Emerging Therapies

San Diego, CA—Immunotherapy, especially chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, and targeted agents continue to dominate the pipeline of therapies for hematologic malignancies. The following agents are some of the main drugs showing promising results that are under investigation and were featured at the 2016 American Society of Hematology meeting.
San Diego, CA—Adding the investigational smoothened (SMO) receptor inhibitor glasdegib to low-dose cytarabine (Depo­Cyt) significantly increased overall survival (OS) compared with low-dose cytarabine monotherapy in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) who were ineligible for intensive chemotherapy, according to a phase 2 study presented by Jorge E. Cortes, MD, Department of Leukemia, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, at the 2016 American Society of Hematology meeting.
San Diego, CA—Approximately 33% of patients with newly diagnosed, higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) attained complete responses with the novel hypomethylating agent guadecitabine, according to results of a phase 2 study reported by Guillermo Montalban-Bravo, MD, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, at the 2016 American Society of Hematology meeting.
Washington, DC—The oncology pipeline is bustling and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, said Anita Dopkosky, RPh, MS, Director, National Accounts, Walgreens, Pittsburgh, PA, at the Sixth Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care. She provided an overview of key drugs in the oncology pipeline.

The first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate rovalpituzumab tesirine (Rova-T) may be a new treatment option for patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), which has a very poor prognosis and few treatment options. Rova-T is particularly promising in SCLC tumors that overexpress the delta-like (DLL) 3 protein, according to first-in-human study results presented at ASCO 2016.

Oral and poster presentations of several promising agents in early- and late-phase clinical trials dotted the program at ASCO 2016. The presentations included studies with positive findings associated with many investigational therapies, including first-in-class therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells for the treatment of patients with B-cell malignancies or acute myeloid leukemia (AML); a vaccine (galinpepimut-S) for the treatment of patients with AML; and a chimeric monoclonal antibody against claudin 18.2 for the treatment of patients with advanced gastric cancers.

The addition of venetoclax, an oral selective small-molecule BCL-2 inhibitor, to bortezomib and dexamethasone resulted in impressive response rates in a phase 1b trial of patients with heavily pretreated relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, said Cyrille Touzeau, MD, of Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nantes, France, who presented the trial’s results at ASCO 2016.

When added to standard chemotherapy, IMAB362, a chimeric monoclonal antibody against the claudin 18.2 protein, reduced the risks for disease progression and death by 50% compared with standard chemotherapy alone as first-line treatment for patients with advanced or recurrent gastric cancer and gastroesophageal junction carcinomas, according to data presented at ASCO 2016.

Short-course (hypofractionated) radiotherapy plus concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide therapy significantly prolonged survival versus short-course radiotherapy alone in elderly patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. These results of a global cooperative group phase 3 clinical trial were 1 of 4 presentations selected for the plenary session at ASCO 2016.

Serial vaccination with galinpepimut-S induces immunologic responses in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who are in remission. Disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) improved in patients with AML who had an immune response to galinpepimut-S, according to data from a phase 2 trial of galinpepimut-S that were presented at ASCO 2016.

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