Category Archives: Biology

How important is inflammation in breast cancer progression?

Not very, according to the REACT Study conducted by the Imperial College London. The study was predicated on the importance of COX-2 in driving inflammation that contributes to tumorigenesis. The thinking was that administering celecoxib (Celebrex), a COX-2 inhibitor, could reduce breast cancer progression, as suggested in smaller observational trials. Continue reading

The levels of immune cells within ovarian cancer tumors correlate with survival

Researches with the Ovarian Tumor Tissue Analyses Consortium analyzed the CD8+ (cytotoxic T-cell) content of tumors from 5,500 patients and compared them with clinical outcome. The analysis was large enough to allow for comparison by histologic subtype – endometrioid, clear cell, mucinous, and low-grade serous ovarian cancer, as well as high-grade serous ovarian cancer. Included in the sample were 3,200 high grade serous ovarian cancers. Continue reading

Pancreatic cancer – early detection, immune response, and infection-based resistance

Approximately 1.6 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at some point during their lifetime. In 2014, an estimated 64,668 patients were living with the disease. The five-year survival for pancreatic cancer is 8.2% and it is projected to be the second leading cause of death due to cancer (behind lung cancer) in the US by the year 2030. For good reason, then, November is Pancreatic Awareness Month. Several recent research items are of particular interest to us. Continue reading

MET – an ideal target for antibody drug conjugate therapy, plus nivolumab

MET is a gene that encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase that is activated upon binding with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF, or Scatter Factor). Specifically, MET is a Continue reading

CANTOS trial of canakinumab demonstrates that inflammation is a lung cancer promoter

Cells need to accumulate multiple mutations in order to induce the 10 hallmarks of cancer: Continue reading

Priming cancer for immunotherapy

Augmenting the responses to checkpoint inhibitors, which remove the “breaks” from the immune response, is a very popular area of research. The general concept is to turn immunologically cold tumors hot. For example, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is considered an immunologically cold tumor – anti-PD(L)1 therapy has shown responses of just 5-10%. Continue reading

Sitravatinib plus nivolumab in NSCLC

Sitravatinib (MGCD516) is an oral multi-tyrosine kinase inhibitor being developed by Mirati Therapeutics. Last week, the company announced that three of eleven patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with genetic alterations in MET, AXL, RET, TRK, DDR2, KDR, PDGFRA, KIT or CBL who were resistant to checkpoint [anti PD-(L)1 therapy] had confirmed partial responses; because of this, dosing in the 34-patient expansion cohort will proceed. Continue reading

New Link’s Indoximod + Keytruda looks promising in Phase 2 advanced melanoma

Indoximod + Keytruda looks promising in Phase 2 advanced melanoma

IDO (indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase) is an intracellular enzyme found in antigen presenting cells that mediates immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment. Continue reading

WP1122 is a 2-deoxy-D-glucose prodrug in pre-clinical development for glioblastoma

The Warburg Effect is a universal feature of cancer; it describes the phenomenon whereby cancer cells preferentially use glucose for anaerobic glycolysis, as opposed to aerobic respiration via the Krebs Cycle. In order to meet the increased energy demands using a much less efficient process for ATP production, cancer cells take-up 20-times more glucose than wild-type cells. Continue reading

OLIG2 inhibitor for glioblastoma

OLIG2 (Oligodendrocyte transcription factor-2) is a transcription factor that is expressed in the pMN domain of the ventral ventricular zone in the embryonic spinal cord. Along with OLIG1, it is responsible for the development of motoneurons and oligodendrocytes. Astrocytes and ependymal cells also originate from the pMN domain. Continue reading