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Issue 40 - Oct. 28, 2016
  • ACA Premiums Up by 25%—Why?

    How Will Oncology Be Affected?

    HHS officials earlier this week announced that health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act plans will, on the average, increase by 25 percent next year.

    Experts say that this could be happening at least in part because patients who signed up for the ACA exchanges turned out to be sicker and older than underwriters originally anticipated.

  • Public Health Groups Sue to Force FDA to Mandate Graphic Warnings on Cigarettes

    Eight public health and medical groups filed suit in federal court to force FDA to issue a final rule requiring graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and advertising.

    The lawsuit was filed in Boston by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Truth Initiative, and several individual pediatricians.

  • COA Reports More Attrition of Cancer Clinics

    Since 2008, 1,581 community oncology practices have closed, been acquired, merged, or are struggling to stay open, according to the 2016 Community Oncology Practice Impact Report.

    “An average of 3.6 practices have closed per month since COA began tracking this data,” said Bruce Gould, president and medical director of Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, and president of the Community Oncology Alliance, in a statement.

  • Drugs and Targets

    • Keytruda Is First Checkpoint Inhibitor To Get Approval for Front Line NSCLC
    • Xtandi Receives FDA Approval for Supplemental New Drug Application
    • YS-ON-001 granted orphan drug designation by FDA
  • In Brief

    • Achilefu Gets DOD Distinguished Investigator Award in Breast Cancer
    • Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced NY-Cuba Partnership for U.S. Clinical Trial of a Cuban Immunotherapy
    • Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Meharry Medical College, and Tennessee State University receive continued federal funding from U54 Partners in Eliminating Cancer Disparities Grants 
    • Grace Lu-Yao joins the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson
    • Sharon Byers named chief development and marketing officer of the American Cancer Society
    • Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital expands the Winship Cancer Institute
    • Ellen and Gary Davis give $2 million to Weill Cornell Medicine 
    • Varian Medical Systems and McKesson Specialty Health announce a strategic agreement
Issue 39 - Oct. 21, 2016
  • Biden Delivers Task Force Report—

    Five Moonshot Goals in Cancer

    Vice President Joe Biden and the National Cancer Moonshot Task Force published their final reports Oct. 17, summarizing the moonshot’s achievements, and outlining five strategic goals and action plans for the years to come.

    The two reports conclude the 2016 National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, and the Obama administration’s efforts to develop a national conversation on cancer research.

  • Obama: The Moonshot, “Architecture and a Framework” for Cancer Research

    President Barack Obama accepted Vice President Joe Biden and the National Cancer Moonshot Task Force’s reports—blueprints for how the federal government should focus on cancer research, oncology bioinformatics, and patient access and care over the next few years.

    “This all comes down to, ‘How does it impact patients?’ And so Joe, I think, has done a great job in engaging people who are going through battling cancer right now, and finding ways that we’re not just coming up with cures, but we’re also making sure that these systems are set up so that they’re easier for people to access,’ Obama said at a press conference Oct. 17.

  • LLS Starts Beat AML Master Trial

    After four decades of few improvements in the treatment for acute myeloid leukemia, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has launched a precision medicine trial to identify targeted treatments for patients with AML.

    The society’s trial—called Beat AML Master Trial—was announced by Vice President Joe Biden Oct. 17 at a White House event rolling out Moonshot-related initiatives.

  • Califf, Bach, Jasin, Offit, Venter Among New Members of NAM

    The National Academy of Medicine announced today the election of 70 regular members and nine international members during its annual meeting. 

    The NAM Articles of Organization stipulate that at least one-quarter of the membership is selected from fields outside the health professions.

  • In Brief

    • Fuchs Named Director at Yale
    • Cox Wins Statistics Top Prize
    • David Cella received National Academy of Medicine Gustav O. Lienhard Award
    • Marcio Fagundes and Michael Chuong joined the Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida’s integrated Radiation Oncology Department
    • The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center announced a partnership that will make Tempus as a preferred partner
    • Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. awarded ATCC
    • Carol Burke elected president of the American College of Gastroenterology
    • The Pan Mass Challenge raised $47 million
    • The Scripps Research Institute and the California Institute for Biomedical Research announced the signing of a strategic affiliation
  • Drugs and Targets

    • Lartruvo gets accelerated approval for sarcoma
    • Tecentriq approved for a type of NSCLC
    • Venclyxto granted a positive opinion from the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use
    • Onivyde in combination with 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin received marketing authorization from The European Commission
    • CDC recommended 11-to-12-year-olds receive two doses of HPV vaccine
    • IBM Watson Health and Quest Diagnostics launched IBM Watson Genomics from Quest Diagnostics
October 2016PDF

 

 

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Phase III Tecentriq Study Shows Better Survival vs. Chemo Regardless of PD-L1 Status

Genentech said its pivotal phase III OAK study of Tecentriq (atezolizumab) showed a median survival of 13.8 months, 4.2 months longer than those treated with docetaxel chemotherapy (median overall survival [OS]: 13.8 vs. 9.6 months; HR = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.62 – 0.87).

