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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The New York Times  |  Jun 2, 2014

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FDA Grants Merck’s Anti-PD1 Antibody Priority Review

FDA Grants Merck’s Anti-PD1 Antibody Priority Review | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The FDA has granted Merck’s anti-PD1 antibody MK-3475 a priority review designation for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma in patients who have previously been treated with ipilimumab. Priority review status is reserved for drugs considered to offer a significant improvement in the safety or efficacy of the treatment of a serious condition. It will shorten the drug’s FDA review period from 10 months to 6 months."


Editor's note: MK-3475 is an immunotherapy drug that works by boosting a patient's own immune system to fight cancer. While this story is about melanoma, anti-PD1 drugs like MK-3475 have also shown promise for other cancers, including for lung cancer. Once it is approved by the FDA for unresectable or metastatic melanoma, doctors in the U.S. will be able to prescribe it to their patients outside of the clinical trial system. 

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Cancer Network  |  May 21, 2014

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Cancer Network  |  May 21, 2014

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Cancer Network  |  May 21, 2014

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Future of Cancer Treatments

Future of Cancer Treatments | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The news spurred hundreds of phone calls and emails to Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada from across the country: Two Stage 4 cancer patients at the Las Vegas center, after participating in the first human trial of an antibody drug with the unwieldy code name of MPDL 3280A, were now cancer-free.


"Rosemary Rathbun, 78, had been so far gone with throat cancer that doctors told her to enroll in hospice. Lorrine Rodgers, 56, had been told there were no other treatments for her spreading breast cancer.


"That their cancer disappeared, the women said in January, was a miracle."


Editor's note: This story is a great overview of an increasingly promising type of cancer treatment called immunotherapy. Immunotherapy treatments boost a patient's own immune system to fight cancer.

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Las Vegas Review-Journal  |  Apr 26, 2014

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Las Vegas Review-Journal  |  Apr 26, 2014

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Innate Pharma SA begins Phase I Trial with Lirilumab and Nivolumab in Selected Solid Tumors Under Cohort Expansion

"Biopharmaceutical company Innate Pharma SA (euronext paris:FR0010331421) reported on Monday that it has started the cohort expansion portion of the Phase I clinical trial testing the combination of the two investigational checkpoint inhibitors lirilumab and nivolumab in selected solid tumors...


"The company said the trial will test lirilumab (anti-KIR checkpoint inhibitor; BMS-986015) in combination with nivolumab (anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor BMS-936558) in solid tumors. The Phase I open label study will evaluate the safety of the combination of lirilumab and nivolumab and to provide preliminary information on the clinical activity of the combination. The primary outcome is safety."


Editor's note: Nivolumab is an immunotherapy drug that activates the immune system's T cells in the hopes that the patient's own immune system will be prompted to fight tumors. Nivolumab has already been shown to be a promising melanoma treatment on its own. Lirilumab is a drug that activates a different group of immune system cells known as natural killer cells (NK). This clinical trial combines both drugs to see if they work better together.

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MENAFN  |  Mar 31, 2014

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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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Clinical Trial of New Drug to Treat Squamous Cell Lung Cancer Is Enrolling Patients

Clinical Trial of New Drug to Treat Squamous Cell Lung Cancer Is Enrolling Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A clinical trial examining a new lung cancer drug is enrolling participants at numerous locations throughout the U.S. BMS-936558 (nivolumab) targets PD-1, a protein on the surface of immune cells that suppresses the immune response. By inhibiting PD-1, nivolumab 'unleashes' the immune system so it can continue its attack on tumors. The trial will investigate whether patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), do better when treated with either nivolumab or the chemotherapy agent docetaxel (Taxotere). To find out more, call 855-216-0126 or visit the trial’s website.

