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ISSUE 44 – DEC. 4, 2015PDF



Mary Pazdur, 63, Dies of Cancer;

What Her Husband Has Learned

The job interview wouldn’t last more than 15 minutes, Richard Pazdur believed.

So, on a June morning in 1999, his wife Mary settled down to wait at a restaurant near the FDA buildings alongside Rockville Pike.

The restaurant turned out to be Hooters, and Mary ended up spending three hours at the joint known for all-you-can-eat chicken wings served by scantily clad waitresses known as Hooters Girls.

“How much Hooters coffee can you drink?” Mary said frequently, retelling the story of her introduction to FDA, Washington and cancer politics.

Rick’s Search for Meaning

On Nov. 17, Richard Pazdur, director at the FDA Office of Hematology and Oncology Products, spoke about the role that has been thrust upon him: that of a “regulator/advocate.”

“What we’re seeing now is not a patient voice but a patient cry—wanting to have their position heard,” said Pazdur, speaking at a Washington conference sponsored by Friends of Cancer Research.

NCI Director’s Report

Lowy: Higher RPG Success Rates in 2015;

Continuing Resolutions Will Slow Progress

NCI awarded about 635 R01s in 2015, up from 629 in 2014, said NCI Acting Director Doug Lowy at a recent joint meeting of the National Cancer Advisory Board and the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors.

The number of R01 awards fell short of pre-sequestration levels, but there has been a substantial increase in R21 applications—from 225 in 2012 to about 355 in 2015.

Funding Opportunity

Debbie’s Dream Foundation Offering $200,000 in Grants

Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer launched two research grants totaling $200,000 for the 2015-2016 grant cycle. A Career Development Award for $150,000 and a Young Fellowship Grant for $50,000 are being offered.

In Brief

  • Jennifer Nam Choi named chief of oncodermatology at Northwestern Memorial
  • Robert Hauser named vice president of clinical analytics at Cancer Treatment Centers of America
  • Mia Levy to be director of health information and strategy at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • City of Hope announces three personnel changes
  • David Flockhart, board member of the Personalized Medicine Coalition, died Nov. 26
  • Fox Chase-Temple Health form collaboration with Accutest Research Labs in India
  • Manipal Hospitals to use IBM Watson technology
  • ASTRO publishes template for long-term survivor plans
  • West Cancer Center opens its East Campus
  • National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association names it’s 2015 Investigation of the Year
Drugs and Targets

  • FDA approves Opdivo in renal cell carcinoma
  • European Commission grants marketing authorization for Kyprolis in multiple myeloma
  • EMA accepts anamorelin application for review
  • MD Anderson and Boehringer Ingleheim announce collaboration
  • Morphotek and Targeted Alpha Therapy Group to collaborate in ovarian cancer
  • Roche and Upsher-Smith Laboratories to develop VAP-1 inhibitor
  • Caris Life Sciences and Syapse to collaborate on genomic information
20151204 - Dec. 4, 2015

NCI CTEP-Approved Studies for the Month of November

 

The National Cancer Institute Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program approved the following clinical research studies last month. For further information, contact the principal investigator listed.

 

Phase I

CITN-12: Phase I Study of MK-3475 (Pembrolizumab) in Patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Relapsed/Refractory or Disseminated Malignant Neoplasm. Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network; Uldrick, Thomas S. (301) 402-6296

 

PBTC-047: Phase I Trial of Panobinostat in Children with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium; Monje, Michelle. (650) 736-0885

 

Phase II

ADVL1522: A Phase 2 Study of IMGN901 (Lorvotuzumab Mertansine; IND#: 126953, NSC#: 783609) in Children with Relapsed or Refractory Wilms Tumor, Rhabdomyosarcoma, Neuroblastoma, Pleuropulmonary Blastoma, Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor (MPNST) and Synovial Sarcoma. Children’s Oncology Group; Geller, James Ian. (513) 636-6312 X 6312

 

