Radium-223 Drug Gets FDA OK for Prostate Cancer

“The FDA has approved radium-223 dichloride (Xofigo) for treating bone metastases from castration-resistant prostate cancer, the agency said Wednesday. Its specific indication is for men with symptomatic, late-stage, castration-resistant prostate cancer with metastases in bone but not other organs, following conventional medical and/or surgical therapy to reduce testosterone levels…”

Sizing up a slow assault on cancer

Rise of immunotherapies spurs search for markers of response — Jedd Wolchok braced himself as he walked into the examination room to deliver bad news to his patient. Scans showed that the man’s advanced melanoma had spread, and new tumours had sprouted, even though he had received an experimental therapy called ipilimumab (Yervoy) to rally his immune system against the disease…”

Hsp90 Inhibitor Ganetespib Overcomes Resistance and Packs a Punch against ALK+ Tumors

A new drug has shown promising efficacy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene mutation. Ganetespib overcame acquired resistance to the drug crizotinib and showed strong antitumor activity in mice. Ganetespib works by inhibiting a “chaperone” protein called Hsp90 and thus targets multiple cancer signaling pathways for a more complete and lasting effect. Continue reading…

New FDA-Approved Dye Catches More Tumors That Have Spread

Surgeons may now have a better tool for tracking where tumors have spread, according to a phase III clinical trial that was reported in the Annals of Surgical Oncology. Tumors can spread into nearby (or sentinel) lymph nodes; the new tool is a radioactive dye called tilmanocept that marks lymph nodes. The trial included 148 people with both melanoma and breast cancer. The researchers found that tilmanocept identified nearly 20% more tumor cells in sentinel lymph nodes than the standard blue dye (94% vs 76%). Tilmanocept, which is also called Lymphoseek, was approved by the FDA on March 13, 2013.

Novel chemotherapies in development for management of castration-resistant prostate cancer

Four new therapies have been recently approved for the treatment of men with castration-resistant prostate cancer; still, more treatment options are needed. This review summarizes the data supporting a role for novel chemotherapies including epothilones and immunomodulators (IMiDs), as well as other novel agents within the new landscape of approved therapies.”

Immunotherapies Take Center Stage in Treatment of Metastatic Melanoma

The promise of immunotherapy is coming to fruition with therapeutic advances in melanoma. In 1998, high-dose interleukin-2 (HD IL-2) became the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma. But HD IL-2 is severely toxic and benefits only a small minority of patients. In 2011, ipilimumab became the second immunotherapy approved for metastatic melanoma. Continue reading…

FDA approves Lymphoseek to help locate lymph nodes in patients with certain cancers

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Lymphoseek (technetium Tc 99m tilmanocept) Injection, a radioactive diagnostic imaging agent that helps doctors locate lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer or melanoma who are undergoing surgery to remove tumor-draining lymph nodes.”

Researchers Review New Treatments for Advanced Prostate Cancer and Their Cost Implications

Advanced prostate cancer patients used to be treated with palliative chemotherapy that did not improve survival. But in the past decade, researchers have introduced several new therapies for castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and related complications. These drugs include cabazitaxel (Jevtana), abiraterone acetate (Zytiga), enzalutamide (Xtandi), sipuleucel-T (Provenge), radium-223, and denosumab (Xgeva or Prolia). Two researchers recently performed a cost-benefit analysis on these new therapies. They say that costs will come down as treatment strategies—including precisely timed combinations of drugs—are refined to minimize progression and side effects.

FDA Approves Automated Scanning System for ALK Gene Mutations

Three percent to 5% of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients have a mutation in the ALK gene and may benefit from treatment with critozinib (Xalkori). In 2011, the FDA approved a test that samples NSCLC tissue and highlights ALK mutations with a glowing tag. Now, the FDA has approved an automated scanning system, GenASIs Scan & Analysis, for examining these tagged tissue samples. The automated system, produced by Applied Spectral Imaging, promises fast, reliable detection of ALK mutations in NSCLC.

Press release: http://www.spectral-imaging.com/news-and-events/news?elq=666b179d69bb426e96e2bb8761261d25