Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD @DrKesari of @JohnWayneCI discusses a new clinical trial with the now approved drug, pemetrexed, for chordoma patients. Commonly asked questions are answered and he provides insight on standard treatment.
Brain Tumor Center affiliated with Providence Saint John's Health Center
The approved lung cancer drug pemetrexed is at the center of a new clinical trial at Providence Saint John's Health Center's Pacific Brain Tumor Center for patients diagnosed with chordoma, a rare, slow-growing cancer found in the bones at the base of the skull and the spine that is difficult to treat.
Two chordoma patients who received the drug – approved by the FDA for lung cancer only – showed promising results with reductions in the sizes of their tumors.
Chordoma is an extremely rare cancer, diagnosed in just one in 1 million people per year, and can affect individuals of all ages. The standard of care is surgery and/or radiation, but tumors tend to recur after treatment and it also can spread or metastasize to other parts in the body. There are currently no approved drugs for the treatment of chordoma, which is why clinical trials that test promising new therapies are important.
Santosh Kesari, M.D., Ph.D., the principal investigator of the trial, is now recruiting chordoma patients who will be administered pemetrexed intravenously every three weeks. Pemetrexed typically is prescribed to lung cancer patients as part of a maintenance plan following initial treatment.
Dr. Kesari, director of neuro-oncology at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute, found through molecular profiling there is a certain protein that may be able to predict response to pemetrexed treatment.