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Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Study Finds Chemoradiation Plus Bevacizumab Safe and Feasible in Locally or Regionally Advanced Nasopharyngeal Cancer

The addition of bevacizumab to the current standard of care of chemoradiation therapy is safe and feasible for the treatment of locally or regionally advanced nasopharyngeal cancer, according to data presented at the 2020 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium.1 “I’m pleased to report...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Charu Aggarwal, MD, MPH

Charu Aggarwal, MD, MPH, Leslye M. Heisler Assistant Professor for Lung Cancer Excellence at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, underscored the paucity of treatment options for metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. “Even though pembrolizumab is...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Pembrolizumab Plus Cetuximab Shows Antitumor Activity in Squamous Cell Head and Neck Cancer

The first trial to evaluate anti–­programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) blockade combined with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma demonstrates promising activity of the drug combination in patients with platinum-refractory or -ineligible...

Immunotherapy
Hepatobiliary Cancer

Nivolumab/Ipilimumab in Patients With Sorafenib-Pretreated Hepatocellular Carcinoma

On March 10, 2020, the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) was granted accelerated approval for treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who have been previously treated with sorafenib.1-3 Supporting Efficacy Data The approval was based on findings in a cohort...

covid-19
immunotherapy

Joseph C. Alvarnas, MD, on the Increased Risk of Side Effects for Patients With Cancer and COVID-19

Joseph C. Alvarnas, MD, of the City of Hope National Medical Center, discusses the patients with cancer who are at an increased risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19, including those receiving bone marrow or stem cell transplants and CAR-T cell therapy, and what they can do to protect themselves. Filmed April 17, 2020.

Immunotherapy

Gut Microbiota Emerging as Key Player in Response to Immunotherapy

The microbiome—and the foods that feed it—is emerging as an important determinant of a patient’s response to immunotherapy. Much of the research in this area comes from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as described at the 2020 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium by...

Leukemia
Immunotherapy

ELEVATE-TN: Acalabrutinib With or Without Obinutuzumab vs Chlorambucil/Obinutuzumab in Patients With Previously Untreated CLL

As reported in The Lancet by Jeff P. Sharman, MD, and colleagues, the phase III ELEVATE-TN trial showed significantly improved progression-free survival with both acalabrutinib/obinutuzumab and acalabrutinib monotherapy vs chlorambucil/obinutuzumab in patients with treatment-naive chronic...

Hematologic Malignancies
Immunotherapy

Anti-CD22 CAR T-Cell Therapy for CD22-Positive B-Cell Malignancies

In an update of a phase I trial of anti-CD22 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in children and young adults with relapsed or refractory CD22-positive B-cell malignancies reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Shah et al described findings in cohorts receiving treatment at doses...

Bladder Cancer
Immunotherapy

'Switch Maintenance' Pembrolizumab for Metastatic Urothelial Cancer

In a phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Matthew D. Galsky, MD, and colleagues found that maintenance pembrolizumab produced additional responses and improved progression-free survival vs placebo in patients with metastatic urothelial cancer who had at least stable disease...

Immunotherapy
Symptom Management

Recurrence of Immune-Related Adverse Events After Checkpoint Inhibitor Rechallenge in Patients With Cancer

A study reported in JAMA Oncology by Dolladille et al using pharmacovigilance data from the World Health Organization database VigiBase found that the same immune-related adverse events (irAEs) associated with discontinuation of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy recurred in 28.8% of patients...

Lung Cancer
Immunotherapy

Addition of Pembrolizumab to Docetaxel for Previously Treated Immunotherapy-Naive Patients With Advanced NSCLC

In the single-institution phase II PROLUNG trial reported in JAMA Oncology, Arrieta et al found that the addition of pembrolizumab to docetaxel improved objective response rate and progression-free survival in immunotherapy-naive patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who...

Solid Tumors
Immunotherapy

Durvalumab for Solid Tumors in Patients With Virologically Controlled HIV-1 Infection

In the Spanish phase II DURVAST trial reported in JAMA Oncology, Gonzalez-Cao et al found that treatment with durvalumab was feasible, safe, and active in patients with solid tumors and virologically controlled HIV-1 infection. As stated by the investigators, “Concerns about the safety and...

