Testing a Signal-Inhibiting Drug on Tumors with Specific Mutations

Microscope Image Of Pancreatic Cells In Purple And Teal On A Dark Background
Credit: Anne Weston, LRI, CRUK. Wellcome Images
Tumor genetics—rather than a particular type of cancer—form the basis of a clinical trial that looks at the effectiveness of a new drug.

In this trial an experimental signal-inhibiting drug will be tested in patients with locally advanced or metastatic tumors that carry specific mutations. This study is one of a new type of clinical trial, which enrolls patients based on the genetic footprint of the tumor rather than the type of cancer.

Basket Trials: A New Approach

This new type of clinical trial is called a basket trial. Basket trials seek patients with tumors that match particular genetic profiles, even if the patients have different types of cancer. Participants are then put into trial “baskets” depending on the type of tumor. The researchers then assess the effects of the drug or the response of the tumor in each “basket” of patients.

This approach of focusing on tumor genetics allows researchers to look for effective treatments for less common tumor profiles. This particular trial is open to patients with many different cancers, including breast, lung, thyroid, melanoma, colorectal, as well as pancreatic cancer.

Specialized Drug for Specific Tumors

This basket trial is testing the effectiveness of entrectinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. This drug interferes with enzymes that control cancer growth in tumors with NTRK1/2/3, ROS1, or ALK genetic mutations.

In this open-label trial all participants will receive the experimental drug.

We encourage you to consult your physicians for clinical trials that may be right for you. The website ClinicalTrials.gov provides more details about this trial as well as many others. You can visit the Clinical Trial Finder for a listing of all active pancreatic cancer clinical trials.


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