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.
- T-DM1 Approval Expanded to Include Some Women with Early-Stage HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
FDA has expanded the approved use of the drug ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla), also called T-DM1, to include adjuvant treatment in some women with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer.
- Tagraxofusp Proves Effective for BPDCN, A Rare Blood Cancer
New findings from a clinical trial of the drug tagraxofusp confirm its efficacy against the rare blood cancer blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN).
- New Drugs, New Side Effects: Complications of Cancer Immunotherapy
The expanding use of cancer immunotherapy has revealed a variety of side effects associated with this treatment approach. Researchers are now trying to better understand how and why these side effects occur and develop strategies for better managing them.
- Some Children with Liver Cancer May Need Less Chemotherapy, Study Suggests
Some children with liver cancer may need less chemotherapy than is typically used, new research suggests. The study included children and infants with hepatoblastoma whose tumors had been surgically removed when the disease was diagnosed.
- A Vaccine to Treat Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Advancing in Clinical Trials
In some people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), treating a single tumor with an in situ vaccine can help to shrink, or eliminate, tumors in other parts of the body, findings from a small clinical trial suggest.
- Immunotherapy Drug with Two Targets Shows Promise against HPV-Related Cancers
The investigational immunotherapy drug bintrafusp alfa (also called M7824), a bifunctional fusion protein, shrank the tumors of some patients with advanced HPV-related cancers, according to results from a phase 1 clinical trial.
- Fewer Women with Ovarian, Breast Cancer Undergo Genetic Testing than Expected
Many women diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer are not undergoing tests for inherited genetic mutations that can provide important information to help guide decisions about treatment and longer-term cancer screening, a new study has found.
- Researchers Discover Potential Way to Hit Elusive Target in Pancreatic Cancer
Three research groups have found a potential way to kill cancer cells in pancreatic tumors by simultaneously blocking the activity of proteins that interact with KRAS proteins and disrupting an energy-creating process called autophagy.
- Atezolizumab Approved for Some Patients with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
FDA has approved atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of some women with advanced triple-negative breast cancer. This is the first FDA-approved regimen for breast cancer to include immunotherapy.
- Trial Examines Value of Lymph Node Surgery in Advanced Ovarian Cancer
Surgery to remove all the lymph nodes in the area around an advanced ovarian tumor did not improve survival in a recent randomized clinical trial. The study also found systematic lymphadenectomy was associated with more frequent serious complications.
- Targeted Therapy–Immunotherapy Combinations Effective for Advanced Kidney Cancer
In two clinical trials, combination treatments that included an immune checkpoint inhibitor and axitinib (Inlyta) led to better outcomes for patients with advanced kidney cancer than treatment with sunitinib (Sutent), the standard initial therapy.
- Darolutamide Delays the Spread of Some Prostate Cancers
The investigational drug darolutamide can help delay the spread of prostate cancer in some men with the disease, a recent clinical trial shows. In addition, the drug caused fewer side effects than similar prostate cancer drugs.
- Multipronged Approach Eliminates Racial Disparities in Early-Stage Lung Cancer Treatment
Use of a multipronged approach within hospitals, including community centers, not only eliminated treatment disparities among black and white patients with early-stage lung cancer, it also improved treatment rates for all patients, results from a new study show.
- NCI’s Rare Cancer Clinics: Engaging Patients and Fostering Collaboration
NCI has created special clinics that bring together clinicians, patients, and advocates to promote more rapid progress against rare cancers. The effort includes both rare pediatric cancers and central nervous system tumors in adults.
- Treatment for Children with Leukemia Also Effective for Adolescents, Young Adults
A clinical trial found that an intensive treatment regimen developed specifically for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia is also effective for older adolescents and young adults with the disease.
- Dormant Tumor Cells Can Be Sensitized to Chemotherapy
A new study in mice shows that disrupting the relationship between breast cancer cells that spread to bone and normal cells surrounding them makes the cancer cells sensitive to treatment.
- A CAR T-Cell Therapy for Multiple Childhood Cancers?
An experimental CAR T-cell therapy may have potential as a treatment for several types of childhood cancer, results from a new study in mice suggest. The CAR T cells eradicated tumors in mouse models of several different childhood cancers, including two forms of sarcoma and medulloblastoma.
- HTAN: Mapping Tumors across Space and Time Using Cutting-Edge Technologies
The Human Tumor Atlas Network, an NCI-led collaborative research project, is creating detailed maps of cancers that will be used to learn how cancer develops, spreads, and responds to treatment.
