Combinations ‘Likely the Way Forward’ for Breast Cancer Immunotherapy Research

Excerpt:

“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.”

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Bristol Won’t Seek Faster Opdivo/Yervoy Lung Cancer Approval

Excerpt:

“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.”

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Incyte and Merck to Advance Clinical Development Program Investigating the Combination of Epacadostat with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)

Excerpt:

“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.”

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Advanced Lung Cancer Knocked Out in Clinical Trial

Excerpt:

“A leading-edge immunotherapy clinical trial at UConn Health’s Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center has packed a one-two punch, successfully controlling a patient’s advanced lung cancer using the combined power of two immunotherapy drugs.

“For 50 years Michel Gueret, 67, of Canton was a heavy smoker. That is until May 2012, when he received the devastating news that he had advanced lung cancer while hospitalized for a collapsed lung at UConn John Dempsey Hospital.”

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tnAcity Data Presented at SABCS Evaluates the Investigational Use of ABRAXANE® as First-Line Treatment of Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Celgene Corporation (CELG) today announced that the results of its randomized phase II tnAcity trial of ABRAXANE® for injectable suspension (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) (albumin-bound) will be presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) December 6-10, 2016. The trial found that an investigational weekly combination regimen of ABRAXANE + carboplatin had significantly longer progression-free survival (PFS) (7.4 months) compared to weekly regimens of either ABRAXANE + gemcitabine (5.4 months) or of carboplatin + gemcitabine (6.0 months) as first-line treatment of patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC).”

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Palbociclib Efficacious in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Palbociclib can help slow the progression of advanced breast cancer, according to a study published in the Nov. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Richard Finn, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues tested palbociclib-letrozole as a first-line treatment for estrogen-receptor (ER)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative . They randomly assigned 666 women to receive the or letrozole alone, and followed them for up to three years.

“At that point, the researchers found that 43.7 percent of women in the palbociclib group had either died or seen their cancer progress. That compared with 61.7 percent of women on letrozole alone. Women on the drug combination typically remained progression-free for 24.8 months, versus 14.5 months for women on letrozole. One of the most common side effects—seen in two-thirds of in this study—was neutropenia.”

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Phase 1/2 Data Combining Urelumab with Opdivo (Nivolumab) in Hematologic and Solid Tumors Suggest Increased Antitumor Effect in Patients with Melanoma

Excerpt:

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company BMY -0.86% today announced safety and efficacy data from a Phase 1/2 study of urelumab in combination with Opdivo (nivolumab) in patients with hematologic and solid tumors, including biomarker analyses by level of PD-L1 expression. The combination of urelumab and Opdivo showed encouraging efficacy among 46 evaluable melanoma patients with an objective response rate (ORR) of 50% (23/46 with 18 confirmed and 5 unconfirmed). ORR was a secondary endpoint as measured by Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST). Similar response was seen in both PD-L1 positive and PD-L1 negative melanoma patients, with ORR of 50% (10/20) and 47% (8/17) in those with greater-than or equal to 1% and <1% PD-L1 expression, respectively. Among the other cohorts (n=78), one non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patient and one squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) patient had an objective response. In the full patient population (n=138), no significant added toxicity was observed with urelumab in combination with Opdivo over Opdivo monotherapy. These data were presented at an oral presentation (poster number 239) at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 31 Annual Meeting on November 12 at 10:40 a.m. EST in National Harbor, Maryland.”

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Immunotherapy, MEK Inhibitor Combo Effective for BRAF Wild-Type Melanoma

Excerpt:

“The combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and cobimetinib (Cotellic) may lead to a higher overall response (ORR) and a longer progression-free survival (PFS) than either agent alone in patients with metastatic melanoma, according to findings presented at the 2016 Society for Melanoma Research (SMR) Annual Meeting.

“The findings were part of a phase Ib dose-escalation and dose-expansion study, which looked at the PD-L1 inhibitor and MEK inhibitor together in advanced solid tumors. Data on a cohort of 22 patients with ocular melanoma (n = 2) and non-ocular melanoma (n = 20) was presented at the meeting. Among patients in the non-ocular cohort, the ORR was 45% and the disease-control rate (complete response, partial response, and stable disease) was 75%. Median PFS was 12 months (95% CI, 2.8-16.7).”

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COLUMBUS Trial: Binimetinib plus Encorafenib Improves PFS in BRAF–Mutant Melanoma

Excerpt:

“The phase 3 COLUMBUS trial, designed to evaluate binimetinib plus encorafenib for the treatment of BRAF–mutant melanoma, met its primary endpoint of improving PFS over vemurafenib, according to the drug’s manufacturer.

“These results also were presented at the Society for Melanoma Research Congress in Boston.

“In part 1 of the trial, researchers randomly assigned 577 patients with locally advanced, unresectable or metastatic melanoma with BRAF V600mutations to receive 45 mg binimetinib (MEK162, Array BioPharma) plus 450 mg of encorafenib (LGX818, Array BioPharma), 300 mg encorafenib monotherapy or 960 mg vemurafenib (Zelboraf, Genentech) monotherapy.”

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