Lung Cancer Dispatch
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News for Patients and Physicians
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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

Cancer Commons's curator insight, May 28, 2014 5:19 PM

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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Anti-PD-1 Antibody MK-3475 Advances Into Multiple Tumor Types

Anti-PD-1 Antibody MK-3475 Advances Into Multiple Tumor Types | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Merck announced the signing of three separate clinical collaboration agreements to evaluate the potential of its investigational anti-PD-1 immunotherapy MK-3475 across multiple tumor types.  The agreements, of which financial terms were not disclosed, were signed through subsidiaries with Amgen Inc., Incyte Corporation, and Pfizer Inc.

"As part of the new collaborations, Merck will begin several clinical trials. In these phase I/II studies, MK-3475 will be explored in combination with axitinib in renal cell carcinoma, talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) in previously untreated advanced melanoma, the immunotherapy INCB24360 in previously treated metastatic recurrent non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and PF-2566 in multiple cancer types. Separate from these collaborations, Merck announced that the safety and efficacy of MK-3475 monotherapy would be evaluated in a phase I “signal finding” study in 20 PD-L1-positive solid tumor types not previously studied."

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OncLive  |  Feb 7, 2014

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OncLive  |  Feb 7, 2014

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Immune-Based Drug Shows Promise Against Lung Cancer, Especially in Smokers

Immune-Based Drug Shows Promise Against Lung Cancer, Especially in Smokers | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Results from an early clinical trial suggest that the drug MPDL3280A is effective against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The phase I study found that tumors shrank in 23% of patients with advanced NSCLC treated with MPDL3280A. The effect was more pronounced in smokers (who had a 26% response rate) than in nonsmokers (a 10% rate), making it the first treatment with stronger activity in smokers. MPDL3280A inhibits PD-L1, a protein expressed on cancer cells that suppresses the immune response. Blocking PD-L1 allows the immune system to keep attacking the cancer. The tumor cells in smokers may carry more mutations, provoking a stronger attack from the unleashed immune system, which could explain the stronger effects in smokers.

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Reuters | Sep 29, 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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