MammaPrint Genetic Test Can Reduce Use of Post-surgery Chemotherapy Among Early-stage Breast Cancer Patients

Excerpt:

“Among patients with early-stage breast cancer who were considered at high risk for disease recurrence based on clinical and biological criteria, the MammaPrint genetic test identified a large group of patients for whom five-year distant metastasis–free survival was equally good whether or not they received adjuvant chemotherapy (chemotherapy given post-surgery), according to results from the randomized, phase III microarray in node negative disease may avoid chemotherapy (MINDACT) clinical trial to be presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016, April 16-20.”

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Loxo Cancer Drug Targets Gene Mutation With Durable Responses in Early Study

Excerpt:

“Precision medicine applied to cancer works like this: A sample of a patient’s tumor is analyzed on a molecular level, looking for genetic mutations in the cells known to cause cancer. Once identified, doctors can use drugs that target these specific genetic mutations to treat and hopefully kill the cancer cells.

“Cancers and the drugs that treat them are still identified largely by the affected organ — lung, breast, prostate, colon. If precision medicine takes hold in the future, cancer drugs will be developed and approved based on the genetic mutation they target, not the body part.

“Loxo Oncology (LOXO) and Ignyta (RXDX) are presenting new data at a medical meeting Sunday on drugs designed to target a mutation known as TRK gene fusions found in a cluster of different anatomically identified cancers.”

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'Liquid Biopsy' Blood Test Detects Genetic Mutations in Common Form of Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“A simple blood test can rapidly and accurately detect mutations in two key genes in non-small cell lung tumors, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other institutions report in a new study – demonstrating the test’s potential as a clinical tool for identifying patients who can benefit from drugs targeting those mutations.

“The , known as a , proved so reliable in the study that the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) this week became the first medical facility in the country to offer it to all patients with non-small cell  (NSCLC), either at the time of first diagnosis or of relapse following previous treatment.

“NSCLC is the most common form of lung cancer, diagnosed in more than 200,000 people in the United States each year, according to the American Cancer Society. An estimated 30 percent of NSCLC patients have  in either of the genes included in the study, and can often be treated with targeted therapies. The study is being published online today by the journal JAMA Oncology.”

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NCCN Adds New Gene Mutations to Consider in Women's Cancers

Excerpt:

“The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has added several new genetic mutations to be considered when determining risk-management strategies for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers.

“The recent discovery that the genetic mutation PALB2 is associated with an aggressive form of breast cancer, as well as the realization that the newer ovarian cancer genes RAD51CRAD51D, and BRIP1 pose an added lifetime risk for ovarian cancer, should prompt physicians to discuss possible prophylactic procedures with patients who are found to carry these mutations, Tuya Pal, MD, from the Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida, said here at the NCCN 21st Annual Conference.

” ‘Within the past year, more data have emerged regarding these new genes for ovarian cancer risk. In the past, the NCCN recommendation to either recommend or consider risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy was limited to the presence of BRCA1BRCA2 and Lynch syndrome,’ Dr Pal told Medscape Medical News.”

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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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UCSF Center Adds to Revolution of Care for BRCA Carriers

Excerpt:

“A new center at University of California, San Francisco, is designed to provide comprehensive and integrated care for patients with cancer who carry BRCA and other mutations.

“The Center for BRCA Research at UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center joins Basser Center for BRCA in Philadelphia as the only facilities solely devoted to BRCA–related cancers.

“HemOnc Today spoke with Pamela N. Munster, MD, leader of the developmental therapeutics program and co-director of the Center for BRCA Research, about how the center came about, how she became involved, and what she hopes the center will do for BRCA mutation carriers and their families.”

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ASCO Kicks off Ground-Breaking Clinical Trial to Learn from Use of Approved Targeted Cancer Therapies Matched to Tumor Genomics

“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today announced it has begun recruiting patients with advanced cancer for its first-ever clinical trial, the Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR) study.  The trial will evaluate molecularly-targeted cancer drugs and collect data on clinical outcomes to help learn additional uses of these drugs outside of indications already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Patients enrolled in the study will have access to these cancer drugs at no cost.

“The trial will initially enroll participants at 30 clinical sites located in Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Idaho and ASCO plans to expand to other areas of the country by the end of the year. Because of its unique design and purpose, TAPUR will include a broader patient population than in most clinical trials. Eligible participants include those who have an advanced solid tumor, multiple myeloma, or B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma who are no longer benefitting from standard anti-cancer treatments or for whom no acceptable standard treatment is available.”


When Gene Tests for Breast Cancer Reveal Grim Data but No Guidance

“At a time when genetic testing and genetically personalized treatments for cancer are proliferating, buoyed by new resources like President Obama’s $215 million personalized medicine initiative, women with breast cancer are facing a frustrating reality: The genetic data is there, but in many cases, doctors do not know what to do with it.

“That was the situation Angie Watts, 44, faced after she walked into a radiation oncologist’s office last June expecting to discuss the radiation therapy she was about to begin after a lumpectomy for breast cancer. Instead, Dr. Timothy M. Zagar of the University of North Carolina looked down at a sheet of test results and delivered some shocking news.

“A genetic test showed she had inherited an alteration in a gene needed to repair DNA. Radiation breaks DNA, so the treatment might actually spur the growth of her cancer, he said. He urged her not to take the risk and to have a double mastectomy instead.”


Lung-MAP Precision Medicine Trial Makes Exciting Changes

“The team behind the Lung Cancer Master Protocol (Lung-MAP), a groundbreaking clinical trial for patients with advanced squamous cell lung cancer, is announcing exciting new changes and enrolling more patients as it adapts to the latest science and treatments. The nation-wide precision medicine trial now includes nivolumab, the immunotherapy treatment recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

“Lung-MAP tests several new treatments for patients with advanced stage squamous cell . In advanced stage squamous patients, cancer has usually spread from the lungs to other organs. The trial is for these patients, whose cancer has continued to grow – even after being treated with standard therapy.

“Lung-MAP gives these patients access to innovative therapies. The trial design allows several drugs to be tested simultaneously. Currently, the trial has four trial options for patients. Here’s how it works. All qualifying patients enrolled in Lung-MAP get free genomic profiling. Based on results of that DNA tumor tissue test, patients can be assigned to one of three biomarker-driven sub-studies, each evaluating a promising new drug. If there is no genomic match, patients can enroll in a fourth sub-study, which is testing the FDA-approved nivolumab, an immunotherapy made by Bristol Myers Squibb, against a nivolumab combination therapy. Regardless of their genomic profile, all Lung-MAP patients receive a treatment – not a placebo.”