Cancer Vaccine Breaking News

Cancer vaccine breaking news brought to you by Vax Before Cancer.

Sep 18, 2020 • 11:43 am CDT

New Treatment for Liver Cancer Gains Europe's Support

Roche announced on September 18, 2020, that the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has recommended the approval of Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) in combination with Avastin® (bevacizumab) for the treatment of adult patients with advanced or unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, who have not received prior systemic therapy.

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Sep 18, 2020 • 10:42 am CDT

Immuno-Oncology Therapies Found Effective in Relapsed Cervical Cancer

Agenus Inc. presented preliminary results on September 18, 2020, from two large clinical trials of more than 150 patients each at the European Society for Medical Oncology Virtual Congress 2020. Both trials were conducted in patients with recurrent/metastatic cervical cancer which has limited effective treatment options and disproportionately affects younger women.

“Balstilimab has shown activity in both PD-L1 positive and negative tumors, suggesting that we may have a potentially differentiated PD-1,” stated Dr. Garo Armen, CEO of Agenus, in a press release. “Furthermore, we have also shown important expansion in response rates, to near doubling in PD-L1 positive patients, and durability of response when patients receive zalifrelimab in combination with balstilimab.”

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Sep 18, 2020 • 5:52 am CDT

Myeloma Patients Want Trustworthy Information

A recent Harris Survey that a major opportunity for physicians and patients to improve communication when discussing treatment options was on what – and how much – information should be shared over the course of treatment planning.

Multiple myeloma patients wanted to know more about their treatment options, as more than half reported a desire to have more information about maintenance therapy that might help influence their decisions, on topics such as the long-term side effects of maintenance therapy and the risk of relapse without maintenance therapy.

However, about half of patients (51%) surveyed reported challenges in identifying which information sources are trustworthy. That said, patients agreed their physician put them at ease (100%) and provided understandable explanations (96%).

Sep 16, 2020 • 7:15 pm CDT

Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines Updated

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has released updated guidelines for cervical cancer screening. The ACS recommendations include a switch to human papillomavirus (HPV) testing alone every 5 years for women who are aged 25 to 65 years, moving away from recommending cytology-based screening via Pap testing.

Updated HPV vaccine development news is published by Vax-Before-Cancer.

Sep 15, 2020 • 3:00 pm CDT

Study: Prostatectomy vs Radiotherapy

According to a study published in the JAMA on August 31, 2020, prostatectomy rates increased from 22.8% in 2004 to 40.5% in 2016, nearly equaling radiotherapy rates by 2016. The ProtecT trial compared prostatectomy vs radiotherapy and showed no difference in prostate-cancer specific mortality.

These researchers stated: 'Randomized data comparing modalities do not and likely will not exist, in the foreseeable future to determine optimal prostate cancer treatment. Clinical trials are needed to guide optimal care.'

Sep 15, 2020 • 8:32 am CDT

Recurrent Glioblastoma Treatment Fast-Tracked in Texas

Texas-based Plus Therapeutics, Inc. announced on September 15, 2020, that the U.S. FDA has granted the Company Fast Track designation for its lead investigational drug, Rhenium NanoLiposomes (RNL™), for the treatment of patients with recurrent glioblastoma. As previously reported, the Company also received FDA orphan drug designation for RNL.

On average, there are nearly 12,0000 cases of glioblastoma diagnosed annually in the USA, with historical 1-year and 5-year median survival rates of 40.8% and 6.8%, respectively.

RNL is designed to safely, effectively, and conveniently deliver a very high dose of radiation, of up to 25 times greater concentration than currently used external beam radiation therapy, directly into the brain tumor for maximum effect.

RNL is being evaluated in the multi-center ReSPECT Phase 1 dose-finding clinical trial. As previously reported, the ReSPECT trials’ Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) approved the Company to proceed to Cohort 6 of the trial, which includes increasing both the drug volume and radiation dose to 8.8 milliliters (mL) and 22.3 millicuries (mCi), respectively.


Sep 14, 2020 • 8:42 pm CDT

Free HPV Vaccinations Offered in Xiamen

The city's of Xiamen, Fujian province, China's health commission announced on September 12, 2020, 'Free human papillomavirus vaccinations will be provided to girls aged 13 to 14 until the end of 2022 to help prevent cervical cancer. Xiamen's Haicang district is expected to kick off the free HPV vaccination project by the end of September, local news website Zaker reported.