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Exponent Telegram | Jun 30, 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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Novel Drugs Show Promise in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Novel Drugs Show Promise in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Medical experts at the 2012 Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium presented data on the growing number of targeted treatments for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with so-called driver mutations—specific genetic mutations that drive tumor growth. Among the drugs showing promise in adenocarcinoma are ridaforolimus for KRAS-mutant tumors, ganetespib for ALK- or KRAS-mutant tumors, and afatinib for EGFR-mutant tumors. For squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), new potential treatments include AZD4547 and BGJ398 (FGFR1-mutant), dasatinib and nilotinib (DDR2 mutant), Tarceva and Iressa (EGFRvIII-mutant), and Yervoy and Cadi-05 (all SCC), while anti–PD-1 antibodies such as BMS-936558 may be effective for both adenocarcinoma and SCC.

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OncLive | Jan 14, 2013

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Old Cancer Drug Gets Fresh Look

Old Cancer Drug Gets Fresh Look | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"When Dave deBronkart was diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer in 2007, he learned about a treatment called high-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) that fires up the body’s immune system to fight the disease. The response rate was not great — tumours shrank in only about 15% of patients. And as many as 4% of people died from the treatment. But some of those who responded survived for years or even decades."


Editor's note: IL-2 is an immunotherapy drug, meaning that it boosts a patient's own immune system to fight cancer. It and other new immunotherapies are showing promise for patients across many different cancer types.

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Nature  |  May 27, 2014

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Nature  |  May 27, 2014

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Nature  |  May 27, 2014

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AstraZeneca Launches Phase 3 Study of NSCLC Immunotherapy

AstraZeneca Launches Phase 3 Study of NSCLC Immunotherapy | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"On the heels of rebuking merger offers from Pfizer, AstraZeneca announced in a press release it is moving forward with the phase 3 PACIFIC trial of a lung cancer immunotherapy drug.


"The drug, MEDI4736, is a human monoclonal antibody directed against programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). The drug, still in development, targets the PD-L1/PD-1 pathway for the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by blocking signals which allow PD-L1 to escape detection by the immune system."


Editor's note: MEDI4736 is an immunotherapy drug that is meant to boost a patient's own immune system to fight cancer. Learn more about immunotherapy and clinical trials here.

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Healio  |  May 9, 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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Biomarker May Predict Best Response to Lung Cancer Drug MK-3475

Biomarker May Predict Best Response to Lung Cancer Drug MK-3475 | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

An early clinical trial of the drug MK-3475 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has yielded promising results. MK-3475 targets PD-1, a protein on the surface of immune cells. Another protein, PD-L1, is present on many tumor cells and can bind to PD-1, which deactivates immune cells. MK-3475 blocks PD-1, allowing the immune cells to keep attacking cancer cells. Patients with advanced NSCLC who had failed at least two other treatments were given MK-3475. Tumors shrank in 24% of the patients overall. However, tumor shrinkage occurred in 67% of patients with high levels of PD-L1 on their tumors, compared to only 9% of others. PD-L1 levels may therefore help predict which patients will likely respond to MK-3475.

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Medical Xpress  |  Jan 8, 2014

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New PD-1 Blocker May Shrink Lung Tumors

An experimental immunotherapy drug shrank tumors in a quarter of people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), report researchers from a small clinical trial. Called MK-3475, the drug blocks PD-1, a cell surface protein that disguises tumor cells from our immune systems. To see if these findings hold up in a larger, more rigorous trial, the researchers plan to start a phase II/III clinical trial soon.

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Bloomberg Businessweek │Oct 1, 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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Side Effects of New Immune-Based Lung Cancer Drug Manageable

Side Effects of New Immune-Based Lung Cancer Drug Manageable | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Preliminary results from an ongoing early clinical trial of the new lung cancer drug nivolumab show that the treatment is tolerable. Out of 43 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with nivolumab and chemotherapy, slightly less than half experienced serious side effects. In most cases, these side effects were manageable with medication and/or discontinuation of nivolumab. Nivolumab targets PD-1, a protein on the surface of immune cells that switches off the immune response when it binds to another protein, PD-L1, which is often expressed on tumors. By inhibiting PD-1, nivolumab enables the immune system to continue attacking cancer cells. Additional clinical trials focusing on patients with squamous or non-squamous NSCLC will investigate whether nivolumab is more effective than the chemotherapy drug docetaxel (Taxotere).

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Medical Xpress | May 31, 2013

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