“Nivolumab plus ipilimumab demonstrated an intracranial response (ICR) rate of 42% in asymptomatic patients with melanoma brain metastases who had not received prior local therapy to the brain.
“In the phase II Anti-PD1 Brain Collaboration (ABC) trial, the 6-month intracranial PFS rate was 46% with the anti–PD-1/CTLA-4 combination.
” ‘The combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab has high activity in melanoma brain metastases and may be considered for upfront therapy in such patients,’ said lead author Georgina V. Long, BSc, PhD, MBBS, clinical researcher at the Melanoma Institute Australia and Westmead Hospital in Sydney.”
“High response rates to a pair of combination therapies point to potentially new options for a group of metastatic melanoma patients who have been largely left out of recent treatment progress – those whose disease has spread to the brain.
“A combination regimen of two immunotherapies and another of two targeted therapies each significantly shrank metastatic brain tumors in at least 50 percent of patients in separate multi-center clinical trials presented today at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting by principal investigators from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.”
“Immunotherapy agents, both as monotherapy and in combination, are emerging in the pipeline of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and could end up competing as frontline treatment for patients, explains Sukhmani Padda, MD.
“For example, the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is the sole immunotherapy agent approved in the first-line setting for patients with NSCLC; however, many other immunotherapy agents and combination regimens are in development that are aimed at this line of therapy.”
“Treating older patients who have malignant brain cancer with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide plus a short course of radiation therapy extends survival by two months compared to treating with radiation alone, show clinical trial results published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“For 45% of the study participants, improved survival almost doubled — from 7 months to 13.5 months, says co-principal investigator Normand Laperriere, radiation oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network. This was linked to a molecular marker that indicated if a DNA repair mechanism against the drug was active. When the mechanism was ‘off,’ tumours responded better to treatment.”
“Eli Lilly and Co’s combination of its experimental breast cancer drug and another widely used treatment slowed disease progression in patients who relapsed or did not benefit enough when treated with the anti-estrogen therapy.
“In August, an independent data monitoring committee recommended the late-stage study continue without modification, even though interim evaluation suggested the combination treatment was not delaying cancer progression.
“Lilly’s drug, abemaciclib, is part of the same new class of breast cancer treatments as Pfizer Inc’s Ibrance, and Novartis AG’s newly approved Kisqali.”
“Adding temozolomide chemotherapy to short-course radiotherapy for older patients with glioblastoma was tied to longer progression-free and overall survival than with a short course of radiotherapy alone, researchers found.
“In a randomized controlled trial of glioblastoma patients ages 65 and up, those on combination therapy had a significantly lower risk of death during the study than those who had only radiation (HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.56-0.80, P<0.001), James Perry, MD, of Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, and colleagues reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.”
“Despite breast tumors’ lower mutational loads than lung cancers and melanoma—cancers in which immunotherapy have shown particular promise—breast cancers are nevertheless immunogenic, Elizabeth A. Mittendorf, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, reported at the 34th Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference, held March 9–12 in Miami Beach, Florida.
“Multiple clinical trials are now underway to evaluate immunotherapy strategies in breast cancer, Mittendorf noted.
“Combination immunotherapy regimens are ‘likely the way forward’ and appropriate combinatorial strategies will hinge importantly on disease stage, she said.”
“Bristol-Myers Squibb Co on Thursday said it has decided not to seek accelerated U.S. approval for a combination of its two immunotherapy drugs as an initial treatment for lung cancer.
“Shares of Bristol, which closed at $55.49 on the New York Stock Exchange, were down 6.2 percent at $52.08 after hours.
“The pharmaceutical company cited ‘a review of data available at this time’ for the decision to hold off on filing for Food and Drug Administration approval of the combination of its cancer drugs Opdivo and Yervoy.”
“Incyte Corporation (Nasdaq:INCY) and Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced the decision to advance the clinical development program investigating the combination of epacadostat, Incyte’s investigational oral selective IDO1 inhibitor, with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy.
“With the expansion of the clinical development program, the companies plan to initiate pivotal studies of epacadostat in combination with KEYTRUDA in four additional tumors: non-small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, bladder cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Presentations of data from the ongoing studies of epacadostat in combination with KEYTRUDA, which support this decision, are expected at upcoming medical meetings.”