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Novel Immune-Based Cancer Drug Imprime PGG Appears Effective in Certain Lung Cancer Patients

Novel Immune-Based Cancer Drug Imprime PGG Appears Effective in Certain Lung Cancer Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Adding the drug Imprime PGG to chemotherapy and antibody therapy may be effective for certain patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Imprime PGG contains a molecule called beta glucan, which can stimulate the body’s immune cells to destroy cancer cells. This process may be especially effective in patients with high levels of immune system proteins that bind to beta glucan, so-called antibeta glucan antibodies. In a recent clinical trial, patients with advanced NSCLC received the antibody drug cetuximab (Erbitux) and the chemotherapy agents carboplatin (Paraplatin) and paclitaxel (Taxol/Abraxane), and some were also given Imprime PGG. While survival across all patients was not affected by Imprime PGG treatment, it was increased in Imprime PGG-treated patients with high levels of antibeta glucan antibodies. Seventeen percent of these patients survived 3 years or more, while none of the other patient groups did.

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Medical Xpress  |  Jan 8, 2014

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Clinical Laboratory in Indiana to Offer Blood Test for Lung Cancer

Mid America Clinical Laboratories, the largest clinical laboratory in Indiana, will begin offering EarlyCDT-Lung, a blood test designed to help diagnose lung cancer early on. EarlyCDT-Lung checks whether the patient has antibodies (immune system components) associated with a number of tumor-related proteins. High levels of such antibodies suggest that cancer may be present. EarlyCDT is highly accurate and specific for lung cancer, is less likely than computed tomography (CT) scans to falsely detect cancer when none is present, and can detect cancer-related antibodies up to 5 years before a tumor can be found using other screening methods. Such early detection is vital because lung cancer survival rates are higher when the disease is diagnosed at an early stage.

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PRWeb | Aug 14, 2013

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Safer, Peptide-Based Therapies Studied as Alternative to Monoclonal Antibodies

Safer, Peptide-Based Therapies Studied as Alternative to Monoclonal Antibodies | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Monoclonal antibodies and small-molecule inhibitors have been the primary treatment methods for many types of cancer for many years, but new studies may change that. Peptides, proteins made of small chains of 10 to 50 amino acids, are being examined as possible cost-effective, more successful, safer anticancer vaccines. Researchers have identified two regions on the HER1 (also known as the EGFR) protein as possible targets for these peptide-based drugs. These agents could be used in the treatment of lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and head and neck cancers. If successful, the EGFR-targeting peptide vaccines could be combined with immunotherapies for the HER2 and VEGF proteins, possibly reducing the likelihood that the cancer will develop resistance to the treatment, a common pitfall of monoclonal antibody drugs such as cetuximab (Erbitux).

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Medical News Today | Jul 26, 2013

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Medical News Today | Jul 26, 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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Clinical Trial of New Lung Cancer Treatment Now Enrolling Patients in Japan

A phase III clinical trial investigating the new cancer treatment nimotuzumab has started to enroll patients at approximately 60 clinical centers in Japan. The study will examine patients with locally advanced, inoperable stage III squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients will receive standard chemotherapy either with or without nimotuzumab. Produced by the pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo, nimotuzumab is an antibody (a type of immune system protein) that targets a protein called EGFR, which is mutated in many cases of lung cancer.

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Daiichi Sankyo | Apr 25, 2013

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Phase II Trial of Lung Cancer Drug Imprime PGG Completes Patient Enrollment

Biothera has completed patient enrollment in a second phase II clinical trial testing a drug called Imprime PGG against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Imprime PGG redirects the immune system to attack the cancer. The drug also enhances the effectiveness of antibody drugs (drugs in the form of a type of immune system protein) like bevacizumab (Avastin) or cetuximab (Erbitux). The current phase II trial will compare NSCLC patients receiving Imprime PGG in combination with Avastin and chemotherapy to those receiving only Avastin and chemotherapy. Another ongoing phase II trial uses a similar design, but with Erbitux instead of Avastin, and has produced promising preliminary results.

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Reuters | Mar 13, 2013

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Clinical Trial of New SCLC Drug Enrolling Patients

Clinical Trial of New SCLC Drug Enrolling Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A clinical trial at six study sites, including Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, will investigate a new treatment for small cell lung cancer (SCLC). IMGN901 (lorvotuzumab mertansine), produced by ImmunoGen, is a novel type of treatment that targets CD56, a protein that is expressed by tumors in a number of different cancers, including SCLC. Because IMGN901 specifically targets a tumor protein, the toxic drug is delivered preferentially to cancer cells and is less likely to harm healthy cells. Another drug using a similar mechanism was recently approved for breast cancer.


