“A genetically modified poliovirus may help some patients fight a deadly form of brain cancer, researchers report.
“The experimental treatment seems to have extended survival in a small group of patients with glioblastoma who faced a grim prognosis because standard treatments had failed, Duke University researchers say.
” ‘I’ve been doing this for 50 years and I’ve never seen results like this,’ says Dr. Darell Bigner, the director emeritus of the The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at the Duke Cancer Institute, who is helping develop the treatment.”
“In a pilot study of recurrent glioma, 26% of patients treated with the optimal dose of vocimagene amiretroprepvec (aka Toca 511), a novel oncolytic virus therapy, achieved durable, long-term responses and remained alive 3 or more years later. This outcome far exceeded ‘historical benchmarks’ for this poor-prognosis population, according to lead researcher Bob S. Carter, MD, PhD, the William and Elizabeth Sweet Professor and Chief of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.”
“A new way of treating glioblastoma — the deadly brain tumor currently ailing Arizona Sen. John McCain — with a personalized vaccine is giving some patients in a clinical trial more time.
“The vaccination, called DCVax-L, is made out of a patient’s own cells and uses them to jumpstart the immune system and attack the tumor. In the trial, some patients survived for more than 36 months — more than a year and a half longer than current life expectancy after glioblastoma diagnosis.”
“MimiVax LLC, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing immunotherapeutics and targeted therapies for cancer treatment, today announced positive interim results from a multicenter Phase II study of SurVaxM in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (nGBM). These promising interim results support further development of SurVaxM in combination with standard therapy as a potential treatment for glioblastoma. A randomized trial of SurVaxM in glioblastoma is planned, pending completion of this study and review at the end of Q4 2018.”
“An Independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) unanimously recommended that the Phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluating VBI Vaccines’ VBI-1901 continue to enroll patients with recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) in a second study arm.
“The positive review recommended the study continue without modification, after scanning through all safety data from the first group of patients, who received the lowest VBI-1901 dose. Enrollment now has commenced for the second, intermediate-dose study arm.”
“Carboxyamidotriazole orotate (CTO) in combination with temozolomide (Temodar), with or without radiotherapy, produced positive safety and efficacy results in a phase Ib study of patients with glioblastoma (GBM) or anaplastic gliomas.
“Forty-two patients were divided into 2 cohorts and received treatment. Cohort 1 included 27 patients with recurrent, temozolomide-refractory anaplastic gliomas or GBM. Twenty-one patients were assigned to a regimen of 219 to 812.5 mg/m2 of once-daily CTO in escalating doses and 6 were assigned to a fixed daily dose of 600 mg of CTO. All 27 patients received 150 mg/m2 of temozolomide on days 1 to 5 of each 28-day cycle.”
“As immunotherapies continue to make up a larger share of new cancer drugs, researchers are looking for the most effective ways to use these cutting edge treatments in combination with each or with other pre-existing options. New studies from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania are providing fresh clues on potentially effective combinations with CAR T therapy in brain cancer as well as a novel therapeutic target in head and neck cancer, and also providing greater understanding of the mechanisms of resistance in pancreatic cancer. All three studies will be presented as late breaking abstracts at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Chicago.”
“NovoCure (NASDAQ: NVCR) announced today that the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has updated its clinical practice guidelines to recommend Optune® in combination with temozolomide as a category 1 treatment for newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM) in its globally recognized Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Central Nervous System Cancers.
“NCCN panel members designated alternating electric field therapy, or Optune, as a Category 1 treatment recommendation for patients with newly diagnosed GBM in conjunction with temozolomide after maximal safe resection and completion of radiation therapy in patients with newly diagnosed GBM.”
“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which administers the federal Medicare insurance program, will begin covering FDA-approved diagnostic tests that scan tumors for a range of genetic mutations. The news is a boost for companies like Foundation Medicine and Thermo Fisher Scientific, who are among the few firms with such tests on the market.
“Late Friday, the CMS said that, going forward, it will start to reimburse for tests that use DNA sequencing technology to map the tumors of patients with advanced cancers once approved by the FDA. Two of the already-approved tests fitting this description are FoundationOne CDx, from Cambridge, MA-based Foundation, and Oncomine Dx Target Test, from Waltham, MA-based Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO). FoundationOne CDx looks for 324 cancer-related alterations in patients’ DNA. Foundation amasses a report based on the results and sends it to doctors, who use the data to suggest possible treatments. Oncomine detects 23 genetic alterations associated with non-small cell lung cancer.”