This announcement makes it the second region in China to adopt such a policy. The first was Juungar Banner in Ordos, in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

Qiao Youlin, professor of epidemiology at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences' Cancer Hospital and Peking Union Medical College's School of Population Medicine and Public Health in Beijing, said this 'policy is in line with the central government's Healthy China 2030 initiative.'

China approved its first domestically produced HPV vaccine in 2019 for females aged 9 to 45. Innovax's Cecolin HPV vaccine protects women against HPV 16 and 18, the HPV types causing 70 percent of all cervical cancers, the third most common cancer among women.

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Sep 14, 2020 • 4:25 pm CDT

Prostate Cancer Patients Need Physical Activity

The Institute for Prostate Cancer Research launched a series of exercise videos for people with prostate cancer on August 24, 2020, to help these patients design and maintain an individual exercise routine. According to Dr. Lauren Brady, a postdoctoral research fellow at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who led the team producing the video series, 'physical activity can counteract the side effects of prostate cancer treatment, improving treatment-related toxicity, fatigue, stress, and overall mental health.'

Sep 14, 2020 • 10:03 am CDT

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Treatment Moves Into Phase 2 Study

Japan-based Daiichi Sankyo announced September 14, 2020, that the first patient has been dosed in a phase 2 study evaluating patritumab deruxtecan (U3-1402), a HER3 directed DXd antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), in patients with advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer who are resistant, refractory, or intolerant to at least two prior lines of systemic therapy.

“The prognosis of patients with advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer remains poor, and there is a need to develop new treatment strategies, including targeting HER3,” said Gilles Gallant, BPharm, Ph.D., Daiichi Sankyo, in a press statement.

Only 14% of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer are expected to survive 5-years after they are diagnosed.

Sep 13, 2020 • 5:49 am CDT

Metastatic Melanoma Immunotherapy Study Reports Positive Results

Florida based Morphogenesis, Inc., recently announced the successful completion of the Company’s first-in-human Phase 1 clinical trial for its cancer immunotherapeutic (IFx-Hu2.0). Six patients with Stage 3 or Stage 4 metastatic melanoma who could not be treated with surgery and/or had failed or refused other treatments were enrolled in this limited study.

During the course of the clinical trial which was last updated on July 16, 2020, the investigational product was found well-tolerated, and patient follow-ups demonstrated no noteworthy safety issues directly related to the therapy.

Sep 11, 2020 • 5:07 am CDT

The Realm Lost a Leading Lady to Cancer

Actress Dame Diana Rigg, known for her commanding roles in the 1960 TV series The Avengers, and recently in the Game of Thrones, passed away on September 10, 2020. "She died peacefully early this morning. She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time," her agent posted on Twitter.

Her daughter, actress Rachael Stirling, said 'she died of cancer at the age of 82, after being diagnosed in March 2020,' reported the BBC.

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Sep 9, 2020 • 3:53 pm CDT

U.S. FDA Issued Breast Cancer Treatment Alert

The U.S. FDA is alerting health care professionals, oncology clinical investigators, and patients on September 8, 2020, that a clinical trial studying the use of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and paclitaxel in patients with previously untreated inoperable locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC) showed the drug combination did not work to treat the disease.

The trial, IMpassion131, was a phase 3, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of atezolizumab in combination with paclitaxel compared with placebo and paclitaxel for patients with mTNBC.

This means Atezolizumab, in combination with paclitaxel, is not approved for use in breast cancer.

Patients taking atezolizumab and paclitaxel for other approved uses should continue to take their medication as directed by their healthcare professional. And patients should talk to their doctor if they have questions or concerns, says the FDA.

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Sep 9, 2020 • 7:41 am CDT

Scotland's Head & Neck Cancer Patients Transition From Chemo to Immunotherapy

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) announced on September 7, 2020, it 'welcomed the approval by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) of the immunotherapy, pembrolizumab, as a first-line NHS treatment for some patients with head and neck cancer.' Pembrolizumab will be made available on the NHS in Scotland for patients with head and neck cancer that has come back or spread, whose tumors have an immune marker called PD-L1. These patients are currently treated with chemotherapy.

