“The novel cell cycle inhibitor selective for the cyclin-dependent kinases CDK4 and CDK6 (CDK4/6), LY2835219, shows promise for metastatic breast cancer, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 5 to 9 in San Diego.
“Amita Patnaik, M.D., from South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics in San Antonio, and colleagues conducted a phase I study with expansion cohorts to assess the safety, pharmacokinetics, and antitumor activity of LY2835219 in five tumor types. LY2835219 was administered to the expansion cohorts (132 patients) every 12 hours on days one to 28 of a 28-day cycle.”
Editor’s note: LY2835219 is a new drug that shows promise for treating metastatic breast cancer.
“Cancer Research UK is partnering with pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Pfizer to create a pioneering clinical trial for patients with advanced lung cancer – marking a new era of research into personalised medicines to treat cancer.
“The ‘National Lung Matrix’ trial – scheduled to open later this year at centres across the UK – will give researchers unprecedented access to libraries of drugs developed by AstraZeneca and Pfizer, allowing several to be tested at the same time, within one trial.
“Researchers will use the genetics of each lung tumour to identify small groups of patients who, because of the specific genetic changes causing their cancer, are more likely to benefit from a certain drug.”
Editor’s note: Genetics and DNA testing are increasingly used to provide patients with personalized cancer treatments. Learn more about personalized approaches to lung cancer.
“University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that a new trial vaccine offers the most promising treatment to date for melanoma that has spread, with increased patient survival rates and improved ability to stop or reverse the cancer.
“The vaccine, known as vaccinia melanoma cell lysate (VMCL), was given regularly as a treatment to 54 South Australian patients with advanced, inoperable melanoma over a 10-year period.”
Editor’s note: The cancer vaccine VMCL is a type of immunotherapy, which means it boosts a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.
“The combination of nintedanib and docetaxel ‘is an effective second-line option’ for patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have received previous treatment with one line of platinum-based therapy, according to results from the phase III LUME-Lung 1 study published in The Lancet Oncology. The combination improved progression-free survival for patients with refractory NSCLC irrespective of histology when compared to docetaxel (Taxotere) plus placebo, and ‘significantly prolonged overall survival of patients with adenocarcinoma, including patients with poor prognosis (ie, those who had progressed within 9 months of start of first-line therapy),’ Martin Reck, MD, Lung Clinic Grosshansdorf, Germany, and colleagues reported for the LUME-Lung 1 Study Group.”
“Among patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer without a mutation of a certain gene, conventional chemotherapy, compared with treatment using epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, was associated with improvement in survival without progression of the cancer, but not with overall survival, according to a study.”
Editor’s note: The drugs discussed in this story, “epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors,” are targeted therapies that are used to treat lung cancer patients whose tumors have mutations in the EGFR gene, as detected by molecular testing. Scientists wanted to find out whether the drugs could also help patients without EGFR mutations. However, it was found that the drugs were no more effective than chemotherapy in improving patients’ overall survival. This supports the idea that EGFR inhibitor drugs should only be given to patients whose tumors have EGFR mutations.
“An experimental cancer drug that activates the immune system has shown early promise for advanced cases of melanoma skin cancer, researchers report.
“The findings come from an early stage trial of just 31 patients. But experts were cautiously optimistic about what the study showed: The drug’s side effects were manageable, and four patients saw their tumors shrink.
“That’s a small number, but a trial like this is largely aimed at seeing whether a drug is safe and finding a tolerable dose.”
Editor’s note: This story is about a new melanoma drug called IMCgp100 that is being tested in patients. Learn more about immunotherapy drugs and clinical trials for melanoma here.
“Among patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with the investigational immune checkpoint inhibitor MK-3475, those whose tumors had high levels of the protein PD-L1 had significantly better outcomes, according to results of a phase I clinical trial presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, April 5-9.
“Preliminary data from the trial, which were reported earlier this year, showed that MK-3475 treatment was well tolerated and led to durable, objective responses in previously treated patients with NSCLC, particularly those with tumors found to have high levels of PD-L1 prior to treatment.
“The latest results extend these data, showing that at six months after starting treatment, 41 percent of patients whose tumors had high levels of PD-L1 had no disease progression, compared with 17 percent of those whose tumors had low levels of PD-L1. Similarly, 72 percent of patients whose tumors had high levels of PD-L1 were alive at this time, compared with 53 percent of those whose tumors had low levels of PD-L1.”
Editor’s note: MK-3475 is an immunotherapy drug, which means it boosts a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. This study found that it was more effective in patients whose tumors had high levels of the protein PD-L1, as detected by molecular testing. To learn more about immunotherapy treatments for lung cancer, visit this blog post.
“Amgen Inc said its experimental drug to treat a deadly form of skin cancer did not significantly improve overall survival rates in patients enrolled in a late-stage study.
“The company said the drug met the study’s main goal of shrinking tumors, as it had previously reported, but did not meet the secondary goal of improving overall survival in patients with melanoma.”
Editor’s note: Earlier results from this trial showed that the drug (called T-Vec) improved “progression free survival,” which refers to the length of time before a patient’s tumor begins growing again. Now, T-Vec has been shown not to affect overall survival times.
Late in 2010, Chelsea Price’s boyfriend noticed that a mole on her upper back was scabbed and weeping. “It had always been there but he thought I should get it checked,” recalls Chelsea, who was then 23 years old. By the time her dermatology appointment rolled around, however, the mole had healed. “I almost cancelled,” she says.
Good thing she didn’t. At her follow-up appointment, her dermatologist casually said, “Hey, it’s melanoma.” Thinking he was kidding, Chelsea started laughing. When she realized he was serious, she was stunned. Continue reading…