Biotech Strategy Blog

Commentary on Science, Innovation & New Products with a focus on Oncology, Hematology & Cancer Immunotherapy

Posts tagged ‘ESMO 2014’

Adenocarcinoma associated with gastric (stomach) cancer is more common in Asian than North America people and tends to occur in men over 40. Risk factors include smoking, H. pylori, and diet. Asian countries also tend to have larger amounts of smoked foods, salted fish and meat, and pickled vegetables in their diet. Nitrates and nitrites are substances commonly found in cured meats and can be converted by bacteria, such as H. pylori, into compounds that have been shown to cause stomach cancer in animals.

According to the NIH cancer statistics, it was estimated that there would be approximately 22,000 new cases in the US in 2014 and 11,000 deaths.

Treatment of advanced gastric cancer typically involves chemotherapy, or in cases where the patient is HER2+, with the monoclonal antibody, trastuzumab (Herceptin).

Numerous trials with EGFR inhibitors and also multi-kinase blockers have unfortunately proven fruitless and largely negative, with the exception of ramucirumab (Cyramza), a VEGF antibody, which was approved earlier this year for the treatment of both gastric and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma by the FDA.

At the recent ESMO conference in Madrid, initial results from several early studies were presented on gastric cancer, with vastly different results. In this post, we take a deeper look at the new data, including the novel checkpoint inhibitors, and where R&D might be heading in this dynamic space.

To learn more about this exciting new development with checkpoint inhibitors and where future trials in this space might be headed, subscribers can sign in or you can sign up by clicking the blue button below.

It’s a while since we discussed ALK+ lung cancer, but with new data coming out at ESMO last week, this is a good time to take stock and see what’s happening with the next generation inhibitors in a post crizotinib (Xalkori) world. These include ceritinib (Zykadia), alectinib and Ariad’s AP26113, which just received Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the FDA.

At ESMO two years ago in Milan, it was quite clear in a dedicated ALK session that these agents not only looked very promising, but were also likely to be fast tracked to market in patients with crizotinib resistance. All are more potent (based on the IC50) than crizotinib, while some target point mutations associated with crizotinib resistance and others have activity in patients with brain metastases, which is one of the common causes of progressive disease with crizotinib.

Today’s post is a long and meaty one – it not only covers data that was presented at the meeting, but also offers a glimpse into the changing ALK landscape.

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One of my favourite sessions at any cancer conference is the science symposia, although they go under many different guises and names. At the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) they are known as Special Symposia and conceptually are very similar to Clinical Science Symposia at ASCO.

ESMO 2014Here at these sessions, top thought leaders in the space debate and lecture on key issues of the day. They’re usually packed with information and are well worth attending, even in a hectic schedule.

Interestingly, immuno-oncology has a dominant focus on the program for the first time since I’ve been attending ECCO/ESMO events over the last dozen years or so, demonstrating how quickly it is being assimilated into the scientific and clinical consciousness.  Years ago, I attended a session on autologous cell therapies (ACT) and there were maybe a handful of us in the room.  In Madrid, I doubt if there will be 12 empty seats in the theatre and it will probably be what Pharmaland calls SRO – standing room only.

So what can we learn from the announced sessions this year?

To learn more about our insights and thoughts, you can sign in or sign up below to read this review.

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Yesterday, the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) released the abstracts to the poster and poster discussion sessions.  This preview will be quite long by nature of it being the first time we get a look at the topline details behind some of the key sessions and their abstracts for both immunotherapies (especially checkpoint inhibitors) and targeted therapies.  This includes posters and their discussion sessions, plus poster late breaking poster titles.

For reference, you can find the ESMO 2014 poster and poster discussion abstracts can be found here.

In addition, there appears to be some pretty cool presentations in the Special Symposia, which are rather like ASCO scientific symposia and contain a lot of useful information and often strategic ideas about where thought leaders see hot topics going in the future.  This can be very helpful in learning about possibilities for new clinical trials ahead of time. As we focus on the poster highlights today, do check back tomorrow for a detailed look at the scientific symposia.

Premium subscribers and those interested in signing up for our Conference Coverage service can sign in below to access our latest insights from the ESMO 2014 meeting.

Our latest European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2014 conference preview takes a look at some of the key immunotherapy sessions and presentations that look interesting in Madrid.

Based on a detailed look at the online program, some abstracts are clearly a re-hash of the ASCO data for a European audience, yet there are clearly some new topics and data being presented too.

As companies begin to ramp up development with data emerging from phase I to III trials across a gamut of different tumour types, things start to get very interesting indeed.  Let’s not also forget the importance of science and translational work, particularly in understanding the tumour microenvironment and how the immune system can impact that in many ways.

Companies mentioned: BMS, Merck, Roche/Genentech, Biothera
Drugs mentioned: ipilimumab, nivolumab, pembrolizumab, MPDL3280A, Imprime PGG

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The 2014 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) will take place in Madrid from September 26 to 30th, and it’s exciting to see details of the meeting start to emerge.

The theme this year is “Precision Medicine in Cancer Care.”

ESMO 2014 Congress Madrid

This conference is the European equivalent of the ASCO annual meeting in Chicago and alternates annually between ESMO and the European CanCer Organization (ECCO) in terms of hosting and organisation.

ESMO Tweets

The Twitter hashtag this year is #ESMO14, one that’s easy to remember, instantly recognizable and short to use!

Do follow @myESMO for latest Congress news if you are not already doing so. A searchable program is now available online. Link to ESMO 2014 Congress Program.

ESMO has already highlighted some presentations and sessions of interest to the media, but we will be waiting until the abstracts to make our own independent selection and reviews will follow on these.

One of the advantages of the ESMO meeting is the August 20th late-breaking abstract deadline.

Given the ASCO deadline is early in the year, this means the meeting has the opportunity for some exciting late-breaking data to be presented. I’m hoping we will see some exciting new immuno-oncology data as the field is moving forward rapidly

Abstract Publication Dates 

In terms of dates for your diary when abstracts will be publicly available online:

Wed Sept 17: Poster Discussion and Posters

Wed Sept 24: Proffered Papers (oral presentations)

Late-breaking abstracts: beginning of session when they will be presented

Abstracts in Press Conference: at end of press conf or beginning of session in which they are presented, whichever comes first.

I think it’s right that late-breaking scientific data should not be made public until the same time as it’s presented at the Congress.

ESMO 2014 Live Blog

After it’s success at ASCO, we’ll be publishing a live blog for subscribers on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Congress. You can find our coverage on the dedicated ESMO14 blog page.

ESMO 2014 already looks like it will be an exciting and interesting Congress. If any subscribers have plans to be in Madrid do let us know. We look forward to saying “hello” over a glass of jerez or two….

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