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Surgical Biopsy Proves Safe for Selected Late-Stage Lung Cancer Patients

Surgical Biopsy Proves Safe for Selected Late-Stage Lung Cancer Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Researchers at UC Davis have determined that surgical biopsies can be safely performed on select patients with late-stage non-small cell lung cancer, which should enhance their access to drugs that target specific genetic mutations such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).


"The findings, published in the July issue of The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, address a common problem in treatment for advanced lung cancer: insufficient tumor tissue available for molecular analysis, which is required before prescribing targeted therapy."


Editor's note: Surgical biopsies (removal of a small sample of a tumor) are used by doctors to figure out if a patient's tumor has certain genetic mutations. A tumor's genetic mutations can help determine which treatments are most likely to work. Some doctors are reluctant to take surgical biopsies from patients with late-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) because of concerns that dangerous complications will arise. But a new study found that, with careful expert review and good surgical approaches, certain late-stage patients can safely have surgical biopsies.

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UC Davis  |  Jun 26, 2014

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General Oncology - Six-Gene Signature Predicts Survival After Targeted Therapy for NSCLC

General Oncology - Six-Gene Signature Predicts Survival After Targeted Therapy for NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The presence of a six-gene profile in the microRNA of patients with advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) predicts reduced survival likelihood after first-line treatment with targeted therapy followed by chemotherapy for disease progression, indicate research results.


"While the findings 'should be further validated', the researchers believe their analysis 'supports the hypothesis that circulating [microRNA's] may further be developed as predictive markers for EGFR-targeted treatment' in an NSCLC population whose response to epidermal growth-factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors is unknown."


Editor's note: This story describes a new, blood test-based method by which oncologists may be able to predict the effects of targeted therapy treatment on the survival of patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Specifically, it may be able to predict the effects of first-line treatment with drugs known as EGFR inhibitors, which are prescribed to people whose tumors have mutations in the EGFR gene, as detected by molecular testing. In a study with volunteer patients, scientists took blood samples just before and just after the patients began taking the drugs bevacizumab or erlotinib. The scientists identified six different kinds of a molecule called microRNA that, if present, were associated with a lower chance of survival (29 months versus more than 45 months). More testing will be needed to determine if this six-gene signature can be used widely; it would be a non-invasive alternative to making predictions and monitoring treatment effectiveness using repeat tumor biopsies.

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medwireNews  |  June 20, 2014

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General Oncology - Survival Differences After Docetaxel, Erlotinib are EGFR Dependent

General Oncology - Survival Differences After Docetaxel, Erlotinib are EGFR Dependent | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Results from the DELTA trial indicate no significant differences in progression-free (PF) or overall survival (OS) after treatment with docetaxel versus erlotinib in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients unselected for their epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation status.


"By contrast, in the subgroup of patients whose tumours were positive for EGFR mutations, PFS and OS were nonsignificantly longer in the erlotinib than the docetaxel group, whereas in those with wild-type tumours, docetaxel was significantly superior to erlotinib in terms of PFS, observe the researchers in the Journal of Clinical Oncology."


Editor's note: This story discusses the results of a clinical trial comparing the targeted drug erlotinib (aka Tarceva) with the chemotherapy drug docetaxel in volunteer patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the trial, patients whose tumors had mutations in the EGFR gene benefitted more from erlotinib than docetaxel, while patients without EGFR mutations (as detected by molecular testing) had better results from docetaxel.

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medwireNews  |  Jun 13, 2014

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Resistance to Lung Cancer Targeted Therapy Can be Reversed, Study Suggests

Resistance to Lung Cancer Targeted Therapy Can be Reversed, Study Suggests | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Up to 40 percent of lung cancer patients do not respond to a targeted therapy designed to block tumor growth—a puzzling clinical setback that researchers have long tried to solve. Now, scientists at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute have discovered why that intrinsic resistance occurs—and they pinpoint a drug they say could potentially reverse it."


