Diagnostics Company Ready to Patent Test for Squamous Cell Lung Cancer

The molecular diagnostics company Rosetta Genomics has received permission to patent their Rosetta Lung Cancer Test. The test analyzes lung tumor tissue and distinguishes squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) from other types of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Clearly identifying a patient’s cancer subtype is becoming increasingly important for choosing an optimal treatment plan, thanks to the increasing role of targeted therapies and the growing understanding of how drug effects can differ among various cancer subtypes. For example, pemetrexed (Alimta) and bevacizumab (Avastin) benefit many NSCLC patients, but are not recommended for those with SCC. The patent allowance will permit Rosetta to develop their test for use in patients.

Bone and Brain Metastases Are Common in Lung Cancer, but Avastin May Lower Risk

Lung cancer patients often develop metastases (cancer that has spread) in their bones or brain. A retrospective study of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with metastases revealed that in 39%, the cancer spread affected the bones, and in 30% the spread affected the brain. Bone metastases were more common in elderly patients, were linked to skeletal complications, such as fractures, and were associated with shorter survival (5.5 months vs 9.9 months in patients without bone metastases). Another study found that NSCLC patients who developed new bone metastases were more likely to get brain metastases also. However, patients treated with bevacizumab (Avastin) were less prone to metastases in either the bones (27% vs 43% without Avastin) or the brain (25% vs 33%).

Randomized Phase III Trial of Maintenance Bevacizumab With or Without Pemetrexed After First-Line Induction With Bevacizumab, Cisplatin, and Pemetrexed in Advanced Nonsquamous NSCLC

AVAPERL evaluated the safety and efficacy of bevacizumab with or without pemetrexed as continuation maintenance treatment. In an unselected population of patients with nonsquamous NSCLC who had achieved disease control with platinum-based chemotherapy plus bevacizumab, bevacizumab plus pemetrexed maintenance was associated with a significant PFS benefit compared with bevacizumab alone. The combination was well tolerated.

Comparison of Combination Chemotherapy Regimens Shows No Significant Differences

Both pemetrexed (Alimta) plus carboplatin (Paraplatin) and Paraplatin plus paclitaxel (Taxol/Abraxane) plus bevacizumab (Avastin) are effective chemotherapy regimens against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, until recently, the safety and efficacy of the two regimens had not been directly compared. To evaluate whether one regimen was superior, a phase III clinical trial determined how long patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC remained free of either cancer progression or severe toxic side effects when treated with either of the two regimens. While patients receiving the Alimta plus Paraplatin regimen tended to have slightly longer relapse- and toxicity-free periods than those given Paraplatin plus Taxol/Abraxane plus Avastin, the difference was not very pronounced and could have happened by chance. The two regimens also did not differ regarding overall time until cancer progression, response rate and overall survival time.

Combining an Immune Checkpoint Antibody with an Anti-Angiogenesis Inhibitor

A small phase I study combining the immune checkpoint antibody ipilimumab with the angiogenesis inhibitor antibody bevacizumab showed promising results in advanced melanoma patients in 2011. Now, researchers are continuing to study the combination of immunotherapy and anti-angiogenic agents to understand which patients could best benefit from such a combination. Continue reading…

Clinical Activity and Safety of Combination Therapy with Temsirolimus and Bevacizumab for Advanced Melanoma: A Phase II Trial (CTEP 7190/ Mel47)

A CTEP-sponsored phase II trial was performed to evaluate safety and clinical activity of combination therapy with CCI-779 (temsirolimus) and bevacizumab in patients with advanced melanoma…”

Gene Variations May Predict Outcomes in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Variations in two genes called CXCR-2 and PAR-1 may predict how a person with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) will fare. A study of over 200 NSCLC patients found that those with certain versions of the genes were likely to experience faster disease progression and shorter survival, especially if patients had squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Both genes are involved in tumor angiogenesis, that is, the growth of new blood vessels that enable tumors to expand. In the future, testing for these high-risk gene variants may help identify good candidates for anti-angiogenesis treatments like bevacizumab (Avastin).

Avastin May Be Effective Against Lung Cancer with Bone Metastases

A retrospective study of cancer patients suggests that bevacizumab (Avastin) may be an effective treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with bone metastases (cancer spread to the bone). The patients had non-squamous NSCLC with bone metastases and had been treated with zoledronic acid (Zometa/Reclast) and chemotherapy either with or without Avastin. Avastin treatment was associated with better control of both bone metastases and overall disease, longer time to bone metastasis progression, and fewer complications related to bone degeneration, such as fractures or spinal cord compression.

Research paper: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00280-013-2148-3

Efficacy of bevacizumab-containing chemotherapy for non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer with bone metastases

Skeletal-related events (SREs) negatively affect the quality of life of patients with cancer. Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-targeted therapy is effective against bone metastasis in animal models, but the clinical efficacy of anti-VEGFR inhibitors against bone metastases remains unclear. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the efficacy of chemotherapy with bevacizumab, an anti-VEGF antibody, against bone metastases.”