To find out more about the trial, call 203-200-5864.

ImmunoGen page on IMGN901: http://www.immunogen.com/pipeline/lorvotuzumab-mertansine/

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New Haven Register | Mar 2, 2013

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Farletuzumab: A Potential New Treatment for Lung Cancer

Farletuzumab: A Potential New Treatment for Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Farletuzumab is an antibody (a type of immune system protein) that inhibits folate receptor α (FOLR1), a protein that is essential for cell proliferation. FOLR1 is overexpressed in a number of tumor types, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and, especially, adenocarcinoma. Farletuzumab reduced tumor growth in animal models of cancer, and was well tolerated in phase I and II studies. An ongoing phase II study is evaluating the effectiveness of combining farletuzumab treatment with chemotherapy in patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma.


Research paper: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169500213000044

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Lung Cancer | Jan 28, 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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Pilot Study of New SCLC Drug Offers Encouragement

Preliminary trial results indicate that a new drug, IMGN901, enhances standard etoposide/carboplatin treatment in some small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients. IMGN901 targets cells that express the protein CD56—a hallmark of nearly all SCLC tumors. ImmunoGen, Inc. will further investigate the SCLC treatment potential of IMGN901 in the large-scale NORTH trial.

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equities.com | Sep 11, 2012

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Effect of New Lung Cancer Drug Depends on MET Protein Expression Levels

Effect of New Lung Cancer Drug Depends on MET Protein Expression Levels | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The cell protein MET is overexpressed in more than half of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors. MET overexpression is associated with worse prognoses and plays a role in drug resistance to EGFR inhibitors like erlotinib (Tarceva). A recent clinical trial examined the effects of onartuzumab, which inhibits MET function, on recurrent NSCLC. Patients received either onartuzumab and Tarceva or Tarceva only. In patients who overexpressed MET, adding onartuzumab increased the time until cancer progression and prolonged overall survival. In contrast, in patients without MET overexpression, adding onartuzumab worsened outcomes. This finding highlights the importance of diagnostic testing in choosing the best cancer treatment. A clinical trial investigating the onartuzumab-Tarceva combination in MET-overexpressing patients only is currently enrolling participants.

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ASCO Post | Oct 10, 2013

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EGFR Antibody Increases Survival in Lung Cancer Trial

EGFR Antibody Increases Survival in Lung Cancer Trial | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The new cancer drug necitumumab increased survival in the SQUIRE clinical trial, a phase III trial examining squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).  Patients with stage IV squamous NSCLC who received necitumumab in addition to the chemotherapy agents cisplatin (Platinol) and gemcitabine (Gemzar) survived longer than those treated with chemotherapy alone. Necitumumab is an antibody (a type of immune system protein) that blocks the function of EGFR, a protein that plays an important role in the survival, spread, and blood supply of tumors.

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Wall Street Journal | Aug 13, 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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Encouraging Early Results with CetuGEX Antibody Against Lung Cancer Gene Mutation

Encouraging Early Results with CetuGEX Antibody Against Lung Cancer Gene Mutation | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A significant subset of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients have mutations in the EGFR gene; many of these patients benefit from drugs that block EGFR. A phase I clinical trial of CetuGEX, an antibody (a type of immune system protein) against EGFR, examined 41 patients with different types of advanced cancer, including some with NSCLC, who had mutations in the EGFR gene and whose cancer had progressed after standard treatment. The treatment was relatively well tolerated. One patient with NSCLC went into complete remission, while three patients with other cancers had partial responses. Fifteen more patients had stable disease, that is, their cancer did not grow during treatment. All treatment responders are still being treated with CetuGEX, with the longest response lasting over 18 months, so far.