AOST1321: Phase 2 Study of Denosumab (IND# 127430, NSC# 744010), a RANK Ligand Antibody, for Recurrent or Refractory Osteosarcoma. Children’s Oncology Group; Janeway, Katherine Anne. (617) 632-4994

 

AOST1421: A Phase II Study of Human-Mouse Chimeric Anti-Disialoganglioside Monoclonal Antibody ch14.18 (Dinutuximab, NSC# 764038, IND# 4308) in Combination with Sargramostim (GM-CSF) in Patients with Recurrent Osteosarcoma. Children’s Oncology Group; Hingorani, Pooja. (602) 546-0920

 

Other Phases

AALL14B7-Q: Screening Low-Hypodiploid B-ALL for Pro-B Phenotypes. Children’s Oncology Group; Carlson, Christopher. (206) 667-7034

 

AAML15B5-Q: The Role of Id1 in Leukemogenesis. Children’s Oncology Group; Wang, Lan. (305) 243-8920

 

AEWS15B1-Q: Development of Specific and Reversible LSD1 Inhibitors for Ewing’s Sarcoma. Children’s Oncology Group; Lessnick, Stephen L. (415) 476-3831

 

AEWS15B1-Q: Development of Specific and Reversible LSD1 Inhibitors for Ewing’s Sarcoma. Children’s Oncology Group; Lessnick, Stephen L. (415) 476-3831

 

ANHL14B1-Q: Genomic Analysis of Pediatric Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma ALCL. Children’s Oncology Group; Leventaki, Vasiliki. (901) 595 7531

 

APEC14B1: The Project: EveryChild Protocol: A Registry, Eligibility Screening, Biology and Outcome Study. Children’s Oncology Group; Adamson, Peter C. (215) 590-6359

 

E1608T2: Inherited Markers as Predictors of Adverse Events and Survival Among Melanoma Patients Treated with Ipilimumab. ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group; Nathanson, Katherine Leah. (215) 573-9840

 

S1417CD: Implementation of a Prospective Financial Impact Assessment Tool in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer. SWOG; Shankaran, Veena (206) 288-7456

20151201 - Dec. 1, 2015
November 2015PDF

 

 Melanoma

Keytruda Shows Anti-Tumor Activity in Three Combinations and Phase III Trial

Merck presented three studies investigating the use of Keytruda (pembrolizumab), an anti-PD-1 therapy, in combination with three other immunotherapies—epacadostat, Imlygic (talimogene laherparepvec), and ipilimumab—in patients with advanced melanoma.

Keytruda showed anti-tumor activity in all three combinations studied. The findings were featured in separate oral presentations at the International Congress of the Society for Melanoma Research, in San Francisco.

Additionally, updated data presented from a phase III study of Keytruda as a single agent showed superior overall response rates and progression free survival compared to ipilimumab in ipilimumab-naïve patients, with twice as many patients achieving PFS on Keytruda compared to ipilimumab.

 Drugs and Targets

FDA Approves Ninlaro and Darzalex For the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma

FDA approved Ninlaro (ixazomib), developed by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy. Ixazomib is the first approved oral proteasome inhibitor.

The approval was based on an improvement in progression- free survival in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial enrolling 722 patients with multiple myeloma who had received one to three prior lines of therapy. Patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to either the combination of ixazomib, lenalidomide and dexamethasone (n=360) or the combination of placebo, lenalidomide and dexamethasone (n=362). Patients continued treatment until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

 Lymphoma

Lenalidomide-Rituximab Combination Shows Benefits in Mantle Cell Lymphoma

A combination therapy lacking many of the debilitating effects of traditional cancer treatment effectively manages mantle cell lymphoma, shrinking the malignancy and inducing remissions in the majority of patients, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine.

The phase II study demonstrated that lenalidomide, in combination with rituximab, provides an effective alternative to chemotherapy. More than 90 percent of patients in the small efficacy trial responded to the therapy, with their cancer shrinking by more than half, and two-thirds of that group had no evidence of detectable tumor growth after treatment.

