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A new option for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, immune checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda, has been approved by the FDA -- marking historic progress for certain patients

A new, exciting, first-line treatment option has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of colon cancer patients with tumor abnormalities. A leading expert tells SurvivorNet that this approval could make a historic impact in helping delay patients’ cancers from worsening.

Pembrolizumab (brand name Keytruda) is an immunotherapy checkpoint inhibitor that has been approved by the FDA as a first-line treatment option in the form of an intravenous injection for a subset of colorectal cancer patients — specifically those with metastatic or unresectable microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR). Patients with MSI-H or dMMR make up 5-10% of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, and have tumors that contain specific abnormalities which hinders DNA from repairing itself.

https://www.survivornet.com/articles/immunotherapy-drug-keytruda-approved-for-colon-cancer-patients-with-specific-tumor-abnormalities/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=keywee&utm_campaign=CTG&kwp_0=1937145&fbclid=IwAR0G5-qSkd9DizQEgmIwk16YDfTK7Wr0k89TZfkHxi8wSkTo7F5FUW9AjlU

 

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Patients with HER2-expressing metastatic colorectal cancer appeared to achieve durable and promising results after treatment with trastuzumab deruxtecan (T-DXd), according to recent findings.

 

Moreover, data from the phase 2 study, which were presented during the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, demonstrated that treatment with the antibody-drug conjugate was safe with only 13 patients having to discontinue treatment as a result of side effects.

 

In an interview with CURE®, study author Dr. Kanwal P.S. Raghav, an associate professor in the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, discussed why the results of this trial are pivotal for this patient population.

 

“It's a very well-tolerated treatment. And it showed us very robust and promising response rates,” said Raghav. “So what we did see is that our overall survival, progression-free survival as well as response from this therapy in this population appeared to be far superior to what would have been expected from other treatments that these patients would have gotten.”

https://www.curetoday.com/view/novel-therapy-shows-promise-in-group-of-patients-with-metastatic-colon-cancer

 

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KNOXVILLE, TN, June 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Provectus (OTCQB: PVCT) today announced that preclinical data from the Company’s research on oral delivery of investigational cancer immunotherapy PV-10 (rose bengal disodium) for the treatment of adult solid tumors were published as an abstract as part at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2021 Annual Meeting, held June 4-8 online.

A copy of the abstract, which was first published by ASCO on May 19th, is available on its website at https://meetinglibrary.asco.org/record/200310/abstract.

This research on the potential oral administration of PV-10 for the prophylactic and/or therapeutic treatment of adult solid tumor cancers is led by Aru Narendran, MD, PhD, Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Oncology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and Physiology & Pharmacology in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary (UCal) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In association with their ASCO abstract, Dr. Narendran’s team prepared a brief presentation for inclusion in this press release.

https://forextv.com/top-news/provectus-biopharmaceuticals-announces-publication-of-in-vitro-data-from-research-on-oral-delivery-of-pv-10-at-american-society-of-clinical-oncology-asco-2021-annual-meeting/

 

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June 9, 2021 -- Advarra's Gene Therapy Ready network has grown to over 500 registered research sites, making it the largest administrator of institutional biosafety committees (IBCs).

IBCs are responsible for reviewing projects that involve, but are not limited to, recombinant DNA, RNA interference, pathogens, human materials, and other potentially infectious material, as well as transgenic animals, according to guidelines from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Gene Therapy Ready network is a collective of clinical research sites prepared to conduct trials involving genetically engineered vaccines, gene-modified cellular therapies, and gene therapies. Advarra launched the network in January 2021 with an initial 350 sites.

https://www.scienceboard.net/index.aspx?sec=ser&sub=def&pag=dis&ItemID=2820

 

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A class of antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) first hit the market in the 1950s and has since been eclipsed by drugs that are less likely to cause unwanted side effects. Now, scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have evidence that these drugs may be able to be repurposed in the treatment of cancer.

