Research Desk

Jun 03, 2020

Researchers at Tulane University School of Medicine identified a gene that causes an aggressive form of breast cancer to rapidly grow. More importantly, they have also discovered a way to "turn it off" and inhibit cancer from occurring. The animal study results have been so compelling that the team is now working on FDA approval to begin clinical trials and has published details in the journal Scientific Reports.

Jun 03, 2020

Local treatment of a primary tumor did not improve survival for women with de novo metastatic breast cancer, results of a randomized trial showed. After a median follow-up of 53 months, median survival for all 256 randomized patients was 54 months and did not differ between the patients who received systemic therapy only and those who received systemic therapy and local treatment (surgery with or without radiation therapy) of the primary tumor. Progression-free survival (PFS) also did not differ, as 89 patients in each arm died or had progressive disease

Jun 03, 2020

Pembrolizumab treatment significantly improved progression-free survival versus brentuximab vedotin in a recent randomized, phase 3 trial including patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma, an investigator has reported. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 13.2 versus 8.3 months in favor of pembrolizumab, according to the report on the KEYNOTE-204 trial, which included patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma who either had relapsed after autologous stem cell transplant or were ineligible for autologous SCT.

Jun 03, 2020

The FDA on Friday approved the PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab (Tecentriq) for the first-line treatment of unresectable or metastatic liver cancer, in combination with bevacizumab (Avastin), an inhibitor of the VEGF receptor. Approval was based on findings from IMbrave150, a phase III trial that randomized 501 hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) patients 2:1 to either 1,200 mg atezolizumab plus 15 mg/kg bevacizumab (administered intravenously every 3 weeks) or oral sorafenib (Nexavar) given twice daily, and showed improved survival outcomes and response rates with the combination.

Jun 01, 2020

Androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) with an oral gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist rapidly suppressed testosterone and cut the incidence of serious heart events compared to an injectable form of ADT, a phase III trial found. The so-called HERO study of over 900 patients met its primary endpoint, demonstrating that castration at 48 weeks was maintained in 96.7% of those assigned to oral relugolix compared to 88.8% of those on leuprolide injection, meeting prespecified criteria for both non-inferiority and superiority (P<0.001), reported Neal Shore, MD, of the Carolina Urologic Research Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Jun 01, 2020

Frontline pembrolizumab doubled progression-free survival (PFS), when compared with chemotherapy, among patients with microsatellite instability-high/mismatch repair-deficient (MSI-H/dMMR) metastatic colorectal cancer in the KEYNOTE-177 study. The median PFS was 16.5 months for patients who received pembrolizumab and 8.2 months for those who received investigators' choice of chemotherapy (one of six regimens).

Jun 01, 2020

Some women with gestational trophoblastic tumors (GTT), a rare type of cancer that develops in the placenta during pregnancy, respond to immunotherapy when they are resistant to single chemotherapy, French researchers report. The finding comes from the TROPHIMMUN phase 2 trial with the anti-programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) drug avelumab (Bavencio, Merck/Pfizer). The study will be presented at the plenary session of the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held virtually because of the pandemic. A glimpse of the results was given at a pre-meeting press cast by lead author Benoit You, MD, Ph.D., Lyon Investigational Center for Treatments in Oncology and Hematology, France.

Jun 01, 2020

For men with advanced prostate cancer, the oral gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist relugolix maintains testosterone suppression compared with the GnRH agonist leuprolide, while enzalutamide is associated with improved survival versus placebo in nonmetastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer, according to two studies published online May 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the American Society of Clinical Oncology Virtual Scientific Program. Neal D. Shore, M.D. et al randomly assigned patients with advanced prostate cancer to receive relugolix (orally once daily) or leuprolide (injections every three months) for 48 weeks (622 and 308 patients, respectively). The researchers found that 96.7 and 88.8 percent of men receiving relugolix or leuprolide, respectively, maintained castration (sustained testosterone suppression to castrate levels) through 48 weeks. The difference indicated the noninferiority and superiority of relugolix. The superiority of relugolix over leuprolide was also demonstrated in all other key secondary endpoints.

Jun 01, 2020

Genetic screening for prostate cancer in GP surgeries could be effective at picking up otherwise undiagnosed cases of the disease, a new pilot study shows. Researchers 'barcoded' men for their genetic risk of prostate cancer by testing each for 130 DNA changes—and gave those at higher risk follow-up checks. Their study found that population screening was safe and feasible, and identified new prostate cancers in over a third of apparently healthy men who were found to have the highest levels of inherited risk.

May 29, 2020

According to a model study, delays in cancer surgery related to the COVID-19 pandemic could substantially worsen survival outcomes. "Lockdown and redeployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic are causing significant disruption to cancer diagnosis and management," besides  "A 3-month delay to surgery across all Stage 1-3 cancers is estimated to cause >4,700 attributable deaths per year in England." added a researcher.