Clinical Perspectives

Advances in Treatment of HER2-Positive Metastatic Gastric/Gastroesophageal Junction (GEJ) Adenocarcinoma with Combination of Immunotherapy

March 21, 2019

Advances In Treatment Of HER2 Positive Metastatic Gastricgastroesophageal Junction (GEJ)

Dr. Rutika Mehta

More agents continue to enter the treatment armamentarium for patients with gastric cancer or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma, with the future bringing immunotherapy combinations to the forefront of treatment.

Study results presented at the 2019 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, revealed increased overall survival rates for patients with HER2-positive metastatic gastric/GEJ cancer treated with a combination of pembrolizumab (Keytruda), trastuzumab (Herceptin), and chemotherapy.  

In the phase II clinical trial of 35 patients evaluated, 67% of patients had no progression of disease after 6 months.

“The near future will bring more immunotherapy-based combinations to the forefront,” said Dr. Rutika Mehta, a member of the Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology and medical oncologist.

Other recent advances include TAS-102 (trifluridine/tipiracil; Lonsurf). TAS-102 was approved by the FDA in February 2019 for the treatment of patients with metastatic gastric or GEJ adenocarcinoma who were treated with ≥2 prior lines of chemotherapy.

“TAS-102 did show significant prolongation in OS (overall survival) as well in PFS (progression free survival),” explained Dr. Mehta. “There was also a definite improvement in the disease control rate with TAS-102 as opposed to the placebo.”

Moffitt Cancer Center has a team of GI cancer specialists at the forefront of cancer research, who are regularly developing new therapies and screening methods to effectively detect and treat GI cancers.

To view the full OncLive® interview click here to watch Dr. Mehta discuss the current gastric cancer treatment landscape and shed light on how emerging therapies could impact the paradigm.