Glioblastoma

ICT-107 Boosts Overall Survival by 10 Percent In Phase II Trial

 Childhood Cancer

Researchers: All Pediatric Patients, Regardless of Family History, Could Benefit from Genomic Screening

 Cancer Genomics

TCGA Researchers Identify 7 Subtypes of Prostate Cancer And 2 Drivers of Papillary RCC

 Lung Cancer

FDA Requests Data from Clovis For Rociletinib NDA in NSCLC

 NCI CTEP-Approved Studies for the Month of November
20151130 - Nov. 30, 2015
ISSUE 43 – NOV. 20, 2015PDF



Congressional Panel Chair Questions Whether J&J, Brigham Reported Morcellation Adverse Events to FDA

The House Committee on Energy & Commerce has stepped into a key role in the controversy over power morcellation.

At a hearing earlier this week, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations questioned whether Johnson & Johnson and Brigham & Women’s Hospital violated federal law by not reporting adverse outcomes resulting from power morcellation.

At the Nov. 17 hearing by the Subcommittee on Health, Murphy quizzed Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in an apparent effort to determine whether manufacturers of power morcellators as well as hospitals that used these devices had failed to notify FDA that patients were being harmed.

Also:

CBER’s All-Day Voyage into Slippery Science Ends in 18-6 Vote against Bladder Therapy

One might surmise that by the time FDA asks an advisory committee to vet an application, the questions would deal primarily with clinical utility.

By that stage in the game, advisors would be asked to discuss the outcomes, as opposed to the biological mechanisms for achieving them.

This was even before the agency’s reorganization of its oncology units more than a decade ago. In those days, small-molecule compounds went to one bureaucratic unit of the FDA Center for Drugs Evaluation and Research—while biologics, including monoclonal antibodies and growth factors, went to the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Capitol HillFDA Lists Potentially Avoidable Harms in 20 LDT Case Studies, Including Tests from Duke, Caris and Genomic Health

Ahead of a Capitol Hill hearing this week on the role of the FDA in the regulation of laboratory-developed tests, the federal agency published a report of 20 case studies that illustrated the possible harms presented to patients when laboratories do not comply with FDA requirements.

The case studies included LDTs such as the Target Now cancer biomarker test, developed by Caris Life Sciences Inc.; the Oncotype DX HER2 RT-PCR breast cancer test; and the Duke University Chemotherapy Assessment genetic tumor assay.

NCI Announces Winners of Outstanding Investigator Awards

NCI named the inaugural 43 recipients of its Outstanding Investigator Awards.

Developed last year, the grant program provides funding to investigators with outstanding records of productivity in cancer research to support projects of unusual potential in cancer research.

The award provides funding of up to $600,000 in direct costs each year for seven years. One goal of the award is to provide investigators with substantial time to break new ground or extend previous discoveries to advance biomedical, behavioral or clinical cancer research.

In Brief

  • Kantoff named chair of MSKCC Department of Medicine
  • Michael Lang named CPRIT chief product development officer
  • Alexandra Levine receives award from Los Angeles County Medical Association
  • Steven Rosen receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the Israel Cancer Research Fund
  • International Cancer Genome Consortium publishes 1,200 whole cancer genome sequences online
  • ASCO publishes 11 principles for CMS payment systems
  • MD Anderson and Codiack BioSciences form research agreement
  • Pan-Mass Challenge donates $45 million to Dana-Farber
  • AARP publishes report on drug retail prices and median household income
Drugs and Targets

  • Darzalex granted accelerated approval in multiple myeloma
  • Ninlaro first protesome inhibitor approved in multiple myeloma
  • Eli Lilly and Merck extend phase III Alimta-Keytruda study collaboration

 

The Cancer Letter will take a publication break

for Thanksgiving, and return Dec. 4.

20151120 - Nov. 20, 2015
SPECIAL REPORT – NOV. 18, 2015 



Congressional Panel Chair Questions Whether J&J, Brigham Reported Morcellation Adverse Events to FDA

The House Committee on Energy & Commerce has stepped into a key role in the controversy over power morcellation.

