Lung Cancer Highlights from ASCO 2016


This year, the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) did not produce any truly groundbreaking revelations about new treatments for lung cancer. However, researchers did report quite a few positive findings, and some disappointing ones. I have summarized some of the more prominent presentations below. Continue reading…


Pfizer Presents Data from Phase 1b Trial Investigating Utomilumab (a 4-1BB agonist) in Combination with a Checkpoint Inhibitor

Excerpt:

“Pfizer Inc. PFE -0.26% today announced results from a Phase 1b trial of Pfizer’s investigational immunotherapy agent utomilumab (the proposed non-proprietary name for PF-05082566), a 4-1BB (also called CD137) agonist, in combination with pembrolizumab, a PD-1 inhibitor, in patients with advanced solid tumors. This is the first reported study of a 4-1BB agonist combined with a checkpoint inhibitor. Encouraging safety data from the study were shared today as an oral presentation at the 52 [nd] Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.

“ ‘While these are early data, the combination of utomilumab with pembrolizumab demonstrates an encouraging safety profile and an early indication of potential anti-tumor activity across solid tumors,’ said Anthony W. Tolcher, M.D., director of clinical research at South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics (START) San Antonio. ‘We believe these results warrant further investigation to confirm whether combining utomilumab with a checkpoint inhibitor may amplify anti-tumor responses.’ ”

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Pfizer Cancer Drug Shows Promise in Combo With Merck's Keytruda

Excerpt:

“An experimental Pfizer drug that helps the immune system fight cancer showed early promise against a variety of cancers when used with Merck & Co’s immunotherapy Keytruda in a small clinical trial, according to data released on Wednesday.

“The first wave of successful cancer immunotherapies, such as Keytruda, block mechanisms that tumors use to evade the immune system. Pfizer’s utomilumab, which targets an antibody known as 4-1BB, stimulates a more intense immune system attack. The Pfizer drug has already shown encouraging early results against a form of blood cancer when used with Roche’s Rituxan.

“Researchers are hopeful that combining the two approaches, one that takes the brakes off of the immune system with one that hits the accelerator, will offer long-lasting protection against cancer without adding serious side effects.”

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