MAY 04, 2020 11:52 AM PDT

A Retroactive Study Finds an Immunotherapy Effective as a Third-Line Therapy

WRITTEN BY: Jasper Cantrell

Cancer is a particularly persistent disease. Many therapies are composed of one or more different treatments. These treatments are referred to as first-line, second-line, and so on. First-line treatments are often the best available option, with second line treatments being the next best option should the first fail to induce full remission. Ramucirumab is an example of second-line treatment in gastric and other cancers. Recently it has been increasingly used as a third-line treatment or later. There is a lack of research in its effectiveness as a third-line treatment, and a group from Japan decided to retroactively investigate.

Gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. Ramucirumab was initially approved for the treatment of advanced gastric cancer, and this is where the group started. They gathered a sample of fifty-one patients with a variety of advanced gastric cancers, forty-four of which having been treated at least twice before. They began treating all patients with ramucirumab and followed the results.

Of the fifty-one patients, forty-seven patients had to halt their ramucirumab treatments due to cancer progression or other adverse events. Out of the sample, there was a 17% disease control rate and a 2% response rate. There were a few patients who showed no effect on treatment. Thirty-eight of the patients had adverse effects during the trial, however, no patients had fatal reactions.

The primary variables the group used to determine the success or failure of this study were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of the patients in the trial. Previous works had ramucirumab achieve a PFS of 2.1 and 1.6, with an OS of 5.2 and 7.3. This group's findings were similar, with a PFS of 1.8 and an OS of 5.1. The group goes on to postulate that these numbers are identical to figures from second-line treatments. Any differences in the numbers are likely due to the selectivity of the patients' treatments.

Ramucirumab maintains its effectiveness as a third-line treatment with little to no difference in PFS or OS. The available options for treatment over the years have increased, with many new chemotherapies and immunotherapies available. This has led ramucirumab to be pushed to a third-line treatment. The group concludes that ramucirumab is still valid as a third-line treatment for advanced gastric cancers, concluding "Ramucirumab monotherapy demonstrates acceptable efficacy and feasibility as third- or later-line treatment for AGC. We consider physicians might choose this therapy as a salvage-line treatment option for AGC refractory to the standard therapies."

Sources: Journal of Clinical Oncology, OncLive TV
 

About the Author
  • Hey everyone! My name is Jasper and, considering I am pretty new here to Labroots, I figured I would introduce myself. I received my bachelor’s from the University of California at Riverside back in 2016. I started off my career a few years ago with a job at a University over in New York, before moving over into the industry. I'm happy to be writing content for Labroots, and I hope you enjoy it!
You May Also Like
JUL 10, 2020
Cancer
Why do black men suffer disproportionately from prostate cancer?
JUL 10, 2020
Why do black men suffer disproportionately from prostate cancer?
Cancer disparities by race are widely acknowledged. One in every six black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in ...
JUL 23, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Prostate Cancer: To Treat or Not to Treat
JUL 23, 2020
Prostate Cancer: To Treat or Not to Treat
After a prostate cancer diagnosis, urologists do not always initiate immediate clinical intervention. In those with Low- ...
AUG 03, 2020
Cancer
Improving Diagnostics in Breast Cancer
AUG 03, 2020
Improving Diagnostics in Breast Cancer
Diagnostics is one of the essential tools in a physician’s toolkit. A good diagnostic test can identify whether a ...
AUG 03, 2020
Cancer
New research on fusion proteins that may help young patients with synovial sarcoma
AUG 03, 2020
New research on fusion proteins that may help young patients with synovial sarcoma
New research is published by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have discovered new information that may help pa ...
AUG 24, 2020
Cancer
Inhibiting Cancer Stem Cells to Stop Cancer Recurrence
AUG 24, 2020
Inhibiting Cancer Stem Cells to Stop Cancer Recurrence
Once upon a time, stem cells were the talk of the town. They really are amazing, with some capable of turning into any o ...
SEP 18, 2020
Cancer
Itraconazole: the key is in the dosage
SEP 18, 2020
Itraconazole: the key is in the dosage
Precision medicine specific to a patient’s genetics or immune system is spearheading new paths of cancer treatment ...
Loading Comments...