NEWS

Benefits of taking drug for 5 years can extend for decades, according to latest IBIS-I results.
December 19

Poor response to BRAF inhibitors could be improved by also suppressing EGFR.
December 19

PI3K inhibitor may help overcome aromatase-inhibitor resistance in subset of patients.
December 17

Immunotherapeutic is well tolerated and yields some durable responses in triple-negative disease.
December 15

New study pinpoints 14,000 protein–protein interactions.
December 15

Analysis of cells grown from tumor biopsies points to effective therapies.
December 11

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RESEARCH WATCH

Human IgG2 confers immunostimulatory activity to costimulatory receptor monoclonal antibodies.
December 19

Recurrent PGE2-induced proliferation of CSCs leads to bladder cancer chemoresistance.
December 19

The anti-PD1 antibody nivolumab is active and safe in metastatic clear-cell renal cell carcinoma.
December 11

Co-inhibition of TIGIT and PDL1 promotes CD8+ T-cell effector function and prevents tumor growth.
December 11

AF10 is a DOT1L cofactor that enhances its enzymatic activity and drives progressive H3K79 methylation.
December 4

Dual treatment with lipophilic bisphosphonates and rapamycin inhibits KRAS-mutant lung tumor growth.
December 4

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NOTED THIS WEEK

December 18, 2014

The FDA approved Ipsen Pharma’s lanreotide (Somatuline depot injection) to treat unresectable, well or moderate-
ly differentiated, locally advanced or metastatic gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors
and improve progression-free survival. Lanreotide was previously approved for the long-term treatment of patients with acromegaly, a condition in which the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone, that doesn’t respond to surgery or radiotherapy.

The FDA also approved ramucirumab (Cyramza; Eli Lilly) to treat patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer whose tumor has progressed during or after treatment with platinum-based chemo-
therapy. The drug, which blocks the blood supply that fuels tumor growth, was approved earlier this year, both alone and in combi-
nation with paclitaxel, to treat patients with advanced stomach cancer or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld an earlier U.S. District Court decision denying Myriad Genetics’ request for an injunction against Ambry Genetics to prevent it from offering gene tests for BRCA1 and BRCA2. Salt Lake City, UT–based Myriad sued Ambry (Aliso Viejo, CA) in July 2013 alleging patent infringement on the gene tests, which Ambry began offering after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a month earlier that human genes cannot be patented; synthetic DNA, which does not occur naturally, can be patented.

The European Commission granted marketing authorization for olaparib (Lynparza; AstraZeneca) for maintenance treatment of patients with platinum-sensitive, relapsed BRCA-mutated, high-grade serous epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancers who experienced a complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy. A PARP inhibitor, olaparib exploits tumor DNA repair pathway deficiencies to preferentially kill cancer cells.

In an updated policy statement published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology called for greater access to and education about phase I clinical trials. Barriers to clinical trial participation, such as the lack of insurance coverage for routine care in clinical trials and the need to improve clinicians’ ability to talk with patients about the risks and benefits of trials, should be addressed, according to the statement.  

By a vote of 51–43, the U.S. Senate confirmed Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, as surgeon general. Murthy is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a hospitalist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH, has been serving as acting surgeon general.

In response to an advisory committee’s report, the NIH announced the cancellation of the National Children’s Study (NCS), which had been designed to examine the effects of environmental and biologic factors on children’s health and development by following 100,000 individuals from birth to age 21. Although the committee praised the NCS’s goals, it noted concerns about the study’s design and increasing costs; despite initiating a pilot effort and spending more than $1 billion over several years, the NCS never started. “I am disappointed that this study failed to achieve its goals,” said NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD. “Yet I am optimistic that other approaches will provide answers to these important research questions.”

 

 

RESEARCH WATCH