Lung Cancer
Immunotherapy

First-Line Durvalumab With or Without Tremelimumab vs Chemotherapy for Metastatic NSCLC: MYSTIC Study

As reported in JAMA Oncology by Naiyer A. Rizvi, MD, and colleagues, the phase III MYSTIC trial showed no overall survival benefit with durvalumab vs chemotherapy, or overall or progression-free survival benefit with durvalumab/tremelimumab vs chemotherapy, as first-line treatment in patients with...

Immunotherapy
COVID-19

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Treatment for Patients With Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In an article published in the journal Immunotherapy, Melissa Bersanelli, MD, of the Medical Oncology Unit, University Hospital of Parma, Italy, discusses controversies regarding the use of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy in patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that...

Colorectal Cancer
Immunotherapy

Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy in Early-Stage Colon Cancer

Patients with localized colon cancer may benefit from a short course of neoadjuvant immunotherapy, according to findings from the exploratory phase II NICHE study published by Myriam Chalabi, MD, and colleagues in Nature Medicine.  Study Results Forty patients with two colon cancer subtypes—either ...

Lung Cancer
Immunotherapy

Activity of Pembrolizumab in Patients With NSCLC Brain Metastases

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Sarah B. Goldberg, MD, MPH, and colleagues, continued follow-up of the non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cohort of a single-institution phase II trial showed that pembrolizumab produced responses in patients with brain metastases and programmed cell death...

Immunotherapy
Solid Tumors
Lung Cancer
Bladder Cancer
Gynecologic Cancers
CNS Cancers

FDA Pipeline: Priority Reviews for Immunotherapy Based on Biomarker Status, Combination First-Line Therapy in Lung Cancer

Over the past week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Priority Review to an immunotherapeutic agent for solid tumors with a high tumor mutational burden and to a combination treatment for the first-line treatment of metastatic or recurrent non–small cell lung cancer. The agency...

Hematologic Malignancies
Immunotherapy

Highlights From Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Meetings of ASTCT and CIBMTR

The Combined Annual Meetings of the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT) and the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) were held in Orlando, Florida, from February 19–23, 2020. The scientific program addressed the most timely issues in ...

Breast Cancer
Immunotherapy

Updates From Selected Clinical Trials in Breast Cancer

Each year, The ASCO Post asks Jame Abraham, MD, FACP, Chairman of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Taussig Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, to offer his picks for the most important research presented at 2019 San...

Lung Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer
Immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Timothy A. Yap, MBBS, PhD, FRCP

Semaphorin 4D (SEMA4D, and its receptor, plexin B1) is broadly expressed in malignant tumors. Aside from other “normal functions” in tumors, SEMA4D influences the infiltration and distribution of leukocytes into the microenvironment, and its inhibition promotes functional immune infiltration....

Lung Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer
Immunotherapy

SEMA4D Inhibition: A Novel Means of Improving Immune Response

A novel class of inhibitors may hold some promise for boosting responses to checkpoint inhibitors and for sensitizing poorly immunogenic tumors, such as pancreatic cancer, to immunotherapy. The drug targets semaphorin 4D (SEMA4D), a glycoprotein expressed on the cell membranes of many tumor types....

Skin Cancer
Immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Jarushka Naidoo, MBBCh

Discussant of the abstract on antibiotic exposure, Jarushka Naidoo, MBBCh, Assistant Professor of Oncology and Attending Physician at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, said that Mr. Chu and colleagues have added to the recent literature examining concurrent use of...

Skin Cancer
Immunotherapy

Prior Antibiotic Use Linked to Poorer Survival in Patients With Advanced Melanoma Receiving Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Treatment with antibiotics prior to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy may confer poorer overall survival and an increased risk of colitis in patients with advanced melanoma, according to data presented at the 2020 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium.1 The largest institutional...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Sue Sun Yom, MD, PhD

Sue Sun Yom, MD, PhD, Professor of Radiation Oncology & Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, said there is “reasonableness to further investigation” of the combination of programmed cell death...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Pembrolizumab Plus Radiotherapy Worthy of Further Study in Locally Advanced Squamous Cell Head and Neck Cancer

The combination of the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab and definitive radiation therapy appears to be a safe and feasible option for patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer who are not eligible for cisplatin, according to data presented at the 2020 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck...

