Breast Cancer
Immunotherapy

2018 Treatment Algorithm for Metastatic HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

How should clinicians position anti-HER2 agents and also incorporate endocrine therapies in the treatment of metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer? At the 2018 Miami Breast Cancer Conference, this question was explored by Sunil Verma, MD, Medical Director of the Tom Baker Cancer Center and...

kidney cancer
immunotherapy

FDA Approves Nivolumab/Ipilimumab Combination in Intermediate- or Poor-Risk Advanced RCC

On April 16, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approvals to nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) in combination for the treatment of intermediate- or poor-risk previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). CheckMate 214 The approvals were based on...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

AACR 2018: Off-the-Shelf, Dual-Targeted CAR T-Cell Product Showed Promising Results in Preclinical Studies

FT819—an off-the-shelf, T-cell receptor–less CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell product that could potentially be made more accessible to patients with cancer than conventional CAR T-cell therapies—showed positive results in preclinical specificity, functionality, and...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

ELCC 2018: Immunotherapy Provides Long-Term Survival Benefit for Patients With Lung Cancer

Further evidence that immunotherapy provides long-term survival benefit for patients with lung cancer was presented by Mazières et al at the European Lung Cancer Congress (ELCC) in Geneva, Switzerland (Abstract 136PD_PR). Researchers presented the 3-year survival results of the randomized...

cns cancers
skin cancer
immunotherapy

Nivolumab/Ipilimumab or Nivolumab Alone in Melanoma Brain Metastases

In an Australian phase II trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Long et al found that the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab alone showed intracranial activity in patients with melanoma brain metastases. Study Details In the open-label trial, 76 evaluable...

lymphoma
immunotherapy

Updated Analysis of Obinutuzumab in Rituximab-Refractory Indolent Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Cheson et al, an updated analysis of the phase III GADOLIN trial showed an overall survival advantage with obinutuzumab (Gazyva) plus bendamustine induction followed by obinutuzumab maintenance vs bendamustine alone in patients with rituximab...

kidney cancer
immunotherapy

Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab vs Sunitinib in Previously Untreated Advanced RCC

As reported in The New England Journal of Medicine by Motzer et al, the phase III CheckMate 214 trial has shown an overall survival advantage with nivolumab plus ipilimumab vs sunitinib in patients with previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Study Details In the open-label...

Lymphoma
Immunotherapy

Is CAR T-Cell Therapy Setting a New Standard of Care in Lymphoma?

Data presented at the 2017 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition on the longer-term follow-up analysis of results from the ZUMA-1 trial investigating the effectiveness of axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta) in patients with refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) showed...

Pancreatic Cancer
Immunotherapy

Emerging Thoughts About the Immune Landscape in Pancreatic Cancer

LONG-TERM SURVIVORS of pancreatic cancer display evidence of enhanced tumor-specific T-cell responses that are associated with unique neoepitope quality but not quantity, according to Steven D. Leach, MD, Director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and the Preston T. and Virginia R. Kelsey...

Lymphoma
Immunotherapy

FDA Expands Approval of Brentuximab Vedotin in Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma

ON MARCH 20, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris), an antibody-drug conjugate, to treat adult patients with previously untreated stage III or IV classical Hodgkin lymphoma in combination with chemotherapy. Brentuximab vedotin combines an antibody and...

gastroesophageal cancer
gastrointestinal cancer
immunotherapy

Anti–PD-1 Immunotherapy in Previously Treated Gastric Cancer

As reported in JAMA Oncology by Fuchs et al, pembrolizumab (Keytruda) showed activity in patients with previously treated advanced gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer in the phase II KEYNOTE-059 trial. Study Details In the study, 259 patients from sites in 16 countries who had disease...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

First-Line Avelumab in Metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma

In a preplanned interim analysis of a phase II trial (JAVELIN Merkel 200 part B) reported in JAMA Oncology, D’Angelo et al found that avelumab was active in the first-line treatment of metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma. Avelumab was approved in March 2017 for treatment of patients aged ≥ 12 ...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Panitumumab-Based Contrast Agent May Enhance Head and Neck Cancer Surgery

AN OPTICAL CONTRAST agent composed of panitumumab (Vectibix), a humanized anti–epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibody, conjugated to the near-infrared fluorescent dye IRDye800, may aid in the real-time detection and surgical resection of squamous cell carcinoma, according to...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Phase II Study Shows Durvalumab Active in Patients With Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer

IN A POPULATION of heavily pretreated patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer and low or negative programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, durvalumab (Imfinzi) monotherapy demonstrated an overall response rate of 9.2%, consistent with that of single-agent programmed...

