Cancer Vaccine Breaking News

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

Oct 17, 2020 • 2:07 pm CDT

Ontario Students Encouraged to Get Their HPV Vaccination

An Ontario Medical Association (OMA) podcast published on October 15, 2020, is emphasizing the importance of Ontario adolescents getting the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine either through their schools or public health units, reported Len Gillis, local journalism initiative reporter.

The OMA podcast featured a conversation with Dr. Amanda Selk, an OB/GYN who practices at Women’s College Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Toronto General Hospital, in Canada.

Oct 16, 2020 • 7:59 am CDT

Personalized Cancer Vaccine Plus Medication Combo Found Effective

The study results from a Phase Ib clinical trial published in the journal Cell on October 15, 2020, indicate the safety and preliminary efficacy of combined treatment with the personalized, neoantigen-based vaccine NEO-PV-01, and the anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo), for patients with advanced melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, or bladder cancer.

These data support the safety and immunogenicity of this regimen in patients with advanced solid tumors.

Neoantigens arise from mutations in cancer cells and are important targets of T cell-mediated anti-tumor immunity. 

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Oct 15, 2020 • 10:42 am CDT

U.S. FDA Approves Refractory Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma Therapy

New Jersey-based Merck announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an expanded label for KEYTRUDA, Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL).

The approval is based on results from the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-204 trial in which KEYTRUDA significantly reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 35% (HR=0.65 [95% CI, 0.48-0.88; p<0.0027]) compared to brentuximab vedotin (BV).

Additionally, median progression-free survival (PFS) was 13.2 months (95% CI, 10.9-19.4) for patients treated with KEYTRUDA and 8.3 months (95% CI, 5.7-8.8) for patients treated with BV.

The FDA also approved an updated pediatric indication for KEYTRUDA for the treatment of pediatric patients with refractory cHL, or cHL that has relapsed after two or more lines of therapy.

Oct 14, 2020 • 8:31 pm CDT

Statins Decrease Cancer Risk Separately From Cholesterol

A new study published by eLife on October 13, 2020, found cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may reduce cancer risk in humans through a pathway unrelated to cholesterol. These results predict that statins reduce cancer risk but other lipid-lowering treatments do not.

'Our work highlights that the effectiveness of statins must be urgently evaluated by large clinical trials for potential use in cancer prevention,' stated senior author Stephen Burgess, Group Leader at the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit, part of the University of Cambridge. 

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Oct 14, 2020 • 6:13 pm CDT

Early-Stage Vaccine Candidate Shows Positive Action in Lung Cancer Study

California based Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. and Cancer Research UK announced on October 13, 2020, encouraging preliminary results from an ongoing Phase 1 clinical study of VAC2 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

VAC2 demonstrated remarkably potent induction of immune responses in all patients dosed to date, with high levels of peripheral antigen-specific immunogenicity observed at multiple time points and confirmed by multimer staining.

On the basis of these findings, and following completion of the ongoing VAC2 clinical study in NSCLC, Lineage will seek to evaluate VAC2 in combination with therapies considered biologically complementary to VAC2, such as chemotherapy and the immune cell protectant properties offered by anti-PD1 immunotherapy.

Oct 14, 2020 • 2:40 pm CDT

FDA Issues Clearance for Treating Children with Medulloblastoma

New York based Y-mAbs Therapeutics, Inc. announced on October 14, 2020, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the Company’s Investigational New Drug application for 177Lu-omburtamab-DTPA for the treatment of medulloblastoma, which is the most common type of primary brain cancer in children.

Dr. Claus Moller, CEO noted in a press statement: “Children with medulloblastoma represent a clear unmet medical need, and we are very pleased to move this product to the clinic."

Medulloblastoma is a primary central nervous system tumor. This means it begins in the brain or spinal cord, states Cancer.gov. Medulloblastomas are invasive, rapidly growing tumors that, unlike most brain tumors, spread through the cerebrospinal fluid and frequently metastasize to different locations along the surface of the brain and spinal cord.

Oct 14, 2020 • 9:52 am CDT

South Asia Country Launches 1st HPV Vaccinations for Young Men

According to the Bhutan Ministry of Health's announcement on September 28, 2020, an human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for young men has launched. The second dose of the HPV vaccine will be given to the same cohort in May 2021 and the school-based HPV vaccination for boys will be integrated along with the girls from the 2021 academic year with the quadri-valent HPV vaccine.

This initiative is in continuation of the introduction of a nationwide HPV vaccination campaign for young women between in 2010.

Oct 13, 2020 • 5:47 pm CDT

Ontario's HPV Vaccination Program Needs Rebooting

On October 12, 2020, Canadian clinicians were reported by CBC 'warning that the cancellation of Ontario's in-school Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programs in the spring of 2020 could lead to thousands of preventable cancers in the future if children aren't tracked to make sure they eventually get immunized.'

Ontario children normally receive 2-doses of an HPV vaccine, in the fall and spring of Grade 7, but this spring's vaccinations were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That means last year's Grade 7 cohort missed its 2nd dose, while parts of this fall's new batch of Grade 7 students could miss their first.

The Ontario government has given local health units guidance to offer the HPV vaccination at special catch-up clinics or make the vaccination available at doctor's offices, reported CBC.

