Das will combine cabozantinib and a drug called CB-839 in a phase II clinical trial to assess the synergy of these anti-tumor treatments on small intestinal and pancreatic NET patients.
What question will the researchers try to answer?
Will the tumor-shrinking ability of cabozantinib be increased by combining it with a drug called CB-839?
Why is this important?
Current treatments for patients with small intestinal and pancreatic NETs often do not produce much tumor shrinkage. This creates residual disease that requires more potent treatment. Laboratory studies suggest that a treatment that combines cabozantinib with CB-839 carries the potential to significantly reduce tumor size.
What will researchers do?
Researchers will measure the rate of tumor shrinkage with cabozantinib plus CB-839; monitor side effects to assess whether the drug combination is safe and tolerable, and analyze patient data to set dosage guidelines. To evaluate predictors of response in patients, researchers will look for patterns in tumor features, via gene expression from biopsies and imaging from PET/CT scans, in hopes of identifying information that helps predict which patients are most likely to respond to this drug combination.
How might this improve the treatment of NETs?
Cabozantinib, which blocks multiple tumor growth-promoting pathways, has been shown to shrink tumor size in 15% of small intestinal and pancreatic NET patients. Researchers hope combining cabozantinib with CB-839 will further shrink NETs by blocking cancer cells’ access to an enzyme used to fuel growth.
What is the next step?
The results of this phase II clinical trial could generate the data needed to support further clinical testing of the drug combination, comparing its effectiveness against existing treatment options for NET patients.