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ASCO: Zykadia Works Before or After Targeted Lung Ca Tx

ASCO: Zykadia Works Before or After Targeted Lung Ca Tx | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Ceritinib (Zykadia) produced good response in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) overexpressing ALK, regardless of prior treatment for that target, an early phase trial showed.


Ceritinib was associated with an overall response rate of 55% in patients previously treated with crizotinib (Xalkori) and 66% in those naive to that ALK inhibitor, Dong-Wan Kim, MD, of the Seoul National University Hospital, and colleagues found.

Editor's note: This article is about a drug called ceritinib (brand name Zykadia), which was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Dug Administration (FDA), allowing doctors in the U.S. to prescribe it to patients who 1) have advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), 2) have tumor cells with mutations in the ALK gene, as detected by molecular testing, and 3) have tried treatment with crizotinib (Xalkori) but experienced worsening of their cancer. According to the new research described in this article, ceritinib may actually be beneficial whether or not the patient was previously treated with crizotinib.
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MedPage Today  |  Jun 3, 2014

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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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AVEO Oncology Announces Presentation of AV-203 Phase 1 Results at 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting

"AVEO Oncology (NASDAQ:AVEO) today announced the presentation of results from a first-in-human Phase 1 study of AV-203, AVEO’s ErbB3 (HER3) inhibitory antibody candidate. Among the results, the study established a recommended Phase 2 dose of AV-203, demonstrated good tolerability and promising early signs of activity, and reached the maximum planned dose of AV-203 monotherapy. The results were presented in a poster, entitled “First-in-human Phase 1 dose-escalation study of AV-203, a monoclonal antibody against ErbB3 in patients with metastatic or advanced solid tumors” (Abstract #11113, Poster #395, S Hall A2), at the Tumor Biology General Poster Session of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2014 Annual Meeting, taking place May 30 - June 3, 2014, in Chicago."


Editor's note: This story is about a promising new drug called AV-203. In a clinical trial to test the drug in volunteer patients, AV-203 showed promise for treating several cancer types, including lung cancer.

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AVEO Oncology  |  May 31, 2014

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One Step Closer to a Breath Test for Lung Cancer

One Step Closer to a Breath Test for Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"A test of organic compounds in exhaled breath can not only distinguish patients with lung cancer from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but can also define the stage of any cancer present, new research shows. The device requires blowing up a balloon, which is then attached to an extremely sensitive gold nanoparticle sensor. The particles in the sensor trap and then help to analyze volatile organic compounds in the exhaled breath."

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ScienceDaily  |  May 31, 2014

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Tesaro Summarizes Phase 3 Rolapitant Data Presented at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting and Provides an Update on Niraparib Development Strategy

Tesaro Summarizes Phase 3 Rolapitant Data Presented at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting and Provides an Update on Niraparib Development Strategy | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"TESARO, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSRO), an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, today announced that final results from three Phase 3 trials of rolapitant, an investigational neurokinin-1 (NK-1) receptor antagonist in development for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), were presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago."


Editor's note: This story is about a drug called rolapitant that shows promise in preventing nausea and vomiting for patients receiving chemotherapy treatment.

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Benzinga  |  Jun 1, 2014

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Many Physicians Lack Confidence Interpreting Genomic Test Results

Many Physicians Lack Confidence Interpreting Genomic Test Results | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Oncologists’ intentions to utilize multiplex genomic testing, as well as the confidence they feel interpreting test results and discussing them with patients, vary considerably, a study conducted at a tertiary-care NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center showed.


"The results suggest the need for genomic screening guidelines and physician education about genomic testing, researchers wrote."

Editor's note: More and more, doctors recommend cancer treatments based on genetic data, including the results of molecular tests. At Cancer Commons, we encourage patients to talk to their doctors about whether genetic testing can help with treatment decisions.
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New Strategies to Improve Quality of Life for Cancer Patients, Caregivers

New Strategies to Improve Quality of Life for Cancer Patients, Caregivers | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"New strategies for easing the short- and long-term effects of cancer therapy and improving the quality of life of patients with cancer, as well as their caregivers have been released by researchers. "We've made incredible strides in cancer treatment, and more cancer survivors are alive today than ever before. But oncology isn't just about helping people live longer -- we need to ensure that patients have the best quality of life possible at every stage of their cancer journey," said one expert."

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ScienceDaily  |  Jun 2, 2014

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Prevalence of New Genetic Driver in Lung Cancer Shown in Study

Prevalence of New Genetic Driver in Lung Cancer Shown in Study | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"A line has been drawn from mutation of the gene NTRK1, to its role as an oncogene in non-small cell lung cancer, to treatment that targets this mutation. 'Everything we know about lung cancer points to the idea that when we find one of these genetic drivers and can target it with a drug, patients will respond and tend to have a good amount of time on drug before it becomes ineffective. Obviously we can't guarantee the effectiveness of targeting the NTRK1 mutation at this point, but everything we know about these kinds of genes makes us extremely hopeful,' says one researcher."


