On the Failure of Lung Cancer Drug Onartuzumab in a Phase III Clinical Trial

Most new cancer drugs fail clinical testing. Because they don’t make it to the pharmacy, we usually hear very little about them. But widespread media coverage made it hard to ignore the recent termination of a trial testing the drug onartuzumab. Details of the story raise concerns about the patient enrollment processes of some clinical trials. Continue reading…

Concomitant Boost Thoracic Radiation Plus Chemotherapy Benefited NSCLC Patients

“A combination of concomitant boost thoracic radiation plus systemic chemotherapy appeared safe and effective among patients with locally advanced non–small cell lung cancer, according to phase 2 study results.

“Researchers evaluated accelerated hyperfractionation with concomitant boost thoracic radiation for 20 working days in doses of 64 Gy to the gross tumor volume, and 40 Gy to the elective clinical target volume. Patients also received cisplatin on day 1 and vinorelbine on days 1 and 8, with a 3-week interval.”

Editor’s Note: This story is about the results of a clinical trial. Clinical trials are research studies with volunteer patients. Many people who enroll in trials receive experimental treatments that they would not otherwise be able to have. Read more about how to see if a clinical trial is right for you: http://www.cancercommons.org/patients-caregivers/lung-cancer/the-basics-lung-cancer/#clinical

Bristol Plans Big Lung Cancer Study, Pairing Immunotherapies

“Bristol-Myers Squibb Co on Tuesday said it plans this year to begin a late-stage trial testing whether a combination of two of its high-profile immunotherapies can effectively treat lung cancer, easing concerns about the company’s intentions.

“Company executives spooked investors in January by saying they were not yet planning a late-stage trial that would combine its experimental medicine, nivolumab, and an approved melanoma treatment called Yervoy as a treatment for lung cancer.

“But spirits lifted on Tuesday when Brian Daniels, senior vice president of global development for Bristol-Myers, told investors at the Cowen and Co healthcare conference in Boston that the Phase III trial was indeed on track to begin by the end of 2014.”

Editor’s Note: This article has a business spin, but may be of interest to lung cancer patients curious about clinical trials. To learn more about clinical trials and how they can sometimes be good treatment options, visit our Lung Cancer Basics.

The Pitfalls of Androgen Deprivation Therapy

For men with advanced prostate cancer, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is usually the initial treatment of choice. ADT slows the growth of prostate tumors and can even make them shrink. But unfortunately, the results of ADT are short-lived; tumors can develop resistance to ADT and grow back, sometimes stronger than before. Scientists are hard at work to figure out the underlying mechanisms of ADT resistance and how to bypass it. Continue reading…

Radiotherapy Plus ADT Benefit Confirmed in High-risk Prostate Cancer

“Radiotherapy should be part of the initial treatment for men with high-risk prostate cancer who are managed with long-term androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT), according to a major Scandinavian randomized trial.

“In the study, at a median follow-up of 10.7 years, 118 of 439 men treated with hormone therapy alone died of prostate cancer, compared with just 45 of 436 men treated with combination therapy ( P < .0001).

“Most of the combination therapy, which was significantly beneficial out to 15 years, consisted of adding radiotherapy to long-term oral antiandrogen therapy.”

Radiation Combo for High Risk Prostate Cancer Offers Good Outcomes

“Combined brachytherapy and external beam therapy (EBRT) is associated with a high rate of five-year biochemical failure-free survival in men with high-risk prostate cancer (PCa), according to a Japanese study. The study included 206 patients with high-risk PCa treated with iodine-125 brachytherapy and EBRT. Of these, 101 (49%) also received neoadjuvant androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), but no patient received adjuvant ADT. The patients had a median follow-up of 60 months.”

Melanoma: A 2013 ‘Progress Report’

The past year saw some remarkable advances in melanoma clinical research and treatment. This feature explores the most notable melanoma news of 2013: Continue reading…

Immune System-Boosting Treatments Show Long-Sought Successes for Lung Cancer Patients

In the past 2 years, cancer treatments known as immune therapies have become all the rage. However, they have actually been explored for decades, particularly in melanoma, and have produced some notable successes. Now, immune therapies are showing more and more promise for lung cancer. Continue reading…

Researchers Evaluating Immunotherapy Approaches for Treating Metastatic Kidney, Prostate, Bladder Cancers

“Researchers at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) Center for Immunotherapy are enrolling patients in three different clinical trials of novel immunotherapy approaches for treating genitourinary cancers. One of the studies will assess how patients’ immune systems respond to targeted radiation treatments for metastatic kidney cancer. Another will evaluate how patients’ immune systems respond to targeted radiation treatments for metastatic prostate cancer, in combination with immunotherapy, and a third will focus on a new type of immunotherapy for bladder cancer.”