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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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Astrazeneca’s Medimmune Presents Encouraging Immunotherapy Data at ASCO 2014

"MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, presented results today from its novel investigational immunotherapy portfolio, focusing on MEDI4736, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2014 Annual Meeting.  Overall, studies demonstrated durable clinical activity and tolerability for MEDI4736 across a range of tumor types.


"This announcement follows the recent progression of the first Phase III study for MEDI4736, an investigational, engineered, human monoclonal antibody directed against programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1). Signals from PD-L1 help tumors avoid detection by the immune system. It is believed that by targeting PD-L1, MEDI4736 may block this ligand from sending out signals to T-cells to ‘ignore’ tumor cells, thereby countering cancer’s immune-evading tactics.


Editor's note: Immunotherapy treatments that boost a patient's own immune system to fight cancer are a promising area of cancer research. A new immunotherapy drug called MEDI4736 is being tested in volunteer patients with different cancer types, and has shown good results for some patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

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MedImmune  |  Jun 3, 2014

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Helix BioPharma Corp. Receives U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approval to Initiate a Clinical Trial of L-DOS47 in Combination With Pemetrexed and Carboplatin

Helix BioPharma Corp. Receives U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approval to Initiate a Clinical Trial of L-DOS47 in Combination With Pemetrexed and Carboplatin | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Helix BioPharma Corp. (frankfurt:HBP), a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative drug candidates for the prevention and treatment of cancer, today announced that it has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), to initiate a Phase I clinical trial with L-DOS47.


"The study is entitled "A Phase I, Open Label, Dose Escalation Study of Immunoconjugate L-DOS47 in Combination with Standard Doublet Therapy of Pemetrexed/Carboplatin in Patients with Stage IV (TNM M1a and M1b) Recurrent or Metastatic Non-Squamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer"."


Editor's note: Clinical trials can be a way for some lung cancer patients to access certain treatments they would not otherwise be able to have. Learn more.

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MarketWatch  |  Apr 22, 2014

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New Clinical Trial Examines Lung Cancer Drug Bavituximab

New Clinical Trial Examines Lung Cancer Drug Bavituximab | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The makers of the cancer drug bavituximab are initiating the SUNRISE trial, a phase III clinical trial investigating the efficacy of the drug against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC whose cancer has progressed after first-line treatment will receive either bavituximab plus docetaxel (Taxotere) or Taxotere by itself. Bavituximab inhibits phosphatidylserine, a protein found on the surface of tumors and tumor-associated cells that acts to suppress the body’s immune reponse. By blocking phosphatidylserine’s action, bavituximab allows the immune system to continue attacking the cancer. To find out more, patients can go to www.sunrisetrial.com.

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Yahoo! Finance  |  Dec 30, 2013

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Erbitux-Avastin Combination Plus Chemotherapy in Lung Cancer Is Safe and Effective

Erbitux-Avastin Combination Plus Chemotherapy in Lung Cancer Is Safe and Effective | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Combining cetuximab (Erbitux), bevacizumab (Avastin), and traditional chemotherapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) appeared to be safe and effective in a phase II clinical trial. Patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC received Erbitux and Avastin in addition to carboplatin (Paraplatin) and paclitaxel (Taxol/Abraxane) as first-line treatment, followed by maintenance treatment with Erbitux and Avastin. Tumors shrank in 56% of patients and stopped growing in an additional 21%. Serious side effects were relatively rare; the rate was comparable to that of either Erbitux or Avastin alone. Both Erbitux and Avastin have shown efficacy in NSCLC by themselves, but may be more effective when given together. An ongoing phase III clinical trial will further investigate this drug combination.

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Medical News Today | Nov 5, 2013

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Trial Results for New Lung Cancer Drug Ganetespib Leave Some Skeptical

Trial Results for New Lung Cancer Drug Ganetespib Leave Some Skeptical | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The GALAXY-1 clinical trial examines patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), receiving either ganetespib (a new cancer drug) and docetaxel (Taxotere, a chemotherapy drug) or Taxotere alone as second-line treatment. Recent interim results show ganetespib-treated patients surviving 10.4 months on average (vs 8.4 months in the Taxotere-only group) and experiencing a 10% reduction in the risk of death. This is a smaller difference than was seen in preliminary results in September, 2012 and June, 2013 (31% and 18% reduction in risk of death, respectively). It is also unclear whether the effect is indeed caused by ganetespib or due to chance. However, the drug’s makers emphasize that ganetespib may be more effective in certain patient subgroups.

