Lung Cancer

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Double-drug strategy blocks escape route for most lung cancers

The tumors in the top three rows above were treated with
 current drugs, the bottom row tumors were treated with the
new combination. Image courtesy of UT Southwestern
CANCER DIGEST – April 14, 2018 – A combination two already FDA approved drugs appear to be effective in treating non-small lung cancer, at least in mice models that had human-derived tumors, researchers say. Because the two drugs are already approved, the researchers hope to have clinical trial in human approved within a year.

The two drugs include a class of drugs called EGFR inhibitors such as Erbitux®, Tarceva® and Iressa® and the class of TNF inhibitors such as Humira®, Enbrel® and Remicade®.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

New combination shows promise in advanced lung cancer

CANCER DIGEST – April 8, 2018 – A new combination therapy of using an immunotherapy drug, with a new and powerful immune stimulation drug, shows promise in patients whose advanced lung cancer has become resistant to other therapies, preliminary results of a clinical trial shows.

The study is the first time the immune stimulant has been combined with one of the new class of drugs, called checkpoint drugs such as nivolumab (OPDIVO®) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) according to study leaders Drs. John Wrangle, and Mark Rubinstein, PhD., of the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Newly approved breast cancer drug may work for lung cancer

This image shows autophagic vesicles containing
mutant K-Ras formed in the membrane of human
pancreatic cancer cells after exposure to neratinib –
Image courtesy VCU.
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 14, 2017 – Researchers have found that a recently approved breast cancer drug may block the action of a trio of cancer-causing genes, known as Ras, which are implicated in a number of other cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer.

The drug neratinib was designed to inhibit enzymes produced by two other genes, EGFR and HER2, which make enzymes that regulate cancer cell growth and resistance to chemotherapy. 

  0 commentsSaturday, July 29, 2017

Agent makes tumors glow for surgeons

CANCER DIGEST – July 29, 2017 – Using a combination of imaging technologies and an agent that makes tumors glow, surgeons identified and removed more cancerous nodules from lung cancer patients than they would have using preoperative PET scans alone, researchers report. 
The study by researchers at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania combined pre-operative PET scans with a molecular imaging technique during surgery using a contrast dye that is taken up by tumors and makes them glow. The glowing tumors are then easier for surgeons to see and remove. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Focused lung cancer screening cost-effective

CANCER DIGEST – June 30, 2017 – Focusing on high-risk people and expanding the scope to other tobacco-related diseases make lung-cancer screening programs cost-effective, researchers say.

In a cost-of-care-study Canadian researchers found that focusing on high-risk people could reduce the number of people who need to be screened by more than 80 percent, and calculated the cost of screening to be $20,724 (in 2015 Canadian dollars) per year of life saved; this means

Monday, October 17, 2016

Blood tests can cut time between diagnosis and treatment

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 17, 2016 – Patients at high risk for lung cancer who have a blood test to identify certain genetic mutations known to play a role in development different types of lung cancer can sharply reduce the time needed to decide on a treatment and start treatment once they are diagnosed with lung cancer, a new study suggests.

Early results of the study will be presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, in Los Angeles Oct. 26, ahead of publication in the journal CHEST

Monday, December 14, 2015

FDA approves new drug for sub-type of non-small cell lung cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 14, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Alecensa (alectinib) to treat people with specific form of non-small cell lung cancer.

The Dec. 11 approval was for non-small cell lung tumors that have a mutation in the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene, which is present in several types of cancer in addition to about 5 percent of non-small cell lung cancers. The approval is for treatment in patients whose disease has worsened after treatment with a drug called Xalkori (crizotinib), or who could not tolerate it.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

New targeted therapy improves lung cancer survival

Image courtesy NCI
CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 10, 2015 – The world’s largest clinical trial comparing two targeted therapies for a form of advanced non-small cell lung cancer has found that a newer medication called afatinib decreased the risk of cancer progression and the risk of death by 19 percent compared to an older therapy called erlotinib. 

The type of non-small cell cancer studied is called squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, and begins in the tissue that lines the air passages in the lungs, most often located in the larger airways that join the lungs to the trachea or windpipe.

Circulating tumor DNA can be used to tailor treatment

CANCER DIGEST – April 17, 2015 – Cancer DNA circulating in the bloodstream of lung cancer patients can provide doctors with vital mutation information that can help optimize treatment when tumor tissue is not available, an international group of researchers has reported at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The results have important implications for the use of cancer therapies that target specific cancer mutations, explains Dr Martin Reck from the Department of Thoracic Oncology at Lung Clinic Grosshansdorf, Germany, who presented the findings at the conference.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Men’s midlife fitness linked to lower risk of cancer and death

CANCER DIGEST – Mar. 26, 2015 – Men who exercise and stay fit, especially in midlife, could be lowering their risk of lung cancer and colorectal cancer, but not prostate cancer, researchers say. Before you say two out of three isn’t bad, while fitness didn’t protect against getting prostate cancer fit men appear to be less likely to die of the disease.