Editor's note: A new targeted therapy treatment may be on the horizon for some lung cancer patients. Targeted therapies work by targeting specific molecules inside cancer cells. Often, these molecules are proteins that are mutated and cause cancer cells to multiply rapidly, contributing to tumor growth. There are several mutated proteins commonly found in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors. For a given patient, these can be detected by molecular testing, and based on the results, doctors can prescribe certain targeted therapy drugs. A newly discovered mutation called NTRK1 is being explored as a potential target for a new targeted therapy. To test the new drug, called LOXO-101, scientists have started a new clinical trial and are enrolling patients whose tumors have NTRK1 mutations.

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ScienceDaily  |  May 31, 2014

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Lung Cancer Screening Abnormalities Prompted Smoking Cessation

Lung Cancer Screening Abnormalities Prompted Smoking Cessation | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Smokers who received abnormal or suspicious lung cancer screening results were less likely to still smoke at the time of the next year’s screen, according to study results.


"Martin C. Tammemägi, PhD, of the department of health sciences at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues reviewed National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) data on 14,692 adults who were current smokers at baseline and did not develop lung cancer during follow-up. The median age of patients was 60.6 years; a majority were men (58.7%) and non-Hispanic white (89.5%)."

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Healio  |  May 28, 2014

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Study: Cancer Center Ads Long on Emotions, Short on Facts

Study: Cancer Center Ads Long on Emotions, Short on Facts | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Advertisements for cancer centers often appeal to consumers’ emotions but rarely provide useful information about the benefits, risks, or costs of treatment, a recent analysis concluded.


“ 'We found that cancer therapies were promoted more commonly than supportive or screening services and were often described in vague or general terms,' the authors wrote in the May 27 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. 'Advertisements commonly evoked hope for survival, promoted innovative treatment advances, and used language about fighting cancer while providing relatively limited information about benefits, risks, costs, or insurance coverage of advertised therapies.' "

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Cancer Network  |  May 30, 2014

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Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Completes Enrollment in Phase 2 Trial of SPI-2012 - A Novel Long-Acting Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor (GCSF) to Treat Chemotherapy-induced Neutropenia

"Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI), a biotechnology company with fully integrated commercial and drug development operations and with a primary focus in Hematology and Oncology, today announced that the key phase 2 trial of its long-acting granulocyte stimulating factor analog developed using LAPSCOVERY technology (SPI-2012) has completed its Phase 2 study enrollment; this positions Spectrum for Phase 3 decision making before year end."


Editor's note: Neutropenia is a potentially life-threatening side effect of chemotherapy. This clinical trial is testing whether a treatment called LAPSCOVERY is effective against neutropenia.

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Yahoo!  |  May 29, 2014

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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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Worse Side Effects from Chemotherapy Experienced When Biological Rhythms Interrupted

"Patients receiving chemical treatment for cancer often suffer fatigue and body weight loss, two of the most worrying effects of this therapy linked to the alteration of their circadian rhythms.


"The circadian system, better known as our biological clock, is responsible for coordinating all the processes that take place in our organism.


"If it does not function correctly, what is known as a circadian disruption or chronodisruption, has for years been linked to an increased incidence of cancer, obesity, diabetes, depression, cognitive problems or cardiovascular diseases."


Editor's note: This research opens up the possibility of personalizing the timing of chemotherapy treatments to minimize side effects.

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Medical News Today  |  May 23, 2014

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New Clinical Guidelines for Cancer-Related Fatigue

New Clinical Guidelines for Cancer-Related Fatigue | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Fatigue is a debilitating problem for cancer patients undergoing treatment; however, it also poses a huge detriment after treatment and can significantly affect quality of life. Approximately 30 percent of cancer patients endure persistent fatigue for several years after treatment, according to an American Society of Clinical Oncology Expert Panel co-chaired by Paul Jacobsen, Ph.D., associate center director of Population Sciences at Moffitt Cancer Center."

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Medical News Today  |  Jun 3, 2014

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Ignyta Announces Interim Data from RXDX-101 Phase I Clinical Trial (NASDAQ:RXDX)

"Ignyta, Inc. (Nasdaq: RXDX), an oncology precision medicine biotechnology company, announced today that interim results from the first-in-human ALKA-372-001 Phase I clinical trial of RXDX-101, the company's proprietary oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting solid tumor indications, were presented in an oral presentation at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology(ASCO) in Chicago, Illinois."


Editor's note: This story is about a new drug called RXDX-101. In a clinical trial testing it in volunteer patients, it showed promise for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors had mutations in the ALK gene, and another patient with NSCLC whose tumor had a mutation in the ROS1 gene (these mutations can be detected by molecular testing).