"Their findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, found that over-expression of the growth protein Cripto-1 makes lung cancer cells resistant to the drug erlotinib (Tarceva®). Experiments in cell lines and in animals demonstrated that blocking Cripto-1 signaling transduction restored sensitivity to the drug, one of a number of EGFR inhibitors used in non-small cell lung carcinoma and other cancers."


Editor's note: Lung cancer patients who try the targeted therapy drug erlotinib (brand name Tarceva) may be intrinsically resistant to it; it has no effect on their tumor growth. Researchers have now found that abnormalities involving a gene called Cripto-1 can make a tumor resistant to Tarceva, and that drugs that block Cripto-1's role in tumor cells can restore sensitivity to Tarceva. These studies were done on human cancer cells in the lab and in animals, but a new clinical trial with volunteer patients will test whether a drug called AZD0424 might undo Tarceva resistance in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), allowing them to benefit from Tarceva treatment.

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Medical Xpress  |  Jun 9, 2014

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Researchers Report Double Dose of Promising Lung Cancer Findings

Researchers Report Double Dose of Promising Lung Cancer Findings | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Researchers with UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centerreport that two new experimental drugs have shown great promise in the treatment of patients with non–small-cell lung cancer, which accounts for about 85 percent of all lung cancers. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States.


"The drugs—ramucirumab and CO-1868—were shown in separate clinical trials to increase survival times with fewer toxic side effects than standard treatments. The findings were presented this week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago."


Editor's note: For more on the ramucirumab findings, see our previous news post. To learn more about targeted therapies like CO-1686 and ramucirumab, visit our lung cancer Basics.

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Medical Xpress  |  Jun 5, 2014

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ASCO: Targeted Tx Combo Stalls NSCLC

ASCO: Targeted Tx Combo Stalls NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Adding bevacizumab (Avastin) to first-line targeted therapy delayed progression in a subgroup of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), an open-label trial showed.


"Progression-free survival was 46% better with bevacizumab plus erlotinib (Tarceva), at 16.0 months compared with 9.7 on erlotinib alone in an EGFR mutation-positive population (P=0.0015), Terufumi Kato, MD, of Kanagawa Cardiovascular and Respiratory Center in Yokohama, Japan, and colleagues found."


Editor's note: A combination of two targeted therapy drugs has shown promise for treating some patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The two drugs are called bevacizumab (brand name Avastin) and erlotinib (brand name Tarceva). The research described in this story found that the combination works better for patients whose tumors have mutations in the EGFR gene (as detected by molecular testing) than erlotinib alone.

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MedPage Today  |  Jun 3, 2014

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Proteomic Signature for EGFR Inhibitor Therapy Predicts Survival Benefit of Second-Line Chemotherapy vs Erlotinib in NSCLC

Proteomic Signature for EGFR Inhibitor Therapy Predicts Survival Benefit of Second-Line Chemotherapy vs Erlotinib in NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"There are conflicting data on whether epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor therapy is beneficial in second-line treatment of lung cancer patients with unknown or wild-type EGFR status. In a phase III trial (PROSE) reported in The Lancet Oncology, Gregorc et al assessed the predictive value of a proteomic signature serum protein test for likely outcome of EGFR inhibitor therapy in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients receiving second-line therapy with the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib (Tarceva) vs chemotherapy. They found that the test was predictive of differential survival benefit for erlotinib vs chemotherapy, with patients classified by the test as likely to have poor outcome on EGFR inhibitor therapy having better outcome on chemotherapy."

"Overall survival was significantly better with chemotherapy among patients with a proteomic classification of poor, whereas there was no difference between chemotherapy and erlotinib in patients with a classification of good."

