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Issue 1 - Jan. 6, 2017
  • Doug Lowy on the moonshot, NCI’s invigorated agenda

    As administrations change, cancer research stands in an unusually strong position, NCI Acting Director Douglas Lowy said in an interview with The Cancer Letter.

    “We’re very fortunate that both Republicans and Democrats strongly support biomedical research in general, and cancer research in particular,” Lowy said in a wide-ranging interview. “The leadership of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees was responsible for the increase in FY16 for the NIH appropriation.”

  • MD Anderson lays off 900 staff members

    The year got off to a bad start for some employees of MD Anderson
    Cancer Center.

    As part of a cost-cutting measure announced Jan. 5, about 900 of them received layoff notices.

    Television crews crowded the parking garages of the Houston hospital, capturing images of teary-eyed people carrying boxes to their cars.

  • Biden plans to create moonshot nonprofit, may focus on drug prices

    After leaving the White House, Vice President Joe Biden plans to consolidate his work on the Cancer Moonshot into an independent, nonprofit organization, while juggling non-cancer programs at two universities.

    Biden aims to continue work on the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative through a new nonprofit that will not be connected to any cancer center or university, according to sources familiar with Biden’s post-administration goals.

  • Introducing a redesign of  The Cancer Letter

    Dear Reader,

    The Cancer Letter is starting 2017 with something we haven’t done in …
    well, ever.

  • In Brief

    • Chi Van Dang named scientific director of Ludwig Institute
    • Vacirca elected COA president
    • Ruckdeschel heads cancer institute at University of Mississippi Medical Center
    • Cassels retires as chief administrator at Winship
    • ACS names three new members to board
    • Kratzke, O’Regan chosen to leadership roles at Big Ten consortium
    • PCORI approves $42 million in funding for comparative studies on healthcare approaches
  • Drugs & Targets

    • AACR project GENIE releases cancer genomic data set
    • Strata Trial study launched with UNC, Alabama cancer centers
    • Foundation Medicine receives FDA approval as companion diagnostic
    • Ionis gets $28 million from AstraZeneca for new cancer drug
    • MaxCyte, Washington University in St. Louis announce collaboration
    • MD Anderson, Affimed collaborate on immunotherapy combination
    • Gradalis, Mount Sinai announce research alliance
    • Phylogica, Genentech extend agreement
    • Senhwa gets FDA orphan drug designation
    • Oncotype DX included in AJCC staging criteria
  • Funding Opportunities

    Addario foundation, IASLC announce grant

    The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer announced the second annual joint fellowship award to support research on the early detection of lung cancer.

December 2016PDF

 

Lung Cancer

Tagrisso Shows Superiority vs. Chemo in EGFR T790M Mutation-Positive Disease

Data from phase III trial showed that Tagrisso (osimertinib) second-line therapy improved progression-free survival by 5.7 months, compared with standard platinum-based doublet chemotherapy (Hazard Ratio [HR]=0.3).

 

Breast Cancer

Lilly Presents Phase II Data on Abemaciclib in Early Breast Cancer

A phase II study of abemaciclib, a cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and CDK 6 inhibitor, met its primary endpoint of reducing expression of Ki67, a biomarker of cell proliferation, after two weeks of treatment.

 

Hematologic Malignancies

Imbruvica Shows Response in 2/3 of Steroid Dependent, Refractory cGVHD Patients in Phase II Study

In a phase II study, ibrutinib (Imbruvica) demonstrated clinically meaningful and durable responses and reduced symptom severity, with an overall response rate of 67% in patients with cGVHD.

 

Regulatory Actions

FDA Approves Indications for Rubraca and Avastin

 

KRAS

Cellular Immunotherapy Targets a Common Human Cancer Mutation

 

Head and Neck Cancer

Immune Response to HPV Has Impact on Prognosis

 

 Pain Management

Opioids Not Helpful in Treating Chronic Pain, Geisinger Study Finds

 

NCI CTEP-Approved Trials for December

CCL Dec 2016 - Dec. 22, 2016
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Issue 46 - Dec. 16, 2016
  • FDA Finds Lapses in Reporting of Patient Harm, Deaths Resulting from Medical Devices in Hospitals Nationwide

    After a broad survey of reporting standards at hospitals across the U.S., an FDA investigation recently concluded that the vast majority of the 17 institutions inspected did not file timely reports of injuries and deaths caused by medical devices.

    The inspections earlier this year were triggered by public scrutiny of power morcellation, a surgical procedure known to spread undetected uterine cancer via the device’s spinning blades, as well as by reports of infections associated with contaminated duodenoscopes, flexible, lighted tubes that are threaded through the mouth, throat, and stomach into the top of the small intestine.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    FDA: For Hospitals that Significantly Violated Federal Adverse Event Reporting Requirement, No Additional Action Necessary

    In a 17-institution inspection sparked by reports of patient harm and death resulting from power morcellators and contaminated duodenoscopes, FDA found that nearly all hospitals surveyed either failed to report adverse events or didn’t have proper reporting and documentation procedures in place.

  • Hackensack Cancer Center, MSKCC Form Business, Clinical Partnership in New Jersey

    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Hackensack Meridian Health announced a 10-year partnership deal that, in its initial stages, will involve developing joint standards of care that will be applied across their operations.

  • Obama Signs Cures Act, Funding Biden’s Moonshot and Boosting NIH, NCI, FDA Budgets Over 10 Years

    President Barack Obama Dec. 13 signed the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill that changes regulatory standards at FDA, slates additional research funds for NIH, and authorizes $1.8 billion over seven years for Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

  • Editorial

    The Year of the Moonshot

    The moonshot, The Cancer Letter’s biggest area of coverage of 2016, continues into 2017.

    With the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, the cancer moonshot initiative has been authorized at $1.8 billion over seven years. The Cures Act also authorizes $500 million over the next decade for FDA to streamline drug and device approval processes (The Cancer Letter, Dec. 10).

  • In Brief

    • Bertagnolli elected ASCO president
    • CMS abandons Medicare Part B payment experiment
    • Maki joins leadership of Northwell Health and Cold Spring Harbor
    • Neufeld named clinical director, physician-in-chief & EVP at St. Jude
    • Anderson appointed CEO of Genentech
    • Brown gives $30 million to IU immunotherapy center
    • Mulva family donates $75 million to UT Austin, MD Anderson
    • Collins receives FASEB Public Service Award
    • Proton Partners to build new cancer center at Thames Valley Science Park, UK
    • ACCC launches online resource for metastatic breast cancer
  • Drugs & Targets

    • Keytruda becomes first anti-PD-1 therapy to receive a CHMP positive opinion for previously untreated NSCLC
    • Nintedanib receives orphan drug designation for mesothelioma
    • ABTL0812 receives orphan drug designation for Pancreatic Cancer