- Curbing Production of Immune Checkpoint Protein Slows Liver Cancer in Mice
Researchers have found an unconventional way to unleash the immune system against liver cancer in mice. The researchers used an investigational drug to curb the production of a checkpoint inhibitor protein that shields tumors from the immune system.
- Immunotherapy Effective in Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
People with advanced alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS), a rare cancer, appear to benefit from a type of immunotherapy called an immune checkpoint inhibitor, according to results from a small clinical trial.
- FDA Approvals Bring New Options for Older Patients with AML
FDA has approved venetoclax (Venclexta) and glasdegib (Daurismo) for use in people with acute myeloid leukemia aged 75 and older and those with health conditions that prevent them from receiving the intensive chemotherapy regimen that is the standard initial treatment.
- Whole- and Partial-Breast Radiation Effective at Preventing Breast Cancer from Returning
In women with early-stage breast cancer, two clinical trials have shown that both whole- and partial-breast radiation therapy are effective at preventing the cancer from returning after breast-conserving surgery.
- Drug Combination May Target the Unique Metabolism of Leukemia Stem Cells
Two new studies show how the drugs venetoclax (Venclexta) and azacitidine (Vidaza) team up to block the unique metabolism of leukemia stem cells and may explain why the drug combination is effective against acute myeloid leukemia.
- Targeted Treatment for Rare Digestive Tract Cancers May Extend Survival
In an early-phase trial, dabrafenib plus trametinib shrank tumors in patients with biliary tract cancer and adenocarcinoma of the small intestine whose tumors had a specific mutation in the BRAF gene.
- Tailored Radiation to Treat Brain Metastases Reduces Impact on Cognitive Function
Results from a clinical trial suggest that, in patients with brain metastases, an advanced radiotherapy technique limits harm to patients’ cognitive function without affecting the treatment’s effect on tumors.
- Olaparib after Initial Treatment Delays Ovarian Cancer Progression
In a recent trial, the PARP inhibitor olaparib substantially delayed ovarian cancer from coming back after the first line of chemotherapy. Could the findings change the standard of care for newly diagnosed ovarian cancer with a BRCA mutation?
- Immunotherapy Drug Cemiplimab Approved for Advanced Squamous Cell Skin Cancer
The Food and Drug Administration approved the immunotherapy drug cemiplimab (Libtayo) for an advanced form of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a common type of skin cancer. It is the first agent to be approved specifically for advanced SCC.
- Trial Results Highlight Changing Lung Cancer Treatment Landscape
Results from two large clinical trials should cement the value of the drugs brigatinib (Alunbrig) and durvalumab (Imfinzi) in treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The trial results, several experts said, confirm that the drugs can improve the outcomes of patients with advanced NSCLC.
- For Small Cell Lung Cancer, Immunotherapy Drug Finally Brings Improved Survival
In a large clinical trial, the immunotherapy drug atezolizumab (Tecentriq), combined with a standard chemotherapy regimen, modestly increased survival in patients with advanced small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The trial is the first in more than 20 years to show a survival improvement in this cancer.
- Stimulating the Immune System Shrinks Some Slow-Growing Lymphomas
In a small trial involving patients with slow-growing B-cell lymphoma, injecting the compound SD-101 directly into tumors (in situ vaccination) and giving low-dose radiation shrank the injected tumors and, frequently, tumors elsewhere in the body.
- Heart Problems: Investigating the Cardiac Side Effects of Cancer Treatments
Certain cancer treatments can damage the heart and the cardiovascular system, a problem known as cardiotoxicity. Cardiologists and oncologists met recently to discuss strategies and future research directions for addressing these side effects.
- Nivolumab and Ipilimumab Effective against Melanoma That Has Spread to the Brain
Results from a clinical trial show that the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) halted the growth of or shrank metastatic brain tumors in more than half of participants with melanoma that had spread to the brain.
- Moxetumomab Approved by FDA for Hairy Cell Leukemia
The FDA has approved moxetumomab pasudotox (Lumoxiti), a bacterial toxin–based drug, for the treatment of some patients with hairy cell leukemia (HCL). Moxetumomab is approved to treat patients with HCL who have already undergone at least two lines of standard treatments.
