Experimental Immunotherapy Promising for a Range of Cancers

Many kinds of tumors make an immune system-suppressing protein that is linked to more extensive disease and reduced survival. Now, a completed phase I trial suggests that an experimental drug that inhibits this protein could help people with a range of cancers that have not responded to other treatments. The protein is called oral indoleamine dioxygenase-1 (IDO1) and the drug that inhibits it is called INCB024360. The trial showed that this drug kept tumors from growing in 30% of the 52 people treated, half of whom had colorectal cancer, which has generally resisted immunotherapy. Moreover, this new drug had manageable side effects. These findings were presented at the 2013 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Now, a phase I/II trial is underway to test treating melanoma with INCB024360, both alone and in combination with ipilimumab, another immunotherapy.


Experimental Drug Shrinks Many Tumor Types and Decreases Need for Narcotics

A new immunotherapy drug may shrink many different kinds of cancer tumors, including melanoma, lung, kidney, colorectal, and gastric. Called MPDL3280 and developed by pharmaceutical company Genentech, the drug targets a protein that lets cancer cells evade the immune system. In a phase I study, the new drug shrank tumors in 21% of 140 cancer patients and was most effective on melanoma and lung cancer. The drug also alleviated cancer-related symptoms, decreasing the need for oxygen supplementation and for narcotics to control pain. These results will be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The study has been expanded to include more kinds of tumors, as well as blood cancers.


Cancer Survivors' Lifestyles Put Them at Risk for Heart Disease

A new study suggests that cancer survivors are at greater risk for heart disease, highlighting the need for incorporating lifestyle changes into their continuing care. In a self-reported survey, the researchers found that 1,582 people who had survived cancer (breast, colorectal, gynecologic, or prostate) also had more risk factors for cardiovascular disease including smoking, high body mass index, physical inactivity, hypertension, and diabetes. Hispanic and black survivors had more of these risk factors than white survivors. In addition, nearly one-third of those surveyed said that their health care provider had not suggested reducing their risk of heart disease by, for example, exercising and losing weight.


Cancer Survivors' Lifestyles Put Them at Risk for Heart Disease

A new study suggests that cancer survivors are at greater risk for heart disease, highlighting the need for incorporating lifestyle changes into their continuing care. In a self-reported survey, the researchers found that 1,582 people who had survived cancer (breast, colorectal, gynecologic, or prostate) also had more risk factors for cardiovascular disease including smoking, high body mass index, physical inactivity, hypertension, and diabetes. Hispanic and black survivors had more of these risk factors than white survivors. In addition, nearly one-third of those surveyed said that their health care provider had not suggested reducing their risk of heart disease by, for example, exercising and losing weight.


Cancer Survivors' Lifestyles Put Them at Risk for Heart Disease

A new study suggests that cancer survivors are at greater risk for heart disease, highlighting the need for incorporating lifestyle changes into their continuing care. In a self-reported survey, the researchers found that 1,582 people who had survived cancer (breast, colorectal, gynecologic, or prostate) also had more risk factors for cardiovascular disease including smoking, high body mass index, physical inactivity, hypertension, and diabetes. Hispanic and black survivors had more of these risk factors than white survivors. In addition, nearly one-third of those surveyed said that their health care provider had not suggested reducing their risk of heart disease by, for example, exercising and losing weight.