Plinabulin Improves Survival in Subset of Patients With Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“The investigational small-molecule plinabulin yielded some interesting benefits when added to docetaxel in previously treated patients with stage III/IV non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), in a phase II study. Although the benefit of the doublet was modest in the overall study population, the study’s findings were striking in two ways: the duration of response was 7 times that achieved with docetaxel alone, and patients with measurable disease had a 4.6-month improvement in survival.”

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Adjuvant Ipilimumab Improves Survival in High-Risk Melanoma

Excerpt:

“Patients with stage III melanoma who were considered to be at high risk for recurrence derived an overall survival benefit from adjuvant treatment with ipilimumab (Yervoy), although it came at the price of considerable toxicity, according to updated survival results from the phase III European Organisation for Research and Treatment (EORTC) 18071 trial. The results were presented at the 2016 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress by Alexander Eggermont, MD, Director General of the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France, and simultaneously published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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High Response Rates Observed with Ipilimumab Plus Nivolumab in Advanced Melanoma

Excerpt:

“Combined ipilimumab and nivolumab administered pre- and post-surgery reduced the tumor burden in patients with Stage III B/C melanoma, according to first results from the OpACIN trial reported at the ESMO 2016 Annual Congress.

“Tumor load was reduced after 6 weeks of ipilimumab plus nivolumab immunotherapy in 8 of 10 patients. Pathologic complete response (pCR) was achieved by 3 patients; and 5 patients showed minimal remaining micro metastases, including one partial response (PR) with remaining metastasis of 0.5 mm. One patient showed stable disease and 1 patient experienced progressive disease.”

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Prolonged Survival With Adjuvant Ipilimumab in Stage 3 Melanoma

Excerpt:

“Patients with completely resected stage 3 melanoma who received adjuvant treatment with ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol-Myers Squibb) lived longer than those who received placebo, show the latest results from the CA184-029 (EORTC 18071) study.

“This is the first time such a clear survival benefit has been seen with adjuvant therapy in the patient population, commented lead researcher Alexander M.M. Eggermont, MD, PhD, director general, Cancer Institute Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France, noting that previous trials with adjuvant interferon have suggested a survival benefit, but only in some subgroups of patients.”

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Timing of Surgery After Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation in Stage IIIA NSCLC Impacts Overall Survival

Excerpt:

“The timing of surgery after neoadjuvant chemoradiation in patients with stage IIIA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) affects the overall survival of patients receiving trimodality therapy.

“Approximately one third of all NSCLC patients have locally advanced (stage III, subtypes IIIA and IIIB) disease at the time of diagnosis, with a five-year survival ranging from 7 to 19%. Patients with stage III NSCLC represent a significant clinical challenge due to the poor prognosis associated with this stage of the disease. Trimodality therapy involving the use of radiation concurrently with chemotherapy, otherwise known as neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy (NCRT), followed by surgery is an acceptable treatment strategy for stage IIIA patients with resectable tumors and limited mediastinal node (N2) involvement. However, trimodality therapy has not been shown to have significant survival advantage over definitive chemoradiation therapy and the optimal interval to surgery (ITS) after completion of NCRT has not been well explored.”

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Melanoma: New Drugs and New Challenges (Part 2 of 2)


Editor’s note: This is part 2 of a 2-part post on the latest research in melanoma. To learn about research into drug combinations for melanoma that may work better than single drugs, check out Melanoma: New Drugs and New Challenges (Part 1 of 2).

As always, the more new treatments become available in melanoma, the more new challenges arise. With eight new drugs approved for melanoma in the last five years, oncologists may sometimes face the difficult choice of what drugs to choose for a patient’s first-line treatment. Immune checkpoint drugs sometimes cause serious side effects, but progress is being made on how to treat these and also how to treat patients with pre-existing autoimmune conditions. New approaches are needed in efforts to prevent recurrence of melanomas diagnosed at earlier stages of disease progression. These and other challenges are discussed below. Continue reading…


Innovative Trials Produce Promising Breast Cancer Drugs

Excerpt:

“An innovative set of clinical trials have identified two drugs that could provide a fighting chance for women with advanced breast cancer.

“The drugs, neratinib and veliparib, both appear effective in helping women diagnosed with stage 2 or 3 , researchers report.

“These are the first two drugs to come out of the I-SPY clinical , a research effort intended to streamline  testing by better guiding treatments to those who would most benefit from them, said one of the study authors, Dr. Laura Esserman. She is director of breast cancer care at the University of California, San Francisco’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.”

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Mutation Status May Guide Endocrine Therapy for Advanced Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Plasma analysis of ESR1 mutations may aid in the identification of appropriate endocrine therapy for patients with advanced breast cancer who progress after treatment with aromatase inhibitors, according to study results published in Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“ ‘Although diverse mechanisms of resistance to endocrine therapy have been described, recent evidence identified mutations in the ER gene (ESR1),’ Nicholas C. Turner, MA, MRCP, PhD, consultant medical oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and team leader at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre at Institute for Cancer Research, London, and colleagues wrote. ‘ESR1 mutations occur rarely in primary breast cancer, but have a high prevalence in advanced breast cancers previously treated with aromatase inhibitors, implying evolution through selective treatment pressure.’ ”

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Considerations for Single-Agent Versus Combo Melanoma Immunotherapy

Excerpt:

“The combination of ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) continues to show promise, with recent data demonstrating a 26% improvement in overall survival (OS) with the 2 drugs compared with ipilimumab alone for patients with advanced melanoma.

“In a 2-year assessment of the phase II CheckMate-069 trial, which was recently presented at the 2016 AACR Annual Meeting, 142 treatment-naïve patients with unresectable stage III or metastatic stage IV melanoma were randomized to receive either the combination (n = 95) or ipilimumab plus placebo (n = 47) every 3 weeks for 4 doses followed by nivolumab or placebo every 2 weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

“In the overall treatment population, the 2-year OS rate was 64% with the combination compared with 54% for ipilimumab alone (HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.43-1.26). The median OS at 2 years in patients randomized to either the combination or monotherapy has not been reached.”

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