ABSTRACT: To describe the emergence of targeted therapies that have led to significant breakthroughs in cancer therapy and completed or ongoing clinical trials of novel agents for the treatment of patients with advanced cancer.The literature was systematically reviewed, based on clinical experience and the use of technologies that improved our understanding of carcinogenesis.Genomics and model systems have enabled the validation of novel therapeutic strategies. Tumor molecular profiling has enabled the reclassification of cancer and elucidated some mechanisms of disease progression or resistance to treatment, the heterogeneity between primary and metastatic tumors, and the dynamic changes of tumor molecular profiling over time. Despite the notable technologic advances, there is a gap between the plethora of preclinical data and the lack of effective therapies, which is attributed to suboptimal drug development for "driver" alterations of human cancer, the high cost of clinical trials and available drugs, and limited access of patients to clinical trials. Bioinformatic analyses of complex data to characterize tumor biology, function, and the dynamic tumor changes in time and space may improve cancer diagnosis. The application of discoveries in cancer biology in clinic holds the promise to improve the clinical outcomes in a large scale of patients with cancer. Increased harmonization between discoveries, policies, and practices will expedite the development of anticancer drugs and will accelerate the implementation of precision medicine.Combinations of targeted, immunomodulating, antiangiogenic, or chemotherapeutic agents are in clinical development. Innovative adaptive study design is used to expedite effective drug development.
Project description:PURPOSE OF REVIEW:The current review describes recent advances and unique challenges in precision medicine for pediatric cancers and highlights clinical trials assessing the clinical impact of targeted therapy matched to molecular alterations identified by tumor profiling. RECENT FINDINGS:Multiple prospective clinical sequencing studies in pediatric oncology have been reported in the last 2 years. These studies demonstrated feasibility of sequencing in the clinic and revealed a rate of actionable variants that justifies the development of precision trials for childhood cancer. A number of precision medicine trials are recently completed, underway or in development and these will be reviewed herein, with a focus on highlighting aspects of precision medicine trial design relevant to pediatric oncology. SUMMARY:The primary results of the first round of pediatric precision oncology clinical trials will provide us with a greater understanding of the clinical impact of linking tumor profiling to selection of targeted therapies. The aggregation of sequencing and clinical data from these trials and the results of biologic investigations linked to these trials will drive further discoveries and broaden opportunities for precision medicine for children with cancer.
Project description:As our understanding of the molecular pathways driving tumorigenesis improves and more druggable targets are identified, we have witnessed a concomitant increase in the development and production of novel molecularly targeted agents. Radiotherapy is commonly used in the treatment of various malignancies with a prominent role in the care of prostate cancer patients, and efforts to improve the therapeutic ratio of radiation by technologic and pharmacologic means have led to important advances in cancer care. One promising approach is to combine molecularly targeted systemic agents with radiotherapy to improve tumor response rates and likelihood of durable control. This review first explores the limitations of preclinical studies as well as barriers to successful implementation of clinical trials with radiosensitizers. Special considerations related to and recommendations for the design of preclinical studies and clinical trials involving molecularly targeted agents combined with radiotherapy are provided. We then apply these concepts by reviewing a representative set of targeted therapies that show promise as radiosensitizers in the treatment of prostate cancer.
Project description:Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) remains the most challenging breast cancer subtype to treat. To date, therapies directed to specific molecular targets have rarely achieved clinically meaningful improvements in outcomes of patients with TNBC, and chemotherapy remains the standard of care. Here, we seek to review the most recent efforts to classify TNBC based on the comprehensive profiling of tumors for cellular composition and molecular features. Technologic advances allow for tumor characterization at ever-increasing depth, generating data that, if integrated with clinical-pathologic features, may help improve risk stratification of patients, guide treatment decisions and surveillance, and help identify new targets for drug development. SIGNIFICANCE: TNBC is characterized by higher rates of relapse, greater metastatic potential, and shorter overall survival compared with other major breast cancer subtypes. The identification of biomarkers that can help guide treatment decisions in TNBC remains a clinically unmet need. Understanding the mechanisms that drive resistance is key to the design of novel therapeutic strategies to help prevent the development of metastatic disease and, ultimately, to improve survival in this patient population.
Project description:Recent high profile clinical trials show that microarray-based gene expression profiling has the potential to become an important tool for predicting prognosis in breast cancer. Earlier work in our laboratory using mouse models and human breast cancer populations has enabled us to show that metastasis susceptibility is an inherited trait. This same combined approach facilitated the identification of a number of candidate genes that, when dysregulated, have the potential to induce prognostic gene expression profiles in human data sets. To investigate if these gene expression signatures were of somatic or germline origin and to assess the contribution of different cell types to the induction of these signatures, we have performed a series of expression profiling experiments in a mouse model of metastatic breast cancer. These results show that both the tumor epithelium and invading stromal tissues contribute to the development of prognostic gene signatures. Furthermore, analysis of normal tissues and tumor transplants suggests that prognostic signatures result from both somatic and inherited components, with the inherited components being more consistently predictive.
Project description:The development of Her-2 DNA vaccine has progressed through three phases that can be categorized as phase "A": the pursuit of Her-2 as a tumor-associated "antigen", phase "B": tilting the "balance" between tumor immunity and autoimmunity and phase "C": the on-going "clinical trials".In phase "A", a panel of human ErbB-2 or Her-2 plasmids were constructed to encode non-transforming Her-2 derivatives. The immunogenicity and anti-tumor activity of Her-2 DNA vaccines were tested in human Her-2 transgenic mice with or without the depletion of regulatory T cells (Tregs). However, Treg depletion or other immune modulating regimens may increase the risk of autoimmunity. In phase "B", the balance between tumor immunity and autoimmunity was assessed by monitoring the development of experimental autoimmune thyroiditis (EAT). To test the efficacy of Her-2 DNA vaccines in cancer patients, clinical trials have been initiated in phase "C".Significant anti-Her-2 and anti-tumor activity was observed when Her-2 transgenic mice were electro-vaccinated after Treg depletion. Susceptibility to EAT was also enhanced by Treg depletion and there was mutual amplification between Her-2 immunity and EAT development. Although Tregs regulate both EAT and Her-2 immunity, their effector mechanisms may differ. It may be possible to amplify tumor immunity with improved strategies that can by-pass undue autoimmunity. Critical information will be revealed in the next decade to expedite the development of cancer vaccines.
