By: Carey Anders, MD
Carey Anders, MD, director, Brain and Spine Metastasis Program, Duke Cancer Institute, discussed the use of abemaciclib (Verzenio), a selective CDK4/6 inhibitor, in patients with hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative metastatic brain cancer with brain metastases.
In the study, 52 patients were evaluated and had a median of 4 prior systemic therapies. Of the group, 75% had prior chemotherapies and 71% had endocrine therapy in the metastatic setting. Moreover, 50% had whole brain radiotherapy, 39% stereotactic radiosurgery, and 8% had surgical resection of their brain metastases. Despite most patients being heavily pretreated, 40% of the lesions were unirradiated, allowing researchers to see the full impact of the drug. Patients received 200 mg of abemaciclib orally twice daily.
Three patients had a confirmed intracranial response (5.8%), which did not meet the 11% stipulated protocol. However, the intracranial clinical benefit was 25%. Additionally, 38% of patients showed a decrease in the sum of their intracranial lesions. Median progression-free survival was 4.4 months (95% CI, 2.6-5.5).
Further abemaciclib studies are necessary to assess its potential as monotherapy and combination strategies to better control brain metastases in multiple diseases.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.