Biomarker NTRK Coverage from Every Angle

Efficacy of Non-TRK Inhibitor Therapy in Patients With and Without NTRK Fusion–Positive Tumors

By: Cordi Craig, MS
Posted: Monday, November 1, 2021

The clinical outcomes of patients with NTRK fusion–positive tumors who are treated with non–tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) inhibitors are unknown. In addition, the prognosis of patients with NTRK-positive versus NTRK-negative tumors is not well established. George D. Demetri, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and colleagues found that overall survival results were similarly poor when patients were treated with non-TRK inhibitor therapy regardless of NTRK status. In contrast, however, patients who had NTRK-positive tumors and received TRK inhibitor therapy demonstrated improvements in overall survival. These study findings were presented during the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021 (Abstract 100P).

Using data from a U.S. electronic health record–derived clinicogenomic database, the research team extracted demographic and clinical data on patients with metastatic or locally advanced solid tumors and at least one next-generation sequencing test who received non-TRK inhibitor therapy. Patients who had NTRK-negative tumors were matched 10:1 with patients who had NTRK-positive tumors.

Of the 58,001 patients in the clinicogenomic database, 280 patients with NTRK-negative tumors were matched with 28 patients with NTRK-positive metastatic or locally advanced cancers. Although patients who had NTRK-positive tumors tended to be younger, with less of a history of smoking, more brain metastases, and a shorter time from advanced diagnosis to first next-generation sequencing than patients with NTRK-negative tumors, no significant differences between the two groups were observed.

In the cohort of patients who had never received TRK inhibitor therapy, overall survival was comparable and poor regardless of NTRK status. The median overall survival was 10.2 months versus 10.4 months in patients with NTRK-positive versus NTRK-negative tumors, respectively.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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