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Ignyta  |  May 31, 2014

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ARIAD Presents Updated Phase 1/2 Data on AP26113 in Patients with ALK+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

ARIAD Presents Updated Phase 1/2 Data on AP26113 in Patients with ALK+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced updated clinical results on its investigational tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), AP26113, in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) from an ongoing Phase 1/2 trial. These study results show anti-tumor activity of AP26113 in patients with crizotinib-resistant anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) positive NSCLC, including patients with brain metastases. Crizotinib is approved for ALK-positive NSCLC patients."


Editor's note: This story is about a targeted drug called AP26113, which may benefit some patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Specifically, it has shown promise for those patients whose tumors have mutations in the ALK gene, as detected by molecular testing, and who have already been treated with the drug crizotinib (Xalkori) but have grown resistant to it.

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MarketWatch  |  May 31, 2014

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ASCO: Chemotherapy Key Part of Curative Lung Cancer Therapies

ASCO: Chemotherapy Key Part of Curative Lung Cancer Therapies | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Cancer Network: Thank you for speaking with us today, Dr. Kris. First, can you tell us why this is an important topic for an education session? Is there a debate of the use of chemotherapy in treating lung cancer?


"Dr. Kris: I wouldn’t quite say that there is a debate, but there is an impression that the therapy of lung cancers has switched to targeted therapies or immune therapies. Looking at the ASCO abstracts this year that would be an easy conclusion to draw. But there is an indisputable fact that no matter what target you can identify in a patient’s tumor, be it PD-L1 or a BRAF mutation, at some point in a patient’s illness they will be receiving chemotherapy. As we look at entire care of people with lung cancer it is very important to remember that virtually every single one will receive chemotherapy, and that we need to pay attention to choosing the best chemotherapy. We also need to think about doing research in chemotherapy. Clearly, we can do a better job, and we need more research to find the best drugs. Also, we need to find a way to use them with our targeted therapies."


Editor's note: Targeted therapies and immunotherapies are all the rage now in cancer treatment. But there are still important roles for chemotherapy. This article gives a great overview of recent advancements in the use of chemotherapy in lung cancer treatment, and why we need further research to refine and improve the benefits of chemotherapy.

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Cancer Network  |  May 29, 2014

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ASCO: Early Palliation in Ca Patients Eases Caregiver Burden

ASCO: Early Palliation in Ca Patients Eases Caregiver Burden | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Early palliative treatment for advanced cancer patients appeared to benefit their caregivers, who experienced lower rates of depression and better quality of life, researchers reported here.


"When compared with caregivers whose associated patients who were not treated with palliative care until 3 months after diagnosis, the caregivers of patients who received immediate post-diagnosis palliative treatment experienced significantly improved Caregiver Quality of Life-Cancer scores (mean decrease of 7.2 points, P=0.03) and significantly less depression as measured by the Center for Epidemiological Study-Depression (mean decrease of 6.9 points, P=0.006), reported Marie Bakitas, DNSc, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues."

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MedPage Today  |  May 31, 2014

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ASCO: OK to Stop Statins in Terminal Illness

ASCO: OK to Stop Statins in Terminal Illness | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Stopping statins for terminal patients doesn't hasten death and may improve their quality of life, a trial showed.


"The 60-day mortality rate didn't differ significantly after discontinuation of long-standing statin therapy compared with staying on it (23.8% versus 20.3%, P=0.60), Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, of Duke University Medical Center, and colleagues found."

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MedPage Today  |  May 30, 2014

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Studies Reveal Potential New Targeted Therapies for Common, Hard-to-Treat Cancers

Studies Reveal Potential New Targeted Therapies for Common, Hard-to-Treat Cancers | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Positive results from four clinical trials of investigational targeted drugs for advanced ovarian, lung, and thyroid cancers, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia were highlighted today at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Findings from the mid- and late-stage trials suggest new ways to slow disease progression and improve survival for patients who experience relapses or resistance to available treatments...


"Second-line treatment with ramucirumab plus standard docetaxel extends survival for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer: This phase III clinical trial marks the first time in a decade that a survival benefit has been achieved in second-line therapy for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer – findings that could impact the care of 60,000 patients each year in the United States."


Editor's note: Learn more about targeted therapy drugs for lung cancer.

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Medical Xpress  |  Jun 2, 2014

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Responses with Crizotinib in MET-Amplified Lung Cancer Show New Targetable Form of Disease

Responses with Crizotinib in MET-Amplified Lung Cancer Show New Targetable Form of Disease | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"In 2011, the drug crizotinib earned accelerated approval by the US FDA to target the subset of advanced non-small cell lung cancers caused by rearrangements of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene, and subsequently was granted regular approval in 2013. The drug also has shown dramatic responses in patients whose lung cancers harbored a different molecular abnormality, namely ROS1 gene rearrangements. Previously unreported phase 1 clinical trial results now show that crizotinib may have a third important molecular target. In advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients with intermediate and high amplifications of the MET gene, crizotinib produced either disease stabilization or tumor response. Sixty-seven percent of patients with high MET amplification showed prolonged response to the drug, which lasted from approximately 6 months to nearly 2.5 years."