At a hearing earlier this week, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations questioned whether Johnson & Johnson and Brigham & Women’s Hospital violated federal law by not reporting adverse outcomes resulting from power morcellation.

At the Nov. 17 hearing by the Subcommittee on Health, Murphy quizzed Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in an apparent effort to determine whether manufacturers of power morcellators as well as hospitals that used these devices had failed to notify FDA that patients were being harmed.

FDA: Federal Law Requires Reporting of Morcellation Adverse Events, But None Were Brought to Agency’s Attention For 8 Years

FDA officials said the agency didn’t receive any reports of adverse outcomes resulting from power morcellation prior to December 2013.

“Of note, prior to December, the FDA had received no MDRs specifically on cancer and upstaging/dissemination,” the agency said in response to questions from The Cancer Letter. “Since then, the agency has become aware of about two dozen that have discussed ‘cancer’ and ‘upstaging or dissemination’ as of November 2014. All of these reports pertained to procedures that took place prior to December 2013.”

photoJ&J Says There Were No Reportable Morcellation Events; Whistleblower Disagrees—and Produces Letters

Johnson & Johnson officials said the company was unaware of any reportable adverse events resulting from the use of power morcellators prior to 2013.

“[J&J subsidiary] Ethicon was not aware of any reportable events related to morcellators and the possibility of upstaged cancer prior to December 2013,” a company spokesman said to The Cancer Letter. “Since that time, we have filed reports with the FDA for all reportable events that have come to our attention.”

Ethicon responded to The Cancer Letter’s questions after the Nov. 17 hearing by the Subcommittee on Health, where Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) noted that the company had received a report about the dangers of power morcellators.

20151119 - Nov. 19, 2015
ISSUE 42 – NOV. 13, 2015PDF

ORI’s Deal with Potti Doesn’t Address the Role Duke Deans Played in Scandal

After a five-year investigation, the HHS Office of Research Integrity announced that it has settled with former Duke University researcher Anil Potti.

Under the agreement published in the Federal Register Nov. 9, Potti admits no wrongdoing and agrees to be barred from research funded through Public Health Service for five years.

The report doesn’t address the subject of responsibility on the part of Duke, the institution that employed Potti and conducted three clinical trials based on his model for choosing cancer therapies.


 

Guest Editorial

Penalty Too Light

By Keith Baggerly and C.K. Gunsalus

What does it say about our national commitment to research integrity that the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity has concluded that a five-year ban on federal research funding for one individual researcher is a sufficient response to a case involving millions of taxpayer dollars, completely fabricated data, and hundreds to thousands of patients in invasive clinical trials?

This week, ORI released a notice of “final action” in the case of Anil Potti, M.D. The ORI found that Dr. Potti engaged in several instances of research misconduct and banned him from receiving federal funding for five years.


 

Congressman Says Brigham Invoked Security Threat to Get Even with Docs Who Triggered Morcellation Debate

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick accused top leaders of Brigham & Women’s Hospital of retaliating against patient advocates Amy Reed and Hooman Noorchashm when a hospital administrator declared the couple a security threat and subjected them to a physical search.

Noorchashm had to submit to being tailed by a security guard while his wife was undergoing an urgent cancer surgery Nov. 2.

“As Dr. Reed’s and Dr. Noorchashm’s Representative in Congress, I am deeply concerned about what appears to be an effort to retaliate against their advocacy and silence their First Amendment Rights,” Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) wrote in a letter Nov. 5 to Ron Walls, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Brigham.

With Letters From:

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick: Brigham Retaliated Against My Constituents

Dr. Walls,

As you may be aware, my constituent Dr. Amy Reed has been courageously battling an aggressive leiomyosarcoma that was spread throughout her body by a dangerous medical device known as a laparoscopic power morcellator.

This device has taken the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of women since it was allowed on the market by the Food and Drug Administration. This tragic reality hangs over this mother of six’s head every single day.

Ron Walls: Noorchashm’s “Campaign of Distortions”

Dear Congressman Fitzpatrick:

I am in receipt of your letter dated November 5.

