June 2, 2017 • 2 Min

Focusing on a Drug that Treats Specific Tumor Mutations

Image of DNA analysis showing a series of darker and lighter orange-colored columns with thin horizontal red, yellow, white, and orange stripes indicating different genes

thegloaming; Flickr

Can a drug approved to treat lung cancers with specific genetic mutations also work against pancreatic and other gastrointestinal cancers that carry the same mutations?

In this clinical trial, a signal-inhibiting drug will be tested in patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancers who have no other treatment options. The participants must have either of two specific mutations in their tumors.

Tumor Genetic Mutations Determine Treatment

Researchers have found the same genetic mutations in cancers that occur in different parts of the body. Further research has shown that cancers with specific mutations may respond better to one drug over another. Some clinical trials are looking at whether drugs that are effective in one cancer type carrying specific mutations may also be effective in other cancers carrying the same mutations.

Using a Signal Inhibitor to Stop Cancer

Ceritinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is approved for treating ALK-positive non-small cell lung tumors. Ceritinib interferes with enzymes such as ALK and ROS1 that control cancer growth.

This trial is for patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer. All participants must have either the ALK or ROS1 genetic mutation, and must have had prior chemotherapy. Everyone in this trial will receive treatment with ceritinib. Researchers are looking for the toxicity level of the drug and for response to the drug.

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

This study was terminated due to lack of enrollment.

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