Novel Entrectinib Trial Focuses on Gene Rearrangements Across Many Tumor Types

Excerpt:

“A decade ago, researchers believed molecular alterations occurred in only one or two cancer types. That way of thinking has changed, however, with the understanding that the same alterations, especially gene fusions, can occur across many different tumor types.

“As a result, researchers have designed a recently launched clinical study into entrectinib, a first-inclass inhibitor of tropomyosin receptor kinases (Trk), as a basket trial in which the drug can be evaluated simultaneously for activity against three gene alterations and multiple tumor types.

“STARTRK-2 (NCT02568267) is an open-label, phase II study in which patients with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors are assigned to different baskets according to whether their tumors harbor rearrangements in one of three key genes—NTRK1/2/3, ROS1, or ALK.”

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Talimogene Laherparepvec, Pembrolizumab Combination Safely Treats Advanced Melanoma

Excerpt:

“Patients with advanced unresectable melanoma can safely receive combination therapy with full doses of talimogene laherparepvec and pembrolizumab, according to study results presented at HemOnc TodayMelanoma and Cutaneous Malignancies.

“In previous studies, talimogene laherparepvec (Imlygic, Amgen) — a herpes simplex virus-1-based oncolytic immunotherapy — significantly improved durable response rate in patients with advanced melanoma. Also, pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) — an anti–PD-1 antibody — showed superiority over ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol Meyers Squibb) in patients with stage III or IV melanoma.

“Both drugs appeared tolerable and demonstrated nonoverlapping adverse event profiles…”

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Melanoma Therapy Tied to Cutaneous Adverse Events

“Anti-programmed cell death (PD)-1 therapy for metastatic melanoma is associated with the development of immune-related cutaneous events, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

“Shelley Ji Eun Hwang, M.B.B.S., from the University of Sydney, and colleagues reviewed the clinical and histologic information of 82 patients treated with single-agent anti-PD-1 therapy for  at one institution from May 2012 to February 2015.”


When Prostate Cancer Spreads, Where It Goes Matters — a Lot

“Prostate cancer tends to be the tortoise of tumors, growing and spreading slowly. When cancerous cells escape the golf ball-sized prostate, they can lodge in various places throughout the body. New research shows that where these cells go can affect how long a man survives.

“When prostate cancer spreads, or metastasizes, about three-quarters of the time it takes up residence in the bones. Less common locations are the lungs, liver, and lymph nodes.

“An international team of researchers pooled information from nine clinical trials to estimate the average survival times for men with prostate cancer that had spread to four different tissues. Metastasis to the lymph nodes was linked to the longest survival; metastasis to the liver led to the shortest.”


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.”


New Biomarker Identifies Eye Cancer Patients at High Risk for Metastasis

“A study by J. William Harbour, M.D., Associate Director for Basic Research and leader of the Eye Cancer Site Disease Group at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and colleagues, published today in Clinical Cancer Research, details the discovery of a biomarker that puts patients at a higher risk for metastasis of uveal melanoma.

“Among uveal melanomas categorized as class 1, those with high levels of the biomarker PRAME mRNA were more likely to metastasize than those with low levels of PRAME mRNA, indicating that patients with this biomarker be monitored more closely for metastatic disease.

“The estimated five-year rate of metastasis was 0 percent for PRAME mRNA–low class 1 uveal melanomas and 38 percent for PRAME mRNA–high class 1 uveal melanomas. This research builds upon Harbour’s identification of class 1 and 2 uveal melanomas in 2004.”


Another Indication OK'd for Afinitor

“Everolimus (Afinitor) is now approved for treating inoperable, locally advanced or metastatic neuroendocrine tumors of gastrointestinal or lung origin, the FDA said Friday.

“The agency further specified that the tumors should be ‘progressive, well-differentiated [and] non-functional.’

“Approval was based primarily on a 302-patient trial comparing everolimus with placebo, both in combination with best supportive care. Median progression-free survival was 11 months in the active-drug arm compared with 3.9 months for placebo. However, in an interim analysis, there was no difference in overall survival, and response rates (i.e., achieving significant tumor shrinkage) were 2% with everolimus and 1% with placebo.”


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.”