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The ASCO Post  |  May 22, 2014

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Clovis Oncology Receives Breakthrough Therapy Designation for CO-1686
for the Treatment of Second-line EGFR Mutant Non-small Cell Lung Cancer
(NSCLC) in Patients with the T790M Mutation

Clovis Oncology Receives Breakthrough Therapy Designation for CO-1686 <br/>      for the Treatment of Second-line EGFR Mutant Non-small Cell Lung Cancer <br/>      (NSCLC) in Patients with the T790M Mutation | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Clovis Oncology, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation for the Company’s investigational agent CO-1686 as monotherapy for the treatment of second-line EGFR mutant NSCLC in patients with the T790M mutation. The Breakthrough Therapy designation was granted based on interim efficacy and safety results from an ongoing Phase 1/2 study of CO-1686. CO-1686 is the Company’s novel, oral, targeted covalent (irreversible) inhibitor of mutant forms of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer in patients with initial activating EGFR mutations as well as the dominant resistance mutation T790M."


Editor's note: CO-1686 is a targeted therapy drug that is meant to treat patients whose tumors have mutations in the EGFR gene, as detected by molecular testing. Some tumors with EGFR mutations become resistant to first-line treatment and develop a new mutation called T790M. Evidence shows that non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with T790M may benefit from second-line treatment with CO-1686.The drug has received a Breakthrough Therapy designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that the FDA finds CO-1686 to be very promising compared to currently available treatments for T790M-mutated NSCLC, and will accelerate the approval process that would ultimately permit oncologists to prescribe the drug outside of a clinical trial.

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MarketWatch  |  May 19, 2014

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Lilly's Necitumumab Improves Overall Survival In Largest Ever Phase III Study In First-Line Treatment Of Stage IV Squamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Lilly's Necitumumab Improves Overall Survival In Largest Ever Phase III Study In First-Line Treatment Of Stage IV Squamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Lung cancer patients with metastatic squamous cell carcinoma have seen few treatment advancements over the last two decades, leaving these patients with a poor prognosis. This is in contrast to the progress seen in nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Results from the largest ever Phase III trial in first-line squamous NSCLC announced by Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today provide the first detailed look at a potential new treatment option for these patients."


Editor's note: This story is about a clinical trial that found promising results for some lung cancer patients treated with the new targeted therapy drug necitumumab. Necitumumab appears to benefit some patients with stage IV squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

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The Wall Street Journal  |  May 14, 2014

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Non-Uniform Genetic Mutations Identified in Lung Cancers Could Lead to Targeted Treatment

Non-Uniform Genetic Mutations Identified in Lung Cancers Could Lead to Targeted Treatment | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The research, published in the journal Oncotarget, explored tumour heterogeneity – where different cells have different appearances or their own DNA signatures within the same cancer. Such differences could make it difficult to design effective, targeted treatment strategies.


"Firstly they confirmed the mutual exclusivity between the EGFR mutation and either the KRAS or BRAF mutation. Secondly, they found that lung cancers driven by the EGFR gene mutation have that specific mutation present uniformly throughout the tumour, regardless of microscopic appearance. In stark contrast, they discovered that some tumours, with either KRAS or BRAF gene mutations, do not have the mutation present in all parts of the tumour.
"


Editor's note: In recent years, lung cancer treatment has focused on the use of targeted therapy drugs. These drugs kill tumor cells that have certain cancer-causing genetic mutations, while generally leaving healthy cells unharmed. Oncologists use genetic testing to see if a patient's tumor has any specific genetic mutations that can be targeted by a specific drug. According to the research described here, different parts of a tumor may have different mutations that can be targeted by different drugs. This makes treatment more complicated, but continued research could lead to more effective treatments.

