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Featured Oncology News

Study Indicates HER2+ Early Breast Cancers Where Shorter-Course Trastuzumab Could Be An Option

(ESMO 2018 Congress) Oct 19, 2019 - Women with HER2-positive early breast cancer with small tumours have similar disease-free survival and lower risk of cardiac toxicity with a nine-week course of adjuvant trastuzumab compared to those treated for one year, according to a subgroup analysis of the Short-HER trial reported at ESMO 2018 Congress in Munich.

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Clovis Aims At New Market For Cancer Drug Rubraca

(BioPharma Dive) Oct 19, 2018 - Clovis Oncology, trailing PARP inhibitor rivals AstraZeneca and Tesaro, aims to jump ahead in a new market for the targeted therapies, announcing Friday positive early data for its drug Rubraca in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

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Novartis Announces Presentation Of New Lutathera® NETTER-1 Data At ESMO Demonstrating Significant Improvement In PFS Regardless Of Baseline Liver Tumor Burden

(Novartis) Oct 19, 2018 - Novartis today announced presentation of a new analysis of Lutathera® (lutetium Lu 177 dotatate*) NETTER-1 data at the 2018 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) congress examining the impact of Lutathera treatment on patients with low, medium or high liver tumor burden. The data show that Lutathera treatment results in significant improvement in progression free survival (PFS) regardless of the extent of baseline liver tumor burden (LTB), elevated alkaline phosphatase (ALP) liver enzyme or presence of large (>30mm diameter) lesion in patients with progressive midgut neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) compared to octreotide LAR alone[1]. Lutathera is the first Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT) to receive regulatory registration, with approval by the European Commission in September 2017 and by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2018. Lutathera is an Advanced Accelerator Applications product.

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Researchers, Cancer Patients, And Philanthropists Launch “Count Me In”

(Broad Institute) Oct 18, 2018 - Researchers, cancer patients, and philanthropists have come together to launch Count Me In, a new nonprofit organization and model of patient-partnered research. Count Me In allows cancer patients anywhere in the United States or Canada to easily share their medical information, personal experience, and tumor samples for genetic analysis, propelling progress against cancer.

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Oncology Clinical News

Promising Anti-Tumour Activity Demonstrated with First-Line Nazartinib in Adult Patients with EGFR-Mutant NSCLC

(ESMO 2018 Congress) Oct 19, 2018 - Treatment with nazartinib (EGF816), a third generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), provided durable responses in adult patients with EGFR-mutated non-small lung cancer (NSCLC) who had not received prior treatment.

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Patients with Lung Adenocarcinomas and Specific Uncommon EGFR Mutations Have Improved Survival with Chemotherapy Compared to TKIs

(ESMO 2018 Congress) Oct 19, 2019 - Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are a standard treatment in patients with lung adenocarcinomas.

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First-in-Class NBTXR3 Provides a New Option for Preoperative Treatment in Patients with Locally Advanced STS (Act-In-Sarc)

(ESMO 2018 Congress) Oct 19, 2019 - 2019 - More patients with locally advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS) of the extremity and trunk wall who received treatment with NBTXR3 hafnium oxide nanoparticles activated by radiotherapyshowed a pathological response than patients treated with radiotherapy alone, according to findings presented at the ESMO 2018 Congress in Munich, Germany.

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One in Six Premenopausal Early Breast Cancer Patients Do Not Adhere To Hormonal Therapy

(ESMO 2018 Congress) Oct 19, 2018 - Nearly one in six premenopausal women being treated for early stage breast cancer do not adhere adequately to tamoxifen therapy after one year of treatment, potentially putting themselves at increased risk of recurrence and reduced survival, a French prospective study reports at ESMO 2018 Congress.

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Women More Prone To Selected Oesophagogastric Cancer Chemotherapy Side-Effects

(ESMO 2018 Congress) Oct 19, 2018 - Men and women may need to be treated differently – at least when it comes to some types of cancer. In an analysis to be presented at the ESMO 2018 Congress in Munich, data was pooled from four UK randomised controlled clinical trials (RCTs) of first line chemotherapy in oesophagogastric (OG) cancer, finding significant differences in a number of important side-effects experienced by male and female patients.

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BL-8040 in Combination With Keytruda® (Pembrolizumab) Demonstrated Encouraging Disease Control And Overall Survival In Patients With Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

(MarketWatch) Oct 19, 2018 - Encouraging results support further development of combination and expansion of collaboration; triple combination expansion cohort (BL-8040 + KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) + chemotherapy) to commence by year-end.

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Takeda to Present Results from Phase 3 ALTA-1L Trial Highlighting Intracranial Efficacy of ALUNBRIG® (brigatinib) Versus Crizotinib in First-Line Advanced ALK+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

(Takeda) Oct 19, 2018 - Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited today announced that intracranial efficacy data from the Phase 3 ALTA-1L (ALK in Lung Cancer Trial of BrigAtinib in 1st Line) trial showed improved intracranial progression-free survival (PFS) and intracranial objective response rate (ORR) with ALUNBRIG (brigatinib) compared to crizotinib among anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.

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Project Baseline Aims to Ward Off Illness Before We Get Sick

(New York Times) Oct 18, 2018 - One of the sobering facts about cancer treatment is that it often begins when it is already too late: Studies show that an alarming number of treatable cancers are diagnosed in the advanced stages of disease.

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Researchers Explore a Cancer Paradox

(New York Times) Oct 18, 2018- Healthy cells carry a surprising number of cancer-linked mutations, but they don’t turn into tumors. What’s holding them back?

