Powerful Patients: Highlights and Takeaways from the 2014 Personalized Medicine World Conference

Every year, scientists, doctors, and representatives from pharmaceutical, diagnostics, and technology companies gather in Silicon Valley to talk shop at the Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC). For 2 days, they discuss the triumphs and challenges of diagnosing and treating diseases based on patients’ distinct genetic characteristics.

This year, the PMWC status quo was interrupted by a not-so-unlikely guest: the patient. Cancer Commons joined the event’s organizers to cohost a series of informative presentations for patients and advocates, delivered by doctors and researchers, as well as patients and advocates themselves. Continue reading…


ASCO: Sunitinib Improves PFS in Small-Cell Lung Cancer

A randomized, phase II trial showed improved progression-free survival in small-cell lung cancer with maintenance sunitinib vs placebo following standard chemotherapy, according to results presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.


First Prospective Trial Shows Molecular Profiling Timely for Tailoring Therapy

A clinical trial has shown that patients and their physicians are eager to jump into the next generation of cancer care: analysis of an individual’s tumor to find and target genetic mutations that drive the cancer. Results of the study, CUSTOM, were presented at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting (Abstract 7513).


ASCO: Sulforaphane in Prostate Cancer Found Worthy of Further Investigation

“Treatment with 200 µmol per day of sulforaphane for 20 weeks was “feasible, safe,” and inhibited histone deacetylase (HDAC) function in a single-arm study of 20 patients who had non-castrate biochemical (PSA)-recurrence of prostate cancer despite surgery or radiation (Abstract 5017). Findings were reported by Joshi J. Alumkal, MD, of the Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon. Sulforaphane is a constituent of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, which are “strongly associated with lower prostate cancer risk,” explained Alumkal. In preclinical studies sulforaphane has exhibited antineoplastic effects in multiple tumor models.”


New Chaperone-Targeting Ganetespib Prolongs Survival in Advanced Lung Cancer

Adding the novel heat shock protein (HSP)-90 inhibitor ganetespib to docetaxel in salvage therapy is associated with prolonged overall survival (OS) compared to docetaxel alone among patients diagnosed with advanced adenocarcinoma lung cancer, report authors of the large randomized, first-in-class phase 2 GALAXY-1 clinical trial, presented at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.”


ASCO: Enzalutamide Monotherapy in Prostate Cancer Achieves ‘High Response Rate, Marked PSA Decline'

“Monotherapy with enzalutamide (Xtandi) achieved a “high PSA response rate and marked PSA decline” in patients with hormone-naïve prostate cancer after 6 months in a single-arm, multicenter phase II study, reported Matthew Raymond Smith, MD, PhD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston (abstract 5001). Efficacy was similar to castration, but in contrast with castration, bone mineral density (BMD) remained stable and metabolic variables, including fat body mass, lipid, and glycemic profiles, were not substantially impacted by enzalutamide over the 6-month study period.”


NewLink Genetics Presents Positive Phase 2 Data on Novel Immunotherapy, Tergenpumatucel-L, in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer at the ASCO 2013 Annual Meeting

NewLink Genetics Corporation, an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company specializing in immunotherapy, today announced results from a Phase 2 clinical study with tergenpumatucel-L. The study evaluated the safety and activity of tergenpumatucel-L in 28 previously treated patients with metastatic or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


Exelixis Announces Presentation of Updated Phase 2 Data for Cabozantinib in Men with Heavily-Pretreated Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

“Exelixis, Inc. (NAS:EXEL) today announced the presentation of updated interim data from 144 docetaxel-pretreated patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and bone metastases treated with cabozantinib in an ongoing non-randomized expansion (NRE) cohort of its phase 2 randomized discontinuation trial.”


ZIOPHARM Announces Presentation of Updated Results From Ad-RTS-IL-12 Phase I Study in Advanced Melanoma at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting

“ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZIOP) today announced updated results from the Phase 1 study in advanced melanoma using Ad-RTS-IL-12, a novel DNA-based therapeutic candidate. Findings were presented in a poster presentation at the 2013 American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting being held May 31 – June 4, 2013 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.”