Pembrolizumab Shows Promise in Small Cell Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) induced an overall response rate (ORR) of 33% in patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC), according to findings from the open-label, phase Ib KEYNOTE-028 trial published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“One patient (4.2%) experienced a complete response, 7 (29.2%) had partial responses, and 1 (4.2%) had stable disease for less than 6 months. Thirteen patients (54.2%) experienced disease progression as the best overall response.”

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Pfizer Presents Promising Data from Next Generation ALK/ROS1 Inhibitor in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) today announced encouraging new data from a Phase 1/2 study of lorlatinib, the proposed generic name for PF-06463922, Pfizer’s investigational, next-generation ALK/ROS1 tyrosine kinase inhibitor. The study showed clinical response in patients with ALK-positive or ROS1-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), including patients with brain metastases. These data were presented today in an oral presentation at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.

“The results presented are from the dose escalation component of an ongoing Phase 1 study of patients with ALK-positive or ROS1-positive NSCLC, with or without brain metastases, who were treatment-naïve or had disease progression after at least one prior tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). Among patients with ALK-positive metastatic NSCLC, the overall response rate (ORR) with lorlatinib was 46 percent, with three patients achieving complete responses and 16 patients achieving a partial response (95% CI: 31-63). The median progression free survival (PFS) was 11.4 months (95% CI: 3.4 – 16.6). The majority of patients had received two or more prior ALK TKIs. Additionally, lorlatinib showed the ability to decrease the size of brain metastases in patients with ALK-positive or ROS1-positive metastatic NSCLC.”

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AZ Cancer Immunotherapy Combo Impresses in Lung Cancer Trial

“Two immuno-oncology drugs in development at AstraZeneca (AZ) have shown potential as a dual therapy for non-small cell lung cancer, according to a new study.

“The phase II trial – reported in Lancet Oncology – found that combining anti-PD-L1 antibody durvalumab with anti-CTLA-4 antibody tremelimumab achieved an overall response rate (ORR) of 23%, significantly higher than has previously been seen with durvalumab alone in this setting.

“The trial was small and focused primarily on safety, but the preliminary efficacy signal – albeit in just 26 patients – is encouraging, according to an editorial accompanying the study by Edward Garon of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.”


Putting Immune Checkpoint Blockade to the Test in Breast Cancer


About 10 months ago, we asked: Is There a Future for Immunotherapy in Breast Cancer? Now, we can answer this question with a qualified “yes.” The data show why:

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC)

TNBC has long been considered to be more amenable to immune system-based treatments than other types of breast cancer because it is more immunogenic; that is, relatively high levels of immune cells accumulate within or adjacent to TNBC tumors. These immune cells could be triggered to attack tumors if properly activated. TNBC tumors are also likely to have a higher mutational burden (number of genetic mutations). This is one of the predictors of sensitivity to a type of treatment called immune checkpoint blockade.  Drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors block the proteins PD-1 or PD-L1. In cancer, PD-L1 proteins on tumor cells bind to PD-1 proteins on immune T cells and inhibit their tumor-killing activity. Immune checkpoint drugs disable this interaction and enable activation of T cells. These drugs are actively being explored in TNBC in clinical trials.

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FDA Grants Olaparib Breakthrough Designation in mCRPC

“Olaparib (Lynparza) has received an FDA breakthrough therapy designation as a treatment for patients with BRCA1/2 or ATM-mutated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) in those who have received a prior taxane-based chemotherapy and at least either hormonal agent enzalutamide (Xtandi) or abiraterone acetate (Zytiga).

“The designation, which will accelerate the development and review of the first-in-class oral PARP inhibitor, is based on data from the phase II TOPARP-A trial that demonstrated that olaparib monotherapy had an overall response rate (ORR) of nearly 90% in a biomarker-defined subgroup of patients who had DNA-repair defects.