Kantar Health Blog

  • The Next Showdown in BRAF-Mutant Melanoma

    by Stephanie Hawthorne | Sep 30, 2013
    Stephanie Hawthorne
    Oncology Conference Insight: ECC 2013 --- The melanoma field exploded two years ago, with the 2011 and 2012 approvals of Yervoy® (ipilimumab, Bristol-Myers Squibb) and Zelboraf® (vemurafenib, Genentech/Roche/Daiichi Sankyo). The approval of Zelboraf also ushered in the era of personalized medicine in melanoma, effectively segmenting the market in half – those patients with BRAF V600E mutation (approximately 44% of patients), and those without. In May 2013, the field expanded again following the FDA approvals of Tafinlar® (dabrafenib, GlaxoSmithKline) and Mekinist® (trametinib, GlaxoSmithKline), and one month later the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval of Tafinlar, for treatment of BRAF-mutant unresectable or metastatic melanoma.
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  • Stephanie Hawthorne
    Oncology Conference Insight: ECC 2013 --- Two late-breaking abstracts during the colorectal cancer sessions at the 2013 European Cancer Congress were centered on the anti-EGFR therapies Erbitux® (cetuximab, Bristol-Myers Squibb/Eli Lilly/Merck KGaA) and Vectibix® (panitumumab, Amgen/Takeda). Although the data probably won’t immediately change clinical practice, questions continue to arise. If answered favorably, these therapies could conceivably be utilized more strongly in KRAS wild-type patients.
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  • Stephanie Hawthorne
    Oncology Conference Insight: ASCO 2013 --- Glioblastoma has an angiogenic component, as the disease manifests itself as a focal lesion with central necrosis surrounded by an angiogenic tumor rim . Genentech and Roche took advantage of this with the data from the phase II BRAIN study (AVF3708g), which suggested that single-agent Avastin® (bevacizumab) was active, with a six-month PFS rate of 42.6% and was slightly higher (50.3%) in combination with irinotecan.
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  • Stephanie Hawthorne
    Oncology Conference Insight: ASCO 2013 --- The role of Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) in suppression of antitumor immunity was one of the hottest topics at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting and excitement around this topic has only intensified at ASCO 2013 as this story continues to unfold. PD-1 is a key immune checkpoint receptor expressed on activated T-cells and binding of PD-1 to its ligand, PD-L1, results in suppression of the immune response.
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  • Stephanie Hawthorne
    Oncology Conference Insight: ASCO 2013 --- Although first-line combination chemotherapy with a platinum (carboplatin or cisplatin) plus a taxane (primarily paclitaxel) is very successful at producing high response rates in first-line advanced ovarian cancer patients, the vast majority (up to 70%1) of these patients still experience a recurrence. Based on this high unmet need to extend progression free survival (PFS) in these first-line patients, maintenance therapy in now utilized in some advanced ovarian cancer patients.
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