FDA Expands Palbociclib Approval for Breast Cancer

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted an expanded indication for the cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 inhibitor palbociclib (Ibrance). The drug is now approved for use in combination with fulvestrant in women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer whose disease progressed following endocrine therapy.

“Palbociclib was initially approved in February 2015 for the treatment of estrogen receptor–positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer, in women who had not yet received endocrine therapy. The new approval was granted under the FDA’s breakthrough therapy designation.

“The additional indication for palbociclib is based on results from the PALOMA-3 trial, which was stopped early in April 2015 after an interim analysis showed benefit in combination with fulvestrant when compared to fulvestrant and placebo.”


Pfizer Receives Expanded FDA Approval For IBRANCE (palbociclib) In HR+, HER2- Metastatic Breast Cancer

“Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new indication expanding the use of IBRANCE® (palbociclib) 125mg capsules, Pfizer’s metastatic breast cancer therapy. Now IBRANCE also is approved for the treatment of hormone receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-) advanced or metastatic breast cancer in combination with fulvestrant in women with disease progression following endocrine therapy. Pfizer’s supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for IBRANCE was reviewed and approved under the FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy designation and Priority Review programs based on results from the Phase 3 PALOMA-3 trial in pre-, peri- and post-menopausal women with HR+, HER2- metastatic breast cancer whose disease progressed on or after prior endocrine therapy in the adjuvant or metastatic setting.”


FDA Expands Approval of Nausea/Vomiting Agent

“The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first single-dose intravenous NK1 receptor antagonist, fosaprepitant dimeglumine (Emend), for the treatment of nausea and vomiting that can accompany the use of moderately and highly emetogenic chemotherapy. The drug is approved in combination with other antiemetics.

“ ‘Despite significant advances in supportive care, nausea and vomiting has remained a challenge for many cancer patients undergoing moderately emetogenic chemotherapy—and has historically required multi-day antiemetic therapy,’ said Stuart Green, vice president, clinical research, Merck Research Laboratories, in a statement. ‘Today’s approval of an expanded indication for Emend for injection means that physicians now have a new single-dose intravenous option, combined with other anti-vomiting medicines, for the prevention of delayed nausea and vomiting in these patients.’ “


Opdivo Plus Yervoy Gets FDA OK for Melanoma

“Indications for the blockbuster cancer drug nivolumab (Opdivo) have expanded again, as the FDA has approved the anti-PD-1 antibody in combination with ipilimumab (Yervoy) for treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

“The indication includes both BRAF-wild type and BRAF-mutant melanoma. At the same time, the FDA expanded the indication for single-agent nivolumb to include patients with previously untreated BRAF-wild type melanoma.

“Granted by the FDA’s accelerated approval process, the indication is the seventh for nivolumab, both indications leave the door open for the FDA to request confirmatory data or clinical trials. The approvals increase the number of nivolumab indications to seven, including four in melanoma, all granted since late 2014.”


The Growing Arsenal of Immunotherapy Drugs for Melanoma


Large numbers of immune cells (T cells in particular) are frequently found within or adjacent to melanoma tumors, indicating that the tumors attract the attention—if not the action—of the immune system. True to its reputation as one of the most ‘immunogenic‘ cancers, melanoma now has more U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved immunotherapy (immune system-targeting) drugs than any other cancer type. As a consequence, metastatic melanoma is no longer the universally fatal disease it was even just 3 or 4 years ago. Continue reading…


FDA Approves Two New Indications for Pembrolizumab in Advanced Melanoma

“The FDA has expanded the approval for single-agent pembrolizumab (Keytruda) to include the frontline treatment of patients with advanced melanoma regardless of BRAF status, based on a substantial improvement in progression-free and overall survival compared with ipilimumab (Yervoy) in the phase III KEYNOTE-006 trial.

“In the study, which compared 2 pembrolizumab regimens with ipilimumab, the PD-1 inhibitor reduced the risk of disease progression by >40% and the risk of death by >30%.

“ ‘As recently as five years ago, there were few treatment options for patients suffering from advanced melanoma,’ Roger M. Perlmutter, MD, PhD, president, Merck Research Laboratories, the developer of the PD-1 inhibitor, said in a statement. ‘Today’s news is another exciting milestone for Keytruda and for patients with this disease.’ “


FDA Grants Genentech’s Alecensa® (Alectinib) Accelerated Approval for People with a Specific Type of Lung Cancer

“Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to Alecensa® (alectinib) for the treatment of people with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have progressed on or are intolerant to crizotinib. In the pivotal studies, Alecensa shrank tumors in up to 44 percent of people with ALK-positive NSCLC who progressed on crizotinib (objective response rate [ORR] of 38 percent [95 percent CI 28-49] and 44 percent [95 percent CI 36-53]). In a subset of people with tumors that spread to the brain or other parts of the central nervous system (CNS), Alecensa shrank CNS tumors in about 60 percent of people (CNS ORR of 61 percent [95 percent CI 46-74]).”


FDA Grants Priority Review to Xalkori for New Indication in NSCLC

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

“Crizotinib (Xalkori, Pfizer) — a kinase inhibitor — already is approved for treatment of patients with metastatic ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer.

“The supplemental application requests that the approval be expanded to allow crizotinib to be used for treatment of patients with metastatic ROS1-positive NSCLC. The FDA granted breakthrough therapy designation to crizotinib for this indication in April.

“ROS1 rearrangement occurs in an estimated 1% of NSCLC cases, according to a Pfizer-issued press release.”


FDA Approves Ablatherm HIFU Treatment for Prostate Cancer

“The FDA has fully approved the Ablatherm high-intensity focused ultrasound device for the nonsurgical and noninvasive treatment of localized prostate cancer, according to a press release from the device’s manufacturer.

“Ablatherm high-intensity focused ultrasound (EDAP TMS), or Ablatherm HIFU, is recommended for men with localized prostate cancer (stages T1-T2) who are not candidates for surgery, who prefer an alternative option or who failed radiotherapy treatment.

“The device targets the tumor via a computer-controlled rectal probe. Ultrasound waves are intended to destroy the prostate tissue while sparing surrounding organs. Data have indicated the device is effective for prostatic tissue ablation with a low occurrence of side effects, according to the press release.”