Project description:Pediatric oncologists have begun to leverage tumor genetic profiling to match patients with targeted therapies. At the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), we developed the Pediatric Molecular Tumor Board (PMTB) to track, integrate, and interpret clinical genomic profiling and potential targeted therapeutic recommendations.This retrospective case series includes all patients reviewed by the MSKCC PMTB from July 2014 to June 2015. Cases were submitted by treating oncologists and potential treatment recommendations were based upon the modified guidelines of the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.There were 41 presentations of 39 individual patients during the study period. Gliomas, acute myeloid leukemia, and neuroblastoma were the most commonly reviewed cases. Thirty nine (87%) of the 45 molecular sequencing profiles utilized hybrid-capture targeted genome sequencing. In 30 (73%) of the 41 presentations, the PMTB provided therapeutic recommendations, of which 19 (46%) were implemented. Twenty-one (70%) of the recommendations involved targeted therapies. Three (14%) targeted therapy recommendations had published evidence to support the proposed recommendations (evidence levels 1-2), eight (36%) recommendations had preclinical evidence (level 3), and 11 (50%) recommendations were based upon hypothetical biological rationales (level 4).The MSKCC PMTB enabled a clinically relevant interpretation of genomic profiling. Effective use of clinical genomics is anticipated to require new and improved tools to ascribe pathogenic significance and therapeutic actionability. The development of specific rule-driven clinical protocols will be needed for the incorporation and evaluation of genomic and molecular profiling in interventional prospective clinical trials.
Project description:Over the past decade, the fields of oncology have made great strides in therapies. The development of new therapeutics and increased understanding of the role of the immune system in the development and treatment of cancer has led to increased collaboration between oncologic fields. Recent technologic advancements in radiation therapy (RT), including stereotactic beam radiation therapy (SBRT), have improved local control and offer an alternative to surgery for the control of oligometastatic disease. Immunotherapy has proven a promising therapeutic in the treatment of metastatic disease but treatment resistance remains a significant obstacle in the majority of patients. Together, radiation and immunotherapy offer potential to eliminate metastatic disease, reduce time to recurrence and improve overall survival. Major obstacles to these positive outcomes include high tumor burden, intratumoral heterogeneity, and the negative effects of tumor stroma, to name a few. Multimodality treatments are under heavy investigation. Promising data from clinical trials is emerging to highlight the value of RT in combination with immunotherapy. However, the mechanisms behind their synergistic effects remain to be fully elucidated. This review aims to highlight the existing literature and offers hypotheses to explain mechanisms behind the synergy of RT and immunotherapy.
Project description:Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is rare, but is the most malignant type of biliary tract tumor. Unfortunately, only a small population of cancer patients is acceptable for the surgical resection, the current effective regimen; thus, the high mortality rate has been static for decades. To substantially circumvent the stagnant scenario, a number of therapeutic approaches owing to the creation of advanced technologic measures (e.g., next-generation sequencing, transcriptomics, proteomics) have been intensively innovated, which include targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and nanoparticle-based delivery systems. In the current review, we primarily focus on the targeted therapy capable of specifically inhibiting individual key molecules that govern aberrant signaling cascades in GBC. Global clinical trials of targeted therapy in GBC are updated and may offer great value for novel pathologic and therapeutic insights of this deadly disease, ultimately improving the efficacy of treatment.
Project description:Metabolomics has emerged as a new discovery tool with the promise of identifying therapeutic targets in cancer. Recent discoveries described essential metabolomic pathways in breast cancer and characterized oncometabolites that drive tumor growth and progression. Oncogenes like MYC and tumor suppressor genes like TP53 prominently affect breast cancer biology through regulation of cell metabolism and mitochondrial biogenesis. These findings indicate that tumors with dominant mutations could be susceptible to inhibitors of disease metabolism. Moreover, various pre-clinical and clinical studies have linked tumor metabolism to therapeutic response and patient survival. Thus, recent advances suggest that metabolic profiling provides new opportunities to improve outcomes in breast cancer. In this review, we have summarized some of the identified roles of oncometabolites in breast cancer biology and highlight their clinical utility.
Project description:The clinical development of cancer drugs is rapidly moving from empirical "one drug fits all" or development-by-tumor-type approaches towards more personalized treatment models. A deeper understanding of cancer and the immune system, novel technologies, and powerful analytics have fueled an increase in precision oncology approaches integrating the molecular profiles of the tumor with the clinical profile of the patient. While this approach has been successful for targeted therapies, the complex mode of action of immunotherapies will likely require integration of clinical profiling with more comprehensive profiling of the tumor, of the tumor microenvironment, and of the immune system of the patient. Integration of precision oncology into clinical research for immunotherapies is viewed as a means to better select patients in the early clinical phase of drug development to (1) maximize the benefit-to-risk ratio for the patient, (2) generate early proof of concept and proof of relevance for the investigational drug, and (3) inform on how to best combine or sequence the therapeutic with other drugs. Here we discuss the upsides and challenges of incorporating precision immuno-oncology into early-phase clinical trials.