ctDNA Can Flag Pseudoprogression in Melanoma Treated With Immunotherapy

Excerpt:

“Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) can help differentiate what is known as pseudoprogression from true progression of disease in patients with melanoma who are treated with programmed death 1 (PD-1) inhibitors, according to a new study. It also showed that ctDNA could be used as a powerful biomarker to predict long-term outcomes.

” ‘Pseudoprogression, a response that occurs after the initial development of new lesions or an increase in the size of target lesions, occurs in up to 10% of patients treated with PD-1 antibodies,’ wrote study authors led by Jenny H. Lee, MBBS, of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. ‘Confirmation of pseudoprogression requires subsequent imaging, imposing an ongoing challenge.’ ”

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Frontline Nivolumab/Ipilimumab Improves PFS in High TMB NSCLC

Excerpt:

“The combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) improved progression-free survival (PFS) compared with chemotherapy in treatment-naïve patients with high tumor mutation burden (TMB) non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

“Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), the manufacturer of both immunotherapies, announced the preliminary findings from part 1a of the phase III CheckMate-227 trial in a press release. The company did not report any further data.”

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Some Melanoma Respond to Immunotherapy Beyond Progression

Excerpt:

“Some patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma who receive immunotherapy and continue therapy after progression have decreased tumor burden, and survival is improved when the therapy is continued as well, according to a new pooled analysis.

“Since the approval of immune therapies for melanoma, concerns have been raised regarding the adequacy of standard RECIST criteria to identify responses and progression. ‘Patients who receive immunotherapy might develop an atypical response pattern, wherein they initially meet conventional response criteria for progressive disease but later have decreases in tumor burden,’ wrote study authors led by Julia A. Beaver, MD, of the US Food and Drug Administration in Silver Spring, Maryland.”

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Metastatic Melanoma Patients May Benefit From Beta Blockers

Excerpt:

“Beta blockers appear to affect immune cells and improve immune function, and now investigators are reporting that beta blockers may play an important role in boosting immunotherapy in patients with metastatic melanoma. Researchers at Penn State University conducted a retrospective study and found that melanoma patients who received immunotherapy while taking a pan beta blocker lived longer than patients who received immunotherapy alone.”

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Proscavax Reduces Prostate Cancer Disease Progression

Excerpt:

“Phase 1a study results showed ProscaVax increased PSA doubling time and increased immunity to PSA, according to a manufacturer-issued press release.

“ProscaVax (OncBioMune Pharmaceuticals) is a novel immunotherapeutic cancer vaccine consisting of a combination of PSA and interleukin-2 and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor.”

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Immunotherapy Continues Growth With Trials in mCRPC

Excerpt:

“Although modern immunotherapy has yet to have a breakthrough in prostate cancer to the degree it has had in lung cancer or urothelial carcinoma, combinations with anti–PD-1/PD-L1 agents are beginning to show promise for these patients in clinical trials.

“Currently ongoing is a phase II trial of durvalumab (Imfinzi) in combination with the PARP inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza) in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC; NCT02484404). Investigators note that previous data have suggested that 25% to 30% of sporadic mCRPC has DNA-repair pathway defects. Results thus far have demonstrated that the synergy of durvalumab and olaparib proves that the combination may be a viable option for patients with mCRPC who are heavily pretreated. The trial is still accruing.”

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Immunotherapy Shows Early Promise for Patients With Trastuzumab-Resistant Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“A combination of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and trastuzumab, tested in patients with trastuzumab-resistant advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, was well tolerated and had clinical benefit in patients whose tumors were positive for a biomarker for pembrolizumab, according to data presented from the phase Ib/II PANACEA trial at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 5–9.

“ ‘We wanted to investigate if immunotherapy approaches can work in patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer that is resistant to trastuzumab,’ said Sherene Loi, MD, PhD, associate professor at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, working with the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG).”

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100% of Prostate Cancer Patients Completing 31-Week Post-Therapy Exam After Treatment with OncBioMune Immunotherapy Show No Disease Progression

Excerpt:

“OncBioMune Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQB:OBMP) (“OncBioMune” or the “Company”), a revenue-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of a proprietary immunotherapy cancer vaccine technology, targeted cancer therapies and commercialization of a portfolio of products internationally, is pleased to provide the latest data from the Company’s successfully completed Phase 1 trial of ProscaVax for prostate cancer, suggesting a durable response 31 weeks post-therapy.

“In the Phase 1 clinical trial, hormone-naïve and hormone-independent recurrent prostate cancer patients with increasing prostate specific antigen (PSA) were treated with six intradermal injections of ProscaVax. ProscaVax is OncBioMune’s novel immunotherapeutic cancer vaccine consisting of a combination of prostate cancer associated PSA with the biological adjuvants interleukin-2 (IL-2) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF).”

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Expert Highlights Immunotherapy Progress in Squamous Cell Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“Combination regimens—particularly with checkpoint inhibitors and chemotherapy—are showing promise for the treatment of patients with squamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

“Beyond the May 2017 FDA approval of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) plus carboplatin/pemetrexed for nonsquamous patients regardless of PD-L1 status, researchers are turning their focus to immunotherapy combinations in squamous patients in ongoing clinical trials. For example, the randomized, open-label, phase III IMpower131 study is evaluating the safety and efficacy of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in combination with carboplatin/paclitaxel or carboplatin/nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) versus carboplatin/nab-paclitaxel in chemotherapy-naïve patients with stage IV squamous NSCLC (NCT02367794). The trial, which has a primary endpoint of progression-free survival, is expected to enroll 1021 patients.”

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