TGEN-UCSF Study Uses Genomics to Make Treatment Recommendations for Recurrent Glioblastoma Patients

Excerpt:

“Several patients with recurring glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer, survived for more than a year in a clinical trial believed to be the first to use comprehensive DNA and RNA sequencing of a patient’s tumor to inform treatment for these patients in real-time. The study was led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), UC San Francisco (UCSF) and the Ivy Foundation Early Phase Clinical Trials Consortium.”

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Expert Explains Individualized Decision on Endocrine Therapy Beyond 5 Years in Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Endocrine therapy remains an integral part of the treatment paradigm for patients with estrogen receptor (ER)–positive breast cancer; however, questions remain on which patients should continue their therapy beyond 5 years.

” ‘The idea [is] that most patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer who are still on endocrine therapy at 5 years are going to merit some sort of discussion about whether they should continue or not, and it is okay to individualize that decision on the basis of the patient preferences, side effects, and symptom burden,’ said Amye J. Tevaarwerk, MD.”

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Cancer Commons Participates in Lively Discussion of Precision Medicine at PMWC 2017


Update 3-1-17: A video of this event has now been released. Watch it below.

This year’s Precision Medicine World Conference in Mountain View, California, was well-attended by many members of Cancer Commons, who shared in the scientific discoveries that will lead the way to more personalized, accurate, and effective cancer care. Precision medicine is a rapidly evolving field with many breakthroughs in science, technology, and diagnosis that is transforming the way cancer care is practiced at the bedside.

A special session was co-chaired by Cancer Commons board member Larry Marton and Lincoln Nadauld, director of the personalized oncology program at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah. The session also featured Cancer Commons medical director Kevin Knopf, Mountain View oncologist Edmund Tai, and Tim Collins, who is corporate vice president of operations and research at Scripps Health in San Diego. Continue reading…


Questions Over Promise of Personalized Cancer Medicine

Excerpt:

“The promise of personalized cancer medicine is still a long way off, and it’s questionable whether any personalized approach will ever benefit patients to any significant degree, say two researchers writing in a “sounding board” article published online September 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

” ‘Patients love the idea that they have a specific mutation in their tumour and that if they have their cancer gene sequenced, there will be a specific and effective drug that targets their mutation,’ coauthor Ian Tannock, MD, PhD, Princess Margaret Cancer Center and the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, toldMedscape Medical News in an email.”

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Long-Term Survival Achieved in Metastatic Melanoma With Personalized Vaccine

Excerpt:

“Two patients with melanoma that had spread to the liver survived for at least 8.5 and 12 years after resection of the hepatic tumor and treatment with patient-specific immunotherapeutic vaccines. The vaccines, designed to activate the immune system against the tumor, were derived from the patients’ own dendritic cells loaded with proteins isolated from their tumors, as described in an article published in Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals.

“Robert O. Dillman, MD, formerly Vice President Oncology, Caladrius Biosciences, Inc. and currently Chief Medical Officer, NeoStem Oncology (Irvine, CA) and Executive Medical and Scientific Director, Hoag Cancer Institute (Newport Beach, CA) discusses the typically poor prognosis for patients with melanoma of the eye or skin that spreads to the liver, and reports on the potential to achieve long-term survival without disease progression in a subset of patients using the eltrapuldencel-T vaccine. One patient had no disease progression for more than 4.5 years, while the other patient survived and remained disease-free for more than 12 years.”

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First-Line Osimertinib Yields Nearly 80% Response in Advanced Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“First-line osimertinib, a targeted therapy against EGFR mutations, was found to be effective in patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), resulting in a 77% overall response rate, according to the results of recent study. In addition, the treatment-naive patients in the study achieved a median progression-free survival of 19.3 months.

“The data from two phase I expansion cohorts were presented by Suresh Ramalingam, MD, professor of hematology and medical oncology at Emory School of Medicine and deputy director of the Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta, at the European Lung Cancer Conference 2016 in Geneva (LBA 1_PR).”

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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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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.”