Novel therapeutic agents in the management of brain metastases

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review aims to highlight the novel therapeutic agents in the management of brain metastases which are in various stages of clinical development. We review the results from recent clinical trials, publications and presentations at recent national and international conferences.

Recent findings

Several new systemic treatment options for brain metastases are in early or advanced clinical trials. These drugs have good intracranial and extracranial activities. As lung cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma are the three most common causes of brain metastases, most agents in clinical development are focused on these tumor types. Several of these therapies are small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors or monoclonal antibodies against the tyrosine kinase receptors. Another exciting development in brain metastases management is the use of immunotherapy agents. The anti-CTLA-4 and\or anti-PD-1 antibodies have shown promising intracranial activity in melanoma and nonsmall cell lung cancer patients with brain metastases.

Summary

Contemporary clinical trials have shown encouraging intracranial activity of newer tyrosine kinase inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies against tyrosine kinase receptors and immunotherapy agents in select group of patients with brain metastases. Further studies are needed to develop therapeutic strategies, in order to improve survival in patients with brain metastases.

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