NEWS

Cancer centers and commercial labs collaborate to learn more about genetic vulnerabilities.
October 31

Researchers explore dabrafenib and neratinib for patients with BRAF and HER2 mutations.
October 31

Six centers team up to create an “e-hospital,” exchange data.
October 28

Treatment helps control primary tumors and improves overall survival.
October 24

$141 million granted to U.S. investigators for innovative projects with groundbreaking potential.
October 24

Agency aims to phase in a risk-based framework over 9 years.
October 14

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RESEARCH WATCH

More than 2% of people exhibit blood-specific mutations in the absence of hematologic disease.
October 30

Macrophage-derived IL10 indirectly suppresses CD8+ T-cell responses to chemotherapy.
October 30

Discontinuation of anti-CCL2 therapy augments lethal breast cancer metastasis in mice.
October 30

NSCLC is characterized by branched evolution and pronounced intratumor genomic heterogeneity.
October 23

GADD45β/MKK7 is critical for NFκB-driven survival and is a therapeutic target in multiple myeloma.
October 23

SHH prevents progression to invasive bladder cancer by stimulating urothelial differentiation.
October 23

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NOTED THIS WEEK

October 30, 2014

The U.S. District Court for the District
of Delaware ruled in favor of Pfizer in a lawsuit against Mylan Pharmaceuticals,
upholding Pfizer’s patent covering Sutent (sunitinib malate) capsules. Pfizer filed suit in 2010 after Mylan sought FDA approval to market a generic version of the drug, which is approved to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma and certain gastrointestinal and pancreatic tumors. Pfizer’s patent expires in 2021.

The International Myeloma Working Group, which includes more than 180 researchers worldwide, updated the definition of multiple myeloma and the criteria that should be used to diagnose it. The new criteria, which include the use of validated biomarkers, were published in Lancet Oncology.

A noninvasive home screening test for colon cancer is now available with a prescription through the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, the medical center where it was developed. The test, called Cologuard, checks for cancer-related DNA in stool. It is sold by Exact Sciences (Madison, WI) and will soon be available nationwide.

Merck announced that the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the treat-
ment of EFGR-negative and ALK rearrange-
ment–negative non–small cell lung cancer that has progressed while on or following platinum-based chemotherapy. The company’s anti–PD-1 therapy has already been approved by the FDA for certain melanomas, and it is being studied in more than 30 types of cancer, both alone and in combination with other agents.

New Canadian guidelines recommend against using the prostate-specific antigen test to screen for prostate cancer based on evidence showing an increased risk of harm, such as false-positive results and unnecessary treatment, and little evidence of reduced mortality. The guidelines, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, are consistent with the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and Cancer Council Australia; the UK does not have an organized screening program.

Investigators at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute in Ohio will use IBM’s “Watson” technology in genomic research to help oncologists deliver personalized medicine by uncovering new treatment options for a variety of cancers. Watson aims to find the “needle in the hay-
stack” by identifying patterns in genome sequencing and medical data. Given Watson’s ability to speedily review massive databases, researchers hope that more patients will have access to therapies tailored to their disease’s DNA.

Citing their analysis of nearly 1,500 biotech and pharmaceutical companies in the United States and Europe, the executive recruit-
ment services company Liftstream reports that the average board of directors is 90% male, and more than half of the industry’s boardrooms do not include any women.
Surveys from 530 leaders in the industry indicate that roughly the same proportion of men and women want to serve on a board, but nearly 60% of the men were contacted about such opportunities compared with about 16% of the women. The report, available at www.liftstream.com/about-the-report.html, suggests that CEOs and company boards should reexamine their recruiting and promotion practices, and evaluate training opportunities.

 

 

RESEARCH WATCH