In this 5-min video update, Prof. Ezra Cohen summarises current perspectives on the diagnosis and treatment of TRK fusion-positive cancers. He discusses US and European guidelines, two recent key publications and larotrectinib data presented at the American Thyroid Association annual meeting.

 

Clinical takeaways:

  • NTRK fusions are more common in paediatric compared to adult thyroid cancers, testing is warranted in both populations
  • NTRK2 fusions have not been seen in thyroid cancer, only NTRK1 and NTRK3 fusions
  • Larotrectinib and entrectinib are two approved TRK inhibitors showing durable responses with favourable safety profiles
  • There are differences in the prognosis of NTRK1 vs NTRK3 fusion-positive thyroid cancer and differentiated vs anaplastic thyroid cancers

Ezra Cohen, MD, is co‐Director of the San Diego Center for Precision Immunotherapy and an internationally renowned translational researcher. A physician‐scientist, Dr Cohen led an independently funded laboratory interested in mechanisms of action of novel therapeutics. He has made major contributions to targeted and immunotherapy. His research has received peer‐reviewed funding in the study of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors, cell therapy, and immunotherapy in head and neck cancer. He has made major contributions to the understanding of critical signaling pathways, integration of novel agents into standard of care, and definition of mechanisms to overcome resistance to drug therapy. He has also recently co‐developed a personalized neoantigen vaccine using unique cancer mutations to boost an anti‐tumor immune response. Dr Cohen is Associate Director for Translational Science and leader of the Solid Tumor Therapeutics research program at Moores Cancer Center. He brings his expertise and preeminent reputation in head and neck cancer research and patient care to solid tumor therapeutics. Among other roles, he is chair of the Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee (PRMC) and serves as a member of the Cancer Council, and the Cancer Center’s Executive Committee. Dr Cohen recently served as editor‐in‐chief of Oral Oncology, the highest impact specialty journal in head and neck cancer, and currently serves as senior editor for Clinical Cancer Research. He has been the principal investigator on multiple studies of novel agents in head and neck cancer and other solid tumors in all phases of development including chemoprevention, phase I, II, and III trials. Dr Cohen has authored more than 170 papers and has presented his research at national and international meetings. In addition, he has served as a grant reviewer for the NIH, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Dr Cohen completed residencies in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto and in Internal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed a Hematology/Oncology fellowship at the University of Chicago where he was named chief fellow. Prior to his arrival in San Diego, Dr Cohen was Co‐Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Program, Associate Director for Education and Program Director for the Hematology/ Oncology Fellowship at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center. A dedicated educator, Dr Cohen also mentored and developed young faculty in his program.

Prof. Ezra Cohen has received financial support/sponsorship for research support, consultation, or speaker fees from the following companies:

Bayer, Gilead, Janssen, Kinnate Biopharma, Merck, Mirati, MSD, Regeneron and Roche. 

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PRECISION ONCOLOGY CONNECT is an initiative of COR2ED, supported by Independent Medical Educational Grants from AstraZeneca, Amoy Diagnostics and Bayer.

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