US FDA Accepts Supplemental Biologics License Application for Imfinzi in Locally Advanced Unresectable Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“AstraZeneca and MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm, today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Imfinzi (durvalumab) for the treatment of patients with locally advanced (Stage III) unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has not progressed following platinum-based chemoradiation therapy. The FDA has granted Imfinzi Priority Review status.”

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Jack West, MD: Top Five Lung Cancer Abstracts at ESMO 2017

Excerpt:

“The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress is just around the corner, and we can already say with confidence that there will be many provocative presentations, including several that are poised to change practice. At this point, we can only rely on the abstracts and press releases for several of these, but here are my early impressions on the top five presentations in lung cancer for ESMO 2017.”

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AstraZeneca Plunges After Setback in Crucial Lung-Cancer Drug Trial

Excerpt:

AstraZeneca Plc plunged by a record after suffering a setback to its next-generation cancer medicine, hurting Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot’s ambition to join the league of the world’s five largest drugmakers.

“A combination of two immuno-therapies — part of a new class of drugs that activate the body’s defense system to attack tumors — failed to do better than chemotherapy in checking the growth of lung tumors in some patients in the study dubbed Mystic, the U.K. drugmaker said in a statement on Thursday. The drugs were poised to generate more than $7 billion in sales by 2022, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg, and would have made the Imfinzi treatment into Astra’s best-selling medicine.”

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ASCO 2017: Breast Cancer Treatment News


Last month, the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting took place in Chicago. Thousands of oncologists, patients, and journalists gathered to learn about the most recent developments in cancer research and treatment. Here are some breast cancer highlights from the meeting:

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is considered more responsive to treatment with immune checkpoint drugs than any other type of breast cancer. So far, these drugs have primarily been explored in metastatic TNBC, in combination with chemotherapy. The combination of “anti-PD-L1” and “anti-PD-1” immune checkpoint drugs with chemotherapy has now been examined in early-stage TNBC, in which a breast tumor can be surgically removed after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Continue reading…


Metastatic Melanoma: Not Quite Curable…But Getting There


By 2050, the number of deaths due to malignant melanoma in the U.S. could be three times lower than peak levels reached before 1960. Researchers presented the data behind this prediction at the 2017 European Cancer Congress in January.

It is unclear how much of this anticipated decline in deaths can be attributed to the availability of new, effective treatments. However, it is obvious that much-increased awareness of sunlight exposure as the single factor most responsible for the development of skin melanoma has contributed to lower incidence of the disease.

In any case, the armament of treatments available for metastatic melanoma is currently such that this diagnosis has transformed from being almost universally fatal (even just a few years ago) into a being largely treatable. Since 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved eight new drugs for melanoma. Continue reading…


Clinical Trials Test Treatments for High-Grade Brain Tumors


With a few exceptions, glioblastoma (GBM) remains largely incurable, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved few treatments for the disease. Surgery (when feasible), radiation, and temozolomide are used in most patients. But even if a newly diagnosed tumor can be surgically excised, recurrences are too common.

In this blog post, I simply list some of the new treatments available in clinical trials for GBM and other high-grade brain tumors. Only drugs that have at least some preliminary results of activity are included, and the list is not meant to be fully comprehensive. The interested reader can judge for herself what might be of interest, keeping in mind that no single treatment is suitable or will work for all GBM patients. Continue reading…


Study Findings Show Role for Pembrolizumab and Durvalumab in GBM Treatment, Expert Says

Excerpt:

“Based on encouraging efficacy signals and safety data from separate trials exploring the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and the PD-L1 inhibitor durvalumab (MEDI4736), there is a role for checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Data from the studies were reported by David Reardon, MD, at the 21st Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) Annual Scientific Meeting.

“Reardon said that these results mark important firsts in the field: ‘There has been a lot of anticipation regarding the role of checkpoint inhibitors for glioblastoma and whether we’ll see results in any way similar to the exciting results that have been observed in other cancer indications with this new class of cancer therapeutics.’ ”

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Durvalumab Demonstrates Durable Responses in Recurrent GBM

Excerpt:

“Findings from a recent phase II study showed the PD-L1 inhibitor durvalumab generated durable responses in bevacizumab-naïve patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Findings of the study were presented at the 2016 Society for Neuro-Oncology Annual Meeting.

“In a 30-patient cohort, the 6-month progression-free survival (PFS) rate was 20.0% (6 patients; 90% CI, 9.7-33.0). The median PFS was 13.9 weeks (95% CI, 8.1-24.0). Of these 6 patients, 3 had wild-type IDH1 status and 3 had mutated IDH1.”

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Dual Biomarker Signature Holds Predictive Promise for Response to Anti-PD-L1 Therapy in NSCLC

Excerpt:

“Recent research suggests that the presence of PD-L1–positive and CD8+ cells may be useful for predicting responses in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have been treated with durvalumab (MEDI4736).

“Sonja Althammer, PhD, presented research on the association between improved survival rates to treatment with durvalumab and high CD8+ and PD-L1+ cell densities during a late-breaking abstract session at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 21st Annual Meeting & Associated Programs.”

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