The results were presented at the European Society of Medical Oncology 2016 Annual Meeting in Copenhagen.

The OAK study evaluated people with non-small cell lung cancer whose disease had progressed on or after treatment with one or more platinum-based chemotherapy (second-line and third-line).

 

Melanoma

Yervoy Improved OS in Fully Resected Stage III Patients from Phase III Study

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. announced superior efficacy for Yervoy 10 mg/kg versus placebo on all survival endpoints in the phase III trial CA184-029 (EORTC 18071) evaluating stage III melanoma patients who are at high risk of recurrence following complete surgical resection.

In the study, Yervoy compared with placebo significantly improved overall survival (OS) (HR=0.72 [95.1% CI: 0.58-0.88; p=0.001]), a secondary endpoint, with five-year OS rates at 65.4% in the Yervoy group and 54.4% in the placebo group.

 

Head and Neck Carcinoma

Opdivo Stabilized Patient-Reported Outcomes in Phase III Study

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. announced patient-reported quality-of-life data from an exploratory endpoint in the pivotal phase III CheckMate -141 trial evaluating Opdivo in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck after platinum therapy compared to investigator’s choice of therapy (methotrexate, docetaxel or cetuximab).

Outcome assessments showed Opdivo stabilized patients’ symptoms and functioning, including physical, role and social functioning across three separate instruments, the company said.

Both PD-L1 expressors and non-expressors treated with investigator’s choice of therapy experienced statistically significant worsening of patient-reported outcomes from baseline to week 15 versus Opdivo.

 

Bladder Cancer

Phase III Trial Confirms ORR in Previously Treated Patients who Received Opdivo

 

Renal Cell Carcinoma

Durable Responses Seen With Opdivo and Yervoy in Updated Analysis

 

Colorectal Cancer

 

Breast Cancer

Novartis’s LEE011 + Letrozole Shows Superior PFS as First-Line Treatment for HR+/HER2- Advanced Breast Cancer

 

Pancreatic Cancer

ONIVYDE Regimen Produced OS, PFS Benefit In Metastatic Disease

 

Multiple Myeloma

Kyprolis Study in Newly Diagnosed Disease Doesn’t Meet Primary Endpoint—PFS

 

Retinoblastoma

Triple-drug Chemo with Topotecan Helps Preserve Vision in Patients

 

NCI CTEP-Approved Trials For the Month of October

 

Regulatory Actions

  • Genentech receives second Breakthrough Therapy Designation from FDA for Alecensa
  • Gamida Cell granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for NiCord
  • Janssen Research & Development submits supplemental NDA for ibrutinib
  • European Medicines Agency recommends conditional marketing authorization for olaratumab in combination with doxorubicin
  • FDA accepts Array Biopharma’s NDA for binimetinib
CCL Oct 2016 - Oct. 20, 2016
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Issue 38 - Oct. 14, 2016
  • Davidson Moves to Seattle Cancer Consortium

    Nancy Davidson was named executive director of the Fred Hutchinson/University of Washington Cancer Consortium effective Dec. 1. For nearly eight years, Davidson has served as director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

    In the new role, Davidson, will coordinate cancer treatment, clinical and translational research programs of consortium members Fred Hutch, UW School of Medicine, Seattle Children’s and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the cancer treatment arm of Fred Hutch, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s.

  • Where is the FY18 Bypass Budget? 

    Cancer Groups Want to Know

    The NCI Bypass Budget was expected to be made public on Oct. 6.

    Alas, this didn’t happen; why didn’t it?

    America’s top cancer groups would like to know, and theirs is not idle curiosity. The NCI Bypass Budget is an important, unique authority established by the National Cancer Act of 1971. 

  • Guest Editorial

    Goodman: Too Many PD-1 Trials for Adults, Too Few for Children

    Kudos to The Cancer Letter’s report on the 803 PD-1 or PD-L1 trials. As Rick Pazdur noted, that is just too many resources chasing the same idea for adult cancer studies.  

