Personalised Vaccines Hold Cancer at Bay in Two Early Trials

Excerpt:

“A novel class of personalised cancer vaccines, tailored to the tumours of individual patients, kept disease in check in two early-stage clinical trials, pointing to a new way to help the immune system fight back.

“Although so-called immunotherapy drugs from the likes of Merck & Co, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche are starting to revolutionise cancer care, they still only work for a limited number of patients.

“By adding a personalised cancer vaccine, scientists believe it should be possible to improve substantially the effectiveness of such immune-boosting medicines.”

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Nivolumab Benefits Patients With Melanoma Treated Beyond Progression

Excerpt:

“Patients with melanoma continued to experience tumor response to nivolumab monotherapy when treated beyond progression, according to a pooled analysis of data from the CheckMate 066 and CheckMate 067 studies.

” ‘The results of this analysis suggest that continued treatment with nivolumab [Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb] may be an option to achieve further apparent clinical benefit in some patients with advanced melanoma,’ Georgina V. Long, PhD, BSc, MBBS, FRACP, chair of melanoma medical oncology and translational research at Melanoma Institute Australia and Royal North Shore Hospital of The University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues wrote.”

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Panel Backs Bone Drugs for Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Appropriately selected postmenopausal women with breast cancer warrant consideration for adjuvant bisphosphonate therapy, according to an updated clinical guideline.

“Either zoledronic acid (Zometa) or clodronate may be considered for adjuvant therapy, as data supporting use of other bisphosphonates remain limited. The RANK ligand-targeted monoclonal antibody denosumab (Xgeva) did not make the cut as recommended therapy because of a lack of long-term survival data to support its use.

” ‘Data for adjuvant denosumab look promising but are currently insufficient to make any recommendation,’ concluded a panel of experts representing the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Cancer Care Ontario.”

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Test Identifies Breast Cancer Patients With Lowest Risk of Death

Excerpt:

“A molecular test can pinpoint which patients will have a very low risk of death from breast cancer even 20 years after diagnosis and tumor removal, according to a new clinical study led by UC San Francisco in collaboration with colleagues in Sweden. As a result, ‘ultralow’ risk patients could be treated less aggressively and overtreatment avoided, leading to fewer toxic effects.

” ‘This is an important step forward for personalizing care for women with ,’ said lead author Laura J. Esserman, MD, MBA, a breast cancer specialist and surgeon with UC Health. ‘We can now test small node-negative breast cancers, and if they are in the ultralow risk category, we can tell women that they are highly unlikely to die of their cancers and do not need aggressive treatment, including radiation after lumpectomy.’ ”

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Post-Mastectomy Fat Grafting Boosts Patient-Reported Outcomes

Excerpt:

“Women with breast cancer who undergo autologous fat grafting following post-mastectomy breast reconstruction want a breast that looks and feels more natural and say it makes life better psychologically, emotionally, and sexually, according to researchers.

“Results from the ongoing Mastectomy Reconstruction Outcomes Consortium (MROC) study now show that fat grafting is effective and safe and that it does not increase risk for breast cancer recurrence or intervene with breast cancer screening.”

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Pembrolizumab Shows Durable Antitumor Activity in TNBC

Excerpt:

“In patients with heavily pretreated metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), pembrolizumab (Keytruda) showed durable antitumor activity, according to findings from cohort A of the phase II KEYNOTE-086 trial presented at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting.

“The overall response rate (ORR) was 4.7% (95% CI, 2.3-9.2) with single-agent pembrolizumab, including a complete response (CR) rate of 0.6% and a partial response (PR) rate of 4.1%. The stable disease (SD) rate was 20.6%. The median duration of response was 6.3 months (range, 1.2+ to 10.3+).”

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Abemaciclib Active in HR+/HER2- Breast Cancer Patients With Brain Mets

Excerpt:

“Preliminary evidence suggests that abemaciclib penetrated brain metastases and had antitumor activity in patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer.

“Results were presented in a poster at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting for 23 patients from a stage 1 efficacy analysis from a phase II study.

” ‘What we found were 2 patients who experienced partial responses within the CNS, suggesting there is activity of the agent in the brain and in patients who have HR-positive disease,’ explained lead author Sara M. Tolaney, MD, MPH.”

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Targeted BRAF/MEK Inhibitor Combination Achieves Long-Term Survival in Melanoma

Excerpt:

“More than one-fourth of patients with advanced BRAF V600-mutant melanoma remained alive at 5 years after treatment with the combination of dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist), long-term follow-up from a randomized trial showed.

“In the subgroup of patients with normal baseline lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and fewer than 3 organ sites with metastases, half remained at alive at 5 years. No new safety signals emerged during long-term follow-up, as reported at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.”

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FDA Approves Tafinlar Plus Mekinist for BRAF V600E–Mutant Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“The FDA approved use of dabrafenib in combination with trametinib for treatment of patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer whose tumors harbor BRAF V600E mutations, according to the agents’ manufacturer.

“The combination of dabrafenib (Tafinlar, Novartis) — a BRAF inhibitor — and trametinib (Mekinist, Novartis), a MEK1/2 inhibitor — is the first targeted treatment approved in the United States specifically for patients with BRAF V600E–positive metastatic NSCLC.”

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