Breast Cancer
Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy ‘Comes of Age’ in Breast Cancer

Immunotherapeutics in breast cancer will likely not be limited to late-stage triple-negative breast cancer. Earlier lines, combination regimens, and expansion into different disease subtypes should become part of this emerging landscape, according to Hope S. Rugo, MD, FASCO, Professor of Medicine...

Prostate Cancer
Immunotherapy

T-Cell Responses and Benefit From Treatment With Ipilimumab in Patients With Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Although patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer typically have limited responses to immunotherapy, a subset of patients with pretreatment evidence of active T-cell responses in their tumors experienced prolonged survival following treatment with ipilimumab in a phase II...

Colorectal Cancer
Immunotherapy

FDA Approves Encorafenib/Cetuximab for BRAF V600E–Mutated Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

On April 8, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved encorafenib (Braftovi) in combination with cetuximab (Erbitux) for the treatment of pretreated adult patients with metastatic colorectal cancer with a BRAF V600E mutation detected by an FDA-approved test. BEACON CRC Efficacy was...

Prostate Cancer
Bladder Cancer
Kidney Cancer
Immunotherapy

Brief Highlights on Novel Therapies for Prostate, Bladder, and Kidney Cancers

Attendees gathered at the 2020 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in San Francisco to hear the latest news about treating patients with cancers of the prostate, bladder, kidneys, and testicles. In addition to the comprehensive coverage of the meeting in The ASCO Post, here are some brief highlights...

Immunotherapy
Symptom Management

Treatment With Checkpoint Inhibitors May Cause Thyroid Dysfunction

Thyroid dysfunction following treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors is more common than previously thought, according to research that was accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting (Abstract SAT-418), and that will be published in Journal of the Endocrine...

Multiple Myeloma
Immunotherapy

Daratumumab for Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma: Subcutaneous vs Intravenous Dosing

Findings from the phase III COLUMBA trial have shown that subcutaneous daratumumab is not inferior to intravenous daratumumab in terms of efficacy and pharmacokinetics and had an improved safety profile in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. These results were published by...

Lymphoma
Immunotherapy

KTE-X19 for Relapsed or Refractory Mantle Cell Lymphoma: ZUMA-2 Trial

In a phase II trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Michael Wang, MD, and colleagues found that the anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy KTE-X19 produced a high response rate in patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma who had received previous...

Solid Tumors
Immunotherapy

First-in-Human Study of Anteumab Ravtansine for Advanced Solid Tumors

In a phase I trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Hassan et al found evidence of activity of the anti–mesothelin antibody-drug conjugate anetumab ravtansine in patients with advanced solid tumor types known to express the tumor-differentiation antigen mesothelin. The agent consists...

Breast Cancer
Bladder Cancer
Lymphoma
Immunotherapy

FDA Pipeline: Approval of New Dosing for Biosimilar, Plus Two Fast Track Designations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new dose for a biosimilar referencing trastuzumab and granted Fast Track designations to agents for patients with urothelial cancer and follicular lymphoma. Approval of Multidose Vial of Trastuzumab Biosimilar The FDA approved a...

Gastroesophageal Cancer
Gastrointestinal Cancer
Immunotherapy

Trastuzumab Beyond Disease Progression in HER2‑Positive Advanced Gastric/Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer

In the Japanese phase II T-ACT study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Makiyama et al found no benefit of continued trastuzumab combined with paclitaxel after disease progression on first-line trastuzumab plus fluoropyrimidine/platinum chemotherapy in patients with HER2-positive...

Neuroendocrine Tumors
Immunotherapy

Pembrolizumab in Previously Treated Metastatic High-Grade Neuroendocrine Neoplasms

As reported in the British Journal of Cancer by Namrata Vijayvergia, MD, and colleagues, a pooled analysis of two phase II studies found that pembrolizumab monotherapy showed little activity in patients with previously treated metastatic high-grade neuroendocrine neoplasms. Study Details In the...

Hepatobiliary Cancer
Immunotherapy

Camrelizumab for Previously Treated Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

In a Chinese phase II study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Qin et al found that the programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) inhibitor camrelizumab showed activity in patients with previously treated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Study Details In the open-label multicenter trial, 217 evaluable ...

