Combining CAR T Cells With Existing Immunotherapies May Overcome Resistance in Glioblastomas

Excerpt:

“Genetically modified “hunter” T cells successfully migrated to and penetrated a deadly type of brain tumor known as glioblastoma (GBM) in a clinical trial of the new therapy, but the cells triggered an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and faced a complex mutational landscape that will need to be overcome to better treat this aggressive cancer, Penn Medicine researchers report in a new study this week in Science Translational Medicine.”

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ASCO Offers Path to Addressing Affordability of Cancer Drugs in New Position Statement

Excerpt:

“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today issued a position statement aimed at contributing to the national dialogue on rising cancer drug prices. The statement, which asserts that any solutions must also preserve patients’ access to care and foster innovation, analyzes a wide array of options and recommends that a panel of stakeholders be established to determine which proposals will be effective and develop a uniform approach for assessing the value of drugs.

“The ASCO position statement highlights that new cancer drugs routinely cost more than $100,000 per year, and prices on many existing treatments continue to rise, causing serious financial hardship even for many patients with insurance. Patients with cancer are more than twice as likely to declare bankruptcy as those without cancer;  nearly six in 10 report being distressed about their finances during treatment.  Many patients forego or delay treatments as a result, potentially compromising their effectiveness. Drugs are the fastest growing component of cancer care costs, which are expected to increase by more than 25 percent between 2010 and 2020.”

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New Study Finds That Lymph Node Removal Isn’t Necessary for All Melanoma Patients

Excerpt:

“Many patients with melanoma need a sentinel-lymph-node biopsy to determine if cancer cells have spread there, but a positive finding doesn’t mean all the lymph nodes in the area must be removed, according to new international study.

“Many  with melanoma need a  biopsy to determine if cancer cells have spread there, but a positive finding doesn’t mean all the lymph nodes in the area must be removed, according to a new international study conducted in part by researchers in Utah that may change standard treatment for melanoma patients whose cancer has spread.”

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Radiation Prior to Surgery Reduces Risk of Secondary Tumors in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Moffitt Cancer Center researchers launched a first of its kind study comparing the long-term benefits of radiation therapy in women with breast cancer either before surgery (neoadjuvant) or after surgery (adjuvant). Their study, published in the June 30 issue of Breast Cancer Research, found that patients who have neoadjuvant radiation therapy have a significantly lower risk of developing a second primary tumor at any site.

“The majority of patients who have early stage breast cancer have surgery to remove their tumor or a complete mastectomy. Surgery is commonly followed by radiation therapy, which has been shown to increase relapse-free survival. However, in some cases, patients may require neoadjuvant radiation therapy to decrease the size of the tumor before surgery. Currently, there are no studies that have analyzed the long-term effects of neoadjuvant radiation therapy on breast cancer patients.”

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FDA Approves New Treatment to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer Returning

Excerpt:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Nerlynx (neratinib) for the extended adjuvant treatment of early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer. For patients with this type of cancer, Nerlynx is the first extended adjuvant therapy, a form of therapy that is taken after an initial treatment to further lower the risk of the cancer coming back. Nerlynx is indicated for adult patients who have been previously treated with a regimen that includes the drug trastuzumab.”

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Surgery Isn’t Necessarily Best for Prostate Cancer, According to Study Led by Minneapolis Va

Excerpt:

“The largest and longest trial to compare treatment options for prostate cancer has found little difference in outcomes between men who underwent surgery vs. those who were simply observed by their doctors.

“Led by a researcher at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, the 20-year national study provides the best evidence yet that most men can live with their prostate cancers, avoiding the potential risks of surgery. The results, though, did show that surgery was probably a better option for younger men with long life expectancies, and some urologists dispute the findings.”

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Men Have Regret Years after Prostate Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“After years of introspection, about 15% of men with localized prostate cancer regretted the decisions they made regarding treatment, a survey of almost 1,000 patients showed.

“About twice as many men expressed regret after radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy as compared with active surveillance. The single biggest contributor to regret was treatment-associated sexual dysfunction, as reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

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Proton-Beam Therapy in Limited-Stage SCLC Shows Promising Efficacy

Excerpt:

“Proton-beam therapy (PBT) was found to be safe for patients with limited-stage (LS) small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) in the first prospective registry study of the therapy, with only a small number of high-grade toxicities.

” ‘Radiation therapy is essential for the management of limited-stage SCLC,’ wrote study authors led by Jean-Claude M. Rwigema, MD, of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. ‘When it is given with concurrent chemotherapy, radiation therapy can result in substantial toxicities.’ PBT can reduce the exposure to nearby organs at risk in non–small-cell lung cancer, and is under substantial investigation in that setting; before the new study, though, only a six-patient case series had examined its use in SCLC.”

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Lapatinib/Trastuzumab/AI Triplet Nearly Doubles PFS in HER2+/HR+ Metastatic Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“The triplet combination of HER2-targeted therapy and an aromatase inhibitor (AI) improved progression-free survival (PFS) by more than 5 months compared with the combination of trastuzumab (Herceptin) and an AI in patients with HER2+/HR+ breast cancer.

“In phase III results from the ALTERNATIVE trial presented at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting, the median PFS was 11 months (95% CI, 8.3-13.8) for postmenopausal women with HER2+/HR+ metastatic breast cancer assigned to lapatinib (Tykerb) plus trastuzumab plus an AI compared with 5.7 months (95% CI, 5.5-8.4) for patients assigned to trastuzumab plus an AI. Lead study author William J. Gradishar MD, interim chief of hematology and oncology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said that represented a 38% reduction in the risk of progression (HR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.45-0.88; P = .0064).”

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