Taking a Standard Prostate Cancer Drug with Food Boosts Impact, Lowers Cost

Excerpt:

“By taking a high-cost drug with a low-fat meal — instead of on an empty stomach, as prescribed — prostate cancer patients could decrease their daily dose, prevent digestive issues and cut costs by 75 percent, according to a new study in the March 28, 2018, issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO).

“Abiraterone acetate, marketed as Zytiga®, is the standard medicine used to treat metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Patients taking Zytiga are told to take four of the 250 milligram pills first thing in the morning. Then, having gone without food overnight, they must wait at least one more hour before eating breakfast.”

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Massive Bio Aims to Improve Clinical Trial Enrollment Rates With Oncology Registry, Matching Tool

Excerpt:

“Healthcare informatics firm Massive Bio has enrolled its first patient in a global registry it launched as part of a new clinical trial matching system that seeks to connect patients to appropriate biomarker-based clinical trials using information such as clinical history and genomic testing results.

“Previously, Massive Bio offered its clinical trial matching capability as part of a broader oncology clinical decision support system through which it provides treatment guidance and expert recommendations primarily to oncologists working in community practices. By separating the clinical trial matching component, the company hopes to broaden its market reach, said Massive Bio CEO and Cofounder Selin Kurnaz. The company also hopes the new tool will appeal to contract research organizations, molecular diagnostics companies, and patients themselves.”

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Why Can’t Dying Patients Get the Drugs They Want?

Excerpt:

“At first glance, a bill passed by the House of Representatives this week seems like the kind of thing anyone could get behind.

“Known as the “Right to Try” legislation, it would allow terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs without the approval of the Food and Drug Administration.

“But the bill and a similar one passed last summer by the Senate do little to address the main barrier that patients face in getting unapproved treatments: permission from the drug companies themselves.”

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Xtandi Granted Priority Review for Prostate Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“The Food and Drug Administration granted Xtandi (enzalutamide) a priority review to a supplemental new drug application for the treatment of patients with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, according to the companies developing the drug, Pfizer and Astellas.

“The sNDA is based on data from the phase 3 PROSPER trial in which the combination of Xtandi and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) reduced the risk of metastases or death by 71 percent compared with ADT alone for patients with nonmetastatic CRPC. In the double-blind study, the median metastasis-free survival (MFS) was 36.6 months with Xtandi plus ADT versus 14.7 months with ADT alone.”

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Researchers Create a Drug to Extend the Lives of Men with Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Fifteen years ago, Michael Jung was already an eminent scientist when his wife asked him a question that would change his career, and extend the lives of many men with a particularly lethal form of prostate cancer.

” ‘When I turned 55—I’m now 70—my wife, Alice, said to me, “What do you want to do for the rest of your life, more of the same?” ‘ recalled Jung, a UCLA distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry. ‘I said that didn’t sound like such a bad idea until you put it that way.’ ”

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CMS Starts to Cover Broad Cancer DNA Tests, Boosting Foundation, Thermo

Excerpt:

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which administers the federal Medicare insurance program, will begin covering FDA-approved diagnostic tests that scan tumors for a range of genetic mutations. The news is a boost for companies like Foundation Medicine and Thermo Fisher Scientific, who are among the few firms with such tests on the market.

“Late Friday, the CMS said that, going forward, it will start to reimburse for tests that use DNA sequencing technology to map the tumors of patients with advanced cancers once approved by the FDA. Two of the already-approved tests fitting this description are FoundationOne CDx, from Cambridge, MA-based Foundation, and Oncomine Dx Target Test, from Waltham, MA-based Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO). FoundationOne CDx looks for 324 cancer-related alterations in patients’ DNA. Foundation amasses a report based on the results and sends it to doctors, who use the data to suggest possible treatments. Oncomine detects 23 genetic alterations associated with non-small cell lung cancer.”

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Apalutamide, Enzalutamide Improve Metastasis-Free Survival in Nonmetastatic Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

In two separate trials presented at the 2018 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, apalutamide and enzalutamide (Xtandi), respectively, reduced the risk of metastasis and prolonged metastasis-free survival in men with high-risk nonmetastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer. In the SPARTAN trial, apalutamide reduced the risk of developing metastasis and death by 72% compared with placebo, and in the PROSPER trial, enzalutamide reduced the risk of metastasis or death by 71% compared with placebo. In both studies, men were treated with ongoing androgen-deprivation therapy.”

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Adjuvant Radiotherapy Improves Outcomes for High-Risk Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Adjuvant radiotherapy appeared associated with better outcomes than surveillance followed by early-salvage radiotherapy among patients with prostate cancer with adverse pathological features who underwent prostatectomy, according to study results published in JAMA Oncology.

” ‘It remains very controversial whether patients with high-risk features after a radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer should receive adjuvant radiation therapy to prevent a recurrence of their prostate cancer as measured by a rise in PSA, or whether we should observe patients after surgery and only radiate those who demonstrate a detectable PSA,’ Rahul D. Tendulkar, MD, of the department of radiation oncology at Cleveland Clinic, told HemOnc Today.”

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FDA Authorizes Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Test for Three BRCA Mutations

Excerpt:

“The FDA authorized marketing the direct-to-consumer Personal Genome Service Genetic Health Risk Report for three mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 most common among people of Eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish descent, according to a press release.

“The test — marketed by 23andMe — analyzes DNA using self-collected saliva samples to determine whether a woman is at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer and whether a man is at increased risk for breast or prostate cancer.”

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