FDA Approves First-of-a-Kind Test for Cancer-Gene Profiling

Excerpt:

“U.S. regulators have approved a first-of-a-kind test that looks for mutations in hundreds of cancer genes at once, giving a more complete picture of what’s driving a patient’s tumor and aiding efforts to match treatments to those flaws.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Foundation Medicine’s test for patients with advanced or widely spread cancers, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed covering it.

“The dual decisions, announced late Thursday, will make tumor-gene profiling available to far more cancer patients than the few who get it now and will lead more insurers to cover it.”

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FDA Aims to Expand Early-Approval Program for Promising Drugs

Excerpt:

“The Food and Drug Administration wants to help patients get faster access to promising cancer treatments.

“The agency is preparing proposals that would expand an accelerated-approval program for lifesaving medications, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told House lawmakers on Thursday.

“Drugmakers can seek rapid conditional approval for treatments for cancer or other serious diseases based on evidence that a drug is likely to extend patient survival. Later trials once such a drug is on the market are necessary to prove the survival benefit.”

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Second Course of Radium-223 Demonstrates Promising Results in mCRPC

Excerpt:

“According to results of a phase I/II study, men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) who received a second course of radium-223 (Xofigo) experienced minimal hematologic toxicity and low radiographic bone progression rates.

“In the study, 29 of 44 patients (66%) received the full course of 6 injections. Median time to total alkaline phosphatase was not reached. Median time to PSA progression was 2.2 months.”

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Study Questions Exclusion of Cancer Survivors from Trials

Excerpt:

“A quarter of newly diagnosed cancer patients 65 or older are survivors who had a prior cancer — often preventing them from participating in clinical trials, researchers from UT Southwestern’s Simmons Cancer Center have found.

“The UT Southwestern scientists found that 11 percent of individuals ages 20-64 had a history of a prior cancer, and 25 percent of individuals 65 or older had a history of a prior cancer.

“As the number of cancer survivors grows, more individuals are being excluded from cancer clinical trials that could benefit them when diagnosed with a second cancer.”

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Janssen’s Zytiga Approved for Earlier Use in Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“European regulators are allowing earlier use of Janssen’s Zytiga in the treatment pathway for metastatic prostate cancer.

“Zytiga (abiraterone) plus prednisone/prednisolone has been approved to treat newly-diagnosed high-risk metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC) in adult men in combination with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).

“The drug is already available in Europe for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) in adults who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic after failure of ADT in whom chemotherapy is not yet clinically indicated and in adult men whose disease has progressed on or after a docetaxel-based chemotherapy regimen.”

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Apalutamide Submitted for FDA Approval in Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Janssen Biotech has submitted a new drug application to the FDA for apalutamide (ARN-509) for the treatment of non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), the manufacturer of the next-generation oral androgen receptor inhibitor announced today.

“Apalutamide inhibits the action of testosterone in prostate cancer cells and prevents androgen from binding to the androgen receptor. Currently, there are no FDA-approved treatments for patients with nonmetastatic CRPC, Janssen noted in a press release.”

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Researchers Reveal Biomarker for Guiding Prostate Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“Back-to-back discoveries from Cleveland Clinic demonstrate for the first time how a testosterone-related genetic abnormality can help predict individual patient responses to specific prostate cancer therapies.

“The studies, published in the October 12 issue of JAMA Oncology, suggest that men who inherit this  would benefit from a personalized treatment plan that targets specific hormonal pathways.”

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New Targeted Alpha Therapy Protocol for Advanced Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Therapy options are limited for men with advanced-stage, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), but a new treatment protocol offers hope. In the featured article of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine‘s October issue, German researchers report on their recent clinical experience, which establishes a dosing regimen for actinium-225 (225Ac)-labeled targeted alpha therapy of patients with prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-positive tumors. The protocol balances treatment response with toxicity concerns to provide the most effective therapy with the least side effects.”

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PSMA-PET Agents Poised to Advance Imaging in Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Imaging agents for the detection of biochemical recurrent prostate cancer could move beyond computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the near future, with the emergence of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-PET, particularly in oligometastatic disease, with a high-detection sensitivity rate, explains Thomas Hope, MD.

“PSMA-PET uses small molecules that bind to PSMA, localizes a prostate cancer tumor, and allows radiologists to image patients after 1 hour to detect small sites of disease. Hope and researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) are dedicated to bringing this imaging modality to the FDA for approval with diagnostic data as evidence.”

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