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Medical Xpress  |  Apr 23, 2014

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Phase II Trial Shows Feasibility of Customized Adjuvant Treatment in NSCLC, but Phase III Trial Canceled Due to Unreliability of ERCC1 Readouts

Phase II Trial Shows Feasibility of Customized Adjuvant Treatment in NSCLC, but Phase III Trial Canceled Due to Unreliability of ERCC1 Readouts | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"In the phase II Tailored Postsurgical Therapy in Early-Stage NSCLC (TASTE) trial (IFCT-0801), reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Wislez et al examined the feasibility of customized adjuvant treatment based on EGFR mutation status and expression of ERCC1 (excision repair cross-complementation group 1), a predictor of cisplatin response, in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although the trial met its primary endpoint of ≥ 80% of patients being able to start adjuvant chemotherapy within 2 months of surgery, a phase III trial of the customized approach was cancelled due to unreliability of ERCC1 immunohistochemical readouts."


Editor's note: This trial tested whether a particular molecular testing method could be used to decide which lung cancer patients might benefit from chemotherapy after surgery to keep the cancer from returning. While the results of the trial were promising, the third phase of the trial was canceled because of some unreliability of the molecular testing method. Another method called Pervenio, already performs a similar function.

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The ASCO Post  |  Mar 31, 2014

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Clovis Oncology’s CO-1686 Demonstrates Compelling Clinical Activity and Progression-free Survival (PFS) in Updated Phase 1 Study Results in Patients with Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

"Clovis Oncology (NASDAQ:CLVS) announced today updated findings from the Phase 1 portion of its ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical study of CO-1686, the Company’s novel, oral, targeted covalent (irreversible) inhibitor of mutant forms of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer in patients with initial activating EGFR mutations as well as the dominant resistance mutation T790M. Interim results from the Phase 1 dose-escalation portion of this Phase 1/2 study are being presented today in an oral presentation by Dr. Heather Wakelee at the 4th European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) in Geneva."


Editor's note: CO-1686 is a targeted therapy drug that is meant to treat patients whose tumors have mutations in the EGFR gene, as detected by molecular testing. Some tumors with EGFR mutations become resistant to treatment and develop a new mutation called T790M. Researchers are particularly interested in whether patients with T790M can benefit from CO-1686.

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Reuters  |  Mar 27, 2014

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Inherited Mutated Gene Raises Lung Cancer Risk for Women, Those Who Never Smoked

Inherited Mutated Gene Raises Lung Cancer Risk for Women, Those Who Never Smoked | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"People who have an inherited mutation of a certain gene have a high chance of getting lung cancer—higher, even, than heavy smokers with or without the inherited mutation, according to new findings by cancer researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Although both genders have an equal risk of inheriting the mutation, those who develop lung cancer are mostly women and have never smoked, the researchers found.


"People with the rare inherited T790M mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene who have never smoked have a one-in-three chance of developing lung cancer, researchers found. This risk is considerably greater than that of the average heavy smoker, who has about a one-in-eight chance of developing lung cancer – about 40- fold greater than people who have never smoked and do not have the mutation."

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Medical Xpress  |  Mar 24, 2014

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Clovis Launches TIGER2 Trial for CO-1686 in Previously Treated T790M-Positive NSCLC Patients

Clovis Launches TIGER2 Trial for CO-1686 in Previously Treated T790M-Positive NSCLC Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Clovis Oncology has launched the TIGER2 study for its non-small cell lung cancer drug CO-1686, an agent the company is studying as a treatment for advanced patients with tumors characterized by EGFR mutations and the T790M resistance mutation.


"CO-1686 is an irreversible EGFR inhibitor. Clovis this week said it has dosed the first patient in the TIGER2 Phase I/II trial, which is focused on gauging the efficacy of CO-1686 in NSCLC patients who have progressed on their first and only anti-EGFR treatment."