Editor's note: Crizotinib (aka Xalkori) is a targeted therapy drug that kills cancer cells by targeting certain molecules found in the cells. It was already known that crizotinib works well for some patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose cancer cells have mutations in the ALK gene and in the ROS1 gene; such mutations, or "molecular biomarkers," are detected by a medical procedure known as "molecular testing," or "genetic testing." Now, scientists say that crizotinib may also be effective for patients with advanced NSCLC whose tumors have abnormally high activity of a protein called MET, which can also be detected via molecular testing.

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ScienceDaily  |  May 31, 2014

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Life Beyond the Cancer Clinic

Life Beyond the Cancer Clinic | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Three years.


"That’s the total amount of time we train to be oncologists.


"It’s both a lot of time and not enough.


"When we enter our oncology fellowships, most of us have spent four years in college, four or five years in medical school, and three years completing an internal medicine residency. We donate our 20s — what are supposed to be our “fabulous years” — to studying how to be doctors. Is it any wonder we emerge just a little bit socially awkward and behind the times? And then we dedicate what seems like an eternity — another three years — to specialize in cancer."

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The New York Times  |  May 29, 2014

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Transgene Announces Promising Results in an Update from the Phase 2b Part of TIME Trial with TG4010 in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

"Transgene SA (TNG.PA) (TNG.PA) today announced promising results in an update incorporating more mature data from the Phase 2b part of the Phase 2b/3 TIME trial1 with TG4010 MUC-1 targeted immunotherapy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


"Following an analysis conducted with a more mature dataset, the primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS) to validate the TrPAL predictive biomarker was met2 in the normal TrPAL3 group. The high TrPAL group had not yet met the required number of events to conduct the primary analysis."


Editor's note: This clinical trial is testing whether an immunotherapy drug called TG4010 MUC-1 might be effective for some patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). For more information, see this trial in our Clinical Trial Finder.

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Yahoo!  |  May 27, 2014

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No Progression-Free or Overall Survival Benefit With Second- or Third-Line Erlotinib vs Docetaxel in EGFR-Unselected Japanese NSCLC Patients

No Progression-Free or Overall Survival Benefit With Second- or Third-Line Erlotinib vs Docetaxel in EGFR-Unselected Japanese NSCLC Patients | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"In a Japanese phase III trial (DELTA) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Kawaguchi et al found that erlotinib (Tarceva) was associated with no progression-free survival or overall survival advantage as second- or third-line therapy in EGFR-unselected patients with non–small cell lung cancer.


"In this open-label trial, 301 patients with stage IIIB or IV NSCLC, previous treatment with one or two chemotherapy regimens, evaluable or measurable disease, and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 to 2 were randomly assigned between August 2009 and July 2012 to erlotinib at 150 mg daily (n = 150) or docetaxel at 60 mg/m2every 3 weeks (n = 151). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival. In total, 109 patients (73%) in the erlotinib group and 90 (60%) in the docetaxel group had EGFR wild-type disease. Study treatment was third line in 19% and 14%, respectively."


Editor's note: This clinical trial tested a drug called erlotinib (brand name Tarceva), which is already known to be an effective treatment for lung cancer patients whose tumors have mutations in the EGFR gene. However, in this trial, the scientists were interested in whether erlotinib might help all patients, regardless of whether EGFR is mutated. The results show that erlotinib is no more effective than chemo for patients without EGFR mutations. But we recently posted another story about a protein test that may predict whether a patient without EGFR mutations might benefit from erlotinib treatment: http://www.cancercommons.org/news/proteomic-signature-for-egfr-inhibitor-therapy-predicts-survival-benefit-of-second-line-chemotherapy-vs-erlotinib-in-nsclc/.

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The ASCO Post  |  May 27, 2014

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Six Fast Facts About Exceptional Responders

Six Fast Facts About Exceptional Responders | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"They are, unfortunately, a rarity — the so-called “exceptional responders” who are particularly sensitive to certain cancer treatments when most others fail to respond at all. According to the National Cancer Institute, an “exceptional responder” is a patient who has a complete or partial response that lasts at least 6 months post-treatment, in a clinical trial in which fewer than 10% of patients responded.


"Because they are exceptional, and because they do exceptionally well, oncologists are eager to better understand these patients. And while genomic sequencing appears to be yielding some answers, the implementation of this approach is not yet cost-effective."


Editor's note: If oncologists can learn why certain patients respond exceptionally well to cancer treatment, they may get insight into how to treat other patients.

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