High Marks for HIFU in Early Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Men with newly diagnosed, nonmetastatic prostate cancer had a 5-year failure-free survival (FFS) of 88% when treated with focal high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy, results of a multicenter European clinical experience showed.

“The 625-patient cohort had a 5-year overall survival of 99%, and none of the patients died of prostate cancer during a median follow-up of 56 months. In a subgroup of men who submitted questionnaires on patient-reported outcomes, 98% said they did not require absorbent pads for urinary incontinence.”

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Steroids Lower Survival Benefits Associated with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“The use of steroids at baseline was associated with inferior survival outcomes in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who were starting either PD-1 or PD-L1 blockade therapy, according to retrospective data presented at ASCO Annual Meeting.

” ‘Treatment with PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors is now standard therapy for nearly all patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer,’ Kathryn C. Arbour, MD, a fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said during her presentation. ‘The potential impact of steroids in patients with PD-1 or PD-L1 blockade has been an open question. Steroids are frequently used as a supportive medication in cancer care and can provide rapid relief of numerous cancer-related symptoms, including dyspnea, anorexia, pain, fatigue and symptoms associated with brain metastases. However … [physicians] routinely recognize that there can be substantial toxicities associated with long-term steroid use.’ ”

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FDA Approves Enzalutamide for Nonmetastatic CRPC

Excerpt:

“The FDA has approved enzalutamide (Xtandi) for the treatment of patients with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), according to Pfizer and Astellas, the codevelopers of the antiandrogen agent.

“The approval is based on the phase III PROSPER trial, in which the combination of enzalutamide (Xtandi) and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) reduced the risk of metastases or death by 71% compared with ADT alone for patients with nonmetastatic CRPC. In the double-blind study, the median metastasis-free survival (MFS) was 36.6 months with enzalutamide plus ADT versus 14.7 months with ADT alone (HR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.24-0.35; P <.0001).”

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Immune-Based Therapy May Be Tool Against Melanoma in the Brain

Excerpt:

“A type of therapy that harnesses the immune system is giving new hope to people battling a once hopeless cancer — melanoma that’s spread to the brain.

“New research involving more than 2,700 U.S. patients is confirming what specialists in the field have long known — that “checkpoint blockade” treatment can beat back these devastating tumors.”

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New Treatment Lowers Risk for Death from Aggressive Prostate Cancer by Over 70 Percent, Study Finds

Excerpt:

“Some of the 165,000 U.S. men who are estimated to receive a new diagnosis of prostate cancer this year will develop resistance to hormonal therapies for the disease, but a new study by a doctor now at Northwestern Memorial Hospital points to use of an existing drug to help treat them.

“This kind of aggressive cancer has challenged doctors, as effective treatment to improve outcomes for these men hadn’t existed previously. But a clinical trial led by Dr. Maha Hussain, now an oncologist at Northwestern Memorial, showed that taking a drug, enzalutamide, resulted in a 71 percent lower risk of cancer spread or death, compared to those taking a placebo during the three-year trial. The patients involved all had prostate cancer that hadn’t spread but that also had not responded to hormone treatment.”

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Using the Principles of Evolution to Treat and Prevent Cancer

Excerpt:

“Cancer has been called malevolent. Devious. Even ingenious. It’s actually none of these. Cancer has no purpose or direction. As these wayward cells arise, they simply adapt to the environmental conditions of the tissues in which they exist. That concept, which springs from Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, is guiding new approaches to fighting this common and deadly disease.

“In Darwinian evolution, organisms that are well-adapted to their environments flourish and crowd out those that aren’t. My colleagues and I believe that much the same thing happens with cancer in a process we call adaptive oncogenesis.”

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Long-Term Results of Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy in Premenopausal Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“In an analysis of long-term outcomes in the SOFT and TEXT trials reported at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting and in The New England Journal of Medicine, Francis et al found that the addition of ovarian suppression to adjuvant tamoxifen significantly improved 8-year rates of disease-free and overall survival vs tamoxifen alone among premenopausal women with breast cancer; risk of recurrence was further reduced with exemestane plus ovarian suppression.

“Initial reports showed that 5-year rates of recurrence were significantly lower among premenopausal women who received the aromatase inhibitor exemestane plus ovarian suppression vs tamoxifen plus ovarian suppression, with the addition of ovarian suppression to tamoxifen not significantly improving recurrence risk vs tamoxifen alone.”

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FDA Expands Approval of Pembrolizumab for First-Line Treatment of NSCLC

Excerpt:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted accelerated approval to the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for use in combination with chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

“This new approval of pembrolizumab was based on the results of the phase II KEYNOTE-021 clinical trial of 123 patients with advanced or metastatic nonsquamous NSCLC without mutations in the EGFR gene or alterations in the ALK gene, for which there are existing targeted therapies. Patients in the trial had not been treated previously and were randomly assigned to receive either pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy or chemotherapy alone.”

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Selective AXL Inhibitor Bemcentinib Meets Pre-specified Efficacy Endpoint in Stage 1 of NSCLC Phase II Combination Trial With KEYTRUDA

Excerpt:

“BerGenBio ASA (OSE:BGBIO) announces today that on a top-line, preliminary basis, the first efficacy endpoint has been met in its Phase II clinical trial (BGBC008) evaluating bemcentinib, a first-in-class oral selective AXL inhibitor, in combination with the Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA[1] anti-PD-1 therapy KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) as a potential new treatment regimen for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The primary efficacy endpoint requires at least four patients (out of the first 22 treated patients) to achieve clinical responses when treated with the novel drug combination, defined as either complete or partial response, as measured by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST).”

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