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Medical News Today | Jun 11, 2013

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Ongoing Clinical Trial Investigates New Lung Cancer Treatment MM-121

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals is conducting a phase II clinical trial of the new drug MM-121. MM-121 is an antibody (a type of immune system protein) that targets a protein called ErbB3 or HER3, which plays a role in tumor growth and survival. ErbB3 is closely related to the protein EGFR. EGFR inhibitors like erlotinib (Tarceva) are used to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The study examines whether combining Tarceva with MM-121 is more effective than Tarceva alone. The trial involves three patients groups: group A (NSCLC patients without mutations in the EGFR gene who have not previously been treated with EGFR inhibitors), group B (patients with EGFR mutations who have not received EGFR inhibitors), and group C (patients who previously received EGFR inhibitors and whose cancer worsened despite the treatment). Group A enrollment has just been completed, group B enrollment is ongoing, and studies of group C were completed recently.

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CNN Money | Apr 29, 2013

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Engaging the Immune System May Be a Useful Strategy in SCLC

Drugs that enhance the body’s immune response (immunotherapies) may help patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Immunotherapy may be beneficial on its own, but could also complement standard chemotherapy. An overview of recent studies and ongoing clinical trials highlighted several promising immunotherapies, including ipilimumab (Yervoy). Yervoy, which has been approved to treat certain kinds of skin cancer, targets a protein called CTLA4, which acts as an "off switch" on immune system cells. By deactivating CTLA4, Yervoy allows the immune system to continue attacking tumors. Another immune treatment that may be combined with traditional chemotherapy is interferon-alpha, a molecule that stimulates the body’s immune cells.

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Journal of Thoracic Oncology | Apr 15, 2013

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Lung Cancer Drug Bavituximab May Move Forward into Phase III Trial

Despite problems with vial labeling that weakened the findings of a recent phase II clinical trial, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals plans to move its new cancer drug bavituximab forward into a phase III trial. A second analysis of the phase II results, which adjusted for the labeling inconsistencies, still found that adding bavituximab to chemotherapy as a second-line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) increased patients’ survival time, even though the difference may merely be due to chance. Bavituximab targets phosphatidylserine, a protein found on the surface of tumor blood vessels that suppresses the body’s immune response. By blocking phosphatidylserine, bavituximab allows the immune system to attack the cancer.

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Cancer Network | Mar 2, 2013

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Conatumumab Does Not Appear to Benefit Patients with Advanced Lung Cancer

Conatumumab is an antibody (a type of immune system protein) that targets TR-2, a protein that is expressed in tumor tissue in a variety of cancer types. A phase II study of patients with previously untreated advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving either conatumumab or placebo in combination with standard paclitaxel (Taxol)-carboplatin (Paraplatin) chemotherapy showed that conatumumab was well tolerated, but did not improve clinical outcomes. However, it is possible that in patients selected for relevant biomarkers, conatumumab may show effectiveness that is not seen in an unselected patient population.

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Journal of Thoracic Oncology | Jan 29, 2013

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Various Approaches to EGFR Inhibition Can Be Useful in Lung Cancer

Various Approaches to EGFR Inhibition Can Be Useful in Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A review of recent research discusses EGFR inhibition in the treatment of lung cancer. Scientists have now demonstrated that EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), either by themselves or combined with chemotherapy, are effective first-line treatments for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with EGFR mutations, and as second-line or maintenance treatments for all advanced NSCLC. TKIs like erlotinib (Tarceva) or gefitinib (Iressa), or anti-EGFR antibodies like cetuximab (Erbitux), may also enhance the effectiveness of radiation therapy for locally advanced NSCLC. Other biomarkers, such as KRAS mutations, may also help predict response to EGFR inhibition therapy.

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Biomarker Research | Jan 16, 2013

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Clinical Trial of Lung Cancer Screening that Combines Imaging and Biomarker Testing Is Enrolling Participants

Clinical Trial of Lung Cancer Screening that Combines Imaging and Biomarker Testing Is Enrolling Participants | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

National Jewish Health is performing a clinical trial to examine the benefits of lung cancer screening that combines a CT chest scan with a blood test. The blood test detects anti-cancer antibodies created by the immune system. The trial seeks to find out whether adding the blood test, called EarlyCDT-Lung, will further improve the ability of CT chest scans to prevent lung cancer deaths in high-risk populations and avoid invasive follow-up testing in the case of CT scan “false alarms.” Participants can enroll if they are between ages 50 to 75 years, have a smoking history of at least 20 pack-years (meaning a pack a day for 20 years, or two packs a day for 10 years, etc.), are current smokers or quit fewer than 10 years ago, and have no serious illness or history of cancer other than skin cancer. Call 303-398-1911 to find out more.

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National Jewish Health | May 1, 2012

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