New Approach to Treating Glioblastoma Could Add Years to Patients’ Lives

Excerpt:

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.”

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Nivolumab Shows Durable Benefit for Advanced Melanoma

Excerpt:

“Patients with surgically resected stage III or stage IV melanoma at high risk for recurrence maintained longer RFS after adjuvant treatment with nivolumab then standard ipilimumab, according to long-term efficacy results from the CheckMate 238 clinical trial presented at ASCO Annual Meeting.

“‘These more mature data continue to demonstrate durable clinical benefit with nivolumab and further support its use for resected stage III or IV melanoma,’ Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, deputy director of Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health, said during his presentation.”

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No Survival Bump With More Frequent PSA Screens for Localized Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Undergoing more frequent prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening after radical prostatectomy or primary radiation for localized prostate cancer was not associated with improved overall survival (OS), regardless of disease risk, according to results of the AFT-30 study (abstract 6503) presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held June 1–5 in Chicago.

“‘Based on our study results, PSA testing every 3 to 6 months may represent overutilization of care,’ said Ronald Chen, MD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. ‘This study provides empiric data to inform future guidelines and clinical practice.'”

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First Study of Neoadjuvant Use of PARP Inhibitor Shows Promise for Early-Stage, BRCA+ Breast Cancer Patients

Excerpt:

In a small Phase II study of early-stage breast cancer patients with BRCA1/2 mutations, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that more than half of the women who took the PARP inhibitor talazoparib once daily prior to surgery had no evidence of disease at the time of surgery. If further validated in larger, confirmatory trials, the oral medication could replace chemotherapy for these patients.

“The trial, which expands upon a feasibility study published in npj Breast Cancer, was presented today as an oral presentation at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting by Jennifer Litton, M.D., associate professor of Breast Medical Oncology.”

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Many Women With Breast Cancer May Not Need Chemo, but Beware Misleading Headlines

Excerpt:

Findings from a major international clinical trial suggest a significant number of women with the most common form of early-stage breast cancer do not need chemotherapy after surgery.

“The results of the so-called TAILORx trial were presented yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and concurrently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.”

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ALEX Trial Results Show Alectinib Further Outpacing Crizotinib in ALK+ NSCLC

Excerpt:

Updated results of the global phase III ALEX trial comparing alectinib with crizotinib as first-line treatment against ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer show a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 34.8 months in 152 patients treated with alectinib versus 10.9 months in 151 patients treated with crizotinib.

” ‘Think of it like a horse race, only it’s not about who crosses the finish line first, but how far the horses can run,’ says D. Ross Camidge, MD, Ph.D., the Joyce Zeff Chair in Lung Cancer Research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, director of Thoracic Oncology at the CU School of Medicine, and the study’s first author. ‘In this trial, it’s as if half of the people “riding” crizotinib had exhausted their horses at about 11 months. For patients on alectinib, when this trial first started reporting data last year, more than half were still on their horses, still running. Now enough time has elapsed to estimate the median performance of these alectinib ‘horses’ more accurately.’ ”

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Keytruda Alone Bests Chemo in Advanced NSCLC

Excerpt:

“Patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) had a greater median survival than patients treated with standard chemotherapy, even if the former had low levels of PD-L1, researchers reported here.

“Depending on the percentage of PD-L1 expression in the tumor, survival was between 4 and 8 months longer for patients treated with immunotherapy alone versus those treated with chemotherapy, according to Gilberto Lopes, MD, MBA, of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, and colleagues.”

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Atezolizumab Plus Carboplatin/Nab-Paclitaxel Improves OS in Frontline NSCLC

Excerpt:

“Adding atezolizumab (Tecentriq) to nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) and carboplatin in the frontline setting significantly improved overall survival (OS) in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to findings from the phase III IMpower130 study.

“Atezolizumab also improved progression-free survival (PFS), the coprimary endpoint of the IMpower130 study, according to Genentech (Roche), the manufacturer of the PD-L1 inhibitor. The company plans to share the study data at an upcoming oncology meeting.”

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Alectinib Outpaces Crizotinib In Treatment of ALK+ NSCLC Patients in Phase 3 ALEX Trial

Excerpt:

“At the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, researchers announced updated results from the phase 3 ALEX trial which compared alectinib with crizotinib for the treatment of those with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

“The results reveal that 152 patients treated with alectinib showed a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 34.8 months compared with just 10.9 months in the 151 patients who were treated with crizotinib.”

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