Treatment - Cancer Currents Blog
Cancer treatment related news, with context from leading experts. Includes articles on new therapies, treatment side effects, and important trends in treatment-related research.
- Nilotinib Can Be Discontinued in Some Patients with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
On December 22, FDA approved an update to the label of nilotinib (Tasignia) that states that some patients with CML who are taking nilotinib and whose cancer has been in remission for an extended period can safely stop taking it.
- Drug Combination Improves Outlook for Some Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Interim results from an ongoing clinical trial show that patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia treated with rituximab plus venetoclax have longer progression-free survival compared with patients treated with chemotherapy.
- Unique Trial Aims to Decrease Early Deaths in Patients with Rare Leukemia
In a unique clinical trial, a group of oncologists with experience treating acute promyelocytic leukemia are making themselves available around the clock to help clinicians at hospitals across the country treat their APL patients.
- FDA Approves Alectinib For Initial Treatment of ALK-Positive Lung Cancer
FDA has approved alectinib (Alecensa) as a first-line treatment option for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer that is ALK positive. Alectinib is the third ALK inhibitor to be approved in this setting.
- Expanding Smoking Cessation Services at NCI-designated Cancer Centers: An Interview with Dr. Glen Morgan
NCI’s Dr. Glen Morgan discusses NCI’s Cancer Center Cessation Initiative, including how and why this smoking cessation initiative was developed and its long-term goals.
- Alternate Driver of Treatment-Resistant Prostate Cancer Identified
Researchers have identified an emerging subtype of metastatic prostate cancer that is resistant to therapies that block hormones that fuel the disease.
- Study Identifies Potential Drug Combination for Ewing Sarcoma
From experiments in cells and mice, researchers have identified a two-drug combination that kills more Ewing sarcoma cells than either drug on its own. The study findings could help inform future clinical trials.
- Liquid Biopsy: Using DNA in Blood to Detect, Track, and Treat Cancer
Research studies show tests that analyze tumor DNA in blood, called liquid biopsies, may help detect cancer early, guide precision cancer treatment, and track treatment response.
- Study Tracks the Evolution of Treatment Resistance in Metastatic Breast Cancer
A new study suggests that the cells in treatment-resistant tumors in women with metastatic breast cancer share important characteristics that could potentially make tumors vulnerable to therapies that otherwise might not have been considered.
- Studies Identify Therapies That May Delay Melanoma Recurrence after Surgery
Two recent clinical trials have identified treatments that may delay cancer from returning in some patients with melanoma. Patients in both trials had advanced melanoma that was surgically removed, and each trial tested different forms of post-surgical, or adjuvant, therapy.
- Extensive Lymph Node Removal Doesn't Improve Survival in Some Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer
Long-term results from a large clinical trial confirm that, for some women with early-stage breast cancer who have lumpectomy as their surgical treatment, a less extensive lymph node biopsy approach is sufficient.
- Timing and Sequence Critical for Immunotherapy Combination
When given at the same time, two immune checkpoint inhibitors were ineffective against breast cancer growth in mice, a new study found. The combination was more effective and safer if the two inhibitors were given in a specific sequence.
- Long-Term Nerve Damage Possible after Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer
Many women who receive taxane-based chemotherapy to treat breast cancer experience long-term nerve damage, or peripheral neuropathy, data from a large clinical trial show.
- Forgoing Conventional Cancer Treatments for Alternative Medicine Increases Risk of Death
In a large study, patients with nonmetastatic breast, lung, or colorectal cancer who chose alternative therapies had substantially worse survival than patients who received conventional cancer treatments.
- Bringing the Investigational Breast Cancer Drug Endoxifen from Bench to Bedside with NCI Support
Researchers recognized the potential of endoxifen as a treatment for breast cancer and, with NCI support, developed the compound into a drug now being tested in clinical trials.
- Modified Stem Cells Deliver Chemotherapy to Metastatic Tumors
Researchers have used modified stem cells to deliver a cancer drug selectively to metastatic breast cancer tumors in mice. The stem cells target metastatic tumors by homing in on the stiff environment that typically surrounds them.
- Heart Attack, Stroke Risk May Be Elevated Following Cancer Diagnosis
A diagnosis of cancer can come with an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke in the months after beginning treatment, a new study suggests. Within 6 months of a diagnosis, the risk of either event was more than twice that seen in people without cancer.
- In Melanoma, Personalized Treatment Vaccines Show Promise
Results of an early-phase trial showed that a treatment vaccine personalized to a specific patient’s cancer generated a robust immune response against the cancer and may have helped to prevent it from returning.
- Glioblastoma—Unraveling the Threads: A Q&A with Drs. Mark Gilbert and Terri Armstrong of the NIH Neuro-Oncology Branch
Progress against the brain cancer glioblastoma has been slow. Drs. Mark Gilbert and Terri Armstrong of NCI’s Neuro-Oncology Branch discuss why and what’s being done to change that.
- Cancer Researchers Report Progress in Studying Exceptional Responders
Researchers who study exceptional responders—patients who have dramatic and long-lasting responses to treatments for cancer that were not effective for most similar patients—met recently to discuss the state of the science in this emerging field.
- Extensive Lymph Node Surgery Does Not Increase Survival in Melanoma
A conservative approach to lymph node removal surgery may be best for people with melanoma that has spread from the skin to one or a small number of nearby lymph nodes, new results from a large international clinical trial suggest.
- FDA Expands Approval of Ceritinib for ALK-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
The FDA has approved the targeted therapy ceritinib as an initial treatment for patients with lung cancer that has a mutation in the ALK gene.
- Abiraterone Improves Survival for Some Men with Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer
In two large clinical trials, adding the hormone-blocking drug abiraterone to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) allowed men with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer to live longer than men who were treated with ADT alone.
