In the Weeks Since ESMO 2022, We Asked Practicing Oncologists About the Data

In the weeks since the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) held its 2022 Congress September 9th-13th in Paris, the study data disseminated at the event has made its way into the medical community. This has paved the way for Stream by AlphaSense to publish reactions from 26 U.S. physicians to key ESMO presentations on breast cancer, prostate cancer, renal cell carcinoma, leukemia and other cancer types. Notably, these are practicing physicians who did not participate in any of the ESMO studies, so this is a good boots-on-the-ground read of some of the most important oncology studies presented this year.

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Bile Duct Cancer

Two physicians had positive impressions of the RLY-4008 data presented at ESMO 2022 for bile duct cancer.

Expert: Medical Oncologist at Zangmeister Cancer Center/American Oncology Network

Primary Ticker: Relay Therapeutics Inc. (RLAY)

Other Companies Mentioned: BridgeBio Pharma Inc. (BBIO), Incyte Corp. (INCY)

Expert: Hematologist Oncologist in private practice 

Primary Ticker: RLAY 

Other Companies Mentioned: INCY

“I was really impressed by [the RLY-4008] data . . . it’s still early days, and this is preliminary data, but the data looks really good.”

Hematologist Oncologist in private practice

Breast Cancer

Four physicians had varying levels of enthusiasm for Gilead’s Trodelvy data presented at ESMO 2022; though all agreed Trodelvy is less likely to be prescribed than Daiichi-Sankyo’s and Astra Zeneca’s ENHERTU. 

Expert: Hematologist Oncologist at Mercy

Primary Ticker: Gilead Sciences (GILD)

Other Companies Mentioned: CDK Global Inc. (C2G)

Expert: Hematologist Oncologist at South Nassau Oncology

Primary Ticker: GILD

Daiichi Sankyo (4568.JP)

Expert: Oncologist and Cancer Epidemiologist in private practice

Primary Ticker: 4568.JP

Other Companies Mentioned: AstraZeneca PLC (AZN), GILD, Merck & Co. (MRK), Novartis Inc. (NVS), Pfizer Inc. (PFE), Roche Holding Ltd. (RO.CH), Sanofi SA (SNY), and Seagen Inc. (SGEN)

Expert: Oncologist in private practice

Primary Ticker: GILD

“Probably the biggest thing that came out of ESMO for me . . . is the confirmation that ENHERTU is really the drug of choice now for low HER2+1 or HER2/neu, which is going to radically change . . . how we treat breast cancer patients.”

Oncologist and Cancer Epidemiologist in private practice

Early Cancer Detection

One physician had a positive response to the Galleri test data presented at ESMO 2022.

Expert: Pathologist at Tenet Healthcare

Primary Ticker: Illumina (ILMN)

“[The Galleri test] would be a good screening tool for the group that they studied, adults with elevated cancer risk . . . The idea looks like it would be significantly beneficial for patient care.”

Pathologist at Tenet Healthcare

Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Two physicians had opposite reactions to the ESMO data on xevinapant for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma treatment.

Expert: Hematologist Oncologist at the University of Kansas Medical Center

Primary Ticker: Merck KGaA (MRK.DE)

Expert: Medical Oncologist at Arizona Blood and Cancer Specialists

Primary Ticker: MRK.DE

Other Companies Mentioned: Pearson PLC (PSO)

“[The xevinapant data] is very impressive. Five-year survival data that was presented, almost doubling at five years. There’s not been any real improvement in the head and neck cancers for a while.”

Hematologist Oncologist at the University of Kansas Medical Center

“Before [the xevinapant trial data] gets accepted as the law of the land, there’s going to have to be something a little more definitive . . . [The study] . . . has some weird endpoints.”

Medical Oncologist at Arizona Blood and Cancer Specialists

Higher-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndrome

Four physicians had overall positive sentiments towards IMAB’s lemzoparlimab data presented at ESMO 2022 for higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome.

