West Cancer Center Investigators Discuss Ongoing Breast Cancer Clinical Trials

West Cancer Center Investigators Discuss Ongoing Breast Cancer Clinical Trials

West Cancer Center breast cancer experts recently discussed promising research being conducted at their research center. Based in Tennessee, West Cancer Center is the region’s comprehensive leader in adult cancer research, delivering a complete continuum of care to more than 40,000 individuals annually. They are part of the designated National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Recently Onclive showcased some of their leading clinical investigators and cutting-edge clinical trials. We offer a summary and recommend following the link at the source for more details.

West Cancer Network Research Projects

Lee Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, Executive Director and Medical Director, West Cancer Center, Chief and Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Chief Medical Officer, One Oncology. Dr. Schwartzberg reports that West Cancer Center is doing some exciting things with immunotherapy including a trial examining oral taxane called tesetaxel which is administered every three weeks. The CONTESSA 2 clinical trial just completed patient accrual and represents a multinational, multicenter, Phase II study of Tesetaxel in patients with taxane-naïve HER2, HR positive, locally advanced metastatic breast cancer. The primary objective of the study is to establish the efficacy of tesetaxel plus a reduced dose of capecitabine, based on objective response rate (ORR) as assessed by an independent Radiologic Review Committee (IRC). About 125 patients are participating. The study’s sponsor is Odonate Therapeutics, Inc. (Odonate).

Dr. Schwartzberg from West Cancer Center also discussed a randomized Phase II clinical trial sponsored again by Odonate titled CONTESSA TRIO, a 2-cohort multi-center study of tesetaxel, an investigational, orally administered taxane. They will look at tesetaxel plus 3 different immune checkpoint inhibitors. The plan is to generate data on the responses observed with the investigational drug combined with either nivolumab (Opdivo), pembrolizumab (Keytruda), or atezolizumab (Tecentriq). The hope is, according to Dr. Shwartzberg that “We should have some very interesting data from that trial as well.”   

Who is Odonate Therapeutics?

Odonate Therapeutics was founded in 2013 and has floated an IPO traded as “ODT.” Their focus is on the development of tesetaxel, a novel chemotherapy agent that belongs to a class of drugs known as taxanes, which are widely used in the treatment of cancer. Their market capitalization as of this writing is $1.2 billion with a stock price of $35.88. They will lose about $112 million but hold over $200 million in cash.

What are the potential therapeutic advantages of Tesetaxel over current available taxanes?

According to Odonate, the oral administration with a low pill burden and a patient-friendly dosing regimen. Moreover, the sponsor suggests the formulation of their compound precludes solubilizing agents known to trigger hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions and they position that tesetaxel shows improved activity against chemotherapy-resistant tumors. Thus far, tesetaxel has been well tolerated overall in clinical  trials and has evidenced robust single-agent antitumor activity in two Phase II clinical trials in patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

Follow the Onclive link to read the rest of the interviews.