Three-Drug Breast Cancer Regimen Slows Progression

Excerpt:

“Adding a drug to a standard regimen for hormone receptor (HR)-positive and HER2-positive breast cancer improved progression-free survival, a researcher said here.

“In a Phase II randomized trial, investigators compared an aromatase inhibitor (AI) combined with pertuzumab (Perjeta) and trastuzumab (Herceptin) versus an AI just with trastuzumab in women with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer, Grazia Arpino, MD, PhD, of the University of Naples Federico II in Italy, reported at a general session at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

“The three-drug combination led to a median of 18.89 months without progression, compared with 15.8 months for the two drugs.”

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Fulvestrant Bests Anastrozole in Phase III Breast Cancer Study

Excerpt:

“First-line treatment with fulvestrant (Faslodex) led to significantly better progression-free survival (PFS) compared with anastrozole for patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive advanced breast cancer, according to findings from the phase III FALCON trial reported at the 2016 ESMO Congress.

“Confirming results of an earlier phase II study, the FALCON trial yielded a median PFS of 16.6 months with fulvestrant versus 13.8 months with anastrozole. Moreover, a consistent advantage favoring fulvestrant emerged from a subgroup analysis. The overall advantage appeared to be driven by a substantial difference in PFS among patients without visceral metastases treated with fulvestrant.”

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Study Finds Ribociclib Improves Progression-Free Survival for Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“In a randomized, Phase III trial led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, ribociclib, in combination with the aromatase inhibitor letrozole, dramatically improved progression-free survival (PFS) of post-menopausal women with hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer, compared to the hormone therapy alone.

“The study found a 44 percent improvement in PFS with ribociclib, a CDK4/6 inhibitor, and letrozole as a front line therapy. Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D., professor of Breast Medical Oncology, presented the findings at ESMO 2016 Congress, and is the corresponding author of the New England Journal of Medicine paper.”

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Targeting Estrogen Receptor Improves Progression-Free Survival in Advanced Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Fulvestrant significantly increases progression-free survival in women with hormone-receptor-positive advanced breast cancer, particularly those with less aggressive lower-volume disease, researchers reported at the ESMO 2016 Congress in Copenhagen.

“Fulvestrant is a selective estrogen receptor degrader that targets the function of the hormone receptor so, unlike aromatase inhibitors such as anastrozole, it does not interfere with estrogen levels themselves.”

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Ceritinib Provides Longer Progression-Free Survival Than Chemotherapy in Phase III Trial of ALK Rearranged Lung Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“Ceritinib provides longer progression-free survival than chemotherapy in crizotinib-pre-treated patients with non-small-cell lung cancer harbouring an ALK rearrangement, according to results of the phase III ASCEND-5 study presented at the ESMO 2016 Congress in Copenhagen.

” ‘Patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) should receive front line therapy with the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor crizotinib,’ said lead author Professor Giorgio Scagliotti, head of the Department of Oncology, University of Turin, Italy. ‘Most patients develop resistance to crizotinib and currently second line treatment is represented by chemotherapy alone.’ ”

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Adding Pemetrexed to Gefitinib Improves PFS in EGFR-Mutated NSCLC

Excerpt:

“The combination of pemetrexed and gefitinib offered improved progression-free survival (PFS) over gefitinib alone in East Asian patients with advanced nonsquamous non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and activating EGFR mutations, according to a new randomized, open-label study.

“EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) including gefitinib have been shown to improve outcomes in patients with EGFR-mutated NSCLC. ‘Given their different mechanisms of action, combination treatment with EGFR-TKIs and chemotherapy may further improve outcomes,’ wrote study authors led by James Chih-Hsin Yang, MD, PhD, of National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei. Previous trials of such combinations have not shown clinical benefit, however, though this could have been because of antagonism between the agents used or because wild-type EGFR patients were included.”

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New Research on Triple Negative Breast Cancer Emerges at ASCO 2016


The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting of 2016 is behind us, but oncologists, patients, and journalists are still analyzing the most interesting presentations made there. Below, we describe some of the more prominent results in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), both promising and disappointing.

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Binimetinib Improves PFS in NRAS-Mutated Metastatic Melanoma

Excerpt:

“The novel MEK inhibitor binimetinib resulted in improved progression-free survival (PFS) and response rates vs dacarbazine in patients with NRAS-mutated advanced unresectable/metastatic melanoma, according to results of an open-label phase III trial.

“ ‘NRAS mutations are present in approximately 20% of all patients with metastatic melanoma,’ said Reinhard Dummer, MD, of the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland. ‘It activates the MAPK pathway and by this drives cell proliferation and anti-apoptotic mechanisms.’ Preclinical studies have shown that NRAS-mutant melanoma is sensitive to MEK inhibition, and binimetinib inhibits both MEK1 and MEK2. A phase II study showed clinical activity in NRAS-mutant metastatic melanoma.

“The NEMO trial included 402 patients randomized 2:1 to receive either binimetinib (269 patients) or dacarbazine (133 patients; 19 were not treated and were not evaluated for safety). Patients were either treatment-naive or had progressed on or after immunotherapy. The primary endpoint of the study was PFS. The results were presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting held earlier this month in Chicago (abstract 9500).”

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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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