Philadelphia – the 2015 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is in full swing, with over 18,000 attendees, it’s probably the world’s largest meeting dedicated to cancer research. The theme is “Bringing Cancer Discoveries to Patients.”
I challenge anyone not to attend, and come away inspired with new ideas on how the field of cancer research will evolve in coming years.
At this year’s annual meeting, not surprisingly, cancer immunotherapy is one of the hot topics. Yesterday there was the simultaneous publication of two papers in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) to coincide with data presented at the meeting.
The conclusion of the paper by Edward B. Garon, MD (UCLA) et al was that:
Pembrolizumab had an acceptable side-effect profile and showed antitumor activity in patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer. PD-L1 expression in at least 50% of tumor cells correlated with improved efficacy of pembrolizumab.
The other paper published in the NEJM was for:
The conclusion of the paper by Caroline Robert, MD PhD, presented at AACR by Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D.(UCLA) was:
The anti–PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab prolonged progression-free survival and overall survival and had less high-grade toxicity than did ipilimumab in patients with advanced melanoma.
Dr Ribas (left) and Dr Garon (right) are pictured at an AACR media briefing chaired by Dr Suzanne Topalian (Johns Hopkins).
This year’s AACR annual meeting is to paraphrase Bertrand Tombal, “a Grand Cru year”. Not only in cancer immunotherapy, but in metabolism, epigenetics and advances in drug discovery.
We’re excited about the prospect of another three days at the meeting, but in the meantime in this post there’s some top-line thoughts for subscribers on some of the data that caught our attention over the weekend.