Breast Cancer
Immunotherapy

Potent Anti-HER2 Agents on the Horizon

THANKS TO the efficacy of five approved anti-HER2 agents, patients with HER2-positive breast cancer have overall survival numbers that are as good as, or better than, their HER2-negative counterparts. With the next generation of anti-HER2 therapies in clinical trials, these outcomes may become even ...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Immunotherapy in Recurrent and Metastatic Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In an international phase II trial (Mayo Clinic Phase 2 Consortium–NCI-9742) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ma et al found that nivolumab (Opdivo) was active in previously treated recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Study Details In the study, 44 evaluable...

lymphoma
immunotherapy

Extended Follow-up of Nivolumab Treatment in Relapsed/Refractory Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma After Failure of Autologous HCT

As reported by Armand and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, extended follow-up of the phase II CheckMate 205 trial continues to show benefits and good tolerability of nivolumab (Opdivo) treatment in relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma after failure of autologous ...

Hematologic Malignancies
Lymphoma
Immunotherapy

Brentuximab Vedotin Plus Bendamustine in Relapsed or Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma

A phase I/II trial has shown that the addition of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) to bendamustine is active in relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma. The study findings were reported in The Lancet Oncology by Owen A. O’Connor, MD, of the Center for Lymphoid Malignancies, Columbia University...

Immunotherapy

Encourage Patients To Promptly Report Immunotherapy Side Effects

Physicians can be proactive in alerting patients to possible adverse effects of immunotherapy and in encouraging patients to report them. “It is important to emphasize that whenever a patient develops a new symptom, always considering that this might be an immune-related side effect. We need to...

Solid Tumors
Supportive Care
Immunotherapy

Physician-Patient Partnership Is Key to Recognizing and Managing Side Effects of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

“Immunotherapy has a completely different side-effect profile than chemotherapy, and that has caught physicians off guard,” noted Drew Pardoll, MD, PhD, in an article published earlier this year in The Washington Post.1 Since then, efforts have moved forward on several fronts to bring physicians,...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

IMpower150: Increased OS With Atezolizumab/Bevacizumab Plus Chemotherapy in Advanced Nonsquamous NSCLC

The phase III IMpower150 study met its coprimary endpoint of overall survival (OS) at interim analysis and showed that first-line treatment with the combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and bevacizumab (Avastin) plus carboplatin and paclitaxel (chemotherapy) helped patients with advanced...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

5-Year Follow-up of Patients Receiving Immunotherapy for Previously Treated Advanced NSCLC

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Gettinger et al, 5-year follow-up of patients receiving nivolumab (Opdivo) in a phase I study (CA209-003) in previously treated advanced non­–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has shown prolonged survival and durable responses in a subgroup...

gynecologic cancer
immunotherapy

Addition of Trastuzumab to Carboplatin/Paclitaxel in HER2-Positive Uterine Serous Carcinoma

In a phase II trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Fader et al found that the addition of trastuzumab (Herceptin) to carboplatin/paclitaxel improved progression-free survival among women with HER2-overexpressing uterine serous carcinoma. HER2 has been found to be overexpressed in...

leukemia
immunotherapy

Venetoclax Plus Rituximab in Relapsed/Refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

In the phase III MURANO trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine by Seymour et al, the combination of the BCL2 inhibitor venetoclax (Venclexta) with rituximab (Rituxan) markedly improved progression-free survival vs bendamustine plus rituximab in patients with relapsed or refractory...

gynecologic cancer
immunotherapy

SGO 2018: Immunotherapy/PARP Inhibitor Combination Produces Remissions in Ovarian Cancer

