OBR Daily Commentary

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Novartis Breakthrough Therapy LDK378 Shows a Marked Clinical Response in Patients with ALK+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

(Yahoo! Finance) June 3, 2013 - Novartis today announced data on its investigational compound LDK378 showing a marked clinical response in 78 patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive (ALK+) metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had progressed during or after crizotinib therapy or had not been previously treated with crizotinib.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: June 05, 2013)

quotesLDK-278, as well as Ariad's AP26113 and another 2nd generation ALK inhibitor from Chugai, all appear to have remarkable activity in ALK-positive patients. Data were presented at ASCO showing that both LDK-278 and AP26113 are clearly comparably effective as what we expect from crizotinib even in crizotinib-resistant patients, and these 2nd generation inhibitors have also all demonstrated activity of brain metastases, unlike crizotinib, which is not active within the CNS. These agents all appear superior to crizotinib, which was really more of an incidentally discovered ALK inhibitor, and the leading question isn't whether they have a place in treating ALK-positive NSCLC, but whether they should replace crizotinib as first-line therapy or should be used after an initial crizotinib-induced response to add more benefit for crizotinib-resistant patients. In addition, it isn't clear which of these extremely effective 2nd gen ALK inhibitors is best, or if there is any perceptible difference in therapeutic index among them based on the small numbers receiving them thus far.quotes

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Low-Dose CT Scans May Help Spot Early Lung Cancer

(WebMD/HealthDay News) May 21, 2013 - Finding early signs of lung cancer was once next to impossible, but a new study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that screening with low-dose CT scans may help spot the beginnings of disease in high-risk patients.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: May 22, 2013)

quotesInteresting that an 84 patient study that provides absolutely no new information or insight into a complex situation can be considered as news. Yes, results from CT screening for lung cancer can produce ambiguous findings. Yes, some cancers are detected as early stage, but others may not be. There is a 20% improvement in overall survival, not 90%, and we all know that screening CT scans show lots of questionable nodules that cause anxiety and turn out not to be cancer. It would be nice if we stopped getting news stories that reported the same thing every few weeks.quotes

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Bayer, Algeta Win U.S. Approval for Prostate Cancer Drug

(Bloomberg) May 15, 2013 - Bayer AG and Algeta ASA won U.S. approval for their drug to treat an advanced form of prostate cancer that doesn't respond to the standard testosterone-lowering treatments.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: May 15, 2013)

quotesThis is an important development, finally bringing an FDA approval to match with the overwhelming evidence supporting first line treatment with an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, whether erlotinib or gefitinib (though only erlotinib is available in the US), for patients with an activating EGFR mutation. First line erlotinib for patients with an identified activating EGFR mutation has been the consensus standard of care for several years, but we have always needed to prescribe this in the absence of a formal FDA approval for this indication.quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Prostate Cancer
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Tomasz M. Beer, MD, FACP

Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Medical O...

Community Oncology
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Dean Gesme, MD

FACP FACPE FASCO President, Minnesota Oncology...

Breast Cancer
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Debu Tripathy, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncol...

Lung Cancer
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H. Jack West, MD

Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Swedish Ca...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Howard S. Hochster, MD

Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Woo...

Radiation Oncology
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Howard Sandler, MD, MS, FASTRO

Ronald H. Bloom Chair in Cancer Therapeutics
Pr...

Community Oncology
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Jeff Patton, M.D.

CEO Tennessee Oncology...

Precision Medicine Section Editor
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Jennifer Levin Carter, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer and Founder, N-of-One...

Financial Sector
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Michael G. King Jr.

Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Richard Goldberg, MD

Director WVU Cancer Institute Director of Cancer Signa...

Editor-In-Chief
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Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Health Policy
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Ted Okon

Executive Director Community Oncology Alliance...

Community Oncology
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Thomas Marsland, MD

Vice President Integrated Community Oncology Network ...

Community Oncology
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William Harwin MD

Florida Cancer Specialists President and Managing Part...

Health Policy
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William McGivney, PhD

National Health Policy Expert...

Payer
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Winston Wong, PharmD

President, W-Squared Group...