Gastric cancer is cancer that starts anywhere inside the stomach or the stomach wall. Advanced gastric cancer can be locally advanced (has spread into the tissues around the stomach) or metastatic (has spread to at least one other part of the body such as the liver). Most gastric cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage and in people aged 75 years and over. Advanced cancers have poor prognosis and usually cannot be cured. However, they may be controlled, and symptoms can be relieved through treatment.
Trifluridine in combination with tipiracil in a single oral tablet, is in development for the treatment of metastatic gastric cancer, in patients who are refractory (resistant) to two prior standard treatments for the advanced disease. Trifluridine is incorporated into the DNA where it prevents cells from dividing and multiplying. The addition of tipiracil helps increase the level of trifluridine in the blood by slowing its breakdown. If licensed, trifluridine in combination with tipiracil will be an additional treatment option for patients with gastric cancer who have failed two prior therapies, who currently have very few treatment options available.
Olaparib belongs to a group of drugs called PARP enzyme inhibitors while bevacizumab is an anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody. Both drugs act in different but synergistic ways to kill tumour cells. It is thought that bevacizumab may increase the sensitivity of olaparib to killing the tumour cells. Olaparib administered orally as a monotherapy is already licensed as a maintenance therapy of advanced ovarian cancer. The addition of bevacizumab given by intravenous infusions may potentially improve treatment outcomes.