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The Street | Oct 27, 2013

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FDA Puts Lung Cancer Drug Ganetespib on Fast Track

FDA Puts Lung Cancer Drug Ganetespib on Fast Track | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Ganetespib, a potential new treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), has been granted Fast Track status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Fast Track status, reserved for drugs aimed at serious conditions with unmet treatment needs, provides for closer FDA guidance during the drug development process and quicker review for approval. Two clinical trials, GALAXY-1 and GALAXY-2, are currently examining the use of ganetespib in combination with the chemotherapy agent Taxotere (docetaxel) for treating advanced lung adenocarcinoma, a type of NSCLC. Ganetespib acts by blocking Hsp90, a protein that facilitates several components of tumor development and spread.

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MarketWatch | Sep 12, 2013

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Researchers Identify Critical Gene Involved in Lung Cancer Growth

Researchers Identify Critical Gene Involved in Lung Cancer Growth | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Notch genes are a family of genes that are involved in cancer growth. However, they also control many other biological functions, so drugs blocking all Notch genes are severely toxic. Now, researchers have identified one specific member of this gene family that plays a particularly important role in at least some cancers. Inhibiting this gene, Notch1, prevented tumor growth and caused cancer cells to die in both cell culture and animal models of lung adenocarcinoma, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Drugs selectively targeting Notch1 may offer a less toxic approach to halting lung cancer growth.

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Medical Xpress | Aug 29, 2013

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Trial of New Lung Cancer Drug OGX-427 Now Enrolling Participants

Trial of New Lung Cancer Drug OGX-427 Now Enrolling Participants | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The Spruce trial, a phase II clinical trial examining the effectiveness of the cancer drug OGX-427 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), is now open for enrollment. The trial will study patients with previously untreated, advanced non-squamous NSCLC. They will receive the chemotherapy agents carboplatin (Paraplatin) and pemetrexed (Alimta) in combination with either OGX-427 or a placebo. The sponsors also plan to add the Cedar trial, which will investigate the use of OGX-427 in squamous cell NSCLC. OGX-427 inhibits Hsp27, a protein that is highly expressed in many tumor cells. The drug may be especially promising for patients without mutations that make them eligible for currently available targeted therapies.


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MarketWatch | Aug 1, 2013

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RNA Diagnostic Test Improves Diagnosis of Lung Cancer

RNA Diagnostic Test Improves Diagnosis of Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The first step towards choosing the best lung cancer treatment is to figure out what specific kind of lung cancer a patient has. Usually, doctors can determine cancer type by surgically removing part of a tumor and examining the appearance of tumor cells under a microscope. But sometimes tumor samples are damaged and difficult to analyze visually, so a second method would be useful to help confirm a diagnosis. Researchers have now developed a new test that can determine which genes are turned on or off in tumor cells, allowing them to distinguish between the most common types of lung cancer (adenocarcinoma, carcinoid, small cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma). Samples of tumors are already routinely collected, and, in an experiment, examining them and analyzing their genetics was found to be a viable predictor of a tumor’s microscopic appearance. Researchers hope that their test will bring more accurate diagnoses to doctors and patients, which in turn could lead to better treatment recommendations and better outcomes.

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Medical Xpress | Jul 16, 2013

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Genetic Characteristics of Women With Lung Cancer Differ Depending on Smoking History

Few studies so far have focused specifically on lung cancer in women, despite increasing evidence of differences in lung cancer features between women and men. A striking example is the higher rate among women of nonsmokers who develop lung cancer. A recent study of women with lung adenocarcinoma, a type of non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), found that those who had never smoked were much more likely to have mutations in the EGFR gene and/or abnormally high levels of estrogen receptors, while smokers were more likely to have mutations in the KRAS gene. Based on these findings, a new phase II clinical trial will explore the effectiveness of treating postmenopausal, nonsmoking women who have advanced non-squamous lung cancer with EGFR inhibitors and anti-estrogen drugs.

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International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer | June 24, 2013

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Comparison of Combination Chemotherapy Regimens Shows No Significant Differences

Both pemetrexed (Alimta) plus carboplatin (Paraplatin) and Paraplatin plus paclitaxel (Taxol/Abraxane) plus bevacizumab (Avastin) are effective chemotherapy regimens against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, until recently, the safety and efficacy of the two regimens had not been directly compared. To evaluate whether one regimen was superior, a phase III clinical trial determined how long patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC remained free of either cancer progression or severe toxic side effects when treated with either of the two regimens. While patients receiving the Alimta plus Paraplatin regimen tended to have slightly longer relapse- and toxicity-free periods than those given Paraplatin plus Taxol/Abraxane plus Avastin, the difference was not very pronounced and could have happened by chance. The two regimens also did not differ regarding overall time until cancer progression, response rate and overall survival time.

