NEWS

Data protection requirements could significantly hamper new studies, says ESMO.
August 21
 

Agency provides more details about how to obtain consent from patients enrolling in a clinical trial.
August 21

A tumor’s dominant clone may not be the most dangerous, offering clues for better targeted therapy.
August 14

Comprehensive TCGA analysis could guide patient stratification, yield new therapies.
August 14

Phase III trial may lead to first FDA-approved treatment for some types of tumors.
August 14

Analysis may lead to advances in diagnosis and treatment.
August 14

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RESEARCH WATCH

PDAC cells surviving oncogene withdrawal are dependent on autophagy and mitochondrial metabolism.
August 21

PDGFA expression and PTEN loss are common genetic drivers of all non-GCIMP glioblastoma subtypes.
August 21

Chloroquine mediates tumor vessel normalization in an autophagy-independent manner.
August 21

NOTCH-regulated long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA) including LUNAR1 promote T-ALL cell growth.
August 14

Cathepsin S expression in tumor cells and stromal macrophages regulates breast-to-brain metastasis.
August 14

HSF1-mediated transcriptional programs in CAFs support a pro-oncogenic state in cancer cells.
August 14

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NOTED THIS WEEK

August 21, 2014

The FDA approved bevacizumab (Avastin; Genentech) in combination with chemotherapy to treat women with persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cervical cancer, making it the first drug approved for these patients since 2006. The angiogenesis inhibitor is also approved to treat various forms of brain, colon, kidney, and lung cancers.

Agios Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, MA, announced that the FDA has granted Fast Track designation to AG-221 for the treatment of patients with acute myelogenous leukemia. AG-221 is a first-in-class, oral, selective, potent IDH2 inhibitor being evaluated in a phase I clinical trial. The designation, given to medicines with the potential to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and address unmet medical needs, means that Agios will have frequent interactions with the FDA to expedite the drug’s development.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced that it has submitted an application to the FDA for approval of palbociclib, in combination with letrozole, as a first-line systemic therapy for postmenopausal women with ER+, HER2- advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Palbociclib is an investigational oral targeted agent that selectively inhibits cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6. The submission is based upon the results of a phase II study in which patients who took palbociclib and letrozole had progression-free survival of 20.2 months compared with 10.2 months in patients who took letrozole alone.

Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic unveiled plans to build a $276 million, seven-story cancer center, which will bring all cancer-related services, including imaging, under one roof. The additional space will also allow the institution to increase the number of patients it can accommodate in clinical trials. Groundbreaking is slated for the end of September, with construction to be completed in 2017.

The University of Texas at Austin announced that the Livestrong Foundation will contribute $50 million to the school’s new Dell Medical School to create the Livestrong Cancer Institutes. The gift is the largest ever from the foundation, which was established in 1997 by cyclist Lance Armstrong. The medical school, which will welcome its first class in the fall of 2016, was named for Michael and Susan Dell, who had earlier donated $50 million.

The NIH launched ALCHEMIST (Adjuvant Lung Cancer Enrichment Marker Identification and Sequencing Trials) to identify patients with early-stage lung tumors that harbor genetic changes in ALK and EGFR and evaluate whether drugs targeted against those changes can improve survival. About 6,000 to 8,000 patients will be screened for the alterations, which are present in a total of about 15% of lung cancers. Those with the genetic changes will then be eligible for one of the two treatment trials; all screened participants, regardless of the marker status of their tumor, will be followed for 5 years.

A long-term study reported in the journal Pediatrics shows that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine appears to protect against the sexually transmitted virus for at least 8 years. HPV causes genital warts, as well as most cases of cervical cancer and certain head and neck cancers. Boys and girls ages 9 to 15 who received the vaccine as part of the study still had antibodies against HPV 8 years later, and none developed any conditions or diseases related to the virus.

RESEARCH WATCH