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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