Lung Cancer Dispatch
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New System for Treating Cancer Seen as Hopeful

New System for Treating Cancer Seen as Hopeful | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Drugs that unleash the body’s immune system to combat tumors could allow patients with advanced melanoma to live far longer than ever before, researchers gathered at the nation’s largest cancer conference say.

“ 'It’s a completely different world for patients with metastatic melanoma, to talk about the majority of patients being alive for years rather than weeks or months,' said Dr. Jedd D. Wolchok, a melanoma specialist at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, interviewed at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology here."

Editor's note: This is a good exploration of immunotherapy treatments for melanoma; immunotherapy for lung cancer is also discussed.

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The New York Times  |  Jun 2, 2014

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Cancer Commons's curator insight, June 3, 2014 3:35 PM

The New York Times  |  Jun 2, 2014

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Immune-Based Drug Shows Promise Against Lung Cancer, Especially in Smokers

Immune-Based Drug Shows Promise Against Lung Cancer, Especially in Smokers | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Results from an early clinical trial suggest that the drug MPDL3280A is effective against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The phase I study found that tumors shrank in 23% of patients with advanced NSCLC treated with MPDL3280A. The effect was more pronounced in smokers (who had a 26% response rate) than in nonsmokers (a 10% rate), making it the first treatment with stronger activity in smokers. MPDL3280A inhibits PD-L1, a protein expressed on cancer cells that suppresses the immune response. Blocking PD-L1 allows the immune system to keep attacking the cancer. The tumor cells in smokers may carry more mutations, provoking a stronger attack from the unleashed immune system, which could explain the stronger effects in smokers.

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Reuters | Sep 29, 2013

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Experimental PD-1 Blocker May Work Across Cancer Types

Experimental PD-1 Blocker May Work Across Cancer Types | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Results of a phase I clinical trial suggest that a new immunotherapy drug called MPDL3280A could control a wide range of cancers. Manufactured by Roche Genentech, MPDL3280A is one of several promising but experimental drugs that block PD-1, a cell surface protein that disguises tumor cells from our immune systems. The study included 140 people with different kinds of tumors (melanoma as well as colorectal, gastric, kidney, and non-small cell lung cancers) that had resisted other treatments. Tumors shrank in 21% of those treated with MPDL3280A, particularly people with melanoma or lung cancer. These findings were presented at the 2013 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. While still in the very early stages of research, targeting tumors with our own immune systems has great potential to work across many different cancer types and to keep them in check longer than current treatments, say researchers, giving new hope to people with cancer.

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Science Daily│Jun 3, 2013

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Science Daily│Jun 3, 2013

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Early Results For New Lung Cancer Immunotherapies Inspire Optimism

Three new immunotherapy drugs for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) – nivolumab, lambrolizumab (MK-3475), and MPDL-3280A – have produced encouraging early results. All three interfere with PD-1 and PD-L1, molecules that interact to shield tumors from being attacked by the body's immune system. In phase I trials, more than 20% of participants experienced tumor shrinkage in response to each of the three drugs. For these patients, effects tended to be rapid and long-lasting. Most continue to respond favorably to treatment at this time, having been in the trials for up to 7 months (MPDL-3280A), an average of 9 months (lambrolizumab), or an average of 1.5 years and ranging up to 2.5 years (nivolumab). Overall toxicity was acceptable, though some cases of severe side effects were seen, including two deaths with nivolumab.

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Medscape | Oct 31, 2013

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New Drug May Mobilize the Immune System to Attack Tumors

New Drug May Mobilize the Immune System to Attack Tumors | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A new drug called MPDL3280A appears to shrink tumors in patients with a range of different cancers, including lung cancer and melanoma. In an ongoing clinical trial, MPDL3280A shrank tumors in 21% of patients with advanced cancer. Response rates were even higher in subsets of patients with lung cancer (22%) or melanoma (29%). Treatment benefits lasted from 3 to 15 months and counting; 26 of the 29 patients who benefited continue to respond to this day. There was wide variation in how quickly patients responded to treatment, with some experiencing significant improvement within days, and others after weeks of unresponsiveness. MPDL3280A was generally well tolerated, with few cases of severe side effects.

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ASCO Daily News | Jun 13, 2013

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ASCO Daily News | June 13, 2013

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New Immune-Based Drug Shows Signs of Effectiveness in Several Cancers

The new cancer drug MPDL3280A has produced promising results in an early clinical trial that investigated patients with various advanced cancers, including lung cancer; melanoma; and cancer of the kidney, intestines, or stomach. All participants had previously seen their cancer worsen despite treatment. Yet, during treatment with MPDL3280A, tumors shrank significantly in more than one-fifth of the patients. Response rates were especially high in lung cancer and melanoma patients. Of the patients who responded to MPDL3280A, almost all continue to see effects now, 3 to 15+ months into the study. MPDL3280A targets a protein, PD-L1, that is often expressed on cancer cells and "hides" the cells from the body’s immune response; by blocking PD-L1, MPDL3280A allows the immune system to attack the tumors. Further studies will be needed to confirm these findings.

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ASCO Post | May 17, 2013

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ASCO Post | May 17, 2013

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ASCO Post | May 17, 2013