Merrimack Presents Expanded Analysis from Seribantumab (MM-121) Phase 2 Breast Cancer Study at the AACR Precision Medicine Series

Excerpt:

“Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: MACK) today presented an expanded analysis of its Phase 2 study of seribantumab (MM-121) in combination with exemestane in HER2-negative, hormone receptor positive metastatic breast cancer.  Top line results from this study were announced in 2014. The final analysis, as well as a poster on Merrimack’s investigational companion diagnostic for seribantumab, were presented this week at the AACR Precision Medicine Series: Targeting the Vulnerabilities of Cancer, in Miami, Florida.

” ‘This data package underscores the most significant finding from all of our seribantumab Phase 2 studies – the identification of a heregulin-positive cancer cell phenotype that infiltrates approximately 30-50% of tumors and that may directly impact response to current standard-of-care therapies.  This hypothesis is supported by a strong consistent data set that spans three solid tumor types where we saw improved progression free survival when seribantumab was added to each of the standard-of-care regimens,’ saidAkos Czibere, MD, Ph.D., Senior Medical Director and Team Lead for the seribantumab program. ‘We are currently pursuing a registration study for seribantumab in patients with non-small cell lung cancer whose disease has progressed following immunotherapy.’ ”

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Neoadjuvant T-DM1/Pertuzumab Combo Boosts pCR in HER2+ Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Neoadjuvant ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla) in combination with pertuzumab (Perjeta) improved pathologic complete response (pCR) compared with standard of care in patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, according to recently reported data from the adaptively randomized I-SPY 2 trial.

“Of the 249 patients with HER2-positive disease included in the I-SPY 2 trial, 54% of those who received T-DM1/pertuzumab experienced a pCR compared with 22% of those who received the combination of paclitaxel (Abraxane) plus trastuzumab (Herceptin).

“These findings suggest that T-DM1 may ultimately increase survival in these patients, says lead study author Angela M. DeMichele, MD, professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania.”

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​​A Presurgery Combination Therapy May Improve Outcomes for Women With HER2-positive Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Results from the I-SPY 2 TRIAL show that a neoadjuvant (presurgery) therapy combination of the antibody-drug conjugate trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla) and pertuzumab (Perjeta) was more beneficial than paclitaxel plus trastuzumab for women with HER2-positive invasive breast cancer, according to research presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016, April 16-20.

“In this portion of the I-SPY2 TRIAL, the investigators tested if T-DM1 plus pertuzumab could bring a substantially greater proportion of patients to the primary endpoint of pathological complete response [pCR] compared with paclitaxel plus trastuzumab. They also examined whether this combination could meet that goal without the need for patients to receive paclitaxel. pCR is an outcome in which, following neoadjuvant therapy, no residual invasive cancer is detected in the breast tissue and lymph nodes removed during surgery.”

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TDM-1 With Docetaxel/Pertuzumab Offers Benefit in Advanced HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Combining trastuzumab emtansine with docetaxel both with and without pertuzumab yielded promising efficacy in a phase Ib/IIa study of patients with HER2-positive locally advanced (LABC) or metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Many patients, however, required dose reductions due to toxicity.

“Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) is a drug-antibody conjugate, and has been shown to offer significant survival benefits in phase III trials of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. ‘In preclinical studies, T-DM1 exhibited enhanced antitumor activity when combined with docetaxel or pertuzumab,’ wrote study authors led by Miguel Martin, MD, PhD, of Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón in Madrid.”

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EBCC-10 NEWS: Combination of Lapatinib and Trastuzumab Shrinks HER2 Positive Breast Cancer Significantly in 11 Days After Diagnosis

“Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Approximately a quarter of women with HER2 positive breast cancer, who were treated with a combination of the targeted drugs lapatinib and trastuzumab before surgery and chemotherapy, saw their tumours shrink significantly or even disappear, according to results from a clinical trial.

“Professor Nigel Bundred told the 10th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-10) today (Thursday): ‘This has ground-breaking potential because it allows us to identify a group of patients who, within 11 days, have had their tumours disappear with anti-HER2 therapy alone and who potentially may not require subsequent chemotherapy. This offers the opportunity to tailor treatment for each individual woman.’

“Prof Bundred, who is Professor of Surgical Oncology at The University of Manchester and the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UK), was presenting results from the UK EPHOS-B multi-centre, clinical trial, in which 257 women with newly-diagnosed, operable, HER2 positive disease were recruited between November 2010 and September 2015.”


FDA Approves New Indication for FASLODEX® (Fulvestrant)

“AstraZeneca today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new indication expanding the use of FASLODEX® (fulvestrant) to include use in combination with palbociclib. The combination use is for the treatment of women with hormone receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2-) advanced or metastatic breast cancer (MBC) whose cancer has progressed after endocrine therapy. FASLODEX has been approved since 2002 as a monotherapy for the treatment of postmenopausal women with HR+ MBC whose cancer has progressed following antiestrogen therapy.

“Estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer is the most common subtype of breast cancer and one of the key drivers of disease progression for this subtype is through the ER. Laboratory studies show that FASLODEX directly targets the ER by blocking and degrading the ER, helping to inhibit tumor growth.”


Drug Combination Slows Breast Cancer Spread

“A combination of two drugs delays progression of advanced, aggressive breast cancer by an average of nine months – working in all subsets of the most common type of breast cancer.

“The combination – of a first-in-class targeted drug called palbociclib, and the hormone drug fulvestrant – slowed cancer growth in around two-thirds of women with advanced forms of the most common type of breast cancer.

“The combination allowed many women with metastatic hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative cancer to delay the start of chemotherapy, which is the traditional treatment option in these patients once hormone drugs have stopped working.”


Single Dose of Trastuzumab Kick Starts Immune Response in Certain Breast Cancers

“A tumor’s immune response to a single dose of the HER2 inhibitor trastuzumab predicted which patients with HER2-positive breast cancer would respond to the drug on a more long-term basis, according to the results of a study published recently in Clinical Cancer Research.

“In addition, Vinay Varadan, PhD, assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and his colleagues found that women with the HER2-enriched subtype of HER2-positive breast cancer—a subtype that is estrogen and progesterone receptor negative—had the highest rate of immune response to treatment with trastuzumab, with significant increases in immune response after a single dose of the drug.

“ ‘Our study showed, for the first time, that the immune-cell–activating properties of trastuzumab are likely related to the subtypes of breast cancer,’ Varadan said. ‘Knowing this can inform future trials studying the usefulness of adding immunotherapy drugs to trastuzumab.’ “


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.”