E-Newsletter - May 2024
Spotlight on Alliance Trials

Alliance Spotlights Four Trials for National Brain Cancer Awareness Month

More than 25,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancers of the brain or central nervous system, according to the National Cancer Institute. These cancers make up part of more than 94,000 brain tumors (including benign tumors) that will occur in the nation this year. Non-malignant meningiomas are the most commonly occurring primary non-malignant brain tumors, which account for approximately 39 percent of all tumors and more than 55 percent of all non-malignant tumors. Glioblastoma, considered a rare disease that can affect all ages and genders, is the most commonly occurring primary malignant brain tumor, accounting for approximately 14 percent of all tumors and more than 50 percent of all malignant tumors.

May is National Brain Cancer Awareness Month!
What follows are four active Alliance brain cancer trials currently enrolling participants.

  • A071401 (Progressive meningiomas)
  • A071601 (Papillary craniopharyngiomas)
  • A071701 (Brain metastases)
  • ABTC-1604 (Newly diagnosed glioblastoma)

Priscilla Brastianos, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, leads the following three clinical trials.  

A071401 (Progressive meningiomas)
A071401, Phase II Trial of SMO/ AKT/ NF2/CDK inhibitors in progressive meningiomas with SMO/ AKT/ NF2/CDK pathway mutations

Meningiomas are the most common primary brain tumor in adults. They arise from arachnoid cap cells, which are cells within the thin membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord. The majority of meningiomas are benign, approximately 20% of cases are high-grade tumors that require clinical treatment.

This phase II trial studies how well vismodegib, focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitor GSK2256098, and capivasertib work in treating patients with meningioma that is growing, spreading, or getting worse (progressive). Vismodegib, FAK inhibitor GSK2256098, capivasertib, and abemaciclib may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth.

Learn more about Alliance A071401 here.


A071601 (Papillary craniopharyngiomas)
A071601, Phase II trial of BRAF/MEK inhibitors in papillary craniopharyngiomas

Papillary craniopharyngiomas (PCPs) are a rare type of brain tumor that cause substantial morbidity for patients. While surgery and radiation are often used to treat PCPs, incomplete removal of the tumor and toxicity from radiation can leave patients with life-long health challenges after treatment, including neuroendocrine dysfunction or vision or memory loss. 

This phase II trial studies how well vemurafenib and cobimetinib work in treating patients with BRAF V600E mutation positive craniopharyngioma. Vemurafenib and cobimetinib may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth.

Learn more about Alliance A071601 here.


A071701 (Brain Metastases)
Genomically-Guided Treatment Trial in Brain Metastases

Brain metastases are the most common type of brain tumor. They occur when cancer starts in one part of the body and spreads to the brain, usually through the bloodstream. About one-third of patients with another type of cancer will develop one or more metastatic brain tumors. Brain metastases are much more common than primary brain cancer. To date, the extent to which brain metastases, often manifesting years after the primary cancer, share the genetic profile of the primary tumor remains unknown. 

This phase II clinical trial that looks at how well genetic testing works in guiding treatment for patients with solid tumors that have spread to the brain. Several genes have been found to be altered or mutated in brain metastases such as NTRK, ROS1, CDK or PI3K. Medications that target these genes such as abemaciclib, GDC-0084, and entrectinib may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth. Genetic testing may help doctors tailor treatment for each mutation.

Learn more about Alliance A071701 here.


ABTC-1604 (Muscle invasive bladder cancer)
Phase 0/I Study of AMG 232 (KRT 232) concentrations in brain tissue in patients with recurrent glioblastoma and of AMG 232 (KRT 232) in combination with radiation in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma and unmethylated MGMT promoters

Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive type of brain tumor with a poor survival rate, and even worse for those with tumors harboring MGMT promoters that are unmethylated. Patients with unmethylated MGMT promoters make up approximately 60-70% of all patients with glioblastoma. Standard therapy for GBM comprises surgical resection, followed by radiotherapy plus concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide (TMZ) therapy. Investigators seek new clinical strategies to provide alternative treatment options for patients with glioblastoma.

Eudocia Lee, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, leads this phase I clinical trial that studies the side effects and best dose of navtemadlin in treating patients with glioblastoma that is newly diagnosed or has come back (recurrent). Navtemadlin may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth.

Learn more about Alliance ABTC-1604 here.


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