I appreciate your interest in this matter, but want to be very clear that the security measures taken during Dr. Noorchashm’s visit were the direct result of the fear and anxiety expressed by faculty and staff on learning that Dr. Noorchashm would be returning to the hospital.

Since December 2013, Dr. Noorchashm has sent thousands of emails to faculty and staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, many of which contained language that recipients found disturbing and threatening.

Amy Reed: Please Stop This Craziness, Dr. Walls

Dear Dr. Walls,

Hello. My name is Amy Reed. Last week I had surgery at BWH by an excellent surgeon who works at your hospital. The surgery, as I’m sure you know, went very well and we were able to return home to our family mid-week. Your hospital has some of the best doctors in their fields.

Between visits to my oncologist, who we have a wonderful relationship with, specialists and sub-specialists, including surgeons, who have now operated on me twice, I can’t begin to count the number of times we have pulled up Francis Street to the front of BWH.

Hooman Noorchashm: Nice Try, Professor Walls

Dear Editor,

Thank you for forwarding Dr. Walls’ letter of Nov. 10, 2015, in response to Pennsylvania Congressman Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, to me.

I assure you that the BWH corporate leadership requires public exposure—because this leadership is ethically corrupted and protectionist in a way unbecoming of trusted physicians at one of the most powerful hospitals in our nation.

 

Capitol Hill

Advocacy Organizations Urge Congress to Consider FDA’s Role in Regulating LDTs

A group of 42 organizations sent an open letter to a congressional committee urging them to consider the important role of the FDA in the regulation of laboratory-developed tests.

Ahead of next week’s hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, titled “Examining the Regulation of Diagnostic Tests and Laboratory Operations,” the letter addressed concerns that agency involvement would impede patient access to LDTs, saying that the FDA has a track record of approving new technologies in a timely manner.

    In Brief

    • Michael Zinner named CEO of Miami Cancer Institute

    • Stuart Orkin receives Lifetime Impact Award from Boston Children’s

    • City of Hope announces faculty appointments

    • Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center makes personnel changes

    • St. Jude, Scripps Research Institute, and others launch Dark Proteome Initiative

    • American College of Radiology and other colorectal care advocacy agencies lobby Congress to pass Medicare coverage for CT colonography screening
    Drugs and Targets

    • Tagrisso receives accelerated approval in non-small cell lung cancer

    • Cotellic receives approval in metastatic melanoma

    20151113 - Nov. 13, 2015
    ISSUE 41 – NOV. 6, 2015PDF

    DeVita: 50 Years of Stories

    On Cancer Wars and Skirmishes

     

    Vincent T. DeVita Jr. has seen the cancer field as a confident young doc eager to challenge the system, as a general in the War on Cancer, as an academic oncologist and, most recently, as a patient.

    “I’ve been in a unique position. Partly, the War on Cancer happened because of what we were doing. I watched it grow, and then I ran it at the NCI. And then I came out of the NCI and I watched it from a private cancer center and a university cancer center,” said DeVita, co-author, with his daughter, Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, of The Death of Cancer: After Fifty Years on the Front Lines of Medicine, a Pioneering Oncologist Reveals Why the War on Cancer Is Winnable—and How We Can Get There, a just-published memoir.

    “There are very few people who have been in that position. But I felt I owed it to the field to give a description of how I saw it, from the beginning to watching it from the outside—watching the field go through some very exciting times.”

     

    Book Review

    DeVita’s History of Oncology

    Told with Candor and Optimism

    By Otis W. Brawley

    “The Emperor of All Maladies” was a history of oncology, and a good one. “The Death of Cancer” is a memoir of one of the greats of medical oncology. It is a history from someone who was there, making history.

    In scientific terms, Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book has the limitations of a retrospective study; Vince DeVita’s book is more like a prospective clinical trial.

    I trained at the NCI in the 1980’s. I openly admit that Otis Brawley the medical oncology fellow was intimidated by the mere mention of “Dr. DeVita.”

