“Combination regimens—particularly with checkpoint inhibitors and chemotherapy—are showing promise for the treatment of patients with squamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
“Beyond the May 2017 FDA approval of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) plus carboplatin/pemetrexed for nonsquamous patients regardless of PD-L1 status, researchers are turning their focus to immunotherapy combinations in squamous patients in ongoing clinical trials. For example, the randomized, open-label, phase III IMpower131 study is evaluating the safety and efficacy of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in combination with carboplatin/paclitaxel or carboplatin/nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) versus carboplatin/nab-paclitaxel in chemotherapy-naïve patients with stage IV squamous NSCLC (NCT02367794). The trial, which has a primary endpoint of progression-free survival, is expected to enroll 1021 patients.”
American Society for Radiation Oncology | Sep 24, 2017
“A new study involving patients with stage IV cancer finds that treatment with radiation therapy and immunotherapy can halt the growth of tumors by stimulating the body’s immune system to attack the cancer. In the phase II trial, patients with end-stage cancer that had spread to the lungs or liver demonstrated a favorable response to the combined treatment. Between 30 and 60 percent of the patients, depending on the treatment arm, found that their cancer stopped spreading. Findings will be presented today at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).”
“An update of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) clinical practice guideline clarifies the role of immunotherapy in the treatment of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The update also provides new recommendations on the use of targeted therapies for patients with changes in tumor EGFR, ALK, and ROS1 genes.
” ‘Treatment for lung cancer has become increasingly more complex over the last several years. This guideline update provides oncologists the tools to choose therapies that are most likely to benefit their patients,’ said Nasser Hanna, MD, co-chair of the Expert Panel that developed the guideline update.”
“Bristol-Myers got a much-needed boost with the earlier-than-expected news that Opdivo beat out Yervoy in a Phase III study focused on a particular niche for adjuvant melanoma therapy. And an analyst who’s been following the data says it could be worth a billion dollars in added annual sales.
“The big biotech says an interim analysis of Checkmate-238 provided researchers with proof that the PD-1 drug outperformed Yervoy, Bristol-Myers’ CTLA-4 drug, among advanced Stage IIIb or IV patients, cutting the recurrence rate for those who have undergone surgery. There are no bottom line numbers in the statement, but Bristol-Myers says they’ll be able to release data at an upcoming conference to show that Opdivo provided a significantly lower risk of disease recurrence.”
“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.”
“Prostate cancer, notoriously resistant to immunotherapy due to its immunologically cool nature, triggers two pathways to chill an immune attack after one immunotherapy drug fires up the immune system, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report in Nature Medicine.
“Based on their findings, the researchers launched a clinical trial for stage IV prostate cancer in March combining two drugs that target separate brakes on the immune system. The checkpoint inhibitors largely failed individually against the disease. Their results also implicate for the first time on a human tumor a third brake called VISTA in potentially inhibiting immune response.”
“Zuby Malik is an unlikely candidate to violate international law. A 78-year-old mother of four with a crown of silver hair, she is a retired obstetrician-gynecologist with a penchant for order.
“But Ms. Malik is fighting for her life. After receiving a Stage 4 non-small-cell lung cancer diagnosis a year ago, she exhausted many of the treatments available to her and grappled with torturous side effects that left her itching and gasping for breath. During the summer, she decided to go to Cuba and bring back a cancer vaccine that is not approved in the United States. That she comes from a family steeped in medical training made the decision all the more difficult.”
“At the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress this week, investigators presented data for a new and potentially important drug, ribociclib (Novartis). This oral medication is clearly active in hormone receptor-positive (ER+ or PR+) breast cancer. The findings of the MONALEESA trial were published in the NEJM.
“The main result is that for the most common form of advanced breast cancer, adding ribociclib to letrozole significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS), as compared to adding a placebo. After a year and a half (18 months) in this randomized, controlled clinical trial, PFS among women receiving ribociclib was 63.0%, vs. 42.2% in the placebo arm. That’s a big difference, when you consider that 99% of the patients on the study have stage 4, metastatic breast cancer.”
“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.’ ”
Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.