According to a story from BioPortfolio, the biopharmaceutical company Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., recently announced the release of preliminary data from the company’s Phase I clinical trial, which is still in progress. This trial is testing an investigational medication called DCC-2618 as a treatment for patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Deciphera specializes in the development of therapies to address tumor resistance to drugs.
About Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are a form of tumor that can appear in the digestive tract. These tumors appear in the interstitial cells of Cajal, which control smooth muscle activity. These tumors are connected to mutations that affect the KIT gene or the PDGFRA gene in the vast majority of cases. In most cases, these mutations appear sporadically, and are only rarely inherited. Typically they occur as part of another genetic disorder when they are inherited. They can occur in a number of locations along the digestive tract, most often the stomach, small intestine, or esophagus. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, liver metastases, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Treatment usually involves surgery or medications when surgery is not possible. Gastronintestinal stromal tumors generally do not respond to radiation or chemotherapy. To learn more about gastrointestinal stromal tumors, click here.
The Data so Far
While the study is still ongoing and data gathering is not yet complete, the release of this preliminary data is a reflection of the encouraging results that have been observed so far in the trial. The data suggests that DCC-2618 could have utility as a 2nd to 4th line therapy for patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
As an example, the median progression free survival in patients who received DCC-2618 was 42 weeks in 2nd line and 40 weeks in 3rd line patients. With current therapies progression free survival is only 24 weeks and 21 weeks, respectively. This suggests that DCC-2618 could result in major improvements in outcomes for patients.
The preliminary data also suggests that the drug’s safety and tolerability profile is also generally favorable. The most common adverse event was hair loss, and only 11 percent of patients had to stop treatment because of side effects. While the final data will provide a clearer outlook, it looks like DCC-2618 could herald a significant improvement in treatment outcomes.