Vaccine/Chemotherapy Combination Improves Survival in Glioblastoma

Excerpt:

“Cytomegalovirus (CMV)-targeted vaccination plus high-dose chemotherapy with temozolomide can lead to long-term progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM), according to a new study published in Clinical Care Research.

“Despite surgical resection, high-dose radiation, and chemotherapy with temozolomide, GBM patients typically survive a median of 15 months. CMV proteins are expressed in more than 90% of GBM. ‘Recent evidence has also demonstrated that CMV-specific T-cell immunity can be generated to recognize and effectively kill autologous GBM tumor cells expressing endogenous levels of the immunodominant pp65 antigen, providing compelling support for the development of CMV-directed immunotherapy for the treatment of GBM,’ stated the researchers, led by Kristen A. Batich, MD, PhD, a researcher in the departments of neurosurgery and pathology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.”

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Which Patients Will Be Helped By Immune Cancer Drugs? This Test May Tell

Excerpt:

“You’ve probably heard about powerful new cancer medicines like Keytruda and Opdivo. As advertised on TV, these drugs release brakes on the immune system to make tumors disappear and extend survival in deadly diseases like lung cancer and melanoma. But these agents, called checkpoint inhibitors, work in only a fraction of patients. Scientists are searching for diagnostic tests to predict who will be helped, and who won’t.

“A promising solution comes from Foundation Medicine, a molecular diagnostics company headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. Foundation offers a cancer genome profiling test that evaluates mutations in DNA. With results from its standard FoundationOne panel, Foundation calculates a Tumor Mutation Burden (TMB) score. This quantitative readout―based on the number and type of DNA changes per megabase, a length of DNA―may prove helpful to patients considering immune treatment for many advanced forms of cancer.”

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Further Reductions in Radiotherapy to Young Children With Brain Tumors Less Successful

Excerpt:

“A team of investigators has determined that young children participating in a clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of reduced radiotherapy did worse when there were deviations from the treatment protocol. Results of the study will be available online in advance of publication by Pediatric Blood & Cancer on April 4.

” ‘This study shows that attention to the timing, dose, and location of radiation therapy is crucial,’ Kenneth K. Wong, MD, a radiation oncologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and first author on the study.

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TTFields Significantly Improve Survival in GBM

Excerpt:

“A landmark analysis of findings from the EF-14 trial testing the efficacy and safety of tumor treating fields (TTFields) for the treatment of patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) has found that the risk of death was reduced by 37% and overall survival (OS) was extended by a median of 5 months with the use of the device.

“Two-, 3-, 4-, and 5-year overall and progression-free survival (PFS) rates for patients who received TTFields with adjuvant temozolomide were significantly improved over patients who received temozolomide alone, reported Roger Stupp, MD, professor of neurological surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and associate director for strategic initiatives at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.”

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Announces Results from CheckMate -143, a Phase 3 Study of Opdivo (nivolumab) in Patients with Glioblastoma Multiforme

Excerpt:

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) today announced that CheckMate -143, a randomized Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of Opdivo in patients with first recurrence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), did not meet its primary endpoint of improved overall survival over bevacizumab monotherapy. These data will be presented on May 7, 2017 at the World Federation of Neuro-Oncology Societies (WFNOS) meeting in Zurich, Switzerland.

” ‘GBM is a historically difficult disease to treat and conventional treatment options have demonstrated limited responses,’ said Fouad Namouni, M.D., head of Oncology Development and head of Medical, Bristol-Myers Squibb. ‘We remain steadfast in our pursuit of treatments for diseases with the highest unmet need and continue our work to determine how our Immuno-Oncology agents can potentially improve outcomes for these patients.’ ”

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Brain Cancer Survival Improves with Novel Electrical Device, Data Suggest

Excerpt:

“A wearable medical device that delivers electrical fields through the scalp helped to extend the survival of patients with lethal brain tumors, according to data presented Sunday.

“In a study involving major medical centers in the United States and abroad, the novel treatment was used to administer alternating, low-intensity ‘tumor-treating fields’ to newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients who also were getting chemotherapy. Such electrical fields may block the division of cancer cells and cause their demise, according to Roger Stupp, the study’s lead investigator and a neuro-oncologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.”

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High Doses of Vitamin C to Improve Cancer Treatment Passes Human Safety Trial

Excerpt:

“Clinical trials found that it is safe to regularly infuse brain and lung cancer patients with 800—1000 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin C as a potential strategy to improve outcomes of standard cancer treatments. In a work presented March 30, 2017 in Cancer Cell, University of Iowa researchers also show pathways by which altered iron metabolism in cancer cells, and not normal cells, lead to increased sensitivity to cancer cell death caused by high dose vitamin C.”

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Encouraging Results for Patients with Aggressive Brain Cancer

Excerpt:

“Being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor is devastating news for patients and their loved ones. Whereas some types of tumor respond well to treatment, others such as glioblastomas – the most common and aggressive brain tumors – are known to recur and progress within short times from the diagnosis. Patients diagnosed with this type of cancer, and who undergo current standard treatment, have a median survival of 16 months.

Based on recent information on the mechanisms of chemotherapy, a team of researchers of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) developed a new clinical approach to increase the efficiency of treatment in glioblastomas that increased the median survival to 22 months – bringing much needed hope to those affected by this aggressive disease. The findings of this promising phase II clinical trial have been published in the International Journal of Radiology Oncology.”

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New Study Finds That Most Cancer Mutations Are Due to Random DNA Copying ‘Mistakes’

Excerpt:

“Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists report data from a new study providing evidence that random, unpredictable DNA copying ‘mistakes’ account for nearly two-thirds of the mutations that cause cancer. Their research is grounded on a novel mathematical model based on DNA sequencing and epidemiologic data from around the world.

” ‘It is well-known that we must avoid environmental factors such as smoking to decrease our risk of getting . But it is not as well-known that each time a normal cell divides and copies its DNA to produce two new cells, it makes multiple mistakes,’ says Cristian Tomasetti, Ph.D., assistant professor of biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. ‘These copying mistakes are a potent source of cancer that historically have been scientifically undervalued, and this new work provides the first estimate of the fraction of mutations caused by these mistakes.’ ”

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