Super Patient: Janet Freeman-Daily Joins a Clinical Trial—and Beats the Odds on Lung Cancer


In March 2011, Janet Freeman-Daily was about to take a long family trip to China. She’d been coughing for a while, so she asked her doctor for an antibiotic as a precaution before leaving. Even so, she came back in May with a respiratory infection that wouldn’t go away.

Her doctor ordered an X-ray and then a CT scan. “Before I got home, they called and said they’d like to do a bronchoscopy,” Janet says. The scan revealed a 7-cm mass in her left lung, and biopsies showed it was non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and that it had spread to several lymph nodes. Continue reading…


Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) Receives Expanded FDA Approval in Previously-Treated Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), Offering Improved Survival to More Patients

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Opdivo (nivolumab) injection, for intravenous use, for the treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy. Patients with EGFR mutation or ALK translocation should have disease progression on appropriate targeted therapy prior to receiving Opdivo. In a Phase 3 trial, CheckMate -057, Opdivodemonstrated superior overall survival (OS) in previously treated metastatic non-squamous NSCLC compared to chemotherapy, with a 27% reduction in the risk of death (hazard ratio: 0.73 [95% CI: 0.60, 0.89; p=0.0015]), based on a prespecified interim analysis. The median OS was 12.2 months in the Opdivo arm (95% CI: 9.7, 15.0) and 9.4 months in the docetaxel arm (95% CI: 8.0, 10.7). This approval expands Opdivo’s indication for previously treated metastatic squamous NSCLC to include the non-squamous patient population. Squamous and non-squamous NSCLC together represent approximately 85% to 90% of lung cancer cases.”


FDA Grants Priority Review to Rociletinib for Advanced NSCLC

“The FDA granted priority review to a new drug application for rociletinib.

“Rociletinib (Clovis Oncology) — a novel, oral, targeted covalent mutant-selective epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor — is intended for patients with advanced EGFR-mutant, T790M-positive non–small cell lung cancer who already received EGFR-targeted therapy.

“The FDA is expected to make a decision about the agent’s status by March 30, 2016.”


JUNIPER Trial Branches Out in KRAS Mutation-Positive Advanced NSCLC

“In 2008 Linardou et al published results of a meta-analysis of studies in advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and metastatic colorectal cancer. They extracted data on 1008 patients; 165 from 17 manuscripts for the NSCLC portion of the meta-analysis had KRAS mutations. They sought to establish whether or not KRAS mutations could be candidate predictive biomarkers for antiepidermal growth factor (EGFR) treatments. The analysis yielded empirical evidence that KRAS mutations are highly specific negative predictors of response to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) when given as single agents to patients with advanced NSCLC. Further implicating an association of KRAS mutations with poor outcomes, a retrospective analysis of data from 1036 patients with stage IV lung adenocarcinoma and KRAS mutation evaluated between 2002 and 2009, found the presence of KRAS mutations to be associated with shorter survival (HR, 1.21; P = .48).”


Super Patient: Craig Blower Fights Lung Cancer with Knowledge—and Humor


Update:  We are deeply saddened to report that Craig passed away on March 16, 2016. It is a privilege to continue to share his story and keep his memory alive.

In 2010, Craig Blower had such a bad case of bronchitis that his doctor put him on steroids. Craig’s airways cleared up in a month or two, and he didn’t give it any more thought. Then, in late 2012, his throat began whistling slightly when he woke up. But Craig, who was 59 years old at the time, thought it was just part of getting older. “I basically ignored it,” he recalls. Continue reading…


High Response Rate Produced by Osimertinib in EGFR T790M-Mutant NSCLC

“Osimertinib (AZD9291), the third-generation TKI, demonstrated a 71% objective response rate (ORR) in those with EGFR T790M-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), following resistance to frontline anti-EGFR therapy, according the findings of the phase II AURA2 trial that was presented at this year’s World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC).

“The ORR consisted of 2 complete responses and 139 partial responses. The stable disease rate at ≥6 weeks was 21%, for a disease control rate of 92%. After a median follow-up of 6.7 months, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 8.6 months. The median duration of response was 7.8 months (27% maturity).”


Cetuximab Finds Niche in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

“Adding the EGFR inhibitor cetuximab (Erbitux) to chemotherapy failed to improve survival in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, a multicenter randomized trial showed.

“The primary analysis showed a median overall survival of 10.9 months compared with 9.4 months, a difference that did not achieve statistical significance (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.84-1.06). The trial also failed to demonstrate improvement in progression-free survival for patients with EGFR-positive disease, the co-primary endpoint.

“However, cetuximab led to a 25% reduction in hazard ratio among patients who had EGFR-positive tumors by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and were not candidates for bevacizumab (Avastin), a prespecified secondary endpoint. An exploratory analysis analysis showed that patients with EGFR-positive, squamous-cell tumors lived almost twice as long with cetuximab as with chemotherapy alone (11.8 vs 6.4 months, P=0.006), as reported here at the World Conference on Lung Cancer.”


Case Study Shows Early Efficacy for Neratinib in HER2-Mutated Metastatic Breast Cancer

“Treatment with the second-generation HER2/EGFR-targeted TKI neratinib resulted in a partial response and dramatic improvement in functional status for a patient with HER2-mutated breast cancer, according to a single-patient case study published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

” ‘The treatment of this patient is an excellent example of collaboration between basic research, clinical application and biotechnology companies for the benefit of patients,’ co-author of the publication Noa Efrat Ben-Baruch, MD, head of the Department of Oncology, Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot, Israel, said in a statement. ‘With the advent of molecular profiling of patients with metastatic disease, such collaborations are of utmost importance for the development of new drug candidates outside of formal clinical trials.’

“According to the authors of the study, these findings represent the first successful single-agent treatment for patients with breast cancer harboring an activating mutation in the HER2 tyrosine kinase. In most situations, HER2 tyrosine kinase mutations occur independently from HER2 gene amplifications, making these patients ineligible or unlikely to respond to traditional HER2-targeted therapies.”


AstraZeneca Presents Further Evidence for the Potential of AZD9291 in First-Line and Pre-Treated Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

“AstraZeneca today announced updated data on AZD9291 in first-line patients with epidermal growth factor receptor mutation (EGFRm) positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and previously-treated patients with EGFRm T790M mutation-positive NSCLC. The data being presented today at the World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) 2015 were from the AURA Phase I trial first-line cohort and two AURA Phase II studies.

“Data demonstrated that in 60 patients who received AZD9291 once daily in the first-line setting, 72% (95% confidence interval (CI) 58% to 82%) were progression free (PFS) at 12 months. Confirmed overall response rate (ORR) was 75% (95% CI 62% to 85%). The longest duration of response (DoR) was ongoing at 18 months.

“ ‘While the data are still preliminary, these latest results from the AURA trial first-line cohort further reinforce the potential of AZD9291 in treatment-naïve EGFRm advanced NSCLC patients,’ said Professor Suresh S. Ramalingam, presenting author of the AURA trial first-line cohort data and Chief of Thoracic Oncology and Director of Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.”