Value-Based Cancer Care Issues


June 2017, Vol 8, No 3

ASCO Annual Report 2017: Immunotherapy 2.0 Advance of the Year

Eileen Koutnik-Fotopoulos

Value in Oncology

Advances in immunotherapy are benefiting increasing numbers of patients living with cancer. Since 2011, the FDA approved 15 immunotherapies in oncology, including 5 immunotherapy drugs in 2016. This surge of progress using cancer immunotherapy has led the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to name “Immunotherapy 2.0” as its cancer advance of the year for a second year in a row. [ Read More ]

Longest Follow-Up in Patients with NSCLC Who Responded to Immunotherapy with Nivolumab

Phoebe Starr

Immunotherapy

Washington, DC—In the longest follow-up on single-agent nivolumab (Opdivo) to date, 5-year overall survival was 16% in patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the updated results of a phase 1b dose-ranging study (CA209-003). This represents a quadrupling of 5-year overall survival with standard platinum doublets, which is approximately 4% for patients with metastatic NSCLC. [ Read More ]

FDA News – June 2017

FDA News & Updates

  • Keytruda First Cancer Drug Approved for Any Solid Tumor Based on a Biomarker Instead of Tumor Site
  • Imfinzi a New PD-L1 Approved for Bladder Cancer After Platinum-Based Chemotherapy
  • Alunbrig, an Oral Kinase Inhibitor, Receives FDA Approval for NSCLC with ALK Mutation
  • Rydapt First Drug in Decades Approved by the FDA for Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Stivarga First Drug in a Decade Approved by the FDA for Liver Cancer
  • Atezolizumab Approved as First-Line Treatment for Advanced Bladder Cancer in Some Patients
  • Tagrisso Receives Full Approval for NSCLC with EGFR T790M Mutation
  • Zejula a New Maintenance Treatment Option for Recurrent Epithelial Ovarian Cancer, Fallopian Tube Cancer, or Primary Peritoneal Cancer
  • Bavencio, a PD-L1 Inhibitor, First Nonchemotherapy Drug Approved for Merkel-Cell Carcinoma
[ Read More ]

Atezolizumab plus Bevacizumab Combo Shows Promise in Patients with Metastatic Kidney Cancer

Phoebe Starr

Immunotherapy

Orlando, FL—Atezolizumab plus bevacizumab showed encouraging responses as a first-line treatment of metastatic renal-cell carcinoma in a phase 2 trial. Although the trial failed to meet its primary end point of significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) compared with sunitinib, the combination did reduce the risk for death or disease progression by 36% in patients with elevated PD ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression. The median PFS was almost double in the PD-L1–positive group with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sunitinib (14.7 months vs 7.8 months, respectively). [ Read More ]

Adding Indoximod to Pembrolizumab Boosts Immune Response in Melanoma

Phoebe Starr

Immunotherapy

Washington, DC—Adding the investigational drug indoximod, an indole­amine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) pathway inhibitor, to the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) led to higher response rates in patients with advanced melanoma than what is reported with pembrolizumab monotherapy, said lead investigator Yousef Zakharia, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Hema­tology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation, University of Iowa, Iowa City, at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research meeting. [ Read More ]

Immunotherapy-Related Adverse Reactions: Grading of Symptoms Key to Appropriate Management

Wayne Kuznar

Immunotherapy

Orlando, FL—Enthusiasm for immunotherapy in the treatment of cancer must be balanced with a healthy respect for the power of T-cell activation. Autoimmunity is recognized as an effect of prolonged T-cell activation via PD-1/PD ligand 1 inhibition. Although immune-­related adverse events are generally easily managed, they occasionally can be fatal and therefore should be managed without delay, said Stephanie Andrews, MS, ANP-BC, a hospitalist specializing in medical oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, at the 2017 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) annual conference. [ Read More ]

Excellent Responses to Atezolizumab in Small Subset of Women with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Phoebe Starr

Breast Cancer

Washington, DC—Preliminary data show excellent and durable responses to atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in 10% of women with triple-negative breast cancer, one of the most aggressive and difficult-to-treat cancers. Of the responders to atezolizu­mab, 100% were alive at 1 year compared with only 38% of nonresponders. The trick will be to identify which women will respond to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Thus far, no biomarkers for response have been identified. [ Read More ]

PV-10 Therapy Shows Promise for Hepatic Tumors

Walter Alexander

Emerging Therapies

Hollywood, FL—A basket study of the oncolytic immunotherapy PV-10 (10% Rose Bengal disodium for injection), which included patients with tumors originating in various locations, showed that data for gastrointestinal lesions were especially encouraging, reported Paul M. Goldfarb, MD, FACS, a surgeon at Oncology Associates of San Diego, CA, at the 2017 Clinical Interventional Oncology annual symposium. [ Read More ]

Letermovir Prophylaxis After Transplant for Cytomegalovirus

Wayne Kuznar

Emerging Therapies

Orlando, FL—Prophylaxis with letermovir beginning after hematopoietic-­cell transplantation (HCT) and lasting through 100 days reduced the risk for clinically significant cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. Furthermore, letermovir was associated with lower all-cause mortality compared with placebo, reported Francisco M. Marty, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, at the 2017 BMT Tandem Meetings. [ Read More ]