Several TRK inhibitors have demonstrated clinical efficacy in patients with solid tumors harboring NTRK gene fusions. However, the natural history and prognostic implications of NTRK fusions in solid tumors remain unknown.
A cohort of 77 MD Anderson Cancer Center patients (MDACC) with NTRK gene fusions was identified and retrospectively compared to a second cohort from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Due to paucity of events in early stage cancers and lack of TCGA data in rare tumors, 25 randomly selected MDACC patients were matched to 122 TCGA patients without NTRK gene fusion. Next we assessed the associations between NTRK gene fusion and overall (OS) and progression-free survivals (PFS).
Among the 77 MDACC patients with NTRK gene fusions, 18 NTRK fusion partners were identified. There were insufficient OS events for analysis in the matched cohort. PFS was not significantly different (p=0.49) between the NTRK-fusion positive MDACC patients (median PFS 786 weeks, 95% CI 317-NE) and the NTRK-fusion negative TCGA patients (median PFS NE). The adjusted hazard ratio comparing TCGA patients to MDACC patients was HR=0.72 (95% CI: 0.23-2.33), which trended towards a reduced rate of progression or death experienced by TCGA patients.
This study did not identify statistically significant associations between NTRK fusion and PFS. Nonsignificant trends estimated increases in the risk of progression or death events for patients with NTRK fusions when compared to matched controls. Our findings help illuminate the influence of NTRK fusions on the natural history of a variety of solid tumors.