US Breakthrough Status for Novartis' Breast Cancer Drug

Excerpt:

“Novartis’ experimental selective cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor LEE011 (ribociclib) has picked up a Breakthrough Therapy designation in the US for the treatment of certain forms of breast cancer.

“The drug is being developed for use alongside letrozole for the treatment of hormone receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HR+/HER2-) advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

“The award indicates the US Food and Drug Administration’s belief that LEE011 could potentially offer an improvement over an available therapy on at least one clinically significant endpoint, and is designed to help speed up its regulatory pathway to ensure quicker access for patients.”

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Palbociclib Addition to Letrozole Improved PFS in ER+/HER2- Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Palbociclib (Ibrance), when added to letrozole, increased the median progression-free survival (PFS) rate in patients with ER-positive, HER2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer by >10 months, according to results from the phase III PALOMA-2 trial presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting. 

“The risk of disease progressed was reduced by 42 with the addition of palbociclib, a CDK4/6 inhibitor, when compared with letrozole alone. The combination of palbociclib and letrozole was granted an accelerated approval in February 2015, based on the phase II PALOMA-1 study. These results from PALOMA-2 provide confirmation of the combination’s benefits in the frontline setting.

“ ‘These data represent the longest frontline improvement in median PFS seen to date in women with advanced ER+ breast cancer,’ senior study author Dennis J. Slamon, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the UCLA Department of Medicine, said when presenting the findings at ASCO.”

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Lilly Announces Results from MONARCH 1 Trial of Abemaciclib Monotherapy

Excerpt:

“Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) today announced results from the MONARCH 1 Phase 2 study of abemaciclib, a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4 and CDK 6 inhibitor, in patients with hormone-receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-) metastatic breast cancer. The data, which were presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting by Maura Dickler, M.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, showed that single-agent activity was observed in metastatic breast cancer patients, for whom endocrine therapy was no longer a suitable treatment option. The MONARCH 1 results (abstract #510) confirmed objective response (ORR), durability of response (DoR), clinical benefit rate (CBR) and progression-free survival (PFS).

“The single-arm study, designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of abemaciclib monotherapy, enrolled 132 patients who were given 200 mg of abemaciclib orally every 12 hours until disease progression. Patients enrolled in the study were heavily pretreated, having experienced progressive disease on or after prior endocrine therapy, and had received prior chemotherapy with one or two chemotherapy regimens for metastatic disease. The primary objective of the trial was investigator-assessed ORR, with secondary endpoints of DoR, CBR and PFS.”

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Investigational CDK4/6 Inhibitor Abemaciclib is Active Against a Range of Cancer Types

Excerpt:

“The investigational anticancer therapeutic abemaciclib, which targets CDK4 and CDK6, showed durable clinical activity when given as continuous single-agent therapy to patients with a variety of cancer types, including breast cancer, non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), glioblastoma, and melanoma, according to results from a phase I clinical trial published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

“The results of the trial supported the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision to grant breakthrough therapy designation to abemaciclib (previously known as LY2835219) for patients with refractory hormone receptor–positive advanced or metastatic breast cancer, according to one of the senior authors of the study, Amita Patnaik, MD, associate director of clinical research at South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics in San Antonio, Texas.”

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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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Neratinib Plus Paclitaxel vs. Trastuzumab Plus Paclitaxel in Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“While neratinib plus paclitaxel was not superior to trastuzumab plus paclitaxel as first-line treatment for ERBB2-positive metastatic breast cancer in terms of progression-free survival, the combination was associated with delayed onset and reduced frequency of central nervous system metastases, a finding that requires a larger study to confirm, according to an article published online by JAMA Oncology.

“Metastatic ERBB2-positive breast cancer has a characteristic spread with most patients developing liver metastases and about half having poor prognosis with central nervous system involvement.

“Ahmad Awada, M.D., of the Jules Bordet Institute, Brussels, and coauthors conducted a randomized clinical trial to examine progression-free survival in women with recurrent or metastatic ERBB2-positive breast cancer. They also examined secondary outcomes that included time to symptomatic or progressive central nervous system lesions and safety.”

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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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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.”


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.”