Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘bladder cancer’

San Francisco!

San Francisco – It’s time to switch horses for some the latest conference coverage and explore some important new findings emerging from the genitourinary world of bladder, prostate, and renal cell cancers at the ASCOGU specialist meeting held late last week.

Not that many years ago, much of this niche was dominated by numerous updates in prostate cancer, with little good cheer to write about on the other two cancers – how things have changed in such a short time!

This year there’s plenty going on in all three categories, I’m pleased to say.

Here we focus on several important trials or targets and explain why they matter and what’s significant about the findings…

Some of the agents or trials selected here are likely to receive more attention going forward as more data become available, so it behooves us to set the scene now.

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Gah, if only we hadn’t enrolled allcomers in our study, the differences would have been so much bigger!

Barcelona – This is the day when many people get absolutely walloped by exhaustion at ESMO even after three double espressos – if you’re still going strong then I commend your stamina and fortitude!

This is a big day for several companies with important phase 3 trial readouts due to be presented at the conference today.

One in particular is the phase 3 PROfound trial exploring the role of the PARP inhibitor, olaparib, in HRD+ advanced prostate cancer.

Beyond the top line findings (the PFS endpoint was met) there are a LOT of subtleties and nuances to consider so we have an analysis to share of some of the pitfalls and potential issues that may be missed in the hurly burly and noise.

Are you ready?

There’s a lot to think about today, not just in PROfound, but also quite a few other studies have been put under the microscope too.

Here we go unto the breach, my friends…

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We’ve been writing about PARP inhibitors since 2006!  Who knew this target would have multiple legs over a dozen years on?

Barcelona

In this post we’re taking a look at some of the noteworthy presentations at ESMO19 around targeting DNA damage repair (DDR) and how they act through synthetic lethality and/or the generation of immune response to kill cancer cells in GU cancers.

It’s a fascinating area where we are seeing convergence between immunotherapy and genomic instability, one of the hallmarks of cancer.

The abstracts for ESMO19 are not yet available, so in this post we’re only providing context and setting the scene for some of the presentations we are looking forward to, as well as raising some key questions that we hope will be answered in Barcelona.

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Neon Therapeutics LogoAs we prepare for rolling out some additional expert interviews on a variety of topics together with another mini-series on a tricky target, I wanted to take a moment to explore the Neon Therapeutics data.

Most of the news reports yesterday seemed to be concentrated around a general theme of ’cancer vaccine assist beats immunotherapy drugs alone!’or ‘vaccine boosts Opdivo response in 3 cancers’ … but does the data live up to the breathless hype that ensued? What can we say about the latest clinical update?

As often is the case, the true story around the facts turns out to be much more nuanced and subtle in flavour than the garish headlines might have you believe…

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Downtown Chicago

In our latest ASCO 2018 Preview series we take a look at some of the key highlights from urothelial and bladder cancers and look at how new developments in this space are progressing.

Historically in oncology, we see initial trials begin in advanced stage disease especially in the refractory metastatic setting and move up into earlier lines of therapy later as safety and efficacy become more established.

This situation has been very much the case in urothelial carcinomas, including bladder, penile, renal pelvis, ureter and transitional cell cancers. With the approval of pembrolizumab and atezolizumab in the relapsed setting following cisplatin therapy, much of the focus has now turned to earlier stage disease.

In our latest Preview, we explore some of the key combinations and look at whether or not they are more promising in terms of outcomes than the monotherapy readouts we have seen to date.  There’s a lot to cover and digest…

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What we wanted to accomplish in our latest thought leader interview was to peek under the hood with someone active in this field who is an experienced participant in phase 2 and 3 trials, as well as being a solid translational researcher capable of thinking outside the box critically.

Stacking up the evidence from IO trials

Today we cover a global KOL’s perspectives on cancers of the lung, renal, bladder, and even melanoma, in a wide ranging discussion about immunotherapy trials and some of the pitfalls and opportunities to watch out for.

It makes for an intriguing read as there are likely a few issues that many have not thought about in great depth.

This is an important discussion in the context of not just data that was recently presented at several conferences including AACR, but also with the upcoming monotherapy and chemo combination trials (including squamous and non-squamous lung cancer) expected at ASCO in a few weeks time.

We discuss quite a few of the key challenges and opportunities relating to the broader picture and highlight some of the important issues to watch out for…

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Finding patterns in the mosaic of cancer biology

In our fifth AACR preview of the annual meeting of 2018, we switch directions from a tumour type to explore a novel and emerging pathway of interest.

Each year we pick a different target to explore; this year it’s the turn of TGFβ.

There’s a lot going on here, both preclinically and clinically that should interest BSB readers who are keen to see new developments in the IO landscape.

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As part of our annual AACR Preview series, we usually explore new developments in at least one tumour type and one new target of interest.

Bladder cancer cells infected with BCG Source: Dr M Glickman, MSK

This year is no different and there were plenty of opportunities to discuss.

We have already covered lung cancer given the intensive interest in the phase 3 trials being presented in the 1L setting, but I also wanted to cover another key tumour type that is generating a lot of keen interest in clinical development for numerous reasons.

Tomorrow we will be exploring a cancer target in detail, but there is much to cover in terms of new preclinical and clinical developments in certain carcinomas.

Without much ado about nothing since there is plenty of important things to discuss, so here’s a look at our second tumour type to watch out for given the sheer numbers of trials, including a variety of different targets to think about.

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Prof Tom Powles GU18 Title SlideAt the 2018 ASCO Genitourinary Cancer Symposium, one of the standout keynote lectures was from Professor Tom Powles, Director of the Bart’s Cancer Cancer Center in London who talked about Immune checkpoint inhibitors in Urothelial Cancer: which one and why?”

We’ve been following the highs and lows around checkpoint inhibitors in bladder cancer for some time, so it was interesting to hear what Prof Powles had to say in San Francisco.

How does he see the landscape evolving for immune checkpoint inhibitors?

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We’re overdue a roundup and discussion on various key topics of interest to BSB readers, so here goes…

Today’s topics include an in-depth look at the impact of some negative events:

  • Kite and the cerebral oedema death with axi-cel
  • Genentech’s atezolizumab OS miss in urothelial cancer

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