Oct 13, 2020 • 4:54 pm CDT

Review Article Highlights AE37 Immunotherapeutic Cancer Vaccine

Florida based Generex Biotechnology Corporation announced on October 13, 2020, that a review article on therapeutic cancer vaccines has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancers. The authors of the paper have extensive experience with the AE37 immunotherapeutic vaccine as principal investigators in the company’s breast and prostate cancer trials.

'These authors note that the survival benefit with AE37 and other cancer vaccines require prolonged follow-up because the immune system takes time to activate against the tumor. Therefore, the survival curves only start to diverge after 12-months from treatment initiation,' said the company.

Oct 8, 2020 • 12:05 pm CDT

Individualized Vaccine Clinical Trials for Ovarian and Head & Neck Cancers Announced

On October 6, 2020, Paris based Transgene, NEC Corporation, and BostonGene Corporation announced a strategic collaboration for ongoing Phase 1 clinical trials of TG4050, an individualized therapeutic vaccine for ovarian and head & neck cancers, which is based on Transgene’s proprietary myvac® platform and NEC’s AI-driven Neoantigen Prediction System in Europe and the United States.

Oct 7, 2020 • 9:07 am CDT

Prostate Cancer Patent Issued for Prodrugs

North Carolina based Propella Therapeutics Inc. announced on October 7, 2020, the issuance of a U.S. patent for a new drug treatment for metastatic prostate cancer. The patent covers new molecules that are designed to provide significant advantages over the current standard of care.

The patent protects certain novel prodrugs which are biologically inactive compounds that the body converts into the active pharmacological agent, abiraterone.

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Oct 1, 2020 • 9:31 pm CDT

Therapeutic Cancer Vaccine Candidate Displays Positive Phase 1 Results

Norway based Ultimovacs ASA announced on September 30, 2020, positive topline results from the first cohort of 20 patients in its ongoing US-based Phase I clinical trial evaluating the Company’s lead vaccine candidate, UV1, in combination with PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, pembrolizumab, as a first-line treatment in patients with metastatic malignant melanoma. And the study's results confirm the achievement of the primary endpoints of safety and tolerability and indicate initial signs of clinical response.

UV1 is a peptide-based vaccine inducing a specific T cell response against the universal cancer antigen, telomerase. UV1 is being developed as a therapeutic cancer vaccine which may serve as a platform for use in combination with other immuno-oncology drugs which require an ongoing T cell response for their mode of action.

Sep 27, 2020 • 4:43 am CDT

Ovarian Cancer Immunotherapy Delivered Minimum Benefit

An experimental immunotherapy presented at the 2020 European Society for Medical Oncology virtual congress on September 21, 2020, did not substantially improve clinical outcomes in newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer compared with chemotherapy and bevacizumab (Avastin), in a phase 3 trial. The progression-free survival in the overall study population (600) increased about (1) month with the addition of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) to carboplatin-paclitaxel chemotherapy and bevacizumab.

Sep 24, 2020 • 4:15 pm CDT

Russia's Coronavirus Vaccine To Be Studied For Cancer Patients

The Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry said on September 22, 2020, it is developing a study protocol of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for cancer patients. The scientist explained that cancer patients are frequently on medications suppressing cell propagation, reported TASS.

'The protocol, most likely, will include possible drills of a schedule when the use of pharmaceuticals suppressing cell development has to be interrupted to inoculate an individual during this time in order to protect him and then return to the usual medication schedule,' concluded Andrey Dmitrievich, chief non-resident oncologist of the Russian Healthcare Ministry.

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Sep 22, 2020 • 3:28 pm CDT

Emerging Immunotherapies in Multiple Myeloma

Despite considerable advances in treatment approaches in the past 20 years, multiple myeloma remains an incurable disease, said an editorial published on September 21, 2020. Treatments for myeloma continue to evolve with many emerging immunotherapies. This review summarizes the evidence of these various immunotherapies, their mechanism of action, and data from clinical trials regarding the treatments’ safety and efficacy.

The first immunotherapy used to treat hematologic cancers, including multiple myeloma, was an allogeneic stem cell transplant. In the mid-2000s, immunomodulatory drugs thalidomide, lenalidomide, and subsequently pomalidomide were proven to be effective in multiple myeloma and substantially improved survival.

The next wave of immunotherapies for multiple myeloma included the monoclonal antibodies daratumumab and elotuzumab, which were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2015.

Subsequently, a variety of immunotherapies have been developed for multiple myeloma, including chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bispecific antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, and checkpoint inhibitors.

Many of these emerging treatments target the B cell maturation antigen, which is expressed on plasma cells, although several other novel receptors are also being studied.

Sep 21, 2020 • 4:33 pm CDT

Lynparza Recommended for Prostate Cancer in the EU

AstraZeneca and MSD’s Lynparza (olaparib) announced on September 21, 2020, it has been recommended for marketing authorization in the European Union for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer with breast cancer susceptibility gene 1/2 (BRCA1/2) mutations, a subpopulation of homologous recombination repair gene mutations.

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency based its positive opinion on a subgroup analysis of patients with BRCA1/2 mutations from the PROfound Phase III trial. The primary results from the trial were published in The NEJM in May 2020.

Sep 21, 2020 • 5:32 am CDT

Kidney Cancer Treatment Found Effective

A phase 3 study published results on September 11, 2020, that found metastatic kidney cancer patients treated with the PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo) plus cabozantinib (Cabometyx) lived 2x as long without disease progression compared to patients receiving an older standard of care.

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 Cancer.org. 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 Cancer.org.

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.