• Press Release

Molecular Treatment Is Able to Control Brain Metastasis of Different Tumors

Study shows long-term effect in cancers linked to specific gene abnormality

  • New York, NY
  • (February 11, 2022)

Mount Sinai researchers conducting clinical trials of a drug targeting a cancer gene found that it increased metastatic cancer patients’ survival and was able to work within the brain, according to a study published in Clinical Cancer Research in February.

The drug entrectinib targets cancers that involve fusions between the cancer gene NTRK and other genes, including certain types of lung, breast, colon, and other cancers. This study looked into the effectiveness of the drug a year after three clinical trials were completed and found patients’ response rates post-trial were 60 percent.

A significant finding in this study, which was not seen in the initial trials, was that the drug is able to cross the blood-brain barrier effectively. Researchers found evidence that the therapy was working against metastatic cancer that spread to the brain.

“This is the largest study evaluating the safety and activity of entrectinib in NTRK fusion-positive solid tumors,” said Christian Rolfo, MD, PhD, MBA, Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Associate Director for Clinical Research in the Center for Thoracic Oncology at The Tisch Cancer Institute. “The confirmation of substantial effect on metastases in the brain suggests that entrectinib could address the unmet need of an effective treatment for patients with NTRK fusion-positive tumors that spread to the central nervous system. Although NTRK fusions are rare, our results should encourage broader screening for these fusions in patients with solid tumors as they may benefit from entrectinib, particularly because the extended life expectancy of these patients may increase the likelihood of metastases in the brain.”

Gene fusions involving NTRK can be associated with a large range of tumor types. They occur in 90 percent of rare pediatric tumors and rarer subtypes of breast cancers and salivary cancers.

This international study was conducted in several institutions in collaboration with investigators from Dana Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Ludwig Center at Harvard Medical School, and other international centers. The research was funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.


About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in 4 out of 10 pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: It is consistently ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools," aligned with a U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" Hospital, and top 20 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding and top 5 in the nation for numerous basic and clinical research areas. Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital as No. 1 in New York and in the top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 20 globally.

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