But the ICR is concerned that the lack of a similar approval elsewhere in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland could herald a ‘home nation lottery’ over cancer treatment.

Sep 9, 2020 • 5:32 am CDT

Google's AI To Augment the US DoD's Cancer Detection

Google Cloud announced on September 2, 2020, that the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) has chosen Google Cloud to prototype an AI-enabled digital pathology solution at select DoD facilities. The project includes the delivery of augmented reality microscopes to DoD’s medical facilities and access to artificial intelligence models that can help military doctors with cancer detection tasks on multiple disease areas.

DIU is the organization exclusively focused within the Department of Defense (DoD) on scaling commercial technology across the DoD. The early access to the digital pathology platform is for research use only.

Sep 8, 2020 • 3:12 am CDT

‘Eat It to Beat It’ Cancer Challenge

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) challenges Americans to show their support for men affected by prostate cancer by taking a simple challenge to eat 30 healthy foods during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September.

Jonathan W. Simons, M.D., President and CEO, PCF, stated in a press release on August 18, 2020: “Lifestyle modifications have been convincingly shown to reduce the risk of the onset of cancer and progression, including prostate cancer. Thanks to advances in understanding metabolism and mutations, the concept of using food as medicine is finally converging."

"Men who adopt these healthier lifestyle changes can help reduce prostate cancer risk, especially Black men who are at a higher risk for developing the disease.”

Sep 7, 2020 • 7:47 am CDT

FDA Issues Orphan Drug Designation for Treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Ascentage Pharma announced on September 27, 2020, that the U.S. FDA has granted APG-2575, a novel Bcl-2 inhibitor being developed by the company, an Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This is the second ODD granted for APG-2575, following one issued in July for the treatment of Waldenström Macroglobulinemia.

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Sep 7, 2020 • 3:33 am CDT

FDA Approves Gavreto for the Treatment of Certain Adults With NSCLC

Genentech announced on September 4, 2020, that the U.S. FDA approved Gavreto™ (pralsetinib) for the treatment of adults with metastatic rearranged during transfection (RET) fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Gavreto is a once-daily, oral precision therapy designed to selectively target RET alterations, including fusions and mutations.

This indication was approved based on data from the Phase I/II ARROW study.

Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer and head of Genetech's Global Product Development, said in a press statement: “We remain committed to finding personalized treatment options for people with cancer based on specific genomic or molecular alterations, and we look forward to exploring the potential of Gavreto across multiple RET-altered tumor types.”

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Sep 6, 2020 • 7:10 am CDT

Generic Pemetrexed for Nonsquamous NSCLC Gains US FDA Approval

The U.S. FDA announced the approval on August 24, 2020, for Actavis’ pemetrexed, a generic of the branded chemotherapy treatment Alimta in 3-dosage strengths, which combats lung cancer.

An injectable form of the drug has been approved as a single agent for use in patients with "locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer that has not progressed after (4) cycles of first-line platinum-based chemotherapy."

In development since 2000, Alimta was first approved by the FDA in 2004, in combination with chemotherapy agent cisplatin, to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma. This is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. Alimta was the first drug to win FDA approval for this disease.

Sep 4, 2020 • 2:14 pm CDT

Honeybee Venom Acts Similar to Anti-Cancer Agent

Despite decades, the molecular mechanisms and selectivity of the biomolecular components of honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom as anti-cancer agents remained largely unknown. However, a new study published on September 1, 2020, demonstrates that honeybee venom and its major component melittin potently induce cell death, particularly in the aggressive triple-negative and HER2-enriched breast cancer subtypes.

This study states: 'Honeybee venom and melittin suppress the activation of EGFR and HER2 by interfering with the phosphorylation of these receptors in the plasma membrane of breast carcinoma cells.'

And, 'mutational studies reveal that a positively charged C-terminal melittin sequence mediates plasma membrane interaction and anticancer activity.'

Sep 3, 2020 • 12:53 pm CDT

HPV Vaccination 'Unlikely' Related to Autonomic Dysfunctions

A new study published by the BMJ on September 2, 2020, evaluated the association between quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and syndromes with autonomic dysfunction, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.

These researchers concluded 'When vaccination is introduced, adverse events could occur in close temporal relation to the vaccine purely by chance. These results do not support a causal association between quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccination and chronic fatigue syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, either individually or as a composite outcome.'