    Alas, as of Friday, Oct. 7, clinicaltrials.gov shows only two open trials for a PD-1 or PD-L1 trial for patients 0 to 17 years of age, and both are monotherapies. There are no listed combination trials that are open and accept kids. There are no PD-L2 trials listed that accept kids.

  • In Brief

    • Adrian Lee named director of the Institute for Precision Medicine
    • Kwok-Kin Wong named chief of hematology and medical oncology at the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Medical Center
    • Yanis Boumber joins the Department of Thoracic Medical Oncology and the Molecular Therapeutics Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center
    • Stanley Marks honored through the establishment of the Stanley M. Marks–OHA Endowed Chair in Hematology/Oncology Leadership
    • Robert Figlin appointed deputy director of the Integrated Oncology Service Line at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute
    • Suresh Ramalingam selected to hold the Roberto C. Goizueta Distinguished Chair for Cancer Research
    • Jacqueline Corrigan-Curay selected as permanent director of FDA Office of Medical Policy at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
    • Ann Richmond wins the 2016 William S. Middleton Award
    • Marc Benioff and wife Lynne give $20 million toward construction of the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of University of Southern California
    • Boris Lushniak named dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Health
    • Southern Research Institute awarded five-year IDIQ contract from NCI
    • Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation receives $3 million NCI grant 
    • NIH expands a five-year funding award to The Scripps Research Institute from $120 million to $207 million
    • Mount Sinai receives a $10 million grant from NCI
    • The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and Tempus partner to bring MI-ONCOSEQ to patients and healthcare providers
    • Merck KGaA announces the recipients of the 2016 Grant for Oncology Innovation
    • Research!America announces 2017 Advocacy Award winners
  • Drugs and Targets

    • Genentech receives second Breakthrough Therapy Designation from FDA for Alecensa

    • Gamida Cell says FDA has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to NiCord
    • Foundation Medicine, Inc. announces new clinical markers added to FoundationOne and FoundationOne Heme products
    • Abbvie said Health Canada issued a Notice of Compliance with Conditions for Venclexta
    • The US Oncology Network selects Myriad Genetics as its preferred provider laboratory for hereditary cancer testing
  • Funding Opportunities

    Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance is accepting applications for its Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research.

    The prize of $200,000 per year for up to three years is awarded annually to at least five New York City-based scientists, enabling them to continue to pursue explorative and high-risk/high-reward research at a stage when traditional funding is lacking.

Issue 37 - Oct. 7, 2016
Issue 36 - Sep. 30, 2016
  • Two Gigantic Health Systems Integrate Cancer Data to Bring Precision Medicine to Community Care

    By Matthew Bin Han Ong

    Two of the nation’s biggest nonprofit health systems—Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives—launched a precision medicine program that has the potential to create the largest collection of clinical cancer data ever compiled by a single organization.

    Together, Dignity and CHI, based in San Francisco and Englewood, Colo., respectively, operate nearly 150 hospitals and care centers across the U.S. Both rank in the top five largest nonprofit hospital systems.

  • NCI Suspends Frederick Lab Re-Competition Citing Moonshot, Zika and Ebola Research

    NCI has suspended re-competition of the the $400 million-a-year operations and technical support contract for the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research.

    A brief notice of suspension was posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website at 4:06 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, in the final business hours of the final day of the fiscal year.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    NCI’s Care Delivery Research Program Seeks to Involve Scientists from Other Fields

    Paul Jacobsen was named associate director of the NCI Division of Cancer Control and Population Science Healthcare Delivery Research Program. Jacobsen says he hopes his joining the institute signals to the scientific community the strength of the institute’s commitment to healthcare delivery research.

    “The use of ‘healthcare delivery research’ in the name of the program was intended to signal an interest in adding to the richness of traditional health services research by involving scientists from other fields whose work would be applicable to cancer care delivery settings,” said Jacobsen, who was most recently the associate center director for population science at the Moffitt Cancer Center.

  • Continuing Resolution Funds Zika, But Not Cancer or Biden’s Moonshot

    A continuing resolution passed Congress passed Sept. 28 will avoid a government shutdown and fund federal agencies through Dec. 9.

    This legislation comes two days before the government’s current funding was due to expire, at midnight Sept. 30. This would have closed all nonessential parts of the government, including NIH.