- Trastuzumab Emtansine Improves Survival in Previously Treated Metastatic HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
Two clinical trials show that trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) improves survival compared with other standard treatments for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer that has progressed after treatment with other HER2-targeted drugs.
- CAR T Cells: Expanding into Multiple Myeloma
Results from two early-phase trials presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting suggest that an immunotherapy using genetically engineered immune cells may be effective in patients with advanced multiple myeloma.
- Less Chemotherapy May Be Best Choice for Some Patients with Colon Cancer, Study Shows
A shorter course of chemotherapy following surgery may be preferred to longer treatment for some patients with colon cancer, results of an international collaborative study suggest.
- Patients Who Choose No Intervention for Small Thyroid Cancers Report Lack of Support
Patients who choose not to pursue immediate biopsy or treatment for small, asymptomatic thyroid cancers, or suspected cancers, can experience a lack of support from doctors and loved ones, a new study shows.
- PARP Inhibitors May Be Effective in Brain, Other Cancers with IDH Mutations
Studies presented at the 2017 AACR annual meeting suggest that therapies which take advantage of the mutations in the IDH gene may be more effective than drugs that block it.
- Blinatumomab Extends Survival for Patients with Advanced ALL
Patients with previously treated acute lymphoblastic leukemia who received blinatumomab, which encourages the immune system to kill cancer cells, lived longer and experienced fewer side effects than patients given standard chemotherapy.
- Stem-Cell Based Tool May Help Measure Heart Toxicity of Cancer Drugs
Researchers have used adult stem cells to create a tool for ranking how toxic a group of cancer drugs, called tyrosine kinase inhibitors, are to human heart cells. Such a test could potentially identify toxic side effects earlier in the drug development process.
- Putting the Cancer Patient Front and Center: An Interview with NCI’s Dr. Paul Jacobsen
NCI’s Dr. Paul Jacobsen discusses NCI’s Healthcare Delivery Research Program and its role in advancing innovative research to improve the delivery of cancer care.
- Study Shows Platelets Can Deliver Immunotherapy, Reduce Tumor Regrowth
In experiments in mice, researchers show platelets linked to an immunotherapy drug can help eliminate residual cancer cells that remain after surgery. The engineered platelets may also prevent leftover cancer cells from spreading.
- Potential New Cancer Therapy Could Target Tumors Two Ways
A team of researchers has developed a potential new therapy that may work in two distinct ways to attack tumors, by directly killing cancer cells and immune cells that can suppress the anti-cancer immune response.
- Combination Therapy Improves Survival for Some Men with Recurrent Prostate Cancer
Long-term results from an NCI-sponsored clinical trial suggest that adding androgen deprivation therapy to radiation therapy can improve survival for some men with recurrent prostate cancer.
- Three-Drug Combination Extends Survival for Patients with Multiple Myeloma
A phase III clinical trial demonstrates that adding the drug bortezomib to a commonly used two-drug regimen extends survival in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.
- New Therapy Benefits Patients with Neuroendocrine Tumors
Results from a clinical trial suggest that 177Lu-Dotatate may soon be a new treatment option for some patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumors.
- New Targeted Therapies Show Promise for Treating Advanced GIST
Two new targeted therapies have shown promise in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) that have developed resistance to standard therapies.
- Prescription Subsidies Reduce Breast Cancer Treatment Disparities
A new study has found that subsidies for prescription drugs can improve the use of adjuvant therapy in women with early-stage breast cancer and help reduce disparities in the use of these proven treatments among black and Hispanic women.
- Device Uses Cancer Cells' Mass to Predict Response to Treatment
Scientists have designed a device that measures the mass of single cancer cells to predict how cells respond to drug treatment. The technology could potentially help clinicians determine whether a drug effectively kills cancer cells.
- Scientists Identify Potential Marker of Resistance to PARP Inhibitors
Findings from a new study from NCI researchers could help predict whether a tumor will respond to a new class of promising cancer drugs, and identifies a potential way to overcome that resistance.
- ‘Unexpected’ Vulnerability Creates Treatment Opportunity in Aggressive Type of Lung Cancer
A new study has identified a potentially critical vulnerability in lung cancers that have mutations in the KRAS gene, and showed that a drug already under study may be able to exploit it.
- Modified Immunotherapy Approach Shows Promise for Leukemia
Researchers have developed an immunotherapy approach that uses immune cells whose natural cancer killing abilities have been enhanced in the lab. In a small clinical trial, the treatment led to remissions in about half of patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
- Avelumab Induces Sustained Tumor Responses in Some Patients with Rare Skin Cancer
In a phase II clinical trial, some patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma whose cancer has progressed despite treatment with chemotherapy had durable tumor responses to the immunotherapy drug avelumab.
- Approach May Allow for Stem Cell Transplant without Radiation, Chemotherapy
In a recent study, researchers showed that a new approach may provide a safer way to perform stem cell transplants for treating cancer and other diseases.
- Tumor DNA in Blood May Signal Response to T-Cell Transfer Immunotherapy
A study suggests that doctors could use circulating tumor DNA to quickly identify patients who are responding to T-cell transfer immunotherapy.
- Nanoparticle that Mimics Salmonella Counteracts Chemotherapy Resistance
A nanoparticle that mimics Salmonella may help to counteract chemotherapy resistance, according to a new study.
- Nanoparticle Delivers Cancer Drugs to Tumor Blood Vessels
In cancer mouse models, nanoparticles that bind to a protein called P-selectin on tumor blood vessels shrank tumors and extended survival.
- Anthrax Toxin-Based Cancer Therapy Targets Tumor Blood Vessels
A therapy that uses the anthrax toxin selectively targets blood vessels that feed tumors and support their growth and spread, researchers have found.