DOI: 10.2217/fon-2022-1191 ISSN:

Ripretinib versus sunitinib in patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumor after treatment with imatinib: a plain language summary of the phase 3 INTRIGUE trial

Marina Symcox, Robin L Jones
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • General Medicine

What is this summary about?

This document presents a patient-friendly summary of the phase 3 INTRIGUE clinical trial results, which were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in August 2022. A phase 3 trial is a study that tests the safety of a proposed treatment and how well it works compared with a standard treatment or a treatment with no active ingredient (also called a placebo). The aim of the INTRIGUE trial was to understand whether treatment with a drug called ripretinib (brand nameQINLOCK®) was superior to treatment with sunitinib (brand name SUTENT®) in participants with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumor (also known as GIST) who cannot tolerate or whose disease progressed beyond first-line treatment with imatinib (brand name GLEEVEC®). The INTRIGUE trial included 453 participants with advanced GIST who had previously been treated with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (also known as a TKI) medicine called imatinib. For patients with advanced GIST who cannot tolerate or whose disease progresses while taking imatinib, the recommended second-line TKI medicine is sunitinib. The recommended third-line TKI medicine is called regorafenib (brand name STIVARGA®). Ripretinib is currently the only medication approved for adults with advanced GIST who have previously been treated with 3 or more TKIs (fourth-line).

What were the results?

The trial showed that ripretinib did not significantly increase the time that participants survived without their cancer getting worse (progression-free survival or PFS) over sunitinib. However, participants treated with ripretinib had similar PFS to those treated with sunitinib. Importantly, treatment with ripretinib resulted in fewer severe adverse events, or side effects, compared with sunitinib, and participants reported better quality of life with ripretinib compared with sunitinib.

What do the results mean?

Treatment with ripretinib, after imatinib stops working or can no longer be tolerated, provided similar PFS for participants with advanced GIST and had fewer severe adverse events compared with sunitinib. Sunitinib is the only medication currently approved for use as a second-line treatment in patients with advanced GIST previously treated with imatinib. With more investigation, ripretinib could be a treatment option for these patients. Patients should always talk to their medical team before making any decisions about their treatment. Clinical Trial Registration: NCT03673501 (INTRIGUE study) ( )

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