JUICE Pharma Worldwide was in Chicago to report on the proceedings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2015 Annual Meeting. Medical Director Florian Brey, MD, and the JUICE team share the latest developments and research advances in cancer treatment.
Florian discusses the early benefits and risks of some of today’s most promising new treatments.
“Antibody-drug conjugates, or ADCs, have established themselves as some of the most potent drugs in the treatment of HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer. The concept behind the approach is to use an antibody that is designed to target a highly specific tumor antigen as a vehicle to deliver a payload of cytotoxic chemotherapy directly into those cancer cells. One of the most prominent representatives of this class is trastuzumab emtansine, or T-DM1.
At an education session at ASCO this morning, an integrated safety analysis on T-DM1 was presented and it was mostly focusing on grade 3 and 4 adverse events, namely thrombocytopenia. Dose modifications have allowed most patients to stay on this treatment but the mechanism by which T-DM1 impairs megakaryocyte differentiation and maturation is poorly understood.
Another novel ADC that’s been presented today is MM-302, which is a liposome that encapsulates doxorubicin crystals. The HER2 binding molecules on the surface allow it to specifically target HER2 receptor overexpressing cancer cells. Doxorubicin is one of the best chemotherapeutics we have, but unfortunately it has high toxicities for healthy tissues, particularly those of the heart. The liposomal formulation in conjunction with the HER2 binding molecules allow for a selective uptake in cancer cells and limit the exposure to healthy tissues.”