Testing for Immune ‘Hotspots’ Can Predict Risk That Breast Cancer Will Return

Excerpt:

“Scientists have developed a new test that can pick out women at high risk of relapsing from breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis.

“Their study looked for immune cell ‘hotspots’ in and around tumours, and found that women who had a high number of hotspots were more likely to relapse than those with lower numbers.

“The new test could help more accurately assess the risk of cancer returning in individual patients, and offer them monitoring or preventative treatment.”

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Personalized Vaccines May Protect Patients With High-Risk Melanoma

Excerpt:

“The field of cancer vaccines may be reinvigorated by a new understanding, and the therapeutic leveraging, of neoantigens. Researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston are exploring this novel approach as a means of protecting patients with high-risk melanoma from recurrence. Early results from a phase I study were reported at the 2nd International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference by Patrick A. Ott, MD, PhD, Clinical Director of the Melanoma Center and the Center for Immuno-Oncology.”

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Study Moves T-VEC Into Neoadjuvant Melanoma Setting

Excerpt:

“Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC; Imlygic), an oncolytic viral immunotherapy approved for patients with melanoma, is being evaluated in a presurgical setting in a phase II clinical trial that may help set the stage for expanding the toolkit of neoadjuvant options for patients with the malignancy.

“Although new targeted and immunotherapy agents for patients with melanoma have been introduced in recent years in advanced and metastatic settings, there is a need for approaches that attack the disease earlier and prevent recurrence, said Robert H.I. Andtbacka, MD, the principal investigator for the T-VEC study. ‘I think it’s the next logical step for us to take in melanoma—to try to find better ways to activate the patient’s own immune system where the tumor is still in situ,’ Andtbacka said in an interview with OncLive. ‘Many of our colleagues in other tumor sites such as breast cancer and colon cancer have done this for many, many years, so we’ve been lagging a little bit behind in melanoma. But now I think we have good, effective therapies that we can start to ask these neoadjuvant questions.’ ”

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Aromasin Plus OFS May Reduce Risk of Recurrent Breast Ca (CME/CE)

Excerpt:

“Premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer may benefit from exemestane (Aromasin) plus ovarian function suppression (OFS) versus tamoxifen with or without OFS, analysis of recurrence-risk data from the TEXT and SOFT trials has indicated.

“Those with a high recurrence risk may experience a 10% to 15% improvement in the 5-year breast cancer-free interval (BCFI) with aromatase inhibitor (AI) exemestane plus OFS, while those at intermediate risk may experience an improvement of at least 5% with the same regimen, according to Meredith M. Regan, ScD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA, and colleagues.

“Patients at lowest risk of recurrence had minimal benefit with exemestane plus OFS, the study showed, which is online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

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Surgery Improves Survival Rates for Men With Prostate Cancer If Radiation Treatments Fail

“Approximately 14 percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetimes, according to the National Institutes of Health. Radiation therapy traditionally has been a primary treatment for the cancer, but one-fourth of men have a recurrence of prostate cancer within five years after the therapy. Now, a University of Missouri School of Medicine researcher has found that a complex procedure to remove the prostate achieves excellent long-term survival for men after radiation therapy has failed.

” ‘Prostate cancer, unfortunately, is a common cancer, and more than 27,000 men are estimated to have died from the disease in 2015,’ said Naveen Pokala, M.D., an assistant professor in the Division of Urology at the MU School of Medicine and lead author of the study. ‘By studying a national database of prostate cancer cases, we found that a procedure known as salvage radical prostatectomy can greatly increase a man’s chance of survival when traditional radiation therapy has failed to eradicate the cancer.’ ”


T Cells That Recognize HER2 Teceptor May Prevent HER2+ Breast Cancer Recurrence

“Recurrence of HER2-positive breast cancer after treatment may be due to a specific and possibly cancer-induced weakness in the patient’s immune system—a weakness that in principle could be corrected with a HER2-targeted vaccine—according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Results of the study show that T cells from patients whose breast cancer had recently recurred showed far weaker response to the HER2 receptor protein, compared to T cells from patients whose breast cancer had not recurred over a long period following treatment. The study, published in JAMA Oncology this week, suggests that patients with HER2-positive breast cancer—which accounts for roughly 20 percent of the 260,000 invasive breast cancers diagnosed in the US each year—might someday undergo immune status monitoring with blood tests before, during and after treatment, to allow physicians to gauge the risk of recurrence, and possibly to reduce that risk with therapies that boost anti-HER2 immunity.”


Why Prolia May Be The Better Drug For Reducing Bone Breaks And Recurrence After Breast Cancer

“As people age, the risk of fracturing a bone – whether it’s a hip, a wrist, vertebrae, an ankle or toe, climbs steadily. For women and men who live after a cancer diagnosis, the risk of breaking bone is greater.

“At this year’s San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dr. Michael Gnant of Vienna gave an update on a major trial of denosumab in its capacity to reduce fractures and possibly stave off metastases. This drug is manufactured and sold by Amgen in a low-dose form as Prolia. Prolia is a monoclonal antibody that doesn’t require intravenous administration; it’s injected under the skin, just twice each year.

“The ongoing trial, by the Austrian Breast and Colorectal Cancer Study Group (ABCSG), includes over 3,400 postmenopausal women with non-metastatic, hormone receptor positive breast cancer. All participants took an aromatase inhibitor, a standard treatment given to lower hormone levels, and were randomized to receive either low-dose (60 milligrams) denosumab or a placebo injection under the skin, twice yearly.”


Breast Cancer Drugs Battle Disease's Return

“A pair of drugs already on the market appear to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer in women who’ve already undergone treatment, two new clinical trials show.

“The chemotherapy drug capecitabine (Xeloda) seems to reduce by nearly a third the risk of breast cancer recurrence if women receive the drug following surgery to remove their cancer, researchers were to report Wednesday at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

“In addition, an osteoporosis medication called denosumab appears to reduce recurrence risk by 18 percent in women who have HR-positive breast cancer, a second study reports.”


Bristol-Myers Squibb Receives Approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Yervoy (ipilimumab) as Adjuvant Treatment for Fully Resected Stage III Melanoma

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company BMY, -0.27% today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Yervoy (ipilimumab) 10 mg/kg for the adjuvant treatment of patients with cutaneous melanoma with pathologic involvement of regional lymph nodes of more than 1 mm who have undergone complete resection including total lymphadenectomy. This approval is based on clinical data from a pivotal Phase 3 trial, CA184-029 (EORTC 18071), which demonstrated Yervoy 10 mg/kg significantly improved recurrence-free survival (RFS) vs. placebo in this setting, with a 25 percent reduction in the risk of recurrence or death. The median RFS was 26 months (95% ci:19)(95% ci:39) for Yervoy vs. 17 months (95% ci:13)(95% ci:22) for placebo (hazard ratio [HR]=0.75; 95% CI: 0.64, 0.90; p<0.002). Yervoy is the first and only FDA-approved immune checkpoint inhibitor in the adjuvant treatment for fully resected Stage III melanoma (lymph node >1 mm).”