Combined Urine Test for T2:ERG, PCA3 Ups Prostate CA Detection

Excerpt:

“Testing for combined urinary PCA3 and TMPRSS2:ERG (T2:ERG) RNA can improve detection of prostate cancer, according to a study published online May 18 in JAMA Oncology.

“Martin G. Sanda, M.D., from the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a multicenter diagnostic evaluation and validation in academic and community-based ambulatory urology clinics. A sample of men presenting for first-time without preexisting prostate cancer were enrolled: 516 in the developmental cohort and 561 in the validation cohort. Urinary PCA3 and T2:ERG RNA were measured before prostate biopsy.”

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Seven Updates in Neuro-Oncology

Excerpt:

“The National Brain Tumor Society is calling for volunteers, patients, families, public policy advocates and physicians to act and join the society’s ‘brain tumor team’ this month.

“As a part of National Brain Tumor Awareness month, the society has promoted the annual campaign — this year titled “#BTAM = #BTeAM in 2017” — to raise awareness.

“In conjunction with Brain Tumor Awareness Month, HemOnc Today presents seven updates within neuro-oncology.”

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New Insight Into Life-Threatening Childhood Brain Cancer

Excerpt:

“The most common type of malignant childhood brain cancer has been identified as seven separate conditions each needing a different treatment, new research has revealed.

“A study by Newcastle and Northumbria universities has found that childhood medulloblastoma can be separated into seven different subgroups which all have their own biological and clinical characteristics.”

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Vaccines Based on Immunotherapies Being Tested in Phase 2 Trials in Brain Cancer

Excerpt:

Immunomic Therapeutics has entered an exclusive licensing agreement with Annias Immunotherapeutics for the rights to use Annia’s intellectual property regarding an immunotherapy based on antigens of cytomegalovirus (CMV). Both companies are developing new approaches for generating vaccines for cancer.

“Under the new licensing agreement, Immunomic will be able to combine LAMP-Vax, its investigational nucleic acid-based immunotherapy platform, with Annia’s CMV immunotherapy platform. Duke University’s John H. Sampson, MD, PhD, and Duane A. Mitchell, MD, PhD, developed this platform, which was later licensed to Annias.”

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Brigatinib First to Offer over 1-Year Control of ALK-Positive Lung Cancer Post-Crizotinib

Excerpt:

“About 3-5 percent of lung cancers are caused by changes in the gene ALK. In 2011, the FDA granted accelerated approval for the drug crizotinib to target these ALK changes. However, two major problems have remained: Crizotinib does not pass into the brain and so is unable to target ALK-positive lung cancer in the central nervous system, and the genetic diversity of cancer allows the later growth of subpopulations that can resist the drug, leading to renewed growth. In response, researchers have been actively developing next-generation ALK-inhibitors.

“Results of a multi-center, 222-person phase 2 clinical trial of the next-generation ALK inhibitor, brigatinib at 180mg/day, used after failure of crizotinib showed a 54 percent response rate and 12.9 month progression-free survival. (Effects were lower at a lower dose.) Results are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

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Targeted Therapy Can Delay Recurrence of Intermediate-Stage Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“The targeted therapy gefitinib appears more effective in preventing recurrence after lung cancer surgery than the standard of care, chemotherapy. In a phase III clinical trial, patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-positive, stage II-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received gefitinib went about 10 months longer without recurrence than patients who received chemotherapy. The study will be presented at the upcoming 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.

” ‘Adjuvant gefitinib may ultimately be considered as an important option for stage II-IIIA lung cancer patients with an active EGFR mutation, and we may consider routine EGFR testing in this earlier stage of lung cancer,’ said lead study author Yi-Long Wu, MD, a director of the Guangdong Lung Cancer Institute, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangzhou, China. ‘We intend to follow these patients until we can fully measure overall survival as opposed to disease-free survival, which just measures disease recurrence.’ ”

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#ASCO17: Incyte Gets a Boost from a Series of Positive Data Snapshots for Its Epacadostat/Keytruda Combo

Excerpt:

“Wednesday evening brought with it the data dump on abstracts for the upcoming annual ASCO confab in Chicago in early June, and the big preliminary winner — not a big surprise — was Incyte, with a slate of new data points underscoring the potential of its leading, late-stage IDO1 drug epacadostat in combination with Merck’s Keytruda.

“Incyte shares $INCY swelled 9.5% in after-market trading as investors got a glimpse of things to come, with a 30%-plus response rate for a full slate of combination studies that are now pushing into Phase III development.”

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New Blood Test Is More Accurate in Predicting Prostate Cancer Risk Than PSA

Excerpt:

“A team of researchers from Cleveland Clinic, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, and other clinical sites have demonstrated that a new blood test known as IsoPSA detects prostate cancer more precisely than current tests in two crucial measures — distinguishing cancer from benign conditions, and identifying patients with high-risk disease.

“By identifying molecular changes in the prostate specific antigen (PSA) protein, the findings, published online last month by European Urology, suggest that once validated, use of IsoPSA may substantially reduce the need for biopsy, and may thus lower the likelihood of overdetection and overtreatment of nonlethal prostate cancer.”

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AUA: Prostate Cancer Studies Highlight DNA Repair Gene Involvement

Excerpt:

“Two new studies presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) offer an improved understanding of some genetic underpinnings of prostate cancer. In one, researchers found that BRCA mutations may raise the risk of the malignancy substantially, while another found a high rate of mutations among other DNA repair genes as well.

” ‘These studies reveal new insights into the role genetic mutations play in the development of prostate cancer, particularly metastatic disease,’ said Scott Eggener, MD, of the University of Chicago Medicine, who moderated the session with these studies, in a press release.”

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