Led by Dr. Susan Lakoski of the University of Vermont, Burlington, the researchers looked at Medicare data from 1999 to 2009 for a link between midlife cardiorespiratory fitness and cancer and survival following a cancer diagnosis at the Medicare age of 65 or older. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Low-dose CT screening for lung cancer to be covered by Medicare

Licensed use - copyright Sebastian Kaulitzki
CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 5, 2015 – Lung cancer screening using low-dose CT scans will be covered by Medicare, which is good news for many older Americans who are at high risk for lung cancer. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its final coverage determination today. Medicare will now cover lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans once per year for Medicare beneficiaries who meet all the following criteria:

 Saturday, December 13, 2014

FDA expands approval of Cyramza to non-small cell lung cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 13, 2014 – The FDA today expanded the approved use of Cyramza® (ramucirumab) to treat patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Marketed by Eli Lily, Cyramza works by blocking the blood supply that fuels tumor growth. The drug is intended for NSCLC patients whose tumors have grown (progressed) during or following treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy, and it is to be used in combination with docetaxel, another type of chemotherapy.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Advances in chemo have lengthened non-small cell lung cancer survival

YouTube courtesy The Oncology Channel spon-
sored by Boehringer Ingelheim
CANCER DIGEST – July 21, 2014 – Patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer survived significantly longer when treated with second and third line chemotherapy compared to patients who did not receive any chemotherapy, a new analysis of patient survival shows.

The researchers from the British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada analyzed 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Question about lung cancer screening decision answered

Joshua Roth, PhD, MHA
CANCER DIGEST – May 14, 2014 – Two weeks ago lung cancer experts were left with more questions than answers when a Medicare advisory panel recommended against using CT scanning for lung cancer screening, citing not enough evidence. That  ran contrary to evidence of a large study showing such screening resulted in a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer deaths for people at high risk of the disease. Today a mathematical model of the screening program pegged the increased cost to Medicare at $9.3 billion over the next five years with approximately $5.6 billion more spent on low-dose CT imaging, $1.1 billion for diagnostic workups, and $2.6 billion more in cancer care expenditures.The study led by Dr. Joshua Roth of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, was summarized in a press release ahead of presentation at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago at the end of May.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Medicare panel shocks lung cancer experts by CT screening decision

YouTube comment on USPTF from MD
Anderson – Aug. 2, 2013
MEDPAGE TODAY – May 1, 2014 – An advisory panel has recommended against Medicare coverage of CT scans to screen for lung cancer. The vote caught specialists in heart and lung disease who had made presentations before the panel by surprise. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid panel apparently did not find the evidence of the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial compelling enough to recommend coverage. That runs contrary to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which endorsed annual screening with low-dose CT scans for people at high-risk for lung cancer last December based on the trial’s data showing a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer deaths and 7 percent boost in survival overall for high-risk patients.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

FDA approves Zykadia for late-stage lung cancer

CANCER DIGEST – April 29, 2014 – The U.S. FDA today granted accelerated approval to Zykadia (ceritinib) for patients with a certain type of late-stage (metastatic) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The approval covers patients with tumors that overexpress anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and have progressed during or after treatment with crizotinib (Xalkori). Zykadia was shown to be highly active in these so called, ALK-rearranged non-small cell lung cancers. Its safety and effectiveness were established in a clinical trial of 163 participants with metastatic ALK-positive NSCLC. All participants were treated with Zykadia. Results showed that about half of the participants had their tumors shrink, and this effect lasted an average of about seven months. Although NSCLC accounts for about 85 percent of lung cancer, the ALK-positive subset makes up 2 percent to 7 percent of NSCLC. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lung cancer vaccine a dry hole for GlaxoSmithKline 

REUTERS – April 2, 2014 – British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline announced that it has stopped its clinical trial of a immunotherapy vaccine for non-small cell lung cancer. The study comparing MAGE-A3 to standard therapy failed to show a significant benefit to people with the disease. The researchers are continuing to look for an effect of the drug on a subgroup of patients with a particular genetic make-up. The drug had previously failed to provide improvement in a clinical trial of melanoma patients.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Drug resistant lung cancer responds to new drug

HEALTH DAY – Mar. 26, 2014 – An early trial of an experimental lung cancer drug halted or shrank tumors in 58 percent of the 59 people treated. This response rate indicates the drug is highly active in patients with a specific type of advanced non-small cell lung cancer called, ALK-rearranged NSCLC. The result is encouraging for the drug’s maker and trial sponsor, Novartis, but it is not an indication of effectiveness. The objective of the trial is to determine the safety of the oral drug, ceritinib, and the optimal dose needed for further trials. Some of the patients in the study had previously been treated with another ALK-targeted drug called, crizotinib. The early results were published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

Smokers still unable to quit using e-cigarettes 

MEDPAGE TODAY – Mar. 24, 2014 – An analysis of 949 smokers in a nationally representative panel followed from 2011 through 2012 showed that e-cigarette use made little difference in helping smokers quit or even smoke fewer tobacco cigarettes. The analysis was based on data from a online market research firm Knowledge Networks (now GfK). The study was published in theJAMA Internal Medicine. The results add to similar results of earlier studies.

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Federal task force gives thumbs up for CT screens for lung cancer

July 29, 2013 – ROCKVILLE, MD – Smokers got a double boost today in heading off their risk of dying from lung cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a panel of experts who examine the value of a variety of screening methods and the guidelines for using them, gave a thumbs up to using a yearly CT scan to screen for lung cancers.

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