- Integrating Geriatric Assessment into Cancer Care: A Conversation with Dr. Supriya Mohile
Dr. Supriya Mohile discusses the unique issues experienced by older adults with cancer and efforts to incorporate geriatric assessment into patient care, including the publication of recent ASCO clinical guidelines on geriatric cancer care.
- High-Fat Diet or Diabetes Drug May Enhance Response to Targeted Cancer Drug
A study in mice may have identified a way to help overcome resistance to targeted cancer drugs known as PI3K inhibitors. The approach appears to work by reducing insulin levels in patients receiving these drugs.
- Aggressive Prostate Cancer Subtype More Common Than Expected
Researchers have found that men with advanced prostate cancer may be more likely than previously thought to develop a more aggressive form of the disease. The subtype, called t-SCNC, was linked with shorter survival than other subtypes.
- Developing Biomarkers for Immunotherapy: A Conversation with Drs. Magdalena Thurin and Helen Chen
NCI is supporting a new research network to develop biomarkers for cancer immunotherapy. In this interview, NCI’s Dr. Helen Chen and Magdalena Thurin explain the networks’ structure and its goals.
- FDA Alters Approved Use of Two Checkpoint Inhibitors for Bladder Cancer
FDA has changed the approved uses of the immunotherapy drugs pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq) to treat the most common form of bladder cancer. The change is based on whether patients’ tumors have a specific biomarker.
- Can Age Affect Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors?
A new study has linked age with how well patients with melanoma responded to treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Experiments in mice suggested that the response pattern may be due to an age-related shift in the kinds of immune cells in tumors.
- Altering Chemotherapy Improves Outcomes in Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer
Results from two clinical trials are expected to improve the outlook for some people with early-stage pancreatic cancer. Altering the chemotherapy drugs used and the timing of treatment substantially improved survival.
- Biosimilars for Cancer Emerge as Patents on Widely Used Biological Drugs Expire
As the patents on some widely used drugs to treat cancer expire in the coming years, biosimilar drugs are being developed for the treatment of patients with cancer. Are biosimilars effective and will they expand treatment options for patients?
- Trial Produces Practice-Changing Findings for Some Children, Young Adults with Leukemia
This NCI-funded Children’s Oncology Group trial tested the addition of nelarabine (Arranon) to standard treatment for children and young adults with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL).
- New Treatment Approach Could Help Prevent Recurrences of Some Bladder Cancers
Flushing the bladder with the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine after tumors have been removed surgically may reduce the risk of low-grade bladder cancer returning, according to the results of a large clinical trial.
- Experimental Cancer Drug Metarrestin Targets Metastatic Tumors
Researchers have struggled to develop therapies to treat tumors that have spread to other parts of the body. In a new study, researchers tested whether the experimental drug metarrestin can selectively shrink metastases in mouse models of aggressive pancreatic cancer.
- Can Immunotherapy Succeed in Glioblastoma?
Despite continued efforts to develop new therapies for glioblastoma, none have been able to improve how long patients live appreciably. Despite some setbacks, researchers are hopeful that immunotherapy might be able to succeed where other therapies have not.
- Some Children with Wilms Tumor Can Receive Less Therapy, Study Suggests
Results from an NCI-sponsored clinical trial may point to an important change in how some children with advanced Wilms tumor, a form of kidney cancer, are treated.
- Moving Beyond BMI: Low Muscle Mass May Affect Cancer Survival
Researchers compared the risk of death for women with breast cancer who had low skeletal muscle mass, or sarcopenia, at the time of their cancer diagnosis and women who had adequate muscle mass.
- Immunotherapy Drugs Expand Treatment Options for Advanced Lung Cancer
Results from a large clinical trial show combining an immune checkpoint inhibitor with chemotherapy helped some patients with advanced lung cancer live longer than chemotherapy alone. How will this change the lung cancer treatment landscape?
- Take with Food: Study Tests Lowering Dose of Prostate Cancer Drug
In a small clinical trial, researchers compared the efficacy of a much lower dose of the cancer drug abiraterone (Zytiga) taken with a low-fat breakfast with a full dose taken on an empty stomach, as directed on the drug’s label.
- Cancer Immunotherapy Drug Simultaneously Targets Two Proteins that Block Immune Response
Two independent groups of researchers have fused a TGF-beta receptor to a monoclonal antibody that targets a checkpoint protein. The result is a single hybrid molecule called a Y-trap that blocks two pathways used by tumors to evade the immune system.