Roche will be collaborating with BioNTech to develop personalized vaccines based on BioNTech’s mRNA products combined with Roche’s PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor, Tecentriq (atezolizumab), which was approved for bladder cancer in May 2016. Continue reading
Individuals that carry mutations to the CDKN2A tumor suppressor gene have 65-fold increased risk of developing melanoma and a lifetime penetrance of melanoma of 60-90%. In a new study by researchers from the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden, individuals who had inherited CDKN2A mutations were on average 10 years younger at their melanoma diagnosis than the non-mutated familial melanoma cases. Continue reading
There are two major subtypes of lung cancer: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), which accounts for 85% of all cases, and Small Cell Lung Cancer (SMLC). About 60% of NSCLC are unresectable at diagnosis, hence, the poor prognosis – ten to twelve months survival when treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. Treatment options are evaluated based on the histologic subtype and the presence of mutations to determine the the best combination of molecular therapies for treatment. Ten to twenty percent of patients with NSCLC have a mutated epidermal growth factor receptor, most commonly. a deletion in the in-frame of exon 19 (around amino acid 747 to 752) or a L858R point mutation of exon 21. On June 1, 2016, the FDA approved the first blood test (liquid biopsy) companion diagnostic to determine whether these mutations are present. Continue reading
Cancer results from accumulated mutations in the cancer cell’s genome. These mutations can occur spontaneously in any cell throughout an individual’s lifetime, often increasing with age or exposure to carcinogenic or mutagenic compounds. These are called somatic mutations that do not exist in every cell, and cannot be passed along from one generation to the next. However, in approximately 5 to 10% of all cancer cases, mutations are passed along through the germ line and can predispose an individual to various types of cancers. Continue reading
The FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Sacituzumab govetican (IMMU-132) for treatment of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). A diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer means that the three most common types of receptors known to fuel most breast cancer growth–estrogen, progesterone, and the HER-2/neu gene– are not present in the cancer tumor. This means that the breast cancer cells have tested negative for hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2), estrogen receptors (ER), and progesterone receptors (PR). Since the tumor cells lack the necessary receptors, common treatments likehormone therapy and drugs that target estrogen, progesterone, and HER-2 are ineffective.
A new technology called electric field–induced release and measurement (EFIRM) is able to detect biomarkers in saliva for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The test detects circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). It is able to detect actionable EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) mutations in NSCLC patients with 100% concordance with biopsy-based genotyping, Dr Wong (study author) said, and it can detect the most common EGFR gene mutations that are treatable with TKIs (tyrosine kinase inhibitors), such as gefitinib (Iressa, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP) or erlotinib (Tarceva, Genentech/Roche). Continue reading
Venetoclax is a novel cancer therapy being developed by Roche and AbbVie. The U.S. FDA has accepted the New Drug Application and granted Priority Review and Breakthrough Therapy Designation for venetoclax for the treatment of people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who have received at least one prior therapy, including those with 17p deletion. Continue reading
OncoMed is developing several compounds that target Wnt and Notch pathways, which are important in cancer and cancer stem cell maintenance, survival, and proliferation. Biomarkers for response of Her-2-negative breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following treatment with Vantictumab, anti-Wnt monoclonal antibody, have been developed. Continue reading