FDA Grants Priority Review to Tecentriq Combo for First-Line Treatment of Advanced Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review to Tecentriq (atezolizumab) in combination with Avastin (bevacizumab) and chemotherapy medications Taxol (paclitaxel) and carboplatin for first-line treatment of metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

“Priority review of Roche’s supplemental Biologics License Application means the FDA will decide whether or not to approve the therapy within six months instead of the standard 10 months. A decision is now expected by Sept. 5. To be granted priority review, a therapy candidate must show potential to provide significant benefits for the treatment, prevention, or diagnosis of a disease.”

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FDA Accepts sBLA, Grants Priority Review to Atezolizumab for Initial Treatment of Metastatic Nonsquamous NSCLC

Excerpt:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently accepted a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) and granted Priority Review for atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in combination with bevacizumab (Avastin), paclitaxel, and carboplatin for the first-line treatment of metastatic nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The FDA is expected to make a decision on approval by September 5, 2018.

” ‘Our phase III results showed atezolizumab in combination with bevacizumab, paclitaxel, and carboplatin has the potential to provide a significant survival benefit in the initial treatment of metastatic nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer,’ said Sandra Horning, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development at Genentech.”

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Frontline Atezolizumab Benefit in NSCLC Sustained Across Biomarker-Driven Subgroups

Excerpt:

“Adding atezolizumab (Tecentriq) to chemotherapy and an angiogenesis inhibitor led to significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) for patients with untreated advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to results from an ongoing trial presented at the 2018 AACR Annual Meeting.

“In the IMpower150 trial, patients who received the PD-L1 inhibitor along with bevacizumab (Avastin) and chemotherapy had a median PFS of 8.3 months compared with 6.8 months with bevacizumab and chemotherapy. The difference translated into a 38% reduction in the hazard for progression or death (HR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.52-0.74; P <.0001).”

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Predicting If an Immune Checkpoint Drug Will Work


Drugs that activate the immune system to attack cancer in a process known as immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) are a focus of intense investigation. A number of them are already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for various cancers; namely, the anti-CTLA4 antibody ipilimumab (Yervoy), two anti-PD-1 antibodies: pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo), and three anti-PD-L1 drugs: atezolizumab (Tecentriq), avelumab (Bavencio) and durvalumab (Imfinzi). These ICB drugs have the potential to induce durable cancer regressions, but the majority of cancer patients just do not respond to them at all.

Biomarkers, signature molecules in the blood or other tissue, can sometimes be used to predict a patient’s response to a given treatment. But no reliable biomarkers exist for ICB, and this is a serious concern. Patients who may really benefit from ICB could be overlooked, and patients who are not likely to respond may receive useless (and very expensive) ICB treatment.

Most potential response predictors that have already been identified are not yet useful for one or all of the following reasons: they are not extensively validated, their significance is still uncertain and may differ from one cancer (or even one patient) to another, or they are technically challenging for routine use. These markers are addressed below. Continue reading…


Phase III IMpower150 Study Showed Roche’s TECENTRIQ (Atezolizumab) and Avastin (Bevacizumab) Plus Carboplatin and Paclitaxel Helped People with Advanced Lung Cancer Live Longer Compared to Avastin Plus Carboplatin and Paclitaxel

Excerpt:

“Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced that the Phase III IMpower150 study met its co-primary endpoint of overall survival (OS) at this interim analysis and showed that initial (first-line) treatment with the combination of TECENTRIQ® (atezolizumab) and Avastin® (bevacizumab) plus carboplatin and paclitaxel (chemotherapy) helped people with advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) live significantly longer compared with Avastin plus carboplatin and paclitaxel. A survival benefit was observed across key subgroups, including those with varying levels of PD-L1 expression. Safety for the TECENTRIQ and Avastin plus carboplatin and paclitaxel combination appeared consistent with the known safety profile of the individual medicines, and no new safety signals were identified with the combinations. These data will be presented at an upcoming oncology congress.”

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Tecentriq Combo Success Boosts Roche in Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“A combination of Roche AG’s immunotherapy Tecentriq with two older cancer drugs bested chemotherapy in extending progression-free survival (PFS) among previously untreated patients with squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the Swiss pharma announced March 20.

“Results from the Phase 3 study, known as IMpower 131, could position Tecentriq as the first checkpoint inhibitor to market for first-line treatment of squamous NSCLC, a subset that accounts for 25% to 30%of all NSCLC cases.

“Roche only disclosed topline results for the combination regimen’s effect on PFS. At this point, no benefit in overall survival (OS) between the treatment and control groups was reported, but the study will continue to allow for further observation.”

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No Benefit of PD-1/PD-L1 Inhibitors in Metastatic EGFR Mutated Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“Immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In patients progressing on first-line therapy, immunotherapy with the PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors pembrolizumab, nivolumab, and atezolizumab has become standard second-line therapy. While these agents are associated with durable responses and long-term improvements in overall survival (OS), only a small proportion of patients respond to treatment. Relatively little is known about the factors that predispose patients to response on checkpoint inhibitors, and there is an unmet need for improved patient selection criteria.”

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Tecentriq Add-On Improved Outcomes in Untreated Advanced Lung Cancer Patients

Excerpt:

“Adding Tecentriq (atezolizumab) to a treatment of Avastin (bevacizumab) and chemotherapy significantly prolonged the time to disease progression or death in people with previously untreated advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

“The results stem from a Phase 3 trial of 1,202 people, with data also indicating better overall survival in patients treated with Tecentriq. Improved progression-free and overall survival were the two main trial outcome measures.”

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Expert Highlights Immunotherapy Progress in Squamous Cell Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“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.”

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