Scaling the ramparts in Real Madrido
It feels slightly surreal to be writing about this year’s annual ESMO confab instead of attending in person in Madrid, Spain.
While much of the time and attention at ESMO is usually focused on the major phase 3 readouts from various clinical trials, we will be covering these during the meeting as they are presented to avoid repetition since many of the topline company trial results have already been announced.
In this year’s conference Preview series, I wanted to take a step back and explore early new product development in several forms:
- Biomarkers and potential new ways of predicting outcomes in development
- Emerging novel targets of interest
- Developmental therapeutics – trials and tribulations
This initial review will tackle some important developments pertaining to various biomarkers of interest.
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Time for some additional colour commentary!
There has been some incredibly intense interest surrounding TIGIT as a new therapeutic target in oncology of late, to the point where some observers have been wildly claiming this is the new universal checkpoint everyone has been waiting for.
But is it?
It’s early days yet with little data presented from people with cancer, so at this point it could well be a bit of a stretch to find another anti-PD–1/PD-L1 equivalent, but this doesn’t mean there isn’t utility in seeing clinical activity in some tumour types, far from it.
In our latest post, we take a look at what’s coming up in the TIGIT niche, along with an interview from a company active in this niche.
What do the company have to say and how do they see this panning out?
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In the fourth part of our mini-series in novel targets and agents in development we turn to novel cell therapy approaches that are perhaps under the radar for many observers.
While these might seem bleak times during a pandemic, there’s always a silver lining somewhere
While much attention has been focused on antigen loss or downregulation of the target wih adoptive cell therapies, research continues to evaluate various solutions to the problem.
One obvious way is to develop dual CARs or target multiple antigen targets of relevance to the tumour type being investigated.
There are other potential solutions being looked at, both in preclinical animal models and in translational work using cells from people treated with HSCT or CAR T cell therapies.
Here, we look at an alternative immunotherapy approach, which with time may have utility in both hematologic malignancies, as well as solid tumours…
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There are multiple players in the Magic Roundabout, but are some more important than others and will different culprits turn out to have hidden meanings? You may never see Ermintrude in the same way again 😉
Without a doubt, there are multiple potential ways we can go about improving responses to cancer immunotherapy, not just in terms of targets, combination approaches, different modalities etc, but also by manipulating the tumour microenvironment or thinking about directing different immune cells in positive ways.
In our latest review, we look at one area where emerging work appears to bearing fruit as multiple groups suddenly get one of those, a-ha! moments.
It’s not just happening in one tumour type either, nor is it limited to one type of therapy or modality, which makes it all the more intriguing to think about.
We heard about one example of this mechanism last year and now it’s time to explore things in more detail. This also means companies quick on the uptake could well take advantage ahead of their competitors.
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National Harbor, MD
With the abstract drop from the 2019 Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) meeting now available, what can we learn from some of the research slated for formal oral presentation this year?
Here in part one (posters will be reviewed tomorrow) we take a look at a mix of preclinical and early clinical studies that grabbed our initial interest from the oral presentations – they include the good, bad, and intriguing – to see exactly what can be learned from this year’s mix of abstracts?
The short answer is quite a lot.
Every year the what to watch out for preview is a popular one. This year there are some surprises in store as well as some particularly important findings that BSB readers may well be keen to find out more about ahead of the conference later this week in order to maximise their thinking and avoid the inevitable brain-fry and fatigue that sets in on Saturday afternoon…
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As we head into the AACR-NCI-EORTC Triple meeting in Boston this weekend, excitement is growing around a suite of RAS inhibitors in lung, colon and other cancers.
Charles River, Boston in October
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve received a bunch of questions from readers on several topics relating to this niche that I thought would be useful to spend some time on to set the scene ahead of the data dump expected on Monday and Tuesday.
Some people do like to try and simplify things thinking that it’s just a matter of adding in a checkpoint blocker or something else and boom! off we go… Except that we know from past experience with similar agents against different related targets that this won’t necessarily be the case and we look at some of the reasons why.
Yes I know folks are likely expecting too much in terms of efficacy, but we can put some framework and structure around the issues on which to build on, which are actually more than many may realise plus it could also be tumour and even patient dependent.
So here we go with a joint KRAS mailbag, together with a short expert interview with a view to highlighting some crucial roadblocks that are likely heading our way…
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The calm before the morning storm surge at ESMO19!
Barcelona – I can’t recall the last time we published three long form posts from a conference before high noon (US time) on the same morning, but that certainly illustrates how busy this year’s ESMO is and there’s a lot more to come yet.
The initial starting coverage for today includes hot topics in ovarian, lung, and colorectal cancers and more will be added in due course.
If you are looking for osimetinib in FLAURA and AMG 510 in KRASm colorectal cancers, click on the BSB log in the top left corner to check