delays. Pneumonitis is an adverse event of special interest as it led to treatment-related deaths in early clinical trials. This review summarizes the incidence of pneumonitis during treatment with the different checkpoint inhibitors and discusses the prognostic significance of tumor type. The wide range of clinical, radiographic, and histologic characteristics of checkpoint inhibitor-related pneumonitis is reviewed and followed by guidance on the different management strategies.
Oncotarget | 2016
Ricardo Costa; Benedito A. Carneiro; Fabio Tavora; Sachin G. Pai; Jason Kaplan; Young Kwang Chae; Sunandana Chandra; Peter Kopp; Francis J. Giles
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare disease with an estimated incidence of only 0.7 new cases per million per year. Approximately 30-70% of the patients present with advanced disease with very poor prognosis and without effective therapeutic options. In the recent years, unprecedented progresses in cancer biology and genomics have fostered the development of numerous targeted therapies for various malignancies. Immunotherapy has also transformed the treatment landscape of malignancies such as melanoma, among others. However, these advances have not brought meaningful benefits for patients with ACC. Extensive genomic analyses of ACC have revealed numerous signal transduction pathway aberrations (e.g., insulin growth factor receptor and Wnt/β-catenin pathways) that play a central role in pathophysiology. These molecular alterations have been explored as potential therapeutic targets for drug development. This manuscript summarizes recent discoveries in ACC biology, reviews the results of early clinical studies with targeted therapies, and provides the rationale for emerging treatment strategies such as immunotherapy.