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      A current review of folate receptor alpha as a potential tumor target in non-small-cell lung cancer

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          Abstract

          Lung cancer remains the leading common cause of cancer-related death, with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounting for 80% of all cases. To date, platinum-based doublet chemotherapy is the cornerstone of first-line therapy. However, these agents have limited use in patients who have relapsed and have metastatic disease. Therefore, novel strategies are required to improve the clinical outcome. Folate receptor alpha (FRA) is overexpressed in the majority of NSCLC, particularly in lung adenocarcinomas. FRA is largely absent from normal tissue, making it an attractive therapeutic target. In this review, we discuss FRA expression in NSCLC, conjugated FRA agents, monoclonal antibody, and FRA-specific T-cell-based therapeutic strategies aiming to improve the cure rate of FRA-expressing NSCLC.

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          Most cited references 50

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          Mesothelin-specific chimeric antigen receptor mRNA-engineered T cells induce anti-tumor activity in solid malignancies.

          Off-target toxicity due to the expression of target antigens in normal tissue represents a major obstacle to the use of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineered T cells for treatment of solid malignancies. To circumvent this issue, we established a clinical platform for engineering T cells with transient CAR expression by using in vitro transcribed mRNA encoding a CAR that includes both the CD3-ζ and 4-1BB co-stimulatory domains. We present two case reports from ongoing trials indicating that adoptive transfer of mRNA CAR T cells that target mesothelin (CARTmeso cells) is feasible and safe without overt evidence of off-tumor on-target toxicity against normal tissues. CARTmeso cells persisted transiently within the peripheral blood after intravenous administration and migrated to primary and metastatic tumor sites. Clinical and laboratory evidence of antitumor activity was demonstrated in both patients and the CARTmeso cells elicited an antitumor immune response revealed by the development of novel anti-self antibodies. These data demonstrate the potential of utilizing mRNA engineered T cells to evaluate, in a controlled manner, potential off-tumor on-target toxicities and show that short-lived CAR T cells can induce epitope-spreading and mediate antitumor activity in patients with advanced cancer. Thus, these findings support the development of mRNA CAR-based strategies for carcinoma and other solid tumors.
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            Maintenance pemetrexed plus best supportive care versus placebo plus best supportive care for non-small-cell lung cancer: a randomised, double-blind, phase 3 study.

            Several studies have shown the efficacy, tolerability, and ease of administration of pemetrexed-an antifolate antineoplastic agent-in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. We assessed pemetrexed as maintenance therapy in patients with this disease. This randomised double-blind study was undertaken in 83 centres in 20 countries. 663 patients with stage IIIB or IV disease who had not progressed on four cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy were randomly assigned (2:1 ratio) to receive pemetrexed (500 mg/m(2), day 1) plus best supportive care (n=441) or placebo plus best supportive care (n=222) in 21-day cycles until disease progression. Treatment was randomised with the Simon and Pocock minimisation method. Patients and investigators were masked to treatment. All patients received vitamin B(12), folic acid, and dexamethasone. The primary endpoint of progression-free survival and the secondary endpoint of overall survival were analysed by intention to treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00102804. All randomly assigned participants were analysed. Pemetrexed significantly improved progression-free survival (4.3 months [95% CI 4.1-4.7] vs 2.6 months [1.7-2.8]; hazard ratio [HR] 0.50, 95% CI 0.42-0.61, p<0.0001) and overall survival (13.4 months [11.9-15.9] vs 10.6 months [8.7-12.0]; HR 0.79, 0.65-0.95, p=0.012) compared with placebo. Treatment discontinuations due to drug-related toxic effects were higher in the pemetrexed group than in the placebo group (21 [5%] vs three [1%]). Drug-related grade three or higher toxic effects were higher with pemetrexed than with placebo (70 [16%] vs nine [4%]; p<0.0001), specifically fatigue (22 [5%] vs one [1%], p=0.001) and neutropenia (13 [3%] vs 0, p=0.006). No pemetrexed-related deaths occurred. Relatively fewer patients in the pemetrexed group than in the placebo group received systemic post-discontinuation therapy (227 [51%] vs 149 [67%]; p=0.0001). Maintenance therapy with pemetrexed is well tolerated and offers improved progression-free and overall survival compared with placebo in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. Eli Lilly.
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              Maintenance therapy with pemetrexed plus best supportive care versus placebo plus best supportive care after induction therapy with pemetrexed plus cisplatin for advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (PARAMOUNT): a double-blind, phase 3, randomised controlled trial.

