Dana-Farber researchers find new targeted therapy effective in patients with drug-resistant metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor
A new molecularly targeted drug, regorafenib, can significantly control life-threatening metastatic disease in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) that have developed resistance to the only two FDA-approved drugs available, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. The phase III trial determined that in patients whose tumors developed resistance to both of the approved targeted therapies, Gleevec and Sutent, treatment with regorafenib induced prolonged disease control (progression-free survival of 4.8 months) in contrast to the disease worsening in less than one month in patients who received a matched placebo. This was highly statistically significant, with regorafenib reducing the risk of disease progression or death by more than 70 percent.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 66 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.