'An increased risk of up to 32% cannot be formally excluded, but the statistical power of the study suggests that a larger increase in the rate of any syndrome associated with vaccination is unlikely.'

There are safe HPV vaccines that can protect both men and women against cancers caused by HPV.  These vaccines include 9vHPV, 4vHPV, and/or 2vHPV, says the U.S. CDC. A list of available HPV vaccines can be found at this link.

Sep 1, 2020 • 2:31 pm CDT

Spain's Former World No.6 Tennis Star Revealed Hodgkin Lymphoma Diagnosis

The former No.6 ranked tennis player Carla Suárez Navarro revealed on September 1, 2020, that she has been diagnosed with early-stage Hodgkin Lymphoma. The 7-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist from Spain said in a video posted on Twitter 'Patience and self-belief guided me through my career. Not the easiest rival to deal with. I’ll need my truly best."

At this time, there are no widely recommended screening tests for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), says This is because no screening test has been shown to lower the risk of dying from this cancer. Still, in some cases, HL can be found early. 

Most people with Hodgkin lymphoma see their doctor because they have certain symptoms, or because they just don’t feel well and go in for a check-up. If a person has signs or symptoms that suggest HL, exams, and tests will be done to find out for sure and, if so, to determine the exact type.

The 5-year relative survival rates for Hodgkin lymphoma are published by

Sep 1, 2020 • 9:05 am CDT

Colorectal Cancer Immunology Identified by UConn Health

Connecticut based researchers at UConn Health and CaroGen Corporation announced on August 31, 2020, that they have developed a promising clinical candidate for colorectal cancer treatment. Using CaroGen’s patented Artificial Virus for Infectious Diseases and Immune-Oncology platform, CARG-2020 targets pathways by releasing an RNA expressing three immuno-modulators, each formulated to modify one of 3 pathways.

CARG-2020 is an oncolytic vector – a virus that infects and kills cancer cells – with the capacity to impact 3 critical cancer pathways at one time.

“We think this combination approach will be the strongest immunology against cancer," stated Kepeng Wang, assistant professor of immunology at UConn Health and a member of CaroGen’s Scientific Advisory Board.

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Aug 31, 2020 • 2:24 pm CDT

Liquid Biopsy Cancer Detection Test Now Available

Foundation Medicine announced that the U.S. FDA approved FoundationOne®Liquid CDx, and the Company’s comprehensive pan-tumor liquid biopsy test became available on August 28, 2020. This is the only FDA-approved blood-based test that analyzes over 300 genes. Plus, it reports blood tumor mutational burden (bTMB), microsatellite instability (MSI),†, and tumor fraction values—making it the most comprehensive FDA-approved liquid biopsy on the market.

Foundation Medicine tests must be ordered by a licensed physician.

Aug 31, 2020 • 10:00 am CDT

Basketball Legend John Thompson Jr. Dies

John Thompson Jr., the first black basketball head coach at Georgetown University to win the NCAA National Championship, died at his Arlington, Virginia home, from an undisclosed cause, on August 30, 2020. Thompson, 78 years old, had been suffering from multiple health challenges, a family source posted.

Aug 30, 2020 • 7:08 pm CDT

HPV Vaccination Rates Increased Last Year

The U.S. CDC reported on August 21, 2020, that from 2018 to 2019, vaccinate coverage with 1+ doses of the HPV vaccine increased from 68.1% to 71.5%, whereas the percentage of adolescents who reported being up to date with their HPV vaccination series jumped from 51.1% to 54.2%.

Aug 29, 2020 • 11:02 am CDT

Blood Cancer Patients Found Most Vulnerable to Coronavirus Disease

New research published by The Lancet on August 25, 2020, reveals that a specific type of cancer can increase the severity of coronavirus infection by almost 57%. The team of researchers at the University of Birmingham, found people suffering from hematologic malignancies - cancers affecting the blood bone marrow and lymph nodes are at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease, than those with solid tumor-based cancers.

Professor Rachel Kerr, study Senior Researcher, University of Oxford said, 'Using these new data we are working fast to identify trends and correlations, which will enable us to create a tiered risk assessment tool so we can more precisely define the risk to a given cancer patient and move away from a blanket “vulnerable” policy for all cancer patients, in the event of a 2nd wave of COVID-19.'