              Patients with advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) benefit from pemetrexed maintenance therapy after induction therapy with a platinum-containing, non-pemetrexed doublet. The PARAMOUNT trial investigated whether continuation maintenance with pemetrexed improved progression-free survival after induction therapy with pemetrexed plus cisplatin. In this double-blind, multicentre, phase 3, randomised placebo-controlled trial, patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC aged 18 years or older, with no previous systemic chemotherapy for lung cancer, with at least one measurable lesion, and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1 participated. Before randomisation, patients entered an induction phase which consisted of four cycles of induction pemetrexed (500 mg/m(2)) plus cisplatin (75 mg/m(2)) on day 1 of a 21-day cycle. Patients who did not progress after completion of four cycles of induction and who had an ECOG performance status of 0 or 1 were stratified according to disease stage (IIIB or IV), ECOG performance status (0 or 1), and induction response (complete or partial response, or stable disease), and randomly assigned (2:1 ratio) to receive maintenance therapy with either pemetrexed (500 mg/m(2) every 21 days) plus best supportive care or placebo plus best supportive care until disease progression. Randomisation was done with the Pocock and Simon minimisation method. Patients and investigators were masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival in the intention-to-treat population. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00789373. Of the 1022 patients enrolled, 939 participated in the induction phase. Of these, 539 patients were randomly assigned to receive continuation maintenance with pemetrexed plus best supportive care (n=359) or with placebo plus best supportive care (n=180). Among the 359 patients randomised to continuation maintenance with pemetrexed, there was a significant reduction in the risk of disease progression over the placebo group (HR 0·62, 95% CI 0·49-0·79; p<0·0001). The median progression-free survival, measured from randomisation, was 4·1 months (95% CI 3·2-4·6) for pemetrexed and 2·8 months (2·6-3·1) for placebo. Possibly treatment-related laboratory grade 3-4 adverse events were more common in the pemetrexed group (33 [9%] of 359 patients) than in the placebo group (one [<1%] of 180 patients; p<0·0001), as were non-laboratory grade 3-5 adverse events (32 [9%] of 359 patients in the pemetrexed group; eight [4%] of 180 patients in the placebo group; p=0·080); one possibly treatment-related death was reported in each group. The most common adverse events of grade 3-4 in the pemetrexed group were anaemia (16 [4%] of 359 patients), neutropenia (13 [4%]), and fatigue (15 [4%]). In the placebo group, these adverse events were less common: anaemia (one [<1%] of 180 patients), neutropenia (none), and fatigue (one <1%]). The most frequent serious adverse events were anaemia (eight [2%] of 359 patients in the pemetrexed group vs none in the placebo group) and febrile neutropenia (five [1%] vs none). Discontinuations due to drug-related adverse events occurred in 19 (5%) patients in the pemetrexed group and six (3%) patients in the placebo group. Continuation maintenance with pemetrexed is an effective and well tolerated treatment option for patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC with good performance status who have not progressed after induction therapy with pemetrexed plus cisplatin. Eli Lilly and Company. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2015
                31 August 2015
                : 9
                : 4989-4996
                Affiliations
                Department of Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Jinan, Shandong, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Zhehai Wang, Department of Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, No 440 Jiyan Road, Jinan 250117, Shandong, People’s Republic of China, Tel/fax +86 531 6762 6331, Email wzhai8778@ 123456yahoo.com
                [*]

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                Article
                dddt-9-4989
                10.2147/DDDT.S90670
                4560517
                © 2015 Shi et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine

                immunotherapy, lung cancer, folate receptor alpha

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