Editor's note: Some people with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have tumor cells with mutations in the EGFR gene (oncologists often use a tumor biopsy to check for this mutation in a patient). These patients can be treated with targeted drugs known as EGFR inhibitors. EGFR inhibitors can shrink tumors at first, but over time, tumors may become resistant to the drugs and start growing again. Often, this is because of a new, additional mutation that occurs in the EGFR gene called T790M. A new clinical trial is enrolling volunteer patients with the T790M mutation to test a new drug meant to overcome EGFR inhibitor resistance. The drug is called CO1-686.
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Pharmacogenomics Reporter  |  Jun 25, 2014

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Docetaxel Plus Ramucirumab Improves Outcomes in Advanced NSCLC

Docetaxel Plus Ramucirumab Improves Outcomes in Advanced NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The addition of ramucirumab to docetaxel improved outcomes over placebo with docetaxel as a second-line treatment of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to results of the REVEL trial presented at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.


“ 'Despite advancements in genomics and identification of predictive biomarkers such as EGFR mutations or ALK rearrangement, there is still no… targeted therapy for the majority of patients with squamous and non-squamous carcinoma,' said Maurice Pérol, MD, of the Cancer Research Center of Lyon in France. Ramucirumab specifically targets VEGFR-2 and inhibits angiogenesis, and it has been shown to improve outcomes in gastric cancer as monotherapy."


Editor's note: This article describes a treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that combines a new targeted drug called ramucirumab with the standard chemotherapy drug docetaxel. In a clinical trial to test the treatment in volunteer patients who had already received one previous treatment, it was found that ramucirumab plus docetaxel provided better patient outcomes than docetaxel plus a placebo.

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Cancer Network  |  Jun 19, 2014

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At ASCO, Next-Gen EGFR Inhibitors Show Early Promise in Lung Cancer Patients with T790M Mutations

"Next-generation EGFR inhibitors for treating metastatic non-small cell lung cancer patients who have acquired resistance to first-generation drugs in this class accurately hit mutant EGFR tumor cells and caused fewer serious side effects, early data presented at a major cancer conference showed.


"Researchers at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting here this week, presented preliminary data from human studies on three next-generation EGFR inhibitors: AstraZeneca's AZD9291, Clovis Oncology's CO-1686, and Hanmi Pharmaceutical's HM61713. All three agents showed promising activity against patients who had EGFR mutations, had received prior treatment with a first-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor – such as Roche's Tarceva (erlotinib) and AstraZeneca's Iressa (gefinitib) – and had T790M mutations."


Editor's note: For a more reader-friendly explanation of these new drugs, check out the "Drug resistance" section of our Chief Scientist's latest blog post.

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GenomeWeb  |  Jun 4, 2014

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ASCO: Antibody Adds 6 Weeks to Squamous NSCLC Survival

ASCO: Antibody Adds 6 Weeks to Squamous NSCLC Survival | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The novel anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody necitumumab modestly improved survival in squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in a pivotal trial, but many called the effect too small to count.


"Adding the drug to a standard chemotherapy regimen improved overall survival by 16% (P=0.012), Nick Thatcher, MD, of Christie Hospital in Manchester, England, and colleagues found in the SQUIRE trial.


"While only about a 6-week gain over chemotherapy alone (median 11.5 versus 9.9 months), Thatcher called the findings an important advance."


Editor's note: Necitumumab is a drug that may hold promise for some patients with squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In a clinical trial to test the drug on volunteer patients, researchers found that necitumumab can increase survival by 6 weeks, compared to standard chemotherapy treatment. Some researchers say a 6 week increase in survival time is not terribly meaningful, and may be setting the bar too low for treatment of squamous NSCLC.

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MedPage Today  |  Jun 5, 2014

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MEDIA ALERT New Data Show Giotrif® (Afatinib) Provided More than One Year Additional Survival for Lung Cancer Patients with the Most Common Type of EGFR Mutation (del19) Compared to Chemotherapy

"Boehringer Ingelheim today announced results of the pre-specified individual, as well as the exploratory combined, analyses of two Phase III trials (LUX-Lung 3 and LUX-Lung 6). These data, to be presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), demonstrated for the first time that patients with NSCLC with the most common epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation (exon 19 deletions; del19) lived more than one year longer if treated with first-line afatinib compared to chemotherapy."