Aug 29, 2020 • 4:42 am CDT

Colon Cancer Defeats Actor Chadwick Boseman

A Tweet by Actor Chadwick Boseman's family on August 28, 2020, announced the actor 'had battled stage 4 colon cancer for the last 4-years and that he died in his home, with his wife and family by his side."

Aug 28, 2020 • 8:38 am CDT

Which Type of Cancer Vaccine Science is Best?

Researchers with Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, evaluated the ability of a chimeric adenoviral vector (Ad5.F35) derived from the capsid of Ad5 and fiber of the rare adenovirus serotype 35 (Ad35) to induce immune responses to the tumor-associated antigen guanylyl cyclase C (GUCY2C).

This study was published in the BMJ on August 20, 2020, and suggests that Ad5.F35-based vaccines targeting GUCY2C, or other tumor or pathogen antigens, may produce clinically relevant immune responses in more (≥90%) patients when compared with Ad5-based vaccines (~50%).

These researchers suggest that ongoing clinical investigations of GUCY2C-directed immunotherapy in patients with GUCY2C-expressing cancers, including colorectal, pancreatic, gastric, and esophageal, could benefit from using the Ad5.F35, rather than the Ad5, vector.

Aug 28, 2020 • 5:54 am CDT

Lung Cancer Rates in Young Black Men Decrease

A trend of higher lung cancer incidence rates in young black people versus young white people in the USA has flipped, with the black/white gap disappearing in men. This changing trend coincides with steep declines in smoking in Black Americans, according to a new study published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum on August 20, 2020.

Aug 28, 2020 • 5:32 am CDT

American Cancer Society Offers Answers to COVID-19 Questions

The American Cancer Society published answers to some of the related coronavirus pandemic questions on August 21, 2020, which can be found at this link.

Aug 28, 2020 • 4:13 am CDT

Canadian Men Now Eligible For Cancer Prevention Vaccine

Health Canada announced on August 27, 2020, the extension of the indication for the cancer prevention vaccine Gardasil 9 to include men between the ages of 27 and 45, reported CTVnews. Vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) is recommended to prevent HPV-associated diseases, including some cancers.

Aug 27, 2020 • 7:30 am CDT

Cancer Patients With Different Tumor Types Experience Variable Outcomes

New data published by The Lancet indicates 'that patients with cancer with different tumor types have variable SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 disease phenotypes, with notable increased SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility in patients with hematological cancers.

These researchers generated individualized risk tables on August 24, 2020, for patients with cancer, accounting for age, sex, and tumor subtype.  These tables will be useful for physicians to have a more informed risk-benefit discussion to explain COVID-19 risk to patients with cancer.

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Aug 27, 2020 • 7:09 am CDT

Recent Developments in HER2-Targeted Therapies for Metastatic Breast Cancer

On August 27, 2020, Medscape re-published key pharmacologic features and efficacy of HER2-targeted therapies recently approved or in late-stage development for the management of patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer. Registration required.

Aug 27, 2020 • 6:38 am CDT

UK and US Cancer Researchers Receive New Funding Opportunities

The US National Cancer Institute and Cancer Research in the United Kingdom announced on August 27, 2020, they have joined forces to launch Cancer Grand Challenges, an international initiative to address the biggest unanswered questions in cancer research.

Dinah S. Singer, Ph.D., NCI deputy director for scientific strategy and development stated, “This initiative will expand opportunities to identify new challenges based on insights from the cancer research community and to further our understanding of cancer. We’re looking forward to the new ideas proposed by creative teams from around the world.”

Aug 26, 2020 • 7:14 am CDT

Are Women Ready for Upfront Treatment of Ovarian Cancer?

A new commentary published by JAMA on August 25, 2020, asks' Are We Ready for Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy in the Upfront Treatment of Ovarian Cancer? This question is related to a new study's findings. 

Patients with newly diagnosed ovarian cancer in China lived almost 16-months longer if they received heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) after surgery. The median overall survival increased from 34-months with surgery alone to 49.8 months with surgery followed by HIPEC. And about 60% of patients treated with HIPEC remained alive at 3-years versus less than 50% of those who had only surgery.