      Judge Rebukes Brigham for Placing
      Morcellation Critic Under Guard
      While His Wife Underwent Surgery

      A Boston judge ruled Nov. 3 that Brigham & Women’s Hospital had violated the First Amendment rights of a couple who led an aggressive national campaign to stop power morcellation, a surgical procedure routinely used by gynecologists.

        NCI Funds Eight SPORE Grants

        NCI awarded eight new, competing and renewed grants as part of its funding for its Specialized Programs of Research Excellence. The grantees will receive $2,185,000 per year for five years.

           

          Funding Opportunity

          NCI Taking Applications for Research Specialist Award

          NCI is taking applications for its Research Specialist Award, which is designed to encourage the development of stable research career opportunities for scientists who want to pursue research within the context of an existing cancer research program, but not serve as independent investigators.

            In Brief

            • Edith Perez steps down as vice chair of Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology; named VP for Genentech and Roche

            • Stand Up To Cancer, Cancer Research UK and Lustgarten Foundation form pancreatic cancer dream team

            • NCI names 11 winners of its Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Awards

            • AACR launches international genomic data sharing project

            • CancerCare announces co-payment assistance for pancreatic cancer patients

            • SRI International awarded contract for NCI PREVENT program
            Drugs and Targets

            • TCGA Researchers identify seven subtypes of prostate cancer; two drivers of renal cell carcinoma

            • FDA grants Breakthrough Therapy designation to pexidartinib

            • MD Anderson and CytomX launch collaboration

            20151106 - Nov. 6, 2015
            SPECIAL REPORT – NOV. 3, 2015 

            Judge Rebukes Brigham for Placing Morcellation Critic Under Guard While His Wife Was in Surgery

            A Boston judge ruled Nov. 3 that Brigham & Women’s Hospital had violated the First Amendment rights of a couple who led an aggressive national campaign to stop power morcellation, a surgical procedure routinely used by gynecologists.

            Earlier this week, Brigham provided care to Amy Reed, who needed an emergency surgery for a cancer recurrence. However, her husband, Hooman Noorchashm, had to submit to being searched and accompanied by a security guard.

            Both Reed and Noorchashm are physicians. She is an anesthesiologist who was formerly employed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and he is a cardiothoracic surgeon who had practiced at Brigham.

            20151103_10 - Nov. 3, 2015
            October 2015PDF

             

             Drugs and Targets

            FDA Approves Imlygic as First Oncolytic Viral Therapy in the U.S., for Melanoma

            FDA approved Imlygic (talimogene laherparepvec) as the first oncolytic viral therapy in the U.S.

            Imlygic, developed by Amgen, is indicated for the local treatment of unresectable cutaneous, subcutaneous and nodal lesions in patients with melanoma recurrent after initial surgery. Imlygic has not been shown to improve overall survival or have an effect on visceral metastases.

            Imlygic is a genetically modified herpes simplex virus type 1 designed to replicate within tumors and produce granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, an immunostimulatory protein. Imlygic causes cell lysis rupturing tumors and releasing tumor-derived antigens, which along with GM-CSF, may promote an anti-tumor immune response. However, the exact mechanism of action is unknown, according to Amgen.

            Also:

             Breast Cancer

            Phase III Trial Finds Equivalent OS Rates Between APBI Brachytherapy and Whole Breast Irradiation Therapy

            A prospective, randomized, multicenter phase III study comparing accelerated partial breast irradiation with interstitial multicatheter brachytherapy to whole breast irradiation showed that APBI brachytherapy lead to equivalent overall survival and local and regional cancer control rates, as compared to WBI after breast conserving surgery for selected patients with early stage breast cancers.

            The primary objective of the trial was to assess the role of APBI brachytherapy alone compared to whole breast irradiation with boost in a defined group of patients with invasive (stage I-IIA) breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (stage 0) who underwent breast-conserving surgery.

             Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

            Patients Receiving IMRT Had Less Toxicity Compared to 3D CRT, Study Finds

            Patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer that received intensity modulated radiation therapy had less severe lung toxicity and were able to better tolerate their chemotherapy compared to patients who received 3D conformal radiation therapy, according to a secondary analysis of a large phase III trial.

            The study, NRG/RTOG 0617, originally enrolled patients from 2007 to 2011, and compared a high dose of 74 Gy to the standard dose of 60 Gy. All underwent concurrent chemotherapy (carboplatin/paclitaxel, with or without cetuximab) and either 3D CRT or IMRT. In the study, 482 patients were treated with radiation—53 percent with IMRT and 47 percent with 3-D CRT.

            Prostate Cancer

            Phase III Trial Demonstrates Shorter, Hypofractionated RT Can Deliver Similar Results Compared to Conventional RT

             Mesothelioma

            WT1 Vaccine Doubles PFS In MPM Patients in Phase II Trial

             Renal Cell Carcinoma

            Study: Lenvatinib-Everolimus Combination Can Improve PFS

             Carcinoid Syndrome

            Telotristat Etiprate Demonstrates Clinical Benefit in Phase III Study

             Cervical Cancer

            Outreach Program Boosts HPV Vaccine Three-Dose Series Completion

             NCI CTEP-Approved Trials For the Month of October
            20151103 - Nov. 3, 2015
            ISSUE 40 – OCT. 30, 2015PDF

            How Much is a Drug Worth?

            A Provocative Model Puts a Price on Benefit

             

            Eli Lilly & Co. didn’t ask Dan Goldstein, an oncologist at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University, to price their drugs, but he volunteered his services anyway.

            Indeed, Lilly Oncology is unlikely in the extreme to concur with the price he proposed for necitumumab, a front-line treatment for locally advanced or metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer.

            Necitumumab, which at this writing is awaiting FDA approval, would be used in combination with a doublet treatment of gemcitabine and cisplatin. This Biologics License Application is all the more important because the treatment of squamous NSCLC hasn’t changed in over 15 years.
             

            Conversation with The Cancer Letter

            Lilly’s PACE Continuous Innovation Indicators

            Visualize Progress and Value in Research

            Lilly Oncology has launched a novel value assessment tool that aggregates 40 years of oncology data to measure progress and identify unmet needs in cancer treatments.

            The tool, called PACE Continuous Innovation Indicators, or PACE CII, is an effort to visualize progress in cancer treatments with the flexibility to accommodate different cancer subtypes.

            PACE CII, launched earlier this year, contains data on 12 solid tumors: namely cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, and prostate, as well as melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, gastric cancer, renal cancer, testicular cancer and endometrial cancer.

              Capitol Hill

              Budget Deal Eases Sequestration,

              Includes Medicare Site Neutrality

              Congress passed a two-year budget deal that would raise government spending as well as the debt ceiling.

              The bill includes an $80 billion total budget increase, divided evenly between non-military and military programs, and raises the previous caps set by sequestration. The bill also suspends the debt limit until March 2017.

                A Third of Hospitals Will Drop Out of 340B if HRSA Enacts New Guidance, Survey Finds

                Hospitals serving large populations of low-income patients stand to lose up to seven figures a year in drug discounts if proposed regulatory changes to the 340B program are enacted, the program’s supporters say.

                The Health Resources and Services Administration issued a sweeping guidance that would provide stricter definitions for which patients and entities should be covered.

                  In Brief

                  • Kathy Helzlsouer named chief medical officer and associate director of NCI DCCPS

                  • Thomas Graves and Jeanny Aragon-Ching join Inova cancer institute

                  • Friends of Cancer Research honors Marlene Malek, Reps. Diana DeGette and Fred Upton

                  • MD Anderson Cancer Center expands Moon Shots Program

                  • CureSearch for Children’s Cancer awards $260,000 in grants

                  Drugs and Targets

                  • Amgen’s Imlygic approved as first U.S. oncolytic viral cancer therapy

                  • Imbruvica wins 2015 Prix Galien Award

                  • FDA grants priority review to MCNA in certain bladder cancer patients

                  20151030 - Oct. 30, 2015
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