The role of systemic therapy in advanced skull base chordomas: overview of the current state and the MD Anderson protocol.

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The role of systemic therapy in primary or advanced and metastatic chordoma has been traditionally limited because of the inherent resistance to cytotoxic therapies and lack of specific or effective therapeutic targets. Despite resection and adjuvant radiation therapy, local recurrence rates in clival chordoma remain high and the risk of systemic metastases is not trivial, leading to significant morbidity and mortality. Recently, molecular targeted therapies (MTTs) and immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have emerged as promising therapeutic avenues in chordoma. In recent years, preclinical studies have identified potential targets based on intrinsic genetic dependencies, epigenetic modulators, or newly identified tumor-associated cell populations driving treatment resistance and recurrence. Nonetheless, the role of systemic therapies in the neoadjuvant or adjuvant setting for primary, locally progressive, and distant metastatic chordomas is still being investigated. Herein, an overview of current and emerging systemic treatment strategies in advanced clival chordoma is provided. Furthermore, several molecular biomarkers have been recently uncovered as potential predictors of the response to specific molecular therapeutics. The authors describe the recently discovered role of 1p36 and 9p21 deletions as biomarkers capable of guiding drug selection. Then they discuss completed and ongoing clinical trials of MTTs, including several tyrosine kinase inhibitors used as monotherapy or in combination, such as imatinib, sorafenib, dasatinib, and lapatinib, among others, as well as mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors such as everolimus and rapamycin. They present their experience and other recent studies demonstrating vast benefits in advanced chordoma from ICIs. Additionally, they provide a brief overview of novel systemic strategies such as adoptive cell transfer (CAR-T and NK cells), oncolytic viruses, epigenetic targeting (KDM6, HDAC, and EZH2 inhibitors), and several promising preclinical studies with high translational potential. Finally, the authors present their institutional multidisciplinary protocol for the incorporation of systemic therapy for both newly diagnosed and recurrent chordomas based on molecular studies including upfront enrollment in MTT trials in patients with epidermal growth factor receptor upregulation or INI-1 deficiency or enrollment in ICI clinical trials for patients with high tumor mutational burden or high PD-L1 expression on tumor cells or in the tumor microenvironment.





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Medicine and Health Sciences




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