Aug 22, 2020 • 5:51 am CDT

Cervical Cancer Screening During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 disease pandemic, and the federal, state, and local policies to curtail the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, have presented an additional, unprecedented challenge to cervical cancer screening programs, wrote Baylor College of Medicine's latest blog on August 21, 2020.

'In the healthcare setting, the PRESTIS trial (Prospective Evaluation of Self-Testing to Increase Screening) being conducted within the Harris Health System in Houston will establish whether lay patient navigation can be used synergistically with mailed self-sample HPV testing kits to increase primary screening and diagnostic follow-up. Similarly, in the community setting, lay community health workers have shown great promise as an effective implementation strategy.'

'Going forward, advances toward low-cost, point-of-care testing are imperative for removing major structural barriers to self-sample HPV testing in the post-COVID-19 world,' said this Baylor blog.

Aug 21, 2020 • 9:29 am CDT

Brain Cancer Treatment Granted Fast-Track Status

Kazia Therapeutics announced on August 20, 2020, that the United States FDA granted Fast Track Designation to paxalisib (formerly GDC-0084) for the treatment of glioblastoma, the most common and most aggressive form of primary brain cancer.

Aug 21, 2020 • 8:52 am CDT

Gut Bacteria Empowers Immune Systems to Battle Cancerous Tumors

A study published by University of Calgary researchers on August 13, 2020, has identified which gut bacteria help our immune system battle cancerous tumors and how they do it. The findings show combining immunotherapy with specific microbial therapy helps the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells in forms of cancer.

'Our study identifies a novel microbial metabolite-immune pathway that is activated by immunotherapy that may be exploited to develop microbial-based adjuvant therapies.'

Aug 21, 2020 • 6:27 am CDT

Washington Football Coach Diagnosed With Skin Cancer

The Washington NFL team coach Ron Rivera has been diagnosed with a type of skin cancer but told ESPN on August 20, 2020, he intends to continue coaching. Coach Rivera was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma located in a lymph node. Rivera said the 'cancer is in the early stages and is considered treatable and curable.'

Aug 21, 2020 • 4:51 am CDT

WHO Accelerates HPV Vaccinations

The World Health Assembly announced it has adopted a global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem on August 19, 2020. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the primary cause of cervical cancer, and HPV vaccinations are a safe and effective way to protect women.

“Including HPV vaccination of girls, screening and treatment of precancerous lesions, and improving access to invasive cancer treatments, we can eliminate cervical cancer and make it a disease of the past,” commented Dr. Tedros.

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Aug 20, 2020 • 2:45 pm CDT

Therapeutic Cancer Vaccines Seldom Generate Anti-Tumor Immune Responses

In a study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering on August 17, 2020, researchers discussed developing a generic approach for preparing autologous tumor therapeutic vaccines through rewiring immunosuppressive apoptosis signaling into immunostimulatory secondary necrosis to provoke personalized anti-tumor immune responses.

'Given that many of the current cancer treatments can induce apoptosis, our approach enables effective targeting of each patient’s tumor with vaccines produced “just in me” by exploiting the treatment-induced apoptosis,' said these researchers.

Aug 19, 2020 • 1:17 pm CDT

Duke Developing Vaccine Targeting HER2

A team of Duke University researchers announced that they may have found a 2-part solution that could help treat breast cancer. The researchers have developed a vaccine that targets HER2, a protein found on about 20% of breast cancers. The vaccine candidate is currently in Phase 2, has so far produced promising results when paired with existing drug therapies.

“The vaccine will stimulate an immune response and your body will start to generate T cells, that will be killer cells. But the tumors, over the past five or 10 years, we found that the tumors actually produce an immunosuppressive environment that prevents these T cells from functioning,” Dr. Herbert Kim Lyerly commented. Because of that immunosuppressive response, the new vaccine has been paired with drugs that restrict immune suppression.

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Aug 19, 2020 • 11:13 am CDT

Cervical Cancer Brachytherapy Gains FDA Clearance

Elekta announced on August 19, 2020, that the Geneva Universal Gynecological Applicator recently received U.S. FDA 510(k) clearance, enabling individuals with cervical cancer in the USA to benefit from the applicator’s ability to precisely target brachytherapy, a radiotherapy method in which a radiation source is introduced directly into cancer. Designed for cervical cancer up to stage IIB, Geneva would be able to help up to 75% of patients with locally advanced cervical cancer.

