After a long lull on the targeted therapies front – outside of EGFR T790M in lung cancer – this year’s ASCO has plenty to be cheerful about with new data across multiple tumour types. We can’t cover them all here, but more will be discussed in the Daily Live Blogs starting on Saturday.
Which drugs are going to be in roaring back after a quiet period? Which ones will be having a more muted meeting?
For those of you who are working in the targeting therapy world, take heart, there is a future beyond cancer immunotherapy; it is not the universal panacea and will likely not cure every cancer, at least for now.
There’s still a market opportunity for targeted therapies in cancer, and as we mentioned in yesterday’s ASCO Preview, there is also potential for the combination of targeted therapies with immunotherapies, so long as the combined toxicity is manageable and doesn’t outweigh the benefits.
In this post we’re looking at a selection of targeted therapies in a variety of tumour types. There’s a lot to choose from at ASCO this year.
Here’s a few we think are worth highlighting upfront.
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Over the last decade we have seen some real progress with some subsets of lung cancer, particularly in EGFR mutated and ALK translocated tumours. Indeed, an incredible amount of translational work has emanated from just a few groups based in Boston, New York and Hong Kong.
Dr Jeff Engelman Source: MGH
At AACR earlier this year, Dr Jeffrey Engelman (MGH, Boston) gave a fantastic talk not just about heterogeneity, resistance mechanisms, but also on how lung cancer can transform. Included in his review was the role of biospies and how he sees those evolving.
I’ve been meaning to write up this important talk since April, but decided to wait until the key publications that were in press at the time were actually published – it was a longer wait than expected!
In general, it is our policy to write up published, rather than unpublished data, out of respect to researchers. It also makes it more useful to readers when the translational and clinical data is publicly available for those interested in reading the in-depth research articles. We also gathered commentary from other though leaders in the lung cancer space for some additional insights.
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With the sheer breadth and depth of immuno-oncology data being presented at even the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), several readers were prompted to write in and ask:
“Is this the end of the road for TKI therapies? Should we even bother to continue working on these agents?”
There was actually quite a bit of interesting data on regular novel targeted therapy to discuss, although I do concede that much of the mass media news focusing on the immuno-oncology tsunami in Philadelphia effectively drowned out targeted therapies and the results coming out in that space.
To maintain the balance between novel targeted agents and immunotherapy, here’s a review of some of the interesting new developments that I came across at AACR, from both the poster halls, as well as some of the thought leaders in this space.
When you stack up the emerging evidence in several tumour subsets, there are quite a few tasty morsels that are worthy of further discussion!
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