Chemotherapy Drug Maintains Quality of Life Despite Side Effects

Excerpt:

“Patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) reported similar health-related quality of life (HRQOL) during treatment with a recently approved chemotherapy drug as compared to patients receiving a placebo treatment, according to a clinical trial published in Lancet Oncology.

“These findings, in conjunction with previous research showing delayed disease progression, suggest the drug, called everolimus, may be able to preserve quality of life even in light of chemotherapy’s often-toxic side effects. The findings support the usefulness of HRQOL as an endpoint in clinical trials studying NETs, in a secondary analysis of their findings, according to the study.”

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FDA Approves Roche’s Alecensa (Alectinib) as First-Line Treatment for People With Specific Type of Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for Alecensa® (alectinib) for the treatment of people with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as detected by an FDA-approved test. The approval is based on results from the phase III ALEX study, which showed Alecensa significantly reduced the risk of disease worsening or death (progression-free survival, PFS) by 47% (HR=0.53, 95% CI: 0.38, 0.73, p<0.0001) compared to crizotinib as assessed by independent review committee (IRC). Median PFS was 25.7 months (95% CI: 19.9, not estimable) for people who received Alecensa compared with 10.4 months (95% CI: 7.7, 14.6) for people who received crizotinib. The safety profile of Alecensa was consistent with that observed in previous studies. The study also showed that Alecensa significantly reduced the risk of the cancer spreading to or growing in the brain or central nervous system (CNS) compared to crizotinib by 84% (HR=0.16, 95% CI: 0.10, 0.28, p<0.0001). This was based on a time to CNS progression analysis in which there was a lower risk of progression in the CNS as the first site of disease progression for people who received Alecensa (12%) compared to people who received crizotinib (45%).”

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Scientists Exploit Leaks in Blood Brain Barrier to Treat Glioblastoma

Excerpt:

“An ovarian cancer drug can leak through the blood brain barrier to reach brain tumours and could be an effective treatment for glioblastoma, suggest results* presented at the National Cancer Research Institute’s (NCRI) Cancer Conference in Liverpool, today (Monday).

“The Cancer Research UK-funded OPARATIC trial,* which was managed by the charity’s Centre for Drug Development, tested whether the ovarian cancer drug olaparib could reach glioblastoma, a type of brain tumour which is very difficult to treat. And early results show it successfully reaches brain tumours at high enough levels for treatment.”

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Osimertinib Continues to Show Impressive Activity in EGFR+ NSCLC

Excerpt:

“Osimertinib (Tagrisso) has impressed researchers in the field of EGFR-mutant non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), most recently with results from the phase III FLAURA trial solidifying its benefit.

“In FLAURA, treatment with frontline osimertinib led to a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 18.9 months (95% CI, 15.2-21.4). This represented a 54% risk reduction in progression or death compared with a standard EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) for patients with locally advanced or metastatic EGFR-mutant NSCLC.”

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Inovio Pharmaceuticals Initiates Immuno-Oncology Clinical Study for Glioblastoma in Combination with Regeneron’s PD-1 Inhibitor

Excerpt:

“Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:INO) today initiated a phase 1b/2a immuno-oncology trial in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM) designed to evaluate cemiplimab (also known as REGN2810), a PD-1 inhibitor developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(NASDAQ:REGN), in combination with Inovio’s INO-5401 T cell activating immunotherapy encoding multiple antigens and INO-9012, an immune activator encoding IL-12.”

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New SERM Shows Promise in Advanced Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“In women with estrogen receptor-positive, hormone-refractory metastatic breast cancer, oral Z-endoxifen hydrochloride, the potent metabolite of tamoxifen, provided substantial drug exposure regardless of CYP2D6 genotype, acceptable toxicity, and promising antitumor activity, researchers reported.

“Results from a phase I study in 38 patients with metastatic breast cancer demonstrated a clinical benefit rate (stable disease ≥ 6 months) of 26.3%. including a partial response by RECIST criteria in three patients who experienced progression during prior tamoxifen therapy, according to Matthew P. Goetz, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues.”

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Breast Cancer Patients Forego Post-Surgery Treatment Due to Mistrust, Study Suggests

Excerpt:

“Nearly one-third of women with breast cancer went against their doctor’s advice and chose not to begin or complete the recommended adjuvant anti-cancer therapy to kill residual tumor cells following surgery, according to a study led by a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researcher.

“A survey that included 2,754 breast cancer patients in Florida and Pennsylvania during a two-year period found that this ‘treatment discordance’ – not following a doctor’s recommended treatment plan in its entirety – was more likely among patients who reported a general distrust of medical institutions and insurers. The patients’ trust or distrust of their own doctors did not seem to be a factor.”

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Immune-Related Adverse Events Predict Efficacy of Nivolumab in NSCLC

Excerpt:

“While immunotherapy with programmed death receptor 1 (PD-1) inhibiting antibodies has revolutionized the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), use of these agents comes at the cost of potential serious immune-related adverse events (irAEs). In melanoma, development of cutaneous irAEs, such as rash and vitiligo, during treatment with PD-1 inhibitors has been shown to be associated with survival benefit, suggesting that early onset of irAEs may predict treatment outcomes. However, in NSCLC, the predictive value of immunotherapy-related toxicity as a clinical marker for efficacy to PD-1 inhibition is unknown.  A multi-institution retrospective study investigated the relation between the development of irAEs and efficacy of PD-1 inhibitors in 134 patients with advanced or recurrent NSCLC who received second-line treatment with nivolumab. The primary outcome for this analysis was progression-free survival (PFS) according to the development of irAEs in a 6-week landmark analysis.”

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Lorlatinib Highly Effective for Relapsed ALK or ROS1 Rearranged NSCLC

Excerpt:

“While several targeted therapies have emerged in recent years for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) carrying the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene fusion, development of resistance to ALK inhibitors is an increasing problem. Furthermore, only one tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), crizotinib, is currently approved for patients with ROS proto-oncogene 1 (ROS1) rearrangements. Lorlatinib, a novel, highly selective ALK and ROS1 targeting third-generation TKI has shown preclinical activity against known ALK resistance mutations and can penetrate the central nervous system (CNS), a common site of metastasis in ALK-positive or ROS1-positive NSCLC.”

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