Further Reductions in Radiotherapy to Young Children With Brain Tumors Less Successful

Excerpt:

“A team of investigators has determined that young children participating in a clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of reduced radiotherapy did worse when there were deviations from the treatment protocol. Results of the study will be available online in advance of publication by Pediatric Blood & Cancer on April 4.

” ‘This study shows that attention to the timing, dose, and location of radiation therapy is crucial,’ Kenneth K. Wong, MD, a radiation oncologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and first author on the study.

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Roche’s Alecensa Beats Pfizer’s Xalkori in Lung Cancer Trial

Excerpt:

“Roche has presented late-stage data showing that its Alecensa was superior to Pfizer’s Xalkori on progression-free survival in patients with a specific type of lung cancer.

“The global, randomised Phase III ALEX study hit its primary endpoint in showing that Alecensa (alectinib) as a first-line treatment significantly reduced the risk of disease worsening or death (progression-free survival, PFS) versus Xalkori (crizotinib) in people with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).”

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TTFields Significantly Improve Survival in GBM

Excerpt:

“A landmark analysis of findings from the EF-14 trial testing the efficacy and safety of tumor treating fields (TTFields) for the treatment of patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) has found that the risk of death was reduced by 37% and overall survival (OS) was extended by a median of 5 months with the use of the device.

“Two-, 3-, 4-, and 5-year overall and progression-free survival (PFS) rates for patients who received TTFields with adjuvant temozolomide were significantly improved over patients who received temozolomide alone, reported Roger Stupp, MD, professor of neurological surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and associate director for strategic initiatives at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.”

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Surgery May Be Best for Advanced Melanoma

Excerpt:

“Surgery to remove melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—can extend the lives of patients whose disease has spread to the abdomen area, new research suggests.

“Patients who get and to remove their cancer live twice as long—18 months on average—as those who only get medication, researchers found.

” ‘Now that there are better options systemically, the decision-making about treatment has become more complex. Having this data available could potentially impact discussions about treatment and benefit long-term,’ said study leader Dr. Gary Deutsch, a cancer surgeon at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y.”

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Frontline Setting for ALK+ NSCLC Set to Undergo Shift

Excerpt:

“Currently available as a second-line therapy for patients with ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), alectinib’s (Alecensa) frontline potential is being explored in the ongoing phase III ALEX study (NCT02075840), which could transform first-line treatment for these patients.

“This study is comparing alectinib with crizotinib (Xalkori)—a current first-line option—in the frontline setting for patients with ALK-positive NSCLC. The oncology community is anticipating reports on the data in the first half of 2017.”

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PD-1 Drug Exceeds Survival History in NSCLC

Excerpt:

“Long-term survival in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) exceeded historical standards among patients treated with the immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo), according to a study reported here.

“The 129 patients in the study had an estimated 5-year overall survival of 16%. Among those with measurable levels of PD-L1 expression, 5-year survival ranged as high as 43%.”

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Atezolizumab Demonstrates Long-Term Responses in Subset of TNBC

Excerpt:

“According to the results of a phase I study of single agent anti-PD-L1 atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC), ten percent of patients showed impressive long-term survival, although researchers said that aside from some biomarker evidence, it’s yet unclear why the drug was more effective in this subset of patients.

“Results of the study were presented this week at the AACR Annual Meeting 2017 by lead author Peter Schmid, MD, PhD, director of the St. Bartholomew’s Breast Centre at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and Barts Cancer Institute in London.”

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When the Doctor Recommends Against the Surgery a Breast Cancer Patient Wants

Excerpt:

“More women with breast cancer are electing to have both breasts removed, even when cancer affects only one breast. The procedure, called contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM), is a more complex surgery that has not been shown to improve survival.

“A new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center examines the complex interaction between patients’ desires for the most extensive and surgeons’ responsibility to minimize harm.

“The population-based survey, published in JAMA Surgery, found that few patients sought a second opinion or went to a different hospital when their surgeon recommended against CPM. Further, patients were overwhelmingly satisfied with their treatment, even when their surgeon dismissed CPM with little discussion.”

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CDK4/6 Agent Active in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“About one in five patients with post-chemotherapy metastatic breast cancer attained an objective response to single-agent therapy with the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)4/6 inhibitor abemaciclib, results of a phase II trial showed.

“Responses were durable, lasting an average of almost 9 months, and more than 40% of patients obtained clinical benefit. Abemaciclib’s safety and tolerability were consistent with previous clinical experience, as no new or unexpected adverse events occurred among 132 patients who received the drug.”

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