HER2 gene amplifications and activating mutations in the HER2 receptor tyrosine kinase are present in 4% of metastatic colorectal cancers (mCRCs). HER2-targeted therapy is not standard of care, although preclinical and clinical data suggest that patients with HER2 amplifications and/or HER2-activating mutations may benefit from HER2-directed therapy. HER2 amplifications and activating mutations have also been implicated in resistance to anti–epidermal growth factor receptor–based therapy. This report describes a patient with KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF wild-type mCRC who experienced disease progression on first-line treatment with FOLFIRI and cetuximab after only 5 months, and subsequently experienced progression on second-line treatment with capecitabine and oxaliplatin plus bevacizumab after 2 months with significant functional decline. Next-generation sequencing of the primary tumor identified HER2 amplification, and we were able to obtain trastuzumab-DM1 for off-label use. The patient had symptomatic clinical benefit from trastuzumab-DM1 and had radiographic disease control for 7 months. On progression, therapy was changed to trastuzumab and pertuzumab, but the patient's disease progressed 3 months later. Treatment with the trastuzumab-DM1 resulted in a sustained response that was longer than his prior responses in the first and second lines of treatment, with a dramatic improvement in the patient's functional status. This case represents the first report, to our knowledge, of successful single-agent treatment of HER2-amplifed CRC with trastuzumab-DM1. Clinical trials targeting patients with HER2-mutated and -amplified metastatic colon cancer are currently underway. Molecular insights from investigating HER2 activation and the impact of HER2-directed therapies in a wide variety of solid tumors will create the needed evidence base to more broadly inform patient care.
Aparna Parikh, Chloe Atreya, W. Michael Korn, and Alan P. Venook
Subha Perni, Danielle Bitterman, Jennifer Ryan, Julie K. Silver, Eileen Mitchell, Sarah Christensen, Megan Daniels, Mara Bloom, Ephraim Hochberg, David Ryan, Daphne Haas-Kogan, Jay S. Loeffler, Nancy J. Tarbell, Aparna R. Parikh, and Jennifer Wo
Background: Philanthropic donations are important funding sources in academic oncology but may be vulnerable to implicit or explicit biases toward women. However, the influence of gender on donations has not been assessed quantitatively. Methods: We queried a large academic cancer center’s development database for donations over 10 years to the sundry funds of medical and radiation oncologists. Types of donations and total amounts for medical oncologists and radiation oncologists hired prior to April 1, 2018 (allowing ≥2 years on faculty prior to query), were obtained. We also obtained publicly available data on physician/academic rank, gender, specialty, disease site, and Hirsch-index (h-index), a metric of productivity. Results: We identified 127 physicians: 64% men and 36% women. Median h-index was higher for men (31; range, 1–100) than women (17; range, 3–77; P=.003). Men were also more likely to have spent more time at the institution (median, 15 years; range, 2–43 years) than women (median, 12.5 years; range, 3–22 years; P=.025). Those receiving donations were significantly more likely to be men (70% vs 30%; P=.034). Men received significantly higher median amounts ($259,474; range, $0–$29,507,784) versus women ($37,485; range, $0–$7,483,726; P=.019). On multivariable analysis, only h-index and senior academic rank were associated with donation receipt, and only h-index with donation amount. Conclusions: We found significant gender disparities in receipt of philanthropic donations on unadjusted analyses. However, on multivariable analyses, only productivity and rank were significantly associated with donations, suggesting gender disparities in productivity and promotions may contribute to these differences.
Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines
Al B. Benson III, Alan P. Venook, Mahmoud M. Al-Hawary, Mustafa A. Arain, Yi-Jen Chen, Kristen K. Ciombor, Stacey Cohen, Harry S. Cooper, Dustin Deming, Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, Jean L. Grem, Andrew Gunn, Sarah Hoffe, Joleen Hubbard, Steven Hunt, Natalie Kirilcuk, Smitha Krishnamurthi, Wells A. Messersmith, Jeffrey Meyerhardt, Eric D. Miller, Mary F. Mulcahy, Steven Nurkin, Michael J. Overman, Aparna Parikh, Hitendra Patel, Katrina Pedersen, Leonard Saltz, Charles Schneider, David Shibata, John M. Skibber, Constantinos T. Sofocleous, Elena M. Stoffel, Eden Stotsky-Himelfarb, Christopher G. Willett, Alyse Johnson-Chilla, and Lisa A. Gurski
The NCCN Guidelines for Rectal Cancer provide recommendations for the diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, and follow-up of patients with rectal cancer. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the panel discussion behind recent important updates to the guidelines. These updates include clarifying the definition of rectum and differentiating the rectum from the sigmoid colon; the total neoadjuvant therapy approach for localized rectal cancer; and biomarker-targeted therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer, with a focus on new treatment options for patients with BRAF V600E– or HER2 amplification–positive disease.