A combination of the immunotherapy pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and the DNA repair–blocking agent niraparib (Zejula) can be significantly more effective than either drug alone in women with hard-to-treat ovarian cancer, a phase I/II clinical trial led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers...

colorectal cancer
immunotherapy

FDA Accepts sBLA for Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab in Previously Treated MSI-H or dMMR Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

On March 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for nivolumab (Opdivo) in combination with ipilimumab (Yervoy) for the treatment of adults with microsatellite instability–high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient...

leukemia
immunotherapy

FDA Expands Approval of Blinatumomab for Certain Patients With B-Cell Precursor ALL

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to blinatumomab (Blincyto) to treat adults and children with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who are in remission but still have minimal residual disease (MRD). In patients who have achieved remission after...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

SSO 2018: Outcomes of Patients With Metastatic Melanoma Selected for Surgery After Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy has transformed the treatment of metastatic melanoma, with 3-year survival rates surpassing 50% for appropriate patients. However, many of these patients still require surgery, but very little research has been done on this group of patients to determine whether surgery after...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

IMpower131 Study: Atezolizumab Plus Chemotherapy in Advanced Squamous NSCLC

On March 20, Genentech announced that the phase III IMpower131 study met its coprimary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS) and demonstrated that the combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus chemotherapy (carboplatin and nanopartical albumin-bound [nab]-paclitaxel [Abraxane])...

leukemia
immunotherapy

Bijal D. Shah, MD, on What ALL Tells Us About CAR T Cells

Bijal D. Shah, MD, of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses key studies of CAR T-cell therapy in relapsed B-cell ALL and the adverse events that this treatment may cause.

Multiple Myeloma
Immunotherapy

Unique CAR T-Cell Construct Studied in Multiple Myeloma

CD19-DIRECTED chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of leukemia (tisagenlecleucel [Kymriah]) and lymphoma (axicabtagene ciloleucel [Yescarta]), but another type of CAR T-cell therapy is generating interest as a...

colorectal cancer
immunotherapy

Alan P. Venook, MD, on Selecting Treatment for Advanced Colorectal Cancer

Alan P. Venook, MD, of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses which biomarkers to order and when, the role of checkpoint inhibitors, and chemotherapy choices.

lymphoma
immunotherapy

FDA Expands Approval of Brentuximab Vedotin for First-Line Treatment of Stage III or IV Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma in Combination With Chemotherapy

On March 20, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) to treat adult patients with previously untreated stage III or IV classical Hodgkin lymphoma in combination with chemotherapy. “Today’s approval represents an improvement in the initial...

bladder cancer
immunotherapy

Alterations in DNA Damage Response and Repair Genes and Response to PD-1/PD-L1 Inhibitors in Advanced Urothelial Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Teo et al found that alterations in DNA damage response and repair (DDR) genes, particularly known or likely deleterious alterations, were associated with response to programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death ligand 1...

kidney cancer
immunotherapy

Activity of Combined Immune Checkpoint and VEGF Inhibition as First-Line Therapy in Advanced Clear Cell RCC

In the dose-finding, dose-expansion phase Ib JAVELIN Renal 100 trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Choueiri et al identified the maximum tolerated dose of the immune checkpoint inhibitor avelumab (Bavencio) in combination with the vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor axitinib...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

Immunotherapy in Heavily Pretreated Advanced NSCLC

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Garassino et al, the phase II ATLANTIC trial has shown durvalumab (Imfinzi) to be active in third- or later-line treatment of advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Study Details In the study, 444 patients from 139 sites in Asia, Europe, and North ...

Colorectal Cancer
Gastrointestinal Cancer
Immunotherapy

Triplet Therapy Poses a Triple Threat to BRAF-Mutated Colorectal Cancers

Triplet therapy that inhibits the BRAF, MEK, and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathways appears promising in BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer, a malignancy that typically does not respond to BRAF inhibition alone. Early results from the BEACON CRC study showed a 48% response rate and an...

Leukemia
Immunotherapy

Trivalent CAR T-Cell Design May Enhance Antitumor Efficacy in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

A novel approach to chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy seems to effectively target acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells with varying antigen profiles and may help to overcome antigen escape, seen with CD19-targeted therapy. According to data presented at the 2018 ASCO-SITC Clinical...