Expert: Oncologist in private practice

Primary Ticker: I-MAB (IMAB)

Other Companies Mentioned: AbbVie Inc. (ABBV), ASTERA SA, and RO.CH

Expert: Hematologist Oncologist at Lahey Clinic Medical Center

Primary Ticker: IMAB

Other Companies Mentioned: ABBV, Aprea Therapeutics Inc. (APRE), and RO.CH

Expert: Hematology Oncologist and Cell Therapy Division Chief at Duke University

Primary Ticker: IMAB

Other Companies Mentioned: ABBV and RO.CH

Expert: Hematologist and Oncologist in private practice

Primary Ticker: IMAB

Other Companies Mentioned: ABBV and GILD

“The response rates of [lemzoparlimab] seem very impressive. They’re probably looking at better than what I would have anticipated, nearing 90% . . . Overall, I would say that this looks like pretty powerful data.”

Oncologist in private practice

Melanoma

One physician had a positive impression of the Regeneron fianlimab plus LIBTAYO combination data presented at ESMO 2022 but considered its efficacy as comparable with other treatments.

Expert: Oncologist in private practice

Primary Ticker: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN)

“I think that [the fianlimab and LIBTAYO combination] could be a reasonable alternative and something that we may start utilizing more frequently.”

Oncologist in private practice

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Two physicians who commented on AMGN’s Lumakras NSCLC data presented at ESMO, were disappointed in the raw numbers but saw some benefits to using Lumakras. Meanwhile, two physicians who commented on MRTX’s adagrasib NSCLC data were upbeat about the drug’s potential for patients who also have central nervous system metastases.

Expert: Oncologist in private practice

Primary Ticker: Mirati Therapeutics (MRTX)

Other Companies Mentioned: Amgen Inc. (AMGN)

Expert: Oncologist in private practice

Primary Ticker: AMGN

Other Companies Mentioned: MRTX and StandPoint

Expert: Oncologist and Medical Director at UH Seidman Cancer Center

Primary Ticker: AMGN 

Other Companies Mentioned: MRTX 

“[The] breakthrough point in Mirati is they have shown some CNS activity, and that’s a very good sign because many . . . lung cancer [patients] have brain metastases. Once the cancer hits the brain, it’s difficult to cure and difficult to handle. This drug could be very beneficial in those patients.” 

Oncologist in private practice

Ovarian Cancer

Three physicians considered Regeneron’s ubamatamab ovarian cancer study presented at ESMO 2022 promising overall, especially in patients with MUC16 expression.

Expert: Gynecologic Oncologist at Mass General

Primary Ticker: REGN

Other Companies Mentioned: AZN, Clovis Oncology Inc. (CLVS), GSK PLC (GSK), and Immunogen Inc. (IMGN)

Expert: Hematology Oncologist in private practice

Primary Ticker: REGN

Expert: Hematologist Oncologist at Coborn Cancer Center

Primary Ticker: REGN

Other Companies Mentioned: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and RO.CH

“The [ubamatamab] response rates . . . especially in that population of women that have overexpression of MUC16, appear to be above what we see with standard of care therapies for single-agent treatment in this particular population of patients. The efficacy endpoints . . . are pretty exciting and pretty promising.”

Gynecologic Oncologist at Mass General

Prostate Cancer

Three physicians had positive impressions of the PNT2002 and AZD5069 data presented at ESMO 2022 for prostate cancer treatment.

Expert: Radiation Oncologist at Arizona Center for Cancer Care

Primary Ticker: Point Asset Management (PNT)

Other Companies Mentioned: NVS

Expert: Urologist at the Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas

Primary Ticker: AZN

Other Companies Mentioned: NVS

Expert: Urologist at Cleveland Clinic

Primary Ticker: PNT

Other Companies Mentioned: NVS

“When we talked about [the PNT2002 data] at our tumor board last week, everybody was very impressed . . . everybody is very jazzed up.”

Radiation Oncologist at Arizona Center for Cancer Care

Renal Cell Carcinoma

Three physicians had favorable impressions of EXEL’s triple combination therapy study presented at ESMO 2022 for renal cell carcinoma; however all three were concerned about the treatment’s toxicity.

Expert: Hematologist in private practice

Primary Ticker: Exelixis Inc. (EXEL)

Expert: Hematology Oncologist at Lovelace Health System

Primary Ticker: EXEL

Other Companies Mentioned: Lovelace Health System

Expert: Oncologist at Coastal Cancer

Primary Ticker: EXEL

“Is the benefit [of Cabometyx] worth the toxicity?  . . . Is it really worth it to put the patient through that much toxicity for an extra two months? I would understand if the benefit is a six to 12-month survival, [but not] if the overall survival or progression-free survival is merely marginal.”

Hematology Oncologist at Lovelace Health System

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