Editor's note: This article discusses the results of a clinical trial that tested a targeted drug called afatinib (aka Giotrif, or Gilotrif)  on volunteer patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The trial found that patients whose tumors had a particular mutation called del19 in the EGFR gene lived more than one year longer if treated with afatinib than if treated with chemotherapy. EGFR mutations and other mutations are detected via molecular testing, and can be used by oncologists to help develop personalized lung cancer treatment plans.

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Boehringer Ingelheim  |  Jun 2, 2014

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No Progression-Free or Overall Survival Benefit With Second- or Third-Line Erlotinib vs Docetaxel in EGFR-Unselected Japanese NSCLC Patients

No Progression-Free or Overall Survival Benefit With Second- or Third-Line Erlotinib vs Docetaxel in EGFR-Unselected Japanese NSCLC Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"In a Japanese phase III trial (DELTA) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Kawaguchi et al found that erlotinib (Tarceva) was associated with no progression-free survival or overall survival advantage as second- or third-line therapy in EGFR-unselected patients with non–small cell lung cancer.


"In this open-label trial, 301 patients with stage IIIB or IV NSCLC, previous treatment with one or two chemotherapy regimens, evaluable or measurable disease, and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 to 2 were randomly assigned between August 2009 and July 2012 to erlotinib at 150 mg daily (n = 150) or docetaxel at 60 mg/m2every 3 weeks (n = 151). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival. In total, 109 patients (73%) in the erlotinib group and 90 (60%) in the docetaxel group had EGFR wild-type disease. Study treatment was third line in 19% and 14%, respectively."


Editor's note: This clinical trial tested a drug called erlotinib (brand name Tarceva), which is already known to be an effective treatment for lung cancer patients whose tumors have mutations in the EGFR gene. However, in this trial, the scientists were interested in whether erlotinib might help all patients, regardless of whether EGFR is mutated. The results show that erlotinib is no more effective than chemo for patients without EGFR mutations. But we recently posted another story about a protein test that may predict whether a patient without EGFR mutations might benefit from erlotinib treatment: http://www.cancercommons.org/news/proteomic-signature-for-egfr-inhibitor-therapy-predicts-survival-benefit-of-second-line-chemotherapy-vs-erlotinib-in-nsclc/.

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The ASCO Post  |  May 27, 2014

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Genprex Begins Phase II Clinical Trial for Lung Cancer

"Genprex, Inc. announced today that it has enrolled the first patient in a clinical trial evaluating its lead product candidate Oncoprex® in combination with erlotinib (Tarceva®) for late-stage lung cancer patients. Oncoprex is a targeted biologic incorporating the pan-kinase inhibitor TUSC2, which inhibits oncogenic kinases via multiple pathways.


"The trial is significant in that it seeks to determine if patients without the EGFR activating mutation as well as patients with the EGFR activating mutation whose cancer has progressed after erlotinib treatment can benefit from the Oncoprex + erlotinib combination therapy. While erlotinib is a blockbuster drug helping many cancer patients worldwide, research shows that the vast majority of patients who have lung cancers without the activating EGFR mutation are unlikely to benefit from erlotinib. Additionally, many patients with the activating EGFR mutation who respond to erlotinib therapy eventually become resistant to the therapy."


Editor's note: Clinical trials are studies done with volunteer patients to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new treatments (learn more in our lung cancer KnowledgeBase). This clinical trial is testing a new targeted therapy drug called Oncoprex. When combined with the drug erlotinib (Tarceva), Oncoprex may help treat patients who usually do not benefit from erlotinib or who have grown resistant to it.

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Yahoo!  |  May 20, 2014

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New EGFR Inhibitor AZD9291 Shows Promising Activity in Treatment-Resistant Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

New EGFR Inhibitor AZD9291 Shows Promising Activity in Treatment-Resistant Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Findings from a phase I study of a new mutant-selective epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor, AZD9291, point to a promising new treatment option for patients with advanced, EGFR-mutant, non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is resistant to standard EGFR inhibitors. Roughly 50% of patients experienced tumor shrinkage, and the drug worked particularly well in patients with the T790M mutation (detected in 60% of patients), which causes the most common form of EGFR therapy resistance. The study was presented at a presscast in advance of the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting (Abstract 8009^)."


