Epacadostat/ Nivolumab Combo Active in Melanoma, Head and Neck Cancer


“Combining the IDO inhibitor epacadostat with nivolumab (Opdivo) demonstrated promising signs of activity for patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHC) and those with melanoma, according to findings from the phase I/II ECHO-204 study presented at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting.

“The combination demonstrated an objective response rate (ORR) of 63% and a complete response (CR) rate of 5% for patients with treatment-naive melanoma, in the multi-arm, open-label trial. In those with SCCHC, the ORR was 23% and the CR rate was 3%. The combination was not effective in unselected patients with ovarian cancer and colorectal cancer (CRC).”

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Lung Cancer Pioneer Thomas Lynch Discusses the State of the Art

“Thomas Lynch, MD, has been a leader in the development of numerous novel therapies for the treatment of lung cancer. His significant contributions to the field have earned him great recognition, including the 2013 Giants of Cancer CareTM award in Lung Cancer for his pioneering use of molecular testing for EGFR mutations.

“Lynch, who is director of the Yale Cancer Center and physician-in-chief at the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, recently sat down with OncLive and discussed key strategies and trends in the management of lung cancer. In a wide-ranging interview, Lynch provides expert insight across the spectrum of care, from screening to the challenges associated with resistance mutations.”

RNA Diagnostic Test Improves Diagnosis of Lung Cancer

The first step towards choosing the best lung cancer treatment is to figure out what specific kind of lung cancer a patient has. Usually, doctors can determine cancer type by surgically removing part of a tumor and examining the appearance of tumor cells under a microscope. But sometimes tumor samples are damaged and difficult to analyze visually, so a second method would be useful to help confirm a diagnosis. Researchers have now developed a new test that can determine which genes are turned on or off in tumor cells, allowing them to distinguish between the most common types of lung cancer (adenocarcinoma, carcinoid, small cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma). Samples of tumors are already routinely collected, and, in an experiment, examining them and analyzing their genetics was found to be a viable predictor of a tumor’s microscopic appearance. Researchers hope that their test will bring more accurate diagnoses to doctors and patients, which in turn could lead to better treatment recommendations and better outcomes.