Biomarkers, PARP Inhibitors Vital for Personalized Treatment in Breast Cancer Subtypes

Excerpt:

“Developing predictive biomarkers will be key to treating patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), especially when choosing a targeted therapy, said Banu K. Arun, MD.

“In a presentation during the 2018 OncLive® State of the Science Summit™ on Breast Cancer, Arun said there is evidence that PARP inhibitors as well as immunotherapy in combination with various agents may be effective in women with TNBC and BRCA1-related breast cancers, but the science isn’t there yet.”

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Study Describes Design, Validation of Foundation Medicine’s Blood-Based TMB Test

Excerpt:

“Researchers from Genentech, Foundation Medicine, UC Davis, and other medical centers, have published a report on the development and early validation of Foundation’s planned blood-based tumor mutational burden test.

“Appearing today in Nature Medicine, the study describes the development of the test and its characteristics, and its retrospective validation in two cohorts. Investigators demonstrated, by applying the assay to samples from two clinical trials, that blood-based TMB (bTMB) could reproducibly identify lung cancer patients who respond to immunotherapy treatment with Roche/Genentech’s atezolizumab (Tecentriq).”

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Dana-Farber Researcher Sees Biomarker Potential in ESR1 Mutations

Excerpt:

“As a medical oncologist and investigator, Rinath M. Jeselsohn, MD, focuses on the detection and clinical implications of ESR1 mutations in estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer. She is a member of the research team in the lab of Myles A. Brown, MD, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, where investigators are seeking to elucidate the factors underlying the mechanisms of hormone responsiveness, particularly steroid hormone receptors, in human cancers.

“Jeselsohn, who has led numerous studies into ESR1 mutations, discussed the field in an interview with OncologyLive®.”

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Predicting If an Immune Checkpoint Drug Will Work


Drugs that activate the immune system to attack cancer in a process known as immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) are a focus of intense investigation. A number of them are already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for various cancers; namely, the anti-CTLA4 antibody ipilimumab (Yervoy), two anti-PD-1 antibodies: pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo), and three anti-PD-L1 drugs: atezolizumab (Tecentriq), avelumab (Bavencio) and durvalumab (Imfinzi). These ICB drugs have the potential to induce durable cancer regressions, but the majority of cancer patients just do not respond to them at all.

Biomarkers, signature molecules in the blood or other tissue, can sometimes be used to predict a patient’s response to a given treatment. But no reliable biomarkers exist for ICB, and this is a serious concern. Patients who may really benefit from ICB could be overlooked, and patients who are not likely to respond may receive useless (and very expensive) ICB treatment.

Most potential response predictors that have already been identified are not yet useful for one or all of the following reasons: they are not extensively validated, their significance is still uncertain and may differ from one cancer (or even one patient) to another, or they are technically challenging for routine use. These markers are addressed below. Continue reading…


Researchers Reveal Biomarker for Guiding Prostate Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“Back-to-back discoveries from Cleveland Clinic demonstrate for the first time how a testosterone-related genetic abnormality can help predict individual patient responses to specific prostate cancer therapies.

“The studies, published in the October 12 issue of JAMA Oncology, suggest that men who inherit this  would benefit from a personalized treatment plan that targets specific hormonal pathways.”

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Blood Tumor Markers May Warn When Lung Cancer Patients Are Progressing on Targeted Treatments

Excerpt:

“For many years, oncologists have known that cancers can secrete complex molecules into the blood and that levels of these molecules can be easily measured. These so-called ‘tumor markers’ are traditionally associated with a single dominant cancer type, for example Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) linked to prostate cancer, Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) to colorectal cancer, CA125 to ovarian cancer, CA19.9 to pancreatic cancer and CA27.29 to breast cancer. However, the real challenge has been to determine a practical use for these markers. They don’t appear to be useful as a means of screening otherwise healthy people for evidence of underlying cancers.”

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A New Prognostic Classification May Help Clinical Decision-Making in Glioblastoma

Excerpt:

“New research shows that taking molecular variables into account will improve the prognostic classification of the lethal brain cancer called glioblastoma (GBM).

“The study was led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

“Published in the journal JAMA Oncology, the study found that adding significant molecular biomarkers to the existing GBM classification system improves the prognostic classification of GBM patients who have been treated with radiation and the drug temozolomide.”

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Markers for Prostate Cancer Death Can Identify Men in Need of More Aggressive Treatment

Excerpt:

“Prostate cancer (PC) is the second leading cause of male cancer death in the United States with an estimated 26,000 deaths in 2016. Two-thirds of all PC deaths observed in the US are men with localized disease who developed metastasis. Several markers for dying from prostate cancer exist, but whether these are markers for telling who is likely to die early from any cause, and how their performance compares, is unknown. Identifying such a marker is important because we can then identify which men may benefit from new, more aggressive treatments for prostate cancer.”

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Update on Immunotherapy for Advanced Melanoma

Excerpt:

“Checkpoint blockade has been a revolutionary advance in cancer treatment, supported by extensive pre-clinical and phase II/III clinical data. Recent long-term survival data suggest that immunotherapy may actually be curing some patients with advanced melanoma. In addition, potential biomarkers may help select the best immunotherapy for each patient.”

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