Al B. Benson III, Alan P. Venook, Mahmoud M. Al-Hawary, Mustafa A. Arain, Yi-Jen Chen, Kristen K. Ciombor, Stacey Cohen, Harry S. Cooper, Dustin Deming, Linda Farkas, Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, Jean L. Grem, Andrew Gunn, J. Randolph Hecht, Sarah Hoffe, Joleen Hubbard, Steven Hunt, Kimberly L. Johung, Natalie Kirilcuk, Smitha Krishnamurthi, Wells A. Messersmith, Jeffrey Meyerhardt, Eric D. Miller, Mary F. Mulcahy, Steven Nurkin, Michael J. Overman, Aparna Parikh, Hitendra Patel, Katrina Pedersen, Leonard Saltz, Charles Schneider, David Shibata, John M. Skibber, Constantinos T. Sofocleous, Elena M. Stoffel, Eden Stotsky-Himelfarb, Christopher G. Willett, Kristina M. Gregory, and Lisa A. Gurski
This selection from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Colon Cancer focuses on systemic therapy options for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), because important updates have recently been made to this section. These updates include recommendations for first-line use of checkpoint inhibitors for mCRC, that is deficient mismatch repair/microsatellite instability-high, recommendations related to the use of biosimilars, and expanded recommendations for biomarker testing. The systemic therapy recommendations now include targeted therapy options for patients with mCRC that is HER2-amplified, or BRAF V600E mutation–positive. Treatment and management of nonmetastatic or resectable/ablatable metastatic disease are discussed in the complete version of the NCCN Guidelines for Colon Cancer available at NCCN.org. Additional topics covered in the complete version include risk assessment, staging, pathology, posttreatment surveillance, and survivorship.
Al B. Benson III, Alan P. Venook, Mahmoud M. Al-Hawary, Mustafa A. Arain, Yi-Jen Chen, Kristen K. Ciombor, Stacey A. Cohen, Harry S. Cooper, Dustin A. Deming, Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, Jean L. Grem, Sarah E. Hoffe, Joleen Hubbard, Steven Hunt, Ahmed Kamel, Natalie Kirilcuk, Smitha Krishnamurthi, Wells A. Messersmith, Jeffrey Meyerhardt, Eric D. Miller, Mary F. Mulcahy, Steven Nurkin, Michael J. Overman, Aparna Parikh, Hitendra Patel, Katrina S. Pedersen, Leonard B. Saltz, Charles Schneider, David Shibata, John M. Skibber, Constantinos T. Sofocleous, Elena M. Stoffel, Eden Stotsky-Himelfarb, Christopher G. Willett, Alyse Johnson-Chilla, Kristina M. Gregory, and Lisa A. Gurski
Small bowel adenocarcinoma (SBA) is a rare malignancy of the gastrointestinal tract that has increased in incidence across recent years. Often diagnosed at an advanced stage, outcomes for SBA are worse on average than for other related malignancies, including colorectal cancer. Due to the rarity of this disease, few studies have been done to direct optimal treatment, although recent data have shown that SBA responds to treatment differently than colorectal cancer, necessitating a separate approach to treatment. The NCCN Guidelines for Small Bowel Adenocarcinoma were created to establish an evidence-based standard of care for patients with SBA. These guidelines provide recommendations on the workup of suspected SBA, primary treatment options, adjuvant treatment, surveillance, and systemic therapy for metastatic disease. Additionally, principles of imaging and endoscopy, pathologic review, surgery, radiation therapy, and survivorship are described.