Brain Cancer Like McCain’s Has Hundreds Of Experimental Therapies (With Little Success)

Excerpt:

“The type of brain cancer John McCain was diagnosed with July 14, glioblastoma, is among the most difficult cancers to beat. The reasons it’s so hard to treat, as I discussed previously, include its location, its genetic diversity within and across patients, and its aggressiveness. Glioblastoma (GBM) is also among the most devastating cancers in its effects since it attacks the brain, the control center for the body’s functions and the essence of an individual’s personality. Even people who survive rarely remain the same person after their treatment.”

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“Trojan Horse” Tested in EGFR-Amplified Glioblastoma

Excerpt:

“Investigators are seeking to determine whether the addition of ABT-414, an antibody–drug conjugate, to concomitant radiotherapy and temozolomide will improve the survival of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) amplification.

“The phase IIb/III Intellance1 trial (NCT02573324), which is currently recruiting participants, seeks to randomize approximately 720 patients to a 2-phase experimental arm with ABT-414 or to a placebo comparator arm. Participants in the experimental arm will receive intravenous ABT-414 combined with standard therapy of oral temozolomide and radiation in a chemoradiation treatment phase, followed by ABT-414 plus oral temozolomide during an adjuvant treatment phase. The comparator arm will follow the same regimens, with an intravenous placebo to replace ABT-414.”

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Researchers Assess Pinworm Medication for Adults, Children With Glioblastoma

Excerpt:

“Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are conducting the first clinical trials to evaluate the potential of a pinworm medication for the treatment of children and adults with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

“Mebendazole has been used for more than 40 years to treat parasitic infections.

“Although the medication requires further testing in patients with cancer, results of a phase 1 trial have shown the medication is safe for and tolerated by adults with glioblastoma. An additional phase 1 trial is underway to assess the agent in children.”

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Malaria Drug Improves Efficacy of Glioblastoma Treatment

Excerpt:

“A treatment regimen that included the inexpensive anti-malaria drug chloroquine dramatically improved survival and quality of life for three patients with glioblastoma, according to researchers from University of Colorado Cancer Center.

“Two of the patients maintained response to treatment for more than 2 years.

” ‘We were excited that the three patients who tried the combination all had some clinical benefit,’ Jean Mulcahy Levy, MD, investigator at University of Colorado Cancer Center and pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, told HemOnc Today. ‘This supports examining this combination in a broader clinical trial and assessing its efficacy in a larger patient population.’ ”

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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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Flu Vaccine in Lung Cancer Patients Could Increase Immunotherapy Toxicities

Excerpt:

“Seasonal influenza vaccination resulted in increased risk of immune-related adverse events (AEs) in lung cancer patients treated with PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors in a small study. However, the risks of the flu itself may still outweigh the risks associated with vaccination.

” ‘Use of immune checkpoint inhibitors is now standard clinical practice for many oncology patients, and these same patients—particularly those with lung cancer—also face increased risk for complications from influenza,’ said Sacha Rothschild, MD, PhD, of University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, in a press release. ‘Although routine influenza vaccination has long been recommended for cancer patients, there are concerns that it might trigger an exaggerated immune response in this subgroup receiving checkpoint inhibitors.’ ”

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‘Out-of-the-Box’ Approach Plus Temozolomide Extends Survival in Glioblastoma

Excerpt:

“Using a novel approach called tumor-treating fields—which involves the delivery of low-intensity electric fields to the brain by a patient-operated device—along with standard-of-care temozolomide therapy improved overall survival and progression-free survival vs temozolomide alone in patients with glioblastoma, according to the final results of a phase III trial presented at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting. Patients treated with tumor-treating fields plus temozolomide had a 37% reduced risk of death compared with those randomized to receive temozolomide alone.”

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