Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor is a rare soft tissue cancer that does
not respond to radiation or chemotherapy.
Researchers at Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine have
discovered a potential cause and a promising new treatment for inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor.
New research from Aaron Mansfield, an oncologist at Mayo
Clinic, and George Vasmatzis, the co-director of the Biomarker
Discovery Program of Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine,
finds the drug ceritinib shows promise as a new treatment for
inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors, a form of sarcoma.
‘The drug ceritinib shows promise as a new treatment for inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors, a form of sarcoma.’
The study also
traced tumor growth to chromoplexy: a complex chromosomal rearrangement
that causes genes to scramble, break DNA strands and then reassemble in a
defective way. Dr. Mansfield's research, "Chromoplectic TPM3-ALK
Rearrangement in a Patient With Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumor Who
Responded to Ceritinib After Progression on Crizotinib," is published in
the Annals of Oncology
Investigators made the connection when a 32-year old man failed to
respond to a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug to shrink tumors in his
lung, chest and buttock. Because there were no available clinical
trials, researchers sought and gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration
approval for compassionate use of ceritinib. Within two weeks, the
patient started responding to the drug. After 18 months, he was well
enough to undergo surgery to remove tumors from his lung and buttock.
Mayo researchers were able to conduct a new DNA test on the tumors known
as mate pair sequencing. That test scans the entire genome, pinpointing
genetic defects and chromosomal breaks. They found 142 genes had been
impacted, many of which have known links to cancerous tumors.
"Mate pair sequencing helped identify these rearrangements, which
may not have been seen with normal sequencing techniques," says Aaron
Mansfield, the first author of the study. "We look forward to
offering more patients this new, advanced type of DNA testing to
discover potential causes and treatments for diseases."
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors often strike in children and
young adults. The main form of treatment for patients with an
inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor is surgery, but the tumors often
reappear in different parts of the body. There is no standard of care
for patients with inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors, thus making the
discovery of tumor response to ceritinib all the more important.
Clinic investigators are recommending further study of this drug to
determine whether it should be approved for individualized treatments.