Imaging Predicts Response in Ovarian Cancer

(April 30, 2014) A positive pretreatment imaging test more than doubled the likelihood of disease control in platinum-resistant advanced ovarian cancer treated with the folate receptor-targeted drug vintafolide (trade name Vynfinit), results of a small phase II study showed. The research was reported in the April issue of Annals of Oncology.

Lesions that tested positive for folate receptor by nuclear imaging had a control rate (response and stable disease) of 56.4% as compared with 20.7% of lesions that had negative imaging results (P<0.001).

“The use of companion imaging agents such as 99mTc-etarfolatide represents a noninvasive, real-time approach to provide personalized treatment by identifying patients most likely to benefit from folate-targeted agents such as vintafolide,” Robert T. Morris, MD, of the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University in Detroit, and co-authors concluded.

The study involved 49 patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. Prior to beginning treatment with vintafolide, each patient underwent imaging with single-photon emission computed tomography with 99mTc-etarfolatide. The objective of the pretreatment imaging was to determine the presence of folate receptor on the patients’ tumors.

Folate receptor is a protein that is overexpressed in several types of tumors, including some ovarian cancers. Pretreatment imaging of 139 target lesions showed that 110 expressed folate receptor.

The findings corroborate previously reported results from a randomized trial showing that the addition of vintafolide to pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) was associated with a significant improvement in median progression-free survival.

Vintafolide was recently recommended for approval by the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (the European equivalent to the FDA) for treatment of platinum resistant ovarian cancers that express high levels of folate receptors.

Adapted from MedPage Today.