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CancerNetwork | June 6, 2013

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Two Upcoming Clinical Trials to Investigate New Lung Cancer Drug OGX-427

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals plans to launch two phase II clinical trials of its new cancer drug, OGX-427, in lung cancer patients. The Cedar trial will be conducted by the UK National Cancer Research Network and the UK Experimental Cancer Medicine Network at cancer centers throughout the UK. It will examine the effectiveness of OGX-427 in combination with chemotherapy in previously untreated patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The Spruce trial will be performed in the U.S. in collaboration with the Sarah Cannon Research Institute and will enroll patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC. OGX-427 inhibits Hsp27, a protein that is overexpressed in many cancer cells.

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Sacramento Bee | May 23, 2013

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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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Cyramza Yields a Modest Survival Benefit in Second-line NSCLC

"Cyramza™ (ramucirumab, IMC-1121B; Eli Lilly) is a human IgG1 monoclonal antibody directed against the extracellular domain of VEGFR-2. It was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for advanced gastric cancer or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. On February 19, 2014, Lilly announced via press release that the REVEL trial was positive for both overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) benefit. Results from the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III REVEL trial (NCT01168973) were reported at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The trial evaluated docetaxel with or without Cyramza in squamous or non-squamous Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients following disease progression after one prior platinum-based therapy."


Editor's note: A new targeted drug called Cyramza (aka ramucirumab) shows promise as a potential treatment for people with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In a clinical trial, scientists tested the drug on volunteer patients with stage IV NSCLC. Compared to standard chemotherapy alone, patients who were treated with chemo plus Cyramza lived longer and had more time pass before their cancer worsened.

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OBR  |  Jun 3, 2014

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Interim Results from Lung Cancer Clinical Trial of Tivantinib Remain Ambiguous

Interim Results from Lung Cancer Clinical Trial of Tivantinib Remain Ambiguous | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

An ongoing clinical trial is evaluating the effects of cancer drug tivantinib in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The trial studies patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC who do not have any mutations in the EGFR gene. Patients receive erlotinib (Tarceva) either by itself or in combination with tivantinib. Enrollment in the trial was stopped because rates of interstitial lung disease (ILD), which can cause lung scarring, may be higher in patients receiving tivantinib. (No such increased levels of ILD were seen in a different trial using tivantinib.) For the patients already enrolled, overall survival, time without cancer worsening, and percentage of patients experiencing tumor shrinkage all seem increased in tivantinib-treated patients. However, it is not yet clear whether these effects are indeed caused by tivantinib or are due to chance.

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MarketWatch  |  Jan 16, 2014

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Four-Drug Combination Shown to Be Safe and Effective for NSCLC

Four-Drug Combination Shown to Be Safe and Effective for NSCLC | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A combination of the drugs carboplatin (Paraplatin), paclitaxel (Taxol/Abraxane), cetuximab (Erbitux), and bevacizumab (Avastin) has demonstrated effectiveness against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in a phase II clinical trial. One hundred two patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC received the four-drug combo as a first-line treatment. Tumors shrank in 56% of patients and stopped growing in an additional 21%. Patients went an average of 7 months without their cancer progressing; the average survival time was 15 months. Four treatment-related deaths occurred, including two due to hemorrhage (heavy bleeding), which can be a rare but serious effect of Avastin treatment. This side effect profile was within the predefined safety margin. A phase III trial further investigating this drug combination for NSCLC is currently enrolling participants.

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MedwireNews  |  Dec 2, 2013

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Genetic Test Can Predict Risk of Death in Lung Cancer

Genetic Test Can Predict Risk of Death in Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

A new test for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients may help guide treatment decisions. The myPlan Lung Cancer test analyzes gene expression in patients with early-stage lung adenocarcinoma, a type of NSCLC, to predict their chances of dying within the next 5 years. A study showed that patients with a high-risk myPlan Lung Cancer score had nearly double the risk of death (35%) than patients with a low-risk score (18%). myPlan Lung Cancer results were better predictors of survival than cancer stage; tumor size; or the patient's age, sex, or smoking status. More accurate risk predictions could help identify early-stage NSCLC patients for whom aggressive treatment after surgery would be advisable despite the possibility of side effects.

