CHICAGO – Detection of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), aka “liquid biopsy,” may serve as a noninvasive marker for disease heterogeneity and aid in the assessment of clinical responses to therapy for patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), according to investigators.
In aof the investigational agent DCC-2618, a pan-KIT/platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) switch control inhibitor, identification of ctDNA by next-generation sequencing (NGS) was accomplished in the majority of patients, with findings that support the need for a broad-spectrum KIT inhibitor for patients with GIST resistant to imatinib (Gleevec), reported , of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and her colleagues.
“This data demonstrates for the first time that the distribution of resistance mutations in KIT across exons 13, 14, 17, and 18 or a combination thereof is similar in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-line patients,” they wrote in a poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
The dose-finding and escalation trial included baseline evaluations of KIT/PDGFRA mutations with both ctDNA and fresh tumor biopsy, and ctDNA measurements during treatment.
Biopsy detected 68 KIT mutations at baseline in 81 patients, and ctDNA detected 75 mutations in 95 patients. Some patients had multiple mutations within one exon.
An analysis of mutations by response showed that of 73 patients with detectable KIT mutations by ctDNA at baseline, 35 became KIT ctDNA negative during at least one treatment time point. Of this group, 8 had a partial response (PR) and 27 had stable disease (SD). In all, 57 of the 73 patients had a more than 50% reduction in KIT mutation allele frequency (MAF).
Some patients with stable disease remained KIT negative out to 60 weeks following the first DCC-2618 dose.
The investigators also looked at ctDNA at baseline (21 patients) and post treatment (20 patients) in those who had a PR as their best response. Ten of these patients had KIT mutations detected at baseline, and of this group, eight became KIT negative after treatment; one had no detectable mutations in one exon and one exon with an MAF less than .1%. No posttreatment samples were available for the remaining patient.
There were preliminary data suggesting that DCC-2618 in the second line could be more efficacious than sunitinib (Sutent) in the same setting, and that in KIT-driven GIST DCC-2618 may provide more benefit in the second line compared with the fourth or subsequent lines of therapy, the authors stated.
“The mutational profile of KIT in tumors and plasma at baseline in GIST patients supports the need for a broad spectrum KIT inhibitor in all post-imatinib lines of therapy,” they wrote.
The trial is supported by Deciphera Pharmaceuticals. Dr. George disclosed stock or other ownership in Abbott Laboratories and Abbvie, consulting/advising for AstraZeneca, Blueprint Medicines, and Deciphera, and institutional research funding from Ariad, Bayer, Blueprint Medicine, Deciphera, Novartis, and Pfizer.
SOURCE: George S et al. ASCO 2018. Abstract 11511.