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Lung Cancer Drug Retaspimycin Fails Clinical Trial

A phase II clinical trial found no survival benefit for the lung cancer drug retaspimycin in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The trial examined NSCLC patients with a history of smoking who were given the chemotherapy agent docetaxel (Taxotere) either with or without retaspimycin. Adding retaspimycin did not improve overall survival in NSCLC patients in general or in the subset of patients with squamous cell carcinoma (a type of NSCLC closely linked to smoking). The company will complete enrollment in a separate study investigating retaspimycin in combination with everolimus (Afinitor) by the end of 2013, but will begin no further clinical trials with retaspimycin.

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Reuters | Sep 25, 2013

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mTOR Inhibitors May Be Associated with Kidney Injury

A class of cancer drugs called mTOR inhibitors may produce kidney toxicity in at least some patients. mTOR inhibitors, including rapamycin (sirolimus/Rapamune), temsirolimus (Torisel), everolimus (Afinitor), and ridaforolimus, are used to treat certain forms of breast and kidney cancer, and are under investigation for several other cancers. Researchers described four cases of patients treated with mTOR inhibitors developing severe acute kidney injury. They recommend that doctors carefully monitor kidney function in patients receiving these drugs. However, other experts emphasize that it is unclear whether the mTOR inhibitors were indeed the cause of the kidney injury. In at least one case, the patient was also taking other drugs known to cause kidney toxicity.

Cancer Commons's insight:

Medscape | Jul 3, 2013

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Cancer Commons's curator insight, July 8, 2013 1:36 PM

Medscape | Jul 3, 2013

Cancer Commons's curator insight, July 8, 2013 1:36 PM

Medscape | Jul 3, 2013

Cancer Commons's curator insight, July 8, 2013 1:36 PM

Medscape | Jul 3, 2013

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Tarceva May Be More Effective in Advanced NSCLC When Combined with Other Targeted Therapies

Tarceva May Be More Effective in Advanced NSCLC When Combined with Other Targeted Therapies | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

An analysis of multiple clinical trials compared erlotinib (Tarceva) alone to combining Tarceva with other targeted therapies as second-line treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the various trials, Tarceva was combined with bevacizumab (Avastin), bortezomib (Velcade), everolimus (Afinitor), sorafenib (Nexavar), sunitinib (Sutent), entinostat, tivantinib, and R1507. While combined therapy produced more side effects, it was more effective than Tarceva alone. Notably, the trials included many patients who had not been tested for mutations in the EGFR and KRAS genes. In patients who had EGFR mutations and/or lacked KRAS mutations, Tarceva alone tended to control cancer progression better than combined therapy, highlighting the importance of biomarker testing to identify which patients are most likely to benefit from different therapies.

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PLoS ONE | Feb 8, 2013

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'Super Responders' May Hold Clues for Cancer Treatment

'Super Responders' May Hold Clues for Cancer Treatment | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

In rare, previously unexplained cases, individual cancer patients respond to treatment much better than others do. Now, faster and cheaper DNA sequencing is allowing researchers to search the entire genetic material of such patients for the causes of their 'super responder' status. In one case, researchers linked one patient's exceptional response to Afinitor (everolimus) to a mutation in the TSC1 gene. They plan to develop a test for this mutation, hoping to identify other cancer patients who will respond strongly to Afinitor. Such studies may resurrect drug candidates that were abandoned after clinical trials, where they were ineffective in most, but very effective in a few patients. Clinical trials and clinics focusing specifically on super responders are being planned.

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Reuters | Sep 15, 2013

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Taxotere-Afinitor Combination Only Modestly Effective in Advanced NSCLC

Taxotere-Afinitor Combination Only Modestly Effective in Advanced NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A phase II clinical trial examined the use of the chemotherapy drug docetaxel (Taxotere) combined with everolimus (Afinitor), a member of a family of drugs called mTOR inhibitors, as second- or third-line treatment in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The treatment was well tolerated, but only modestly effective compared to standard therapy in similar patients. The patients in the study had not been selected for any specific biomarkers; better effectiveness may be achieved in patients with relevant biomarkers.

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Journal of Thoracic Oncology | Feb 14, 2013

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