FDA Approves First Treatment for Breast Cancer with a Certain Inherited Genetic Mutation

Excerpt:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use of Lynparza (olaparib tablets) to include the treatment of patients with certain types of breast cancer that have spread (metastasized) and whose tumors have a specific inherited (germline) genetic mutation, making it the first drug in its class (PARP inhibitor) approved to treat breast cancer, and it is the first time any drug has been approved to treat certain patients with metastatic breast cancer who have a “BRCA” gene mutation. Patients are selected for treatment with Lynparza based on an FDA-approved genetic test, called the BRACAnalysis CDx.”

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BRCA Mutations Don’t Hurt Breast Cancer Survival

Excerpt:

“Women who have BRCA mutations do just as well after treatment for breast cancer as other patients, British researchers reported Thursday.

“It’s good news for people with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations that raise their risk of cancer. If they get cancer and have standard treatment, they live as long as breast cancer patients without the mutation.”

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FDA Approves Stereotactic Radiotherapy System for Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“The FDA has approved a novel breast-specific stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) device known as GammaPod as a treatment for patients with early breast cancer, based on findings from a 17-patient study.

“In the small clinical trial, GammaPod was effectively used to deliver a single “boost” radiation dose of 8 Gy directly to the tumor, while only eliciting grade 1 adverse events (AEs). The system uses a vacuum-assisted breast cup guided by a CT simulator with 1 mm slice thickness to immobilize the breast, which ensures the accurate delivery of radiation to the tumor.”

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Pertuzumab and Other Agents Continue Progress in HER2+ Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“The adjuvant treatment landscape for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer continues to grow, particularly following the recent FDA approval of pertuzumab (Perjeta) in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and chemotherapy, which was based on findings from the APHINITY trial.

“In the phase III trial, the combination demonstrated a 3-year invasive disease-free survival (DFS) rate of 94.1%, which represented an 18% reduction in the risk of developing invasive disease or death. The benefit was more pronounced among higher-risk patients. The DFS rate for patients with node-positive disease was 92.0% with pertuzumab versus 90.2% with standard therapy.”

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New Guidelines on Clinical Trial Design for Patients with Brain Metastases

Excerpt:

“Clinical trials of new anti-cancer therapies have often excluded patients whose disease has spread to the brain or central nervous system (CNS) or, if such patients were allowed on trial, trials have often failed to clearly capture information on the drug’s effect in the brain. Today new guidelines from an international, multidisciplinary group published in the journal Lancet Oncology describe how to most appropriately address cancer patients with CNS involvement within clinical trials of anti-cancer drugs.”

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Talazoparib Superior to Chemotherapy in BRCA-Associated Metastatic Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Approximately 5% of patients with sporadic breast cancer harbor mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2; genes that are involved in the DNA repair process. Several phase I/II clinical studies have shown activity of single agent poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) and BRCA1/2 mutations. Recently in the randomized phase III OlympiAD trial, the PARP inhibitor olaparib improved progression-free survival (PFS) by 2.8 months over standard chemotherapy in patients with human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2)–negative MBC and germline BRCA mutations.”

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FDA Approves Stereotactic Radiotherapy System for Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“The FDA has approved a novel breast-specific stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) device known as GammaPod as a treatment for patients with early breast cancer, based on findings from a 17-patient study.

“In the small clinical trial, GammaPod was effectively used to deliver a single ‘boost’ radiation dose of 8 Gy directly to the tumor, while only eliciting grade 1 adverse events (AEs). The system uses a vacuum-assisted breast cup guided by a CT simulator with 1 mm slice thickness to immobilize the breast, which ensures the accurate delivery of radiation to the tumor.”

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Cancer Clinical Trials Exclude Many Desperate Patients. Should That Change?

Excerpt:

“When 29-year-old Carly Bastiansen was diagnosed in January 2016 with advanced pancreatic cancer, doctors told her a clinical trial was her best shot at slowing the notoriously quick-killing and hard-to-treat disease. She found one that appeared promising and went through the screening process. But the trial would not accept her.

“ ‘Participating in a clinical trial is really my only chance at living longer,’ Bastiansen, a children’s librarian in Baltimore, said this fall as she was growing weaker. ‘To have had that option taken off the table was devastating.’ ”

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Talazoparib Tops Physician’s Choice for Advanced, BRCA-Positive Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“The PARP inhibitor talazoparib significantly increased progression-free survival (PFS) over physician’s choice of therapy in a randomized phase III trial of patients with advanced breast cancer and a germline BRCA mutation.

“ ‘Talazoparib is a highly potent, dual-mechanism PARP inhibitor. It prevents the repair of DNA damage, and results in cell death,’ said Jennifer K. Litton, MD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. A previous phase II study showed encouraging efficacy with the agent in patients with BRCA1/2 mutations, which led to the new EMBRACA trial. Litton presented results of the trial at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), held December 5–9.”

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