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Gastric Cancer – Bemarituzumab Plus Chemo Improves Outcomes

Background

Gastric cancer has a new target to attack: FGFR2b. Anew drug, “Bemarituzumab”, targets FGFR2b. When Bemarituzumab was given with chemotherapy, the combination postponed the time until the disease recurred, extended patients’ survival and improved the success rates in terms of tumor shrinkage and controlling the lesions from continuous growth.

About the FIGHT Trial with Gastric cancer patients

Bemarituzumab is a first-in-class, humanized antibody that binds to FGFR2b. It was evaluated in the global phase II FIGHT trial of patients with previously untreated, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic gastric cancer that was not HER2-positive.

All patients had tumors that either:

  • Expressed FGFR2b demonstrated by a common test called Immunohistochemistry, IHC, or
  • Had FGFR2 genetic amplifications

30% of patients who wanted to participate in the trial were FGFR2b-positive.

Ultimately, 155 patients have entered the trial and received placebo plus chemotherapy or Bemarituzumab plus chemotherapy.

Study Results

  • The combination postponed the time until the disease recurred primary from 7.4 months with chemotherapy and placebo to 9.5 months with Bemarituzumab plus chemo.
  • Median survival was not reached in the Bemarituzumab arm compared to 12.9 months in the chemotherapy and placebo arm.
  • Success rates in terms of tumor shrinkage and controlling the lesions from continuous growth increased from 40% to 53%, with median duration of response of 7.1 months with placebo vs. 12.2 months with Bemarituzumab. 
  • As FGFR2b expression increased, so did the benefit increase in the group receiving Bemarituzumab.

Side Effects

Overall, 34% of patients experienced toxicity requiring discontinuation of Bemarituzumab compared with 5% of patients on placebo.

Of particular note was ocular toxicity, which is a known side effect of FGFR inhibitors. However, Corneal toxicities resolved in 60% of patients at a median time of 27 weeks.

Conclusions

Adding Bemarituzumab to chemotherapy postponed the time until the disease recurred, extended patients’ survival and improved the success rates in terms of tumor shrinkage and controlling the lesions from continuous growth.

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Gastric cancer - Adding Bemarituzumab to chemo improves the results
Gastric cancer – Adding Bemarituzumab to chemo improves the results

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