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MarketWatch | Oct 29, 2013

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Alimta Offers Only Limited Advantage in Lung Cancer Study

The recent PointBreak clinical trial compared two treatment regimens for non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Previously untreated patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC received initial treatment with carboplatin (Paraplatin), bevacizumab (Avastin), and either pemetrexed (Alimta) or paclitaxel (Taxol/Abraxane). The Alimta-treated group was then given maintenance treatment with Alimta and Avastin, while the other patients received Avastin only. Alimta treatment was associated with slightly longer times until the cancer progressed again (average 6.0 months, compared to 5.6 in the Alimta-free regimen). However, overall survival did not differ between the groups. The two regimens differed in what specific side effect were most common, but had similar overall toxicities and were generally tolerable.

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MedPage Today | Oct 21, 2013

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Personalized Treatment Yields Results for Cancer Patients

Personalized Treatment Yields Results for Cancer Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Personalized cancer medicine uses genetic testing of patients’ tumors to guide individually tailored treatment decisions. Such tests can determine which chemotherapies would likely be most effective and whether the patient may benefit from novel drugs targeting specific mutations. One example is the case of Elizabeth Lacasia, who has advanced bronchioalveolar carcinoma, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Testing revealed that she does not have any of the mutations targeted by the new drugs. Based on her test results, she was treated with a combination of Tarceva (erlotinib) and Alimta (pemetrexed) following an alternating schedule that has been proven effective for people with her cancer type. Her cancer has been in remission for 2 years.

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Newswise | Sep 10, 2013

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Tissue Analysis May Help Predict Risk of Early-Stage Lung Cancer Returning

Tissue Analysis May Help Predict Risk of Early-Stage Lung Cancer Returning | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The tissue types present in early-stage lung adenocarcinomas, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), may help predict the chances of the cancer returning after surgery. A retrospective study examined outcomes among adenocarcinoma patients whose tumors were 2 cm in diameter or smaller. Patients whose tumors contained 5% or more of a so-called 'micropapillary' tissue structure had a higher risk of the cancer returning if they had just the tumor removed. This difference was not found in patients who underwent lobectomy (removal of an entire subsection of lung). The higher risk of recurrence in patients with 5%-plus micropapillary tissue in their tumor may make them better candidates for the more invasive lobectomy procedure.

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MedPage Today | Aug 7, 2013

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Funding Strategy Needed to Support EGFR Mutation Testing in Canada

Funding Strategy Needed to Support EGFR Mutation Testing in Canada | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Funding represents a decisive barrier to the nationwide implementation of genetic testing for a key lung cancer mutation in Canada, a recent study finds. Patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have a mutation in the EGFR gene frequently benefit from treatment with EGFR inhibitors. AstraZeneca, makers of the EGFR inhibitor gefinitinb (Iressa), reimbursed Canadian laboratories for offering EGFR mutation testing to patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC for 12 months. EGFR mutation testing was rapidly adopted into routine clinical practice in Canada. However, testing rates dropped sharply once the reimbursement program ended. Researchers conclude that a national strategy is needed to provide resources for continued EGFR testing.

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Medical Xpress | Jul 25, 2013

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Maintenance Therapy with Alimta Improves Outcomes in Lung Cancer

Patients whose advanced nonsquamous, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) responds to chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin (Platinol) appear to benefit from continuing Alimta treatment after they have achieved remission (continuation maintenance therapy). Results from the PARAMOUNT clinical trial showed that maintenance treatment with Alimta prolonged time without cancer worsening and increased survival times compared to treatment with a placebo. Continuation maintenance therapy with Alimta may be the preferable treatment choice for patients who do not experience significant toxicity from Alimta.

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Medscape | Jul 11, 2013

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New Cancer Drug Ganetespib May Extend Survival in Late-Stage Lung Cancer

New Cancer Drug Ganetespib May Extend Survival in Late-Stage Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The new cancer treatment ganetespib produced encouraging results in a phase II/III clinical trial examining its effectiveness on late-stage lung adenocarcinoma, a form of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients received ganetespib in combination with docetaxel (Taxotere) or Taxotere alone. Ganetespib treatment resulted in longer overall survival (9.8 months compared to 7.4 months in Taxotere-only patients). Ganetespib inhibits a protein called Hsp90 that acts as a so-called molecular chaperone: it helps different proteins assume their final shape, thus allowing them to function. Many proteins 'chaperoned' by Hsp90 can drive tumor growth in cancer. Researchers hope that blocking Hsp90 with ganetespib will be effective even in patients who have developed mutations that make them resistant to other anticancer drugs, because even the mutated proteins likely still need Hsp90 to function. An ongoing phase III clinical trial seeks to confirm these results.

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Medical Xpress | Jun 3, 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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