  • In Brief

    • University of Michigan Cancer Center appoints research leadership team
    • Richard Goldberg retires from Ohio State Cancer Center
    • Peter Schultz receives international Heinrich Wieland Prize
    • Lisa Kennedy Sheldon named chief clinical officer of Oncology Nursing Society
    • Christopher Heery named chief medical officer of Bavarian Nordic A/S
    • Timothy Kuzel named division chief at Rush University Medical Center
    • Morphotek Inc. enters sponsored research agreement with Fox Chase Cancer Center
    • Tempus partners with Northwestern’s Lurie Cancer Center on precision medicine partnership
  • Drugs and Targets

    • Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation contributes data to NCI Genomic Data Commons
    • Janssen submits supplemental FDA New Drug Application for ibrutinib
    • Boehringer Ingelheim and ViraTherapeutics to collaborate on oncolytic virus therapy platform
    • Genomics England Partners with GenomOncology on 100,000 Genomes Project
    • Pronai Therapeutics obtains exclusive license to develop and commercialize PNT737
    • Prix Galien Foundation announces “Discovery of the Decade” nominees
Issue 35 - Sep. 23, 2016
  • No Moonshot Funds In House & Senate FY17 Appropriations Bills

    The National Cancer Moonshot Initiative is not slated to receive funding in fiscal 2017—neither the House nor Senate appropriations bill includes the $680 million the White House proposed for Vice President Joe Biden’s project.

    Despite great bipartisan breast-beating in support of boosting the NCI and NIH budgets, Congress has not set aside funding for the moonshot, a broad scientific and public health effort focused on improving clinical trials, data sharing, and streamlining regulatory processes for oncology products at FDA.

  • Obituary

    Sargent, Mayo Biostatistician and Clinical Trialist, Dies Unexpectedly at 46

    Dan Sargent, one of the world’s foremost experts in oncology clinical trials, died unexpectedly on Sept. 2. Sargent died from an acute illness, Mayo officials said. He was 46.

    “This is a tremendous loss to Mayo Clinic as well as the national and international cancer research community. Dan has given so much to so many,” said Robert Diasio, director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. “We are deeply saddened by his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family.”

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    OHSU Seeks to Raise another $1 Billion; Keith Todd Describes the Strategy

    After raising $1 billion for Knight Cancer Institute, the Oregon Health and Science University fundraising team set out to raise another $1 billion over five years—before 2020.

    Some of the money—at least $200 million—would go to cancer, but the rest is slated to support research and patient care in other areas of medicine, including neuroscience, HIV, heart disease, blindness, and child health.

  • In Brief

    • American Association for Cancer Research releases 2016 Cancer Progress Report
    • 90 cancer groups and centers urge CMS to rescind proposed lung cancer screening reimbursement cuts
    • Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) receives ASCO Congressional Leadership Award
    • Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. under investigation for potential securities fraud
    • Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian rename shared medical campus for donors Herbert and Florence Irving
    • Shirley Johnson named senior vice president of Nursing & Patient Care Services of Roswell Park Cancer Institute
    • Falk Medical Research Trust awards $485,000 for uveal melanoma research
    • American Brain Tumor Association awards 16 brain tumor research grants
  • Drugs and Targets

    • Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives launch Precision Medicine Alliance
    • EMA recommends conditional marketing authorization for olaratumab
    • Golden Meditech and MD Anderson announce creation of Cellenkos Inc.
    • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute agree to exchange cancer mutation data
    • ORIEN and HudsonAlpha announce new research collaboration
August/September 2016PDF

 

 

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Tecentriq Demonstrates Increase In Overall NSCLC Survival in Phase III Study

Genentech announced positive results for Tecentriq (atezolizumab) from the Phase III study OAK. The study met its co-primary endpoints and showed a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival compared with docetaxel chemotherapy in people with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer whose disease progressed on or after treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy.

Adverse events were consistent with what has been previously observed for Tecentriq. Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, will present full results at an upcoming medical meeting in 2016.

Also:

 

Lymphoma

Adcetris Improves ORR4 in Phase III Trial

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Seattle Genetics Inc. said that the phase III ALCANZA clinical trial evaluating Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma met its primary endpoint, demonstrating a highly statistically significant improvement in the rate of objective response lasting at least four months (ORR4).

This randomized trial, which received a Special Protocol Assessment from FDA and scientific advice from the European Medicines Agency, compared the use of single-agent Adcetris to a control arm of investigator’s choice of standard therapies, methotrexate or bexarotene, in 131 patients with CD30-expressing CTCL who received prior systemic or radiation therapy.