Hematologic Malignancies
Immunotherapy

Bispecific Antibodies: Successes and Challenges

Bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE) antibodies, such blinatumomab, may be the most appealing type of bispecific antibodies, a class of manufactured constructs that is expected to expand into the solid tumor space, according to Hermann Einsele, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Würzburg,...

Gastroesophageal Cancer
Immunotherapy

Bemarituzumab for FGFR2b-Overexpressing Gastroesophageal Adenocarcinoma

In a phase I trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Daniel V.T. Catenacci, MD, PhD, and colleagues found that the first-in-class anti–fibroblast growth factor receptor 2b (FGFR2b) antibody bemarituzumab showed activity in patients with high FGFR2b-overexpressing, advanced-stage...

Solid Tumors
Immunotherapy

Does Pembrolizumab Show Activity in Some Rare Cancers?

A study published by Naing et al in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer found that treatment with pembrolizumab demonstrated acceptable toxicity and antitumor activity in patients with four types of advanced, hard-to-treat rare cancers. “Our findings that pembrolizumab has a favorable toxicity...

Immunotherapy
Lung Cancer

FDA Approves Durvalumab as Part of a First-Line Combination Regimen for Extensive-Stage SCLC

On March 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved durvalumab (Imfinzi) in combination with etoposide and either carboplatin or cisplatin as first-line treatment of patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC). CASPIAN Trial Efficacy of this combination in patients...

Breast Cancer
Immunotherapy

End-of-Study Results From CLEOPATRA: Pertuzumab, Trastuzumab, and Docetaxel in HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Sandra M. Swain, MD, and colleagues, long-term follow-up of the phase III CLEOPATRA trial has shown maintained overall survival benefit with the addition of pertuzumab to trastuzumab plus docetaxel in patients with previously untreated HER2-positive metastatic...

Gynecologic Cancers
Immunotherapy

Predicting Which Patients With Ovarian Cancer May Respond to Combination PARP and PD-1 Inhibition

In some patients with advanced ovarian cancer, the combination of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors can produce responses, but up until now, investigators have been unable to predict which patients would not benefit from the treatment and...

Kidney Cancer
Immunotherapy

Adding Radiotherapy to Immunotherapy in Renal Cell Carcinoma: Studies Find Mixed Results

Despite recent enthusiasm for combining stereotactic body radiation therapy with immunotherapy in renal cell carcinoma, two preliminary studies presented at the 2020 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium suggest that it may not be the best path forward. In one study, the combination of nivolumab plus...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Tanguy Y. Seiwert, MD

Tanguy Y. Seiwert, MD, moderator of the session on the phase II trial of neoadjuvant nivolumab with or without ipilimumab in patients with oral cavity cancer, underscored concerns about differences in outcome measures. Dr. Seiwert is Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Oncology Disease Group and...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Phase II Trial Finds Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy Feasible in Oral Cavity Cancer

The results of a phase II study suggest that a short course of immunotherapy prior to surgery for oral cavity cancer may trigger tumor regression, possibly providing long-term benefits for patients. According to data presented at the 2020 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium,1 a 3-week ...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Immune-Restorative Agent May Boost Immunotherapy Response in Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

Immune modulation with checkpoint inhibitors has shown beneficial effects in advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, but responses have been limited to a small number of patients. According to data presented at the 2020 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium, however, an...

Bladder Cancer
Immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Philip J. Saylor, MD

Philip J. Saylor, MD, Attending Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, Boston, commented on this study. “The results that were presented are clearly exciting and cause us to look forward to a likely phase III study of this strategy. The high...

Bladder Cancer
Immunotherapy

Early Data Show Activity for Enfortumab Vedotin Plus Pembrolizumab in Advanced Bladder Cancer

It may be possible to use a platinum-free combination as first-line treatment for advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma in cisplatin-ineligible patients, if results of the phase Ib/II EV-103 trial hold up. The combination of the newly approved antibody-drug conjugate (enfortumab vedotin) and...

Gynecologic Cancers
Immunotherapy

Lenvatinib/Pembrolizumab in Previously Treated Patients With Advanced Endometrial Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Vicky Makker, MD, and colleagues, findings from a phase Ib/II trial indicate that the combination of lenvatinib and pembrolizumab is active in patients with previously treated advanced endometrial carcinoma. Study Details The report is the primary ...

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