Promising Second-Line Treatment for Advanced Gastric Cancer: Fruquintinib Plus Paclitaxel

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Dr. Jessica Nelson
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Promising Second-Line Treatment for Advanced Gastric Cancer: Fruquintinib Plus Paclitaxel

In a significant advance in cancer research, a study presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology Plenary Series in February 2024 shed light on a potential new second-line treatment for patients with advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction (G/GEJ) adenocarcinoma. The study, known as the FRUTIGA trial, demonstrated that the combination of fruquintinib (F) and paclitaxel (PTX) significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) and overall response rate in these patients.

Key Findings of the FRUTIGA Trial

The FRUTIGA trial revealed that the combination of F and PTX resulted in increased PFS, compared to PTX alone. Patients treated with F+PTX had a median PFS of 5.6 months versus 2.7 months with PTX alone, representing a 43% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death. This novel combination also led to significant improvements in the objective response rate (ORR) and disease control rate (DCR).

Interestingly, while the study didn't indicate a statistically significant increase in overall survival (OS), post-hoc analyses displayed a nominal statistically significant improvement in OS with F+PTX, particularly among patients with lymph node metastases and nondiffuse G/GEJ adenocarcinoma.

Fruquintinib: A Promising New Player in Cancer Treatment

Fruquintinib, a highly selective and potent oral vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor inhibitor, is already approved in the United States and China for third- and later-line treatments of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The FRUTIGA trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of adding fruquintinib to paclitaxel for patients with advanced gastric or G/GEJ adenocarcinoma that progressed on first-line chemotherapy.

According to the lead researcher Rui-Hua Xu, M.D., Ph.D., from the Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center in Guangzhou, China, the trial's results are encouraging, suggesting fruquintinib plus paclitaxel as a promising second-line treatment option for these patients.

Tolerance and Safety of Fruquintinib Plus Paclitaxel

In terms of safety, the combination of fruquintinib and paclitaxel was well-tolerated. Both groups witnessed similar rates of treatment-emergent adverse events, although the incidence of grade 3 or higher serious events was slightly higher in patients receiving fruquintinib. The most common adverse effects reported included leukopenia, neutropenia, and anemia.

Conclusion

The FRUTIGA trial offers new hope for patients with advanced gastric or G/GEJ adenocarcinoma who have experienced disease progression on first-line chemotherapy. With the combination of fruquintinib and paclitaxel showing significant improvements in progression-free survival and overall response rate, it stands as a promising second-line treatment option.

Further research and clinical trials will undoubtedly continue to refine and expand on these exciting results, providing medical professionals with more treatment options and offering patients improved chances of survival.