Expert Details Promising Results of Antibody Drug Conjugate ABT-414 in Recurrent GBM

Excerpt:

“Phase 1 study results presented at the 21st Annual Scientific Meeting and Education Day of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) demonstrated the antibody drug conjugate ABT-414 has shown promising results for the treatment of patients with EGFR-amplified, recurrent glioblastoma (GBM).

“Lead author Martin van den Bent, MD, PhD, of the Erasmus MC Cancer Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is presenting the findings during the SNO meeting, which was held November 17-20, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“In an interview with Targeted Oncology, van den Bent discussed the trial’s significant findings, that agent’s toxicity profile, and what lies ahead for the investigational agent.”

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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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Proposed Phase II Trial Aims to Explore Optune System in Grade III Recurrent Glioma

Excerpt:

“Researchers are hoping that a proposed phase II study exploring use of the Optune system in patients with recurrent grade III malignant glioma will expand the indications for the tumor treating fields (TTFields) device beyond its current FDA-approved use in recurrent grade IV glioblastoma.

“Daniel O’Connell, MD, a neuro-oncologist at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine, discussed his proposal with Targeted Oncology at the 21st Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Neuro-Oncology (SNO) held November 17 to 20, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona.”

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Nivolumab Combinations Feasible for Newly Diagnosed GBM

Excerpt:

“The PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo) was successfully combined with radiotherapy alone or concurrently with temozolomide for patients with newly-diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in cohorts 1c and 1d from the phase I CheckMate-143 study, according to findings presented at the 2016 Society for Neuro-Oncology Annual Meeting.

” ‘The research question was if treatment with nivolumab to block immune checkpoint pathways could potentiate an antitumor immune response and have synergistic effects with radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed GBM,’ stated first author by Antonio Omuro, MD, of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.”

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Handheld Scanner Could Make Brain Tumor Removal More Complete, Reducing Recurrence

“Cancerous brain tumors are notorious for growing back despite surgical attempts to remove them – and for leading to a dire prognosis for patients. But scientists are developing a new way to try to root out malignant cells during surgery so fewer or none get left behind to form new tumors. The method, reported in the journal ACS Nano, could someday vastly improve the outlook for patients.

“Moritz F. Kircher and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center point out that malignant brain tumors, particularly the kind known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), are among the toughest to beat. Although relatively rare, GBM is highly aggressive, and its cells multiply rapidly. Surgical removal is one of the main weapons doctors have to treat brain tumors. The problem is that currently, there’s no way to know if they have taken out all of the cancerous cells. And removing extra material “just in case” isn’t a good option in the brain, which controls so many critical processes. The techniques surgeons have at their disposal today are not accurate enough to identify all the cells that need to be excised. So Kircher’s team decided to develop a new method to fill that gap.

“The researchers used a handheld device resembling a laser pointer that can detect “Raman nanoprobes” with very high accuracy. These nanoprobes are injected the day prior to the operation and go specifically to tumor cells, and not to normal brain cells. Using a handheld Raman scanner in a mouse model that mimics human GBM, the researchers successfully identified and removed all malignant cells in the rodents’ brains. Also, because the technique involves steps that have already made it to human testing for other purposes, the researchers conclude that it has the potential to move readily into clinical trials. Surgeons might be able to use the device in the future to treat other types of brain cancer, they say.”


FDA Grants Orphan Drug Status to Cannabidiol for Glioblastoma Multiforme

Editor’s note: When a newly developed drug for a rare (“orphan”) disease seems particularly promising for patients, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may choose to grant it “orphan drug designation.” The designation removes certain barriers that might otherwise keep a drug company from being able to successfully develop and profit from the drug in the U.S. A new drug called cannabidiol has just received an orphan drug designation for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme.

“Insys Therapeutics recently announced that the FDA has granted orphan drug designation to a pharmaceutical cannabidiol for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme.

“The FDA based its decision in part on preclinical research that indicates the ability of cannabidiol to condition glioblastoma multiforme to current standard of care chemotherapy treatment.

“Besides receiving orphan drug designation, Insys recently entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute (CPMCRI) to license its patent rights related to the usage of cannabinoids for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, according to the release.”


Agenus Brain Cancer Vaccine Nearly Doubles Survival Rate in Study

“Agenus Inc said its experimental cancer vaccine helped brain tumor patients live nearly twice as long compared with those who received standard of care treatment…

“The drug, when given in addition to standard treatment, extended median overall survival in 50 percent of newly-diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients to two years in a mid-stage study.

“GBM patients, who tend to succumb to the disease within one year, are usually treated with a combination of radiation and the chemotherapy drug temozolomide.”

Editor’s note: Prophage is a new “cancer vaccine” that might boost a patient’s own immune system to help fight cancer. Cells from each patient’s tumor are used to personalize Prophage specifically for the patient. This article discusses results from a clinical trial testing Prophage in volunteer patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Some of the patients in the trial were treated with Prophage in combination with standard radiation and chemotherapy treatment, while for comparison, others were treated only with standard radiation and chemo. The results showed that adding Prophage to standard treatment can help some patients live longer.