 

Breast Cancer

Abemaciclib Phase III Trial Continues After Interim Efficacy Criteria Not Met

Eli Lilly and Co. said that following a pre-planned interim analysis of the MONARCH 2 trial, an independent data monitoring committee provided the recommendation to continue the study without modification as the interim efficacy criteria were not met.

The phase III trial compares abemaciclib plus fulvestrant versus placebo with fulvestrant in women with hormone-receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-) locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

 

Prostate Cancer

Custirsen Trial Fails to Show Improvement in Survival

 

Melanoma

Two-drug Immunotherapy May Produce Better Survival in Advanced Melanoma

 

Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Study Confirms Association Between RFA Burn Time, OS In Patients Receiving ThermoDox

 

Kidney Cancer

Study Finds HIF-2 Inhibitors More Effective Than Sunitinib

 

Regulatory Actions

Novartis, MEI Pharma. Receive Breakthrough Therapy Designations

 

NCI CTEP-Approved Trials for the Months of August and September

 

Screening

FDA Warns Against Ovarian Cancer Screening

CCL 39-08 - Sep. 22, 2016
Issue 34 - Sep. 16, 2016
  • ODAC Slams Spectrum for Massaging Data From Two Bladder Cancer Trials

    A brief consult with an undergraduate earning a B or above in Statistics 101 might have acquainted Spectrum Pharmaceuticals executives with all the science that would have saved them from a devastating encounter with an FDA advisory committee.

    Yet, there they were, black suits and all, at a suburban Maryland conference center, watching the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee vote unanimously against approval of Spectrum’s bladder cancer therapy Qapzola (apaziquone). 

    During the Sept. 14 meeting, FDA officials said repeatedly that taking apaziquone, a drug chemically related to mitomycin, to ODAC wasn’t their idea.

  • White House: New Moonshot Initiatives On Clinical Trials Will Improve Speed, Access

    Vice President Joe Biden Sept. 16 announced a series of initiatives to improve the safety, accessibility, and impact of clinical research—one of the central goals of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

    The programs, which span four federal entities—NCI, FDA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and NIH—would make existing clinical trial search sites more user-friendly, and ensure that results of clinical trials are shared in a timely fashion.

  • NCI Director’s Report

    Lowy: RPG Funding Increased by $100M From 2013 to 2015—150 More Grants Funded

    Research Project Grant funding at NCI has increased 25 percent, from $400 million in 2013 to $500 million in 2015, NCI Acting Director Douglas Lowy said to the National Cancer Advisory Board Sept. 7.

    NCI’s fiscal 2016 budget is $5.21 billion, an increase of $260.5 million over fiscal 2015. This represents the  first time in about three years that funding for the institute has recovered to above pre-sequestration levels.

  • Abcodia Suspends Sale of Ovarian Cancer Screening Test After FDA Communication

    Abcodia Inc., a British company that manufactures a controversial ovarian cancer screening test, said it will temporarily suspend the availability of the product in the United States.

    ROCA, also known as the Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm, uses a blood test called CA-125 and patients’ history to determine their risk for developing ovarian cancer.

  • Obituary

    John Bailar, Epidemiologist and Critic of War on Cancer, Dies at 83

    John Christian Bailar III, an epidemiologist and biostatistician known for his criticism of NCI’s emphasis on treatment, died Sept. 6. He was 83.

    Bailar riffed on the bellicose language of President Richard Nixon’s “War on Cancer” to suggest that the war in question was being lost. Researchers have focused too much on treatment and not enough on prevention, he argued.

  • Obituary

    Hopkins Biologist Saul Sharkis Dies at 72; Studied Blood Stem Cells’ Role in BMT

    Saul Sharkis, a scientist who studied the biology of blood stem cells and how they could be used to treat cancer through bone marrow transplantation, died Sept. 4. He was 72.

    Sharkis was a professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a faculty member in the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center for more than 40 years.

  • In Brief

    • Eric Fearon named director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • William Kaelin, Peter Ratcliffe, and Gregg Semenza receive 2016 Lasker Award for basic medical research
    • NCI publishes full list of FY2016 SPORE grantees
    • NCCN collaborates with New Century Health to integrate Imaging Appropriate Use Criteria
    • Levi Garraway succeeds Richard Gaynor as Lilly Oncology senior vice president, Global Development & Medical Affairs
    • Brian Goldstein named chief health system officer of UW Medicine and vice president for medical affairs at the University of Washington
    • Ashani Weeratna named Ira Brind Associate Professor at the Wistar Institute
    • Thomas Imperiale named inaugural Lawrence Lumeng Professor in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Indiana University School of Medicine
    • The Terry Fox Foundation awards $27.3 million to six Canadian research teams
    • FDA issues first warning letters for selling e-cigarettes, e-liquids and cigars to minors
    • FDA modifies dosage regimen for nivolumab (Opdivo) for the currently approved indications
    • The European Commission issues marketing authorization for lenvatinib (Kisplyx) in combination with everolimus
Issue 33 - Sep. 9, 2016
  • NCI’s Moonshot Advisory Panel Identifies Ten Opportunities in Cancer Research