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Why Some Cancers Affect Only Young Women

(University of Geneva [Switzerland]) Oct 19, 2018 - Among several forms of pancreatic cancer, one of them affects specifically women, often young. How is this possible, even though the pancreas is an organ with little exposure to sex hormones?

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Cancer Patients Can Now Use Skin Creams During Radiation Therapy

(Penn Medicine) Oct 18, 2018 - Contrary to the advice most cancer patients receive when they go through radiation treatment, topical skin treatments, unless applied very heavily, do not increase the radiation dose to the skin and can be used in moderation before daily radiation treatments.

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Oncology Business and Policy News

Merrimack Discontinues Phase 2 SHERLOC Study of MM-121 in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Due to Futility

(Merrimack Pharmaceuticals) Oct 19, 2018 - Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage oncology company focused on biomarker-defined cancers, today announced the termination of the SHERLOC study, its randomized, open-label Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating MM-121 in combination with docetaxel in patients with heregulin positive NSCLC. This decision was made in agreement with the Chair of the independent Data Safety Monitoring Board following an interim analysis that was triggered by the occurrence of 75% of events required for trial completion. In total, 88% (67/76) of required events were captured in this analysis, and while the safety profile was consistent with MM-121's previously reported safety profile, the data demonstrated that the addition of MM-121 to docetaxel did not improve PFS over docetaxel alone in this patient population. Since futility was observed, the decision has been made to terminate the study.

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Securing Access To Optimal Cancer Care Through Innovation, Integration And Sustainability

(ESMO 2018 Congress) Oct 19, 2018 - Securing access to optimal cancer care for all patients can only be achieved through integrated, sustainable translation of today’s scientific advances into tomorrow’s treatments, reinforced by a clear understanding of the magnitude of clinical effects and accurate identification of patients most likely to benefit.

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Huge Variations Between Countries In Time For Reimbursement Decisions On New Cancer Drugs

(ESMO 2018 Congress) Oct 19, 2018 - Some European countries take more than twice as long as others to reach health technology assessment (HTA) decisions to reimburse new cancer drugs following their approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The average decision time is longer than one year in some countries, according to a study to be reported at ESMO 2018 Congress.

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FDA to Update Mammography Regulations

(MedPage Today) Oct 18, 2018 - Set to include revised screening recommendations, breast density information.

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How FDA's Breakthrough Therapy Designation Program Changed the Rare Disease Space

(Rare Disease Report) Oct 17, 2018 - On July 9, 2012, officials signed the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) which had a section within it that established a new designation—the Breakthrough Therapy Designation—which allows for expedited development and review of drugs to treat serious or life-threatening diseases if substantial evidence is provided.

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Opinion: Looking To The Future Of Patient-Centered Cancer Research And Treatment

(Boston Globe) Oct 18, 2018 - Over the past 40 years, cancer research has seen revolutionary discoveries — about genes, targeted drugs, and immune therapies — that have already had dramatic effects for some patients.

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A New Targeted Cancer Company To Watch

(Forbes) Oct 19, 2018 - If you’re paying attention to biotech firms developing targeted cancer drugs — and you should, it’s one of the most medically important, scientifically interesting, and lucrative areas in the sector — Cui's company, TP Therapeutics, is one you should be watching along with existing stories like Loxo Oncology, Agios Pharmaceuticals, and BluePrint Medicines.

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NICE Rejects Lilly’s Breast Cancer Drug Verzenios

(PharmaTimes [UK]) Oct 19, 2018 - As it stands Eli Lilly’s Verzenios will not be routinely funded on the NHS for breast cancer, as cost-regulators have now issued draft guidelines rejecting the drug.

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Can This App Help China's Forgotten Cancer Sufferers?

(CNN) Oct 18, 2018 - A new app in China is hoping to remove some of that demand on oncologists by connecting patients with some of the world's best cancer hospitals and researchers. The app, called Driver, was co-founded by two Harvard trained oncologists and backed financially by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing, among others.

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Broader Healthcare and Pharma News

Trump Says ‘All Republicans’ Back Protections For Preexisting Conditions, Despite Repeated Attempts To Repeal Obamacare

(Washington Post) Oct 18, 2018 - President Trump expressed support Thursday for one of the most popular provisions of an Obama-era law protecting people with preexisting conditions, even as he has repeatedly promised to scrap the law and his administration is waging a legal fight to overturn it.

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Opinion: The Trump Administration’s Latest Plan To Lower Drug Prices Is Hollow — And Maybe Counterproductive

(Washington Post) Oct 18, 2018 - It might even hurt patients.

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Advancing Toward the Goal of Global Approval for Generic Drugs: FDA Proposes Critical First Steps to Harmonize the Global Scientific and Technical Standards for Generic Drugs

(FDA.gov/FDA Voices) Oct 18, 2018 - The FDA launched a Drug Competition Action Plan that focuses on three key areas designed to facilitate more generic competition, promote patient access, and improve the economics of developing generic medicines.

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An FDA Expert Panel Chairman Defies His Own Panel For Endorsing An Opioid Painkiller

(STAT Plus) Oct 18, 2018 - In an unusual move, the chair of a Food and Drug Administration panel is defying a recommendation that his own panel made last week to endorse a powerful opioid painkiller, because he believes the drug represents a “danger” to public health. And to make sure his views are known, Dr. Raeford Brown, the panel chair, conveyed his concerns in a letter on Thursday to FDA officials.

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AbbVie Commits $100M to Morphic in Fibrosis Drug R&D Alliance

(Xconomy Boston) Oct 18, 2018 - AbbVie is positioning itself to add fibrosis drugs to its pipeline through a new research and development partnership with startup Morphic Therapeutics.

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