August 2018 Vol 11, Special Issue

Interest in personalizing medicine in oncology is growing, so the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) titled its theme for the 2018 presidential address at the annual meeting, "Delivering Discoveries: Expanding the Reach of Precision Medicine."
Lisocabtagene maraleucel (liso-cel), an investigational CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, has induced durable responses in high-risk patients with ag­gressive relapsed or refractory non-Hodg­kin lymphoma (NHL), according to data presented at ASCO 2018.
One of the most important stud­­­ies presented at ASCO 2018 showed that endocrine therapy alone was noninferior to endocrine therapy plus chemotherapy in women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, HER2-­negative, node-negative early-stage breast cancer and an intermediate risk score (score, 11-25) on the Oncotype DX gene-expression assay for breast cancer.
A new retrospective analysis presented at ASCO 2018 lends support to precision medicine in cancer. In the Initiative for Molecular Profiling and Advanced Cancer Therapy (IMPACT) clinical trial, selecting a targeted therapy based on patients' tumor molecular analyses independently predicted longer overall survival (OS) compared with nonmatched therapy across a diverse set of advanced tumor types. Apostolia Maria Tsimberidou, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, presented the study results.
A novel drug is showing significant promise in metastatic breast cancers, offering renewed hope to patients with late-stage, difficult-to-treat solid tumors. According to data presented at ASCO 2018, sacituzumab govitecan demonstrated significant clinical activity as a single agent in heavily pretreated patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer.
The current standard of care for women with early, HER2-positive breast cancer is 12 months of trastuzumab (Herceptin). Analysis of the phase 3 randomized clinical trial PERSEPHONE showed that 6 months of treatment with trastuzumab was noninferior to 12 months in terms of disease-free survival. Furthermore, a shorter course of trastuzumab was associated with a 50% reduction in cardiotoxicity leading to cessation of therapy.
Immunotherapy combinations are being studied intensively to determine which combinations hold the most promise in specific cancer types. At ASCO 2018, the session "Compelling Combinations: Raising the Bar with Immunotherapy," which featured 3 new studies that explore chemotherapy plus immunotherapy, got high marks from lead investigator Si­by­lle Loibl, MD, PhD, Co-chair of the German Breast Group, Neu-Isenburg, Germany, who discussed the results: durvalumab (Imfinzi) plus anthracycline/taxane chemotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer, pembrolizumab (Keytruda) plus chemotherapy in metastatic squamous non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and the poly (ADP ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor niraparib (Zejula) plus immunotherapy with pembrolizumab for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
The second-generation chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy bb2121, engineered to target B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA), a protein on the surface of certain myeloma cells, displayed continuing efficacy and safety in an update of a phase 1 clinical trial in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, according to data presented at ASCO 2018. Currently, no CAR T-cell therapy has been approved for patients with multiple myeloma.
Early results from a study of genomewide sequencing support the promise of using plasma cell–free DNA (cfDNA) to develop an early cancer detection test with high specificity, said Geoffrey R. Oxnard, MD, Thoracic Oncologist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, at ASCO 2018.
This section provides a brief overview of new cancer drugs or new indications approved by the FDA between May 1 and June 13, 2018.
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  •  Association for Value-Based Cancer Care
  • Value-Based Cancer Care
  • Value-Based Care in Rheumatology
  • Oncology Practice Management
  • Rheumatology Practice Management
  • Urology Practice Management
  • Inside Patient Care: Pharmacy & Clinic
  • Lynx CME