Editor's note: This story is about a new targeted therapy drug called AZD9291 that is designed to attack tumors with a mutation in the EGFR gene, as detected by molecular testing. In particular, it is designed for patients who are resistant to other so-called EGFR inhibitors as a result of developing a particular EGFR mutation known as T790M. In a clinical trial to test the drug in patients, it was found to show promising results for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with EGFR mutations, and even better results in patients with the T790M mutation.

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The ASCO Post  |  May 14, 2014

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Combination Therapies for Lung Cancer

Combination Therapies for Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"CANCER NETWORK: Dr. Jänne, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors are a mainstay of therapy for those advanced-stage lung cancer patients with tumors that harbor specific EGFR mutations. What have we learned in the last few years about which patients respond to which oral agents and antibodies against EGFR? "


Editor's note: While not strictly "news," this interview provides a good overview of currently available treatments for lung cancer.

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Cancer Network  |  Apr 25, 2014

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Chemotherapy May be Better for Certain Patients with Advanced Lung Cancer

Chemotherapy May be Better for Certain Patients with Advanced Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Among patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer without a mutation of a certain gene, conventional chemotherapy, compared with treatment using epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, was associated with improvement in survival without progression of the cancer, but not with overall survival, according to a study."


Editor's note: The drugs discussed in this story, "epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors," are targeted therapies that are used to treat lung cancer patients whose tumors have mutations in the EGFR gene, as detected by molecular testing. Scientists wanted to find out whether the drugs could also help patients without EGFR mutations. However, it was found that the drugs were no more effective than chemotherapy in improving patients' overall survival. This supports the idea that EGFR inhibitor drugs should only be given to patients whose tumors have EGFR mutations.

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ScienceDaily  |  Apr 8, 2014

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ELCC 2014 News: Efficacy and Safety of Targeted Therapy in Elderly Patients With Lung Cancer Adenocarcinoma

"Clinical records of elderly patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) show that treatment with bevacizumab seems to be safe and effective in patients with controlled pre-existing cardiovascular disease and good performance status. Furthermore, another targeted agent, erlotinib, represents a valuable treatment option in elderly NSCLC patients with co-morbidities, especially if they harbour EGFR mutations. The data were presented by Prof. Kostas Syrigos on behalf of colleagues from the Oncology Unit, Sotiria General Hospital, Athens School of Medicine, Athens, Greece in a general poster session at the 4th European Lung Cancer Conference (26-29 March 2014, Geneva, Switzerland)."

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ESMO  |  Mar 27, 2014

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Erlotinib and Gefitinib Offer Similar Benefit in EGFR-Mutated Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Erlotinib and Gefitinib Offer Similar Benefit in EGFR-Mutated Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"A retrospective study has shown that two targeted therapy drugs—erlotinib (Tarceva) and gefitinib (Iressa)—achieved similar outcomes among people with metastatic or recurrent non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring an EGFR mutation. These EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors have previously been reported to offer benefit over standard chemotherapy as first-line treatment of EGFR-positive advanced NSCLC. The study findings by Lim et al are published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.


"Erlotinib is used worldwide, and gefitinib is widely used in Asian countries and recently in Europe (only for patients with tumors harboring EGFR mutations) but not in the United States. Indirect comparisons of the two agents have resulted in inconsistency with regard to progression-free survival, and until now, the agents have not been compared head-to-head in patients with EGFR-positive NSCLC."


Editor's note: Erlotinib and gefitinib are targeted therapies. Learn more.

Cancer Commons's insight:

The ASCO Post  |  Mar 26, 2014

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