With the availability of Geneva, clinicians can now take advantage of a single gynecological applicator to treat most cervical cancer patients via intracavitary and/or interstitial brachytherapy treatment options, said the company.

Aug 18, 2020 • 4:51 pm CDT

Selma Blair Dances After Chemo Treatment

After undergoing chemotherapy for her multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis, Selma Blair appears to be holding on to the things she loves, like music, says a SurviroNet article on August 18, 2020. In an Instagram story, Blair, 49, shared two clips of her jamming out to former Go-Go’s lead singer Belinda Carlisle’s 1986 hit 'Mad About You.'

In 2018, Blair shared that she had been diagnosed with MS which impacts the brain and the body often leading to nerve damage. Blair underwent chemotherapy for treatment and shared her hair loss journey with fans through social media. However, she’s clearly pushing through the pain in order to find pockets of joy.

Aug 18, 2020 • 2:54 pm CDT

Prostate Cancer Study Placed-On-Hold

On August 17, 2020, Poseida Therapeutics, Inc. announced in an 8K filing it has received communication from the U.S. FDA that the Company’s Phase 1 clinical trial for P-PSMA-101 in metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer has been placed on clinical hold to investigate a patient death. P-PSMA-101 is Poseida’s autologous CAR-T therapeutic candidate being assessed as a potential treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Aug 18, 2020 • 7:56 am CDT

Nichole’s Story: Treating Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

'In my current role as the nursing team lead for my oncology research department, I work primarily with blood cancer patients, including those living with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common type of leukemia in adults,' wrote Nichole Fisher, RN, in a sponsored content article.

'There are many different paths CLL patients take and multiple stages through their disease, each with different requirements. One of my main responsibilities is educating patients on their disease, as well as treatment options and potential side effects.'

Aug 17, 2020 • 8:38 pm CDT

Experimental Treatment Differs From Conventional Immunotherapy Approach

Immunotherapies for cancer -- treatments that prime the immune system to attack tumors -- are valuable weapons in the anti-cancer arsenal. But some cancers are more difficult to target with this strategy than others. According to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, this disease accounts for up to 20% of all breast cancers. 

On August 17, 2020, scientists report a new type of immunotherapy that dramatically extends the survival of mice that have triple-negative breast tumors, a difficult-to-treat form of cancer. A new video on the research is available on this website.

Aug 17, 2020 • 2:29 pm CDT

Prostate Cancer Phase 3 Study Launches in Europe, Finland, and the USA

Blue Earth Diagnostics announced on July 21, 2020, that the first patients have been dosed at clinical trial sites in its Phase 3 SPOTLIGHT clinical trial of rhPSMA-7.3 (18F), an investigational Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen-targeted radiohybrid PET imaging agent. The SPOTLIGHT study is being conducted in the USA and Europe. The first European patient was recently dosed in Finland.

“Up to 40% of patients who undergo radical prostatectomy, and up to 50% of patients who undergo radiation therapy will develop local or distant recurrences within 10 years,” said David M. Schuster, M.D., Emory University School of Medicine.

Aug 17, 2020 • 9:59 am CDT

Florida Coach Aubrey Hill Passes Away

Florida International University Athletics announced on August 16, 2020, assistant coach Aubrey Hill passed away following his battle with cancer. “It was a shock to learn of Aubrey’s passing tonight after his long battle with cancer,” Panthers coach Butch Davis said in a media statement. “Aubrey was loved and adored by so many who saw him not only as a coach but as an amazing husband and father."

Aug 17, 2020 • 9:13 am CDT

AIM ImmunoTech Reports Progress in Both COVID-19 and Cancer Studies

AIM ImmunoTech announced on August 17, 2020, "AIM is engaged in extremely important and potentially groundbreaking pre-clinical and clinical research in critical unmet medical needs such as COVID-19 and cancer-providing us ‘multiple shots on goal' within large addressable markets." 

Following the FDA's authorization of an IND on May 11, 2020, AIM entered into a clinical trial agreement on July 6, 2020, with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to support Roswell Park's Phase 1/2a trial of Ampligen in combination with interferon alfa-2b in cancer patients with COVID-19 disease. This study is on track to commence patient enrollment soon.