Novel Combo Explored for Rare Brain Tumor

Excerpt:

“Investigators are seeking to determine whether the combination of eflornithine (alphadifluoromethylornithine) with lomustine can improve survival for patients with recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma (AA). A rare form of brain tumor, AA occurs more often in adults aged 30 to 50 years and accounts for 17% of primary malignant brain tumors. This tumor type is even more rare when it recurs, according to Victor A. Levin, MD, emeritus professor of neurooncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and a clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.”

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Re-engineered Cold Virus Increases Brain Cancer Patients’ Survival, Phase 1 Trial Shows

Excerpt:

“Re-engineering a common cold virus to attack the deadliest kind of brain tumor extended the survival of patients whose tumor returned after various treatments, including surgery, a Phase 1 clinical trial shows.

“While patients with glioblastoma usually live a median of six months, half were still alive at 9/12 months after receiving the re-engineered virus. And 20 percent lived for three years or longer.”

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A New Regulatory Threat to Cancer Patients

Excerpt:

“The federal government is threatening to limit treatment options for doctors fighting cancer. A regulatory decision due Wednesday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services could undermine the care delivered to the more than 1.6 million Americans who are diagnosed with cancer each year.”

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Monoclonal Antibody Treatment in Newly Diagnosed Pediatric High-Grade Glioma

Excerpt:

“In a phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Grill et al found that the addition of bevacizumab (Avastin) to radiotherapy plus temozolomide (RT + TMZ) did not improve event-free survival in pediatric patients with newly diagnosed high-grade glioma.

“In the international open-label study, 121 patients aged 3 to 18 years with localized nonbrainstem disease from 51 sites in 14 countries were randomized between October 2011 and February 2015 to receive RT + TMZ with (n = 62) or without (n = 59) bevacizumab 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks. RT + TMZ consisted of RT at 1.8 Gy 5 days per week and TMZ at 75 mg/m2 per day for 6 weeks followed by a 4 weeks off, then up to twelve 28-day cycles at 150 mg/m2 per day on days 1 to 5 in cycle 1 and 200 mg/m2 per day on days 1 to 5 in cycles 2 to 12. The primary endpoint was event-free survival on blinded central radiology review. Results are reported as of 12 months after the enrollment of the last patient.”

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DNX-2401 Demonstrates “Dramatic” Survival Benefit in Glioma

Excerpt:

“Treatment with the investigational agent DNX-2401 resulted in 20% of a cohort of patients with recurrent malignant glioma surviving more than 3 years from the time of treatment, according to phase I data published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“In the dose-escalation study, patients were enrolled into the treatment-only group A (n = 25) or the treat-resect-treat group B (n = 12). Group A underwent stereotactic biopsy to document recurrence, followed by a single intratumoral injection of DNX-2401 at the assigned dose through the biopsy needle into the contrast-enhancing tumor mass. In group B, stereotactic biopsy and intratumoral injection of DNX-2401 through an implanted catheter was followed 2 weeks later by craniotomy with en bloc tumor resection, and then administration of a second DNX-2401 dose into several locations in the wall of the resection cavity.”

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Tumor-Treating Fields for Glioblastoma Do Not Negatively Impact Quality of Life

Excerpt:

“The addition of tumor-treated fields to standard therapy with temozolomide prolonged deterioration-free survival without negatively influencing health-related quality of life among patients with glioblastoma, according to a secondary analysis of a phase 3 clinical trial published in JAMA Oncology.

“However, tumor-treating fields, or TTFields (Optune, Novocure) — alternating electrical fields delivered via four transducer arrays at an intermediate frequency of 200 MHz (1-3 V/cm) placed on the shaved scalp of patients and connected to a portable medical device — also caused skin irritation in more than half of patients.”

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Bevacizumab/Lomustine Combinations Falls Short in Phase III Glioblastoma Trial

Excerpt:

“Treatment with lomustine (Gleostine) plus bevacizumab (Avastin) provided a slightly improved progression-free survival (PFS), but did not demonstrate an overall survival (OS) advantage over treatment with lomustine alone in patients with progressive glioblastoma, according to results of a randomized phase III trial published in theNew England Journal of Medicine.

“There were a total of 329 OS events (75.3%) in patients who received the combination, which did not meet the endpoint for a statistically significant benefit. The median OS was 9.1 months (95% CI, 8.1-10.1) in the group of patients who received the combination of lomustine and bevacizumab and 8.6 months (95% CI, 7.6-10.4) in the monotherapy group (HR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.74-1.21). Locally assessed PFS was 4.2 months in the combination group versus 1.5 months in the monotherapy group (HR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.39-0.61).”

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For Now, Sequencing Cancer Tumors Holds More Promise Than Proof

Excerpt:

“People diagnosed with cancer understandably reach for the very best that medical science has to offer. That motivation is increasingly driving people to ask to have the DNA of their tumors sequenced. And while that’s useful for some malignancies, the hype of precision medicine for cancer is getting far ahead of the facts.

“It’s easy to understand why that’s the case. When you hear stories about the use of DNA sequencing to create individualized cancer treatment, chances are they are uplifting stories. Like that of Ben Stern.”

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Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Begins Phase 3 Clinical Trial with TSC in Glioblastoma Multiforme

Excerpt:

“Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. DFFN, +2.38% (“Diffusion” or “the Company”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on extending the life expectancy of cancer patients, today announced that a Phase 3 clinical trial using its lead small molecule trans sodium crocetinate (“TSC”) in patients with newly-diagnosed inoperable glioblastoma multiforme (“GBM”) brain cancer, is now open for enrollment. The trial, which has been named INTACT (INvestigating Tsc Against Cancerous Tumors), follows a previous Phase 2 GBM study in which the inoperable patient subgroup showed a nearly four-fold increase in survival compared with historical controls when TSC was added to their treatment regimen (40% alive at two years vs. 10.4%). TSC’s innovative mechanism of action affects the tumor micro-environment, making treatment-resistant cancer cells more susceptible to the tumor-killing power of conventional radiation therapy (“RT”) and chemotherapy (temozolomide) by re-oxygenation of the hypoxic portion of the tumor. The Company believes that a largely intact GBM tumor vasculature with limited surgical resection is conducive to TSC’s tumor re-oxygenation properties, and that this contributed to the survival increase in the Phase 2 GBM inoperable patient subgroup.”

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