Solid Tumors
Immunotherapy

Testing for PD-L1 Amplification May Help Predict Response to Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Solid Tumors

Analysis of more than 100,000 patients with cancer for gene CD274 (programmed cell death ligand 1 [PD-L1]) amplification may have implications for treatment with immune checkpoint blockade. Although shown to be rare in solid tumors, copy number alterations in PD-L1 genes were present in more than...

Prostate Cancer
Immunotherapy

Small Study Evaluates Novel Combination in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

The combination of the poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza) and the programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor durvalumab (Imfinzi) produced positive preliminary results in men with metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer previously treated with...

Kidney Cancer
Immunotherapy

Positive Preliminary Data Seen for Axitinib Plus Pembrolizumab in Renal Cell Carcinoma

The combination of axitinib (Inlyta) plus pembrolizumab (Keytruda) can be added to the list of combination therapies that look promising in advanced renal cell carcinoma. In a phase Ib trial, almost three-quarters of patients with newly diagnosed advanced renal cell carcinoma treated with the...

Bladder Cancer
Immunotherapy

Pembrolizumab Survival Advantage Upheld in Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma

Patients with recurrent urothelial cancer had sustained improvement in overall survival at 2 years after they received second-line treatment with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) vs chemotherapy, according to an updated survival analysis of the phase III KEYNOTE-045 trial presented at the 2018...

Solid Tumors
Immunotherapy

ASCO Names CAR T-Cell Immunotherapy Its Clinical Advance of the Year

This past January, ASCO published Clinical Cancer Advances 2018,1 its 13th annual report on the progress being made against cancer. The report names chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy as ASCO’s Advance of the Year. In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two ...

gynecologic cancer
immunotherapy

FDA Accepts Pembrolizumab sBLA for Treatment of Advanced Cervical Cancer

On March 13, Merck announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted a new supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) and granted Priority Review for pembrolizumab (Keytruda), the company’s anti–programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) therapy. The application ...

Hematologic Malignancies
Lymphoma
Immunotherapy

CAR T-Cell Therapy in Refractory B-Cell Lymphomas

  As reported at the 2017 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition and in The New England Journal of Medicine, Stephen J. Schuster, MD, of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues found that chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell...

Supportive Care
Palliative Care
Immunotherapy

The Challenge of Prognostication in the Era of Immunotherapy

  GUEST EDITOR Addressing the evolving needs of cancer survivors at various stages of their illness and care, Palliative Care in Oncology is guest edited by Jamie H. Von Roenn, MD. Dr. Von Roenn is ASCO’s Vice President of Education, Science, and Professional Development. Although advances in such ...

Pancreatic Cancer
Immunotherapy

Small Study Evaluates Novel Immunotherapeutic in Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

IN PATIENTS WITH metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, 1-year survival reached 43% following treatment with a novel immunotherapy—PEGylated human IL-10 (AM0010, pegilodecakin)—plus chemotherapy, in a small study reported at the 2018 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.1 “We saw a very high disease...

Kidney Cancer
Immunotherapy

Expression of Endogenous Retroviruses May Explain Response to Immune Checkpoint Therapy in Renal Cell Cancer

RESULTS OF a new study suggest that expression of endogenous retroviruses may be associated with activation of immune checkpoint pathways in renal cell cancer.1 According to data presented at the 2018 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, abnormal expression of endogenous retroviruses may...

Solid Tumors
Immunotherapy

Combination PARP and PD-1 Inhibition Shows Antitumor Activity in Advanced Malignancies

IN A PHASE I trial of patients with advanced solid tumors, the combination of pamiparib (BGB-290), a selective poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, and tislelizumab (BGB-A317), an agent targeting the programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) receptor, was well tolerated while demonstrating...

Lymphoma
Immunotherapy

Responses Reported With CAR T-Cell Therapy in High-Risk NHL

LISOCABTAGENE MARALEUCEL (Liso-cel; JCAR017), a CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy with defined composition, has shown “potent and durable” responses in poor-prognosis patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in a phase I trial.1 According ...

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