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Alexander Drilon, MD

Gregory J. Riely, MD, PhD


Real-World Survival Outcomes in Patients With NTRK Fusion–Positive or –Negative Solid Tumors

By: Jenna Carter, PhD
Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2022

An article published in PLOS One highlighted the clinical characteristics and prognostic factors of NTRK fusion–positive tumors in patients with metastatic disease. George D. Demetri, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Ludwig Center at Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues compared these outcomes in patients with NTRK fusion–positive or –negative tumors using information from a U.S. electronic clinicogenomic database. When comparing survival outcomes, they found no significant differences in median overall survival across both groups.

NTRK gene fusions are validated oncogenic drivers and proven therapeutic targets across a range of tumor types…. With the recent incorporation of TRK inhibitor therapies and molecular testing for NTRK gene fusions into clinical practice, it is important to assess whether there is any unique prognostic significance…,” stated Dr. Demetri and colleagues.

A total of 28 patients with a diagnosis of locally advanced NTRK fusion–positive metastatic disease were considered evaluable in this study. Patients were matched with a total of 280 NTRK fusion–negative participants, and retroactive analyses were conducted. The primary study endpoint was overall survival, and the potential for any clinical prognostic value of NTRK fusions was also evaluated by comparing treatment outcomes across both groups.

Findings revealed a median overall survival rate of 10.2 months (95% confidence interval [CI] = 7.2–14.1 months) for the NTRK fusion–positive cohort versus 10.4 months (95% CI = 6.7–14.3 months) for the NTRK fusion–negative cohort. The hazard ratio (HR) for death in the NTRK fusion–positive versus –negative groups (HR = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.0–2.5; P = .0539) was not statistically significant.

Despite the small sample size in the NTRK fusion–positive group and the limited power of this study, the authors concluded there is a trend for these fusions to potentially be a negative prognostic factor. However, these outcomes should be validated by repeating these analyses, the investigators noted.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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