 
The UCLA researchers discovered MAOIs help the immune system fight cancer, slowing the growth of colon tumors and melanoma in mice. They reported their findings in two papers, one published Nature Communications and the other in Science Immunology, UCLA said in a statement.

By studying immune cells from melanoma tumors in mice, the UCLA team discovered that immune cells that had invaded the tumors showed high activity of the gene monoamine oxidase A. The protein that gene produces, MAO-A is the target of MAOI drugs.

https://www.fiercebiotech.com/research/old-antidepressants-show-promise-as-immuno-oncology-treatments-melanoma-and-colon-cancer

 

 

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Researchers have found a protein that, when inhibited in mice with cancer, increased the response to immunotherapy.

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute, UK, have identified a protein that helps tumours evade the immune system and in certain types of cancers, is linked to a poorer chance of survival. The team say that the protein could become a target for future cancer treatments.

According to the researchers, a crucial part of the immune system’s response to cancer is a group of white blood cells, called CD8+ T cells, which kill tumour cells. Before they launch their antitumour response, these cells must be what to attack by another immune cell, a dendritic cell.

https://www.drugtargetreview.com/news/92573/newly-identified-protein-could-become-target-for-cancer-immunotherapy/

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Small cap immunotherapy biotech Immutep is a step closer to commercialising its leading drug candidate, “efti”, after releasing promising data showing the effectiveness of the drug in treating various types of lung, head and neck, and solid tumour cancers.

 

The positive clinical trial data will be a boon for the business, which is already trading up 58.3 per cent for the year-to-date at 66¢, thanks to the growing interest from the global biotech community in the LAG-3 checkpoint, which Immutep is targeting. This interest has been driven by the progress that Bristol Myers Squibb has made with its own LAG-3 immunotherapy.

 

https://www.afr.com/technology/investors-buoyed-by-positive-data-for-immutep-s-immunotherapy-20210606-p57yju

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The FDA granted accelerated approval to the RAS GTPase inhibitor sotorasib (Lumakras, Amgen) for the treatment of adults with KRAS G12C-mutated, locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), as determined by an FDA approved test, who have received at least one prior systemic therapy. 

This is the first approved targeted therapy for tumors with any KRAS mutation, which accounts for approximately 25% of mutations in NSCLC. KRAS G12C mutations represent approximately 13% of mutations in NSCLC.

The agency also approved the QIAGEN Therascreen KRAS RGQ PCR kit (tissue) and the Guardant360 CDx (plasma) as companion diagnostics for use with sotorasib. If no mutation is detected in a plasma specimen, the tumor tissue should be tested.

https://www.clinicaloncology.com/FDA-Watch/Article/06-21/FDA-Approves-First-KRAS-Targeted-Therapy-Lumakras-for-NSCLC/63758

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Fort Myers, Fla., June 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) is pleased to announce that 12 research studies co-authored by AON physicians will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2021 Annual Meeting, which will be held June 4-8, 2021. The program will feature more than 4,900 abstracts covering advances in the treatment of prostate, breast, lung, and renal cancers as well as screening, prevention, access to care, immunotherapy, and precision medicine. This year’s theme is “Equity: Every Patient. Every Day. Everywhere.”

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/06/07/2242590/0/en/American-Oncology-Network-Physicians-Research-to-be-Well-Represented-at-the-ASCO21-Virtual-Scientific-Program.html

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New technology that will marry probes that can detect cancer tumors through the skin with high-precision robotic surgery is to be developed for use in hospital settings for the first time in a project led by the University of Warwick.

The Terabotics project will use probes that use terahertz radiation, or T-rays, to scan for tumors under the skin while medical-grade surgical robots will be adapted to use these scans to guide them in removing tumors in skin and colorectal cancer patients more precisely.

If successful, the researchers hope it could lead to real-time diagnosis for cancer patients, shorter waiting periods for cancer surgery, and more comprehensive removal of tumors with reduced need for follow-up surgery.

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210607/Researchers-to-develop-new-technology-to-detect-and-Remove-cancer-tumors.aspx

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