The Lynx Group

October 2019, Vol 10, No 5

San Diego, CA—Great progress has been made in the fight against cancer, but not all patients have benefited equally. Disparities exist among specific populations in terms of survival and cancer-related mortality, incidence and prevalence, as well as adverse health conditions, according to Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD, Director, Office of Cancer Health Equity, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Center, Winston-Salem, NC. Dr Winkfield discussed the topic at the 2019 ASCO Quality Care Symposium.
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On July 30, 2019, the FDA approved darolutamide (Nubeqa; Bayer HealthCare), an oral androgen receptor inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). This approval was based on a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial known as ARAMIS. The FDA granted this application priority review.
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San Francisco, CA—The increasing rate of infection with the human papilloma­virus (HPV) in the United States has changed the field of head and neck cancer, or oral cancer, and HPV infection now causes a growing majority (70%-90%) of oropharyngeal squamous-cell carcinomas. As its incidence is rising, so is patients’ curiosity about what sets this cancer apart from other malignancies.
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Barcelona, Spain—Late-breaking data from 2 clinical trials presented at ESMO 2019 will likely change the treatment paradigm for pre- or postmenopausal women with hormone receptor (HR)-­positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, regardless of menopausal status. The MONALEESA-3 study and the MONARCH-2 study showed an improved overall survival (OS) with the addition of the CDK4/6 inhibitor ribociclib (Kisqali) or abemaciclib (Verzenio) to endocrine therapy as first- or second-line therapy. The results were presented at the Presidential Session of the meeting.
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On August 15, 2019, the FDA accelerated the approval of entrectinib (Rozlytrek; Genentech), an oral kinase inhibitor, for the treatment of adults and adolescents whose cancer involves neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) gene fusion that has no effective treatments. The FDA granted entrectinib a priority review and breakthrough therapy and orphan drug designations. This is the third cancer drug approved by the FDA based on a common biomarker and the second drug for patients with NTRK gene fusion.
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On August 16, 2019, the FDA approved fedratinib (Inrebic; Celgene/Impact Biomedicines), an oral kinase inhibitor, for adults with intermediate-2 or high-risk primary or secondary—post–polycythemia vera (PV) or post–essential thrombocythemia (ET)—myelofibrosis, a rare bone marrow disorder. The FDA granted fedratinib priority review and an orphan drug designation.
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On August 2, 2019, the FDA approved pexidartinib (Turalio; Daiichi Sankyo) capsules, a kinase inhibitor, for adults with symptomatic tenosynovial giant-cell tumor (TGCT), which is associated with severe morbidity or functional limitations, who are not candidates for surgery. Pexidartinib is the first systemic therapy approved for patients with TGCT. The FDA granted pexidartinib a priority review and breakthrough therapy and orphan drug designations.
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On September 17, 2019, the FDA approved a new indication for apalu­tamide (Erleada; Janssen Biotech) for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer (CSPC). Apalutamide was initially approved in 2018 for the treatment of nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The FDA granted apalutamide priority review for the new indication.
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On September 17, 2019, the FDA accelerated the approval of a new combination of pembrolizumab (Keytruda; Merck) plus lenvatinib (Lenvima; Eisai) for patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma that is not associated with microsatellite instability high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair–deficient (dMMR) tumors in patients whose disease progressed after systemic therapy and who are candidates for curative surgery or radiation. The FDA granted this application priority review and a breakthrough therapy designation.
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On September 26, 2019, the FDA approved daratumumab (Darzalex; Janssen Biotech), in combination with bortezomib (Velcade), thalidomide (Thalomid), and dexamethasone, for first-line treatment of multiple myeloma in patients eligible for autologous stem-cell transplant (ASCT). In June 2019, the FDA approved the combination of daratumumab plus lenalidomide (Revlimid) and dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for ASCT. The FDA granted this application a priority review.
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