For FGFR breast cancer patients, clinical trials are developing targeted therapies for specific inhibitors in order to improve current treatment results. Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) sit on the surface of cells where incoming messages from molecules are attached.
The FGFR is a family of receptors that bind to fibroblast growth factor proteins and perform a fundamental role in many biologic processes including embryonic development, tissue regeneration, and angiogenesis. Researchers are working to deconstruct tumors and their molecular profile to identify individual genes driving the tumor’s growth. When genes are identified, therapies are created for individual subtypes, and some of these targeted therapies are more effective than standard treatments for certain cancer patients.
What is the FGFR inhibitor?
The FGFRs in breast cancer and other cancer types can be altered during one’s lifetime or potentially inherited as an amplification from their parents. Both types of alterations can be attributed to the growth and development of tumors. FGFRs are among the many molecules that are involved in oncogenesis and are currently under investigation for their potential as drug targets in breast cancer patients.
The family of FGFRs include five total transmembrane receptors that are observed to be essential in the survival and proliferation of the cancer. Around 10% of all breast cancer patients are believed to have an amplification of one of their FGFRs. For many of these patients, this will lead to a poor prognosis and resistance to endocrine therapy, which is used to treat some breast cancer patients.
Clinical Trials for FGFR Breast Cancer
Genomic studies have shown that large numbers of candidates for FGFR Cancer clinical studies are observed in breast cancer. However, many patients have not received genetic or genomic testing, or they are not aware that clinical trials can provide alternative treatment options. One of the very promising applications of genomics for metastatic breast cancer is the identification of pathway activation or defects at the individual level to improve treatment response and limit side effects. Most of the therapies for FGFR breast cancer are taken orally.
There are two types of drugs being studied in clinical trials for FGFR inhibitors:
- Non-selective inhibitors: A wide range of kinases are targeted including some FGFR inhibitors
- Selective FGFR inhibitors: Only selected FGFR inhibitors are targeted
Some of the promising non-selective inhibitor drugs include:
- Dovitnib (TKI258)
- Lucitanib (E-3810)
The selective FGFR inhibitor drugs being studied include:
More drugs are being tested in early phases of trials that are both selective and non-selective. The more these receptors are studied in their relation to cancer progression, the more treatments will become increasingly effective for current FGFR patients and the more drugs will be introduced as therapies.