Issue 40 - Oct 26, 2018
  • Long-awaited trial of checkpoint inhibitor in breast cancer produces 2-month PFS gain; no final OS advantage seen—yet

    Tecentriq, Genentech’s PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, is the first immunotherapy agent to report positive outcomes in breast cancer in a phase III trial—providing proof of principle that these drugs are active in treatment of triple-negative breast cancer.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    NCI’s Korde: Follow-up needed to validate PFS with mature OS results for Tecentriq

    In talking to patients, I think it’s difficult to ignore the possibility of a 10-month improvement in overall survival in patients with PD-L1 positive tumors. If this result is confirmed with longer follow-up and seen in future studies, it would certainly be a major step forward in the treatment of TNBC.

  • Has Tecentriq earned a role in treatment of triple-negative breast cancer? Here is what experts say

    Obviously, the field of immune-oncology has been one of the great success stories in our field over the last five years, based on our molecular understanding of the mechanisms of immune tolerance (or checkpoints) and how to disrupt that. Not only has ASCO declared Checkpoint Inhibition (as well as cellular-based immunotherapy) the “Advance of the Year,” the Nobel Committee awarded this year’s Prize to Drs. Allison and Honjo for their fabulous observations that led to these great breakthroughs.

  • Trump’s drug pricing plan pegs Medicare Part B payments to international levels

    The Trump administration earlier this week said it intends to start the rulemaking process aimed at aligning Medicare payments for drugs with prices paid outside the US.

  • In Brief

    • Ken Cowan to step down as director of Nebraska’s Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
    • Otis Brawley, Patricia Ganz, James Wade receive ACCC awards
    • Taylor Ripley to join Baylor College of Medicine
    • Alastair Thompson to lead breast surgical oncology at BCM
    • Rutgers’s Richard Drachtman receives Melvyn H. Motolinsky Award
    • Mount Sinai mammography van intended to break down disparities in screening
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  • Clinical Roundup

    • Keytruda improved OS as monotherapy and in combination with chemo in first-line recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer
    • Keytruda shows nearly 40% CR in high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer unresponsive to standard of care
    • Loxo Oncology announces larotrectinib clinical update in patients with TRK Fusion cancers
    • Pfizer provides update on PALOMA-3 trial of IBRANCE in HR+, HER2- metastatic breast cancer
    • Data monitoring committee recommends continuation of SGX301 trial in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
    • Data on Merck’s investigational STING agonist presented at ESMO 2018
    • Zoledronic acid improves DFS in premenopausal HR+ early breast cancer
    • SOLO-1 phase III trial demonstrates Lynparza maintenance therapy cut the risk of disease progression or death by 70% in advanced BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer
    • Study shows surgery, radiation extend survival of patients with limited metastatic lung cancer
    • Lonsurf meets OS and PFS endpoints in phase III trial
    • AVEO Oncology, EUSA Pharma announce updated interim results from phase II portion of the TiNivo study in renal cell carcinoma
    • Celsion announces PFS data from GEN-1 phase I immuno-oncology study in stage III/IV ovarian cancer
    • Study: Racial disparity in colorectal cancer incidence not due to biology
    • Marker found for condition that causes skin tumors
  • Drugs & Targets

    • FDA accepts sNDA for Lonsurf for metastatic gastric/gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma; grants Priority Review
    • BMS provides update on regulatory review of Opdivo + Yervoy in first-line lung cancer
    • Zai Lab announces approval of Zejula in relapsed ovarian cancer in Hong Kong
    • NCCN awarded $2M to study Taiho’s Trifluridine and Tipiracil in various cancers
Issue 39 - Oct 19, 2018
Issue 38 - Oct 12, 2018
  • St. Jude and the World Health Organization collaborate in first-ever global alliance to boost cancer cure rates in children

    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the World Health Organization have formed a collaboration, working with partners across the world, and aiming to cure at least 60 percent of children with cancer worldwide by 2030.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    St. Jude’s Downing: WHO effort can raise cure rates up to 60% for children with cancer

    The $15 million collaboration between St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the World Health Organization is the first step to improving access in low and middle-income countries to affordable treatments for six common types of childhood cancer, said James Downing, St. Jude president and CEO.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    WHO’s Ilbawi: St. Jude partnership can resolve inequality, capacity issues in childhood cancer

    How do you begin a quest to cure 60 percent of children with six common types of childhood cancer worldwide by 2030?

    You start by building the political will needed to secure government investment in health care, said André Ilbawi, a World Health Organization technical officer for cancer control in the Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention.

  • Letter to the Editor

    Ronald DePinho’s guest editorial in the Oct. 5, 2018, issue of The Cancer Letter congratulating Jim Allison for winning a share of the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology contained the following one sentence paragraph: “It was the first Nobel ever awarded for the treatment of cancer.”

  • In Brief

    • Cancer biologist Steven Artandi to lead Stanford Cancer Institute, replacing outgoing director Beverly Mitchell
    • Allan Tsung named surgical oncology division director at Ohio State
    • Marc Hurlbert named chief science officer at Melanoma Research Alliance
    • Katzenellenbogen named Chuck and Tina Pagano Scholar at IU
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  • Trials & Tribulations

    Biomarker linked to increased survival rates among certain brain tumor patients

    Study shows DNA biomarker can be used to predict outcomes for high risk low grade gliomas

    Brain tumors can be tricky to treat because there is such a wide range of outcomes. Some patients succumb to the disease within months, others live years beyond their diagnosis.

  • Clinical Roundup

    • New ASTRO/ASCO/AUA guideline for early-stage prostate cancer supports use of shortened courses of radiation therapy
    • High-precision proton therapy more effective in some cancers when combined with thermal therapy
    • Cancer death disparities linked to poverty, lifestyle factors nationwide
    • Report: tobacco control must be highest priority in cancer control
  • Drugs & Targets

    • ODAC recommends approval of rituximab biosimilar
    • Myriad, Pfizer announce commercialization plan for talazoparib companion diagnostic
    • Foundation Medicine introduces liquid biopsy for solid tumors in patients with advanced cancer
    • Celyad announces agreement for Horizon Discovery’s shRNA platform to develop next- gen allogeneic CAR-T therapies
    • Novitas Solutions approves coverage of UPMC-developed test for diagnosis of thyroid nodules
  • NCI Trials

    NCI Trials for October

    The National Cancer Institute Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program approved the following clinical research studies last month.