    The Blue Ribbon Panel—a group of experts selected to identify scientific opportunities for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative—has submitted 10 recommendations to the National Cancer Advisory Board.

    The panel proposes creating tumor atlases and national networks for patient engagement, immunotherapy clinical trials, and data sharing. Recommendations also include supporting research on drug resistance, fusion oncoproteins, symptom management, and development of cancer technologies.

    “The Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations outline a set of opportunities that, if implemented, will transform our understanding of cancer and result in new opportunities to more effectively prevent and treat the disease,” the authors write.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Lowy: Implementation Will Depend on NCI Funding in Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018

    NCI will urge increased and sustained appropriations for carrying out ten recommendations put forward by the Blue Ribbon Panel, the institute’s scientific advisory panel to the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

    On Sept. 7, NCI Acting Director Douglas Lowy accepted the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel, which presented its report to the National Cancer Advisory Board.

    “To the extent that NCI would be involved in making a case to Congress, we would be talking about the scientific validity of what is being recommended as a really important way of augmenting what NCI is already doing,” Lowy said.

  • FDA Warns Against Ovarian Cancer Screening

    FDA has recommended against the use of ovarian cancer screening tests, regardless of risk level.

    In a safety communication published Sept. 7, the agency warned women and their physicians against relying on “unproven” technology. No study published to date has provided reliable evidence that ovarian cancer screening saves lives, the agency said.

    “FDA is concerned that women and their physicians may be misled by such claims and rely on inaccurate results to make treatment decisions,” FDA said in a statement. “Available data do not demonstrate that currently available ovarian cancer screening tests are accurate and reliable in screening asymptomatic women for early ovarian cancer.”

  • Obituary

    Robert Frelick, Former CCOP Program Director, Dies at 96

    Robert Westscott “Dr. Bob” Frelick died Sept. 1, 2016. He passed away in his sleep after an accident and short illness. He was 96.

    Born in 1920, in Potsdam NY, Frelick graduated from Union College, Schenectady NY and received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine.

    He joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1942, rising to the rank of captain. After marrying Jane Owen Hayden in 1944 and serving a medical internship at New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, he went on active duty with the U.S. Army in 1945, first assigned to Madigan General Hospital in Fort Lewis WA, and then to the Army of Occupation in Munich, Germany.

  • In Brief

    • Washington University receives $10.4 million NCI SPORE grant
    • Hollings Cancer Center receives $8 million grant from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities
    • Jacques Galipeau joins the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
    • Frank Vrionis to become director of Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Marcus Neuroscience Institute
    • The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Oncology Research Program (ORP) awarded three grants to investigators
    • Bassel El-Rayes to hold the John Kauffman Family Professorship for Pancreatic Cancer Research
    • Michael Jan Bartel joins the Department of Medicine as a gastroenterologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center
    • Allison Aggon joins the Department of Surgical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center
    • The Cincinnati Children’s/UC Health Proton Therapy Center opened with the ProBeam System from Varian Medical Systems
    • Ruth Browne to become new president and chief executive officer of the Ronald McDonald House
    • The Prostate Cancer Foundation announces five new Movember Foundation-PCF Challenge Awards
    • The American Society for Radiation Oncology selects 44 cancer researchers and clinicians to receive a total of $36,500 in individual awards 

     

  • Drugs and Targets

    • 21 hospitals across China will adopt Watson for oncology
    • Amgen acquires rights from Boehringer Ingelheim for BI 836908 (AMG 420)
    • FDA accepts Array Biopharma’s NDA for binimetinib
    • Cumberland Pharmaceuticals begins distributing Ethyol (amifostine) for injection
    • EMA accepts for review Mylan’s MAA for a proposed biosimilar trastuzumab
    • BTG International Canada receives approval from Health Canada for DC Bead LUMI
    • Palmetto GBA issues final local coverage determination for ProMark
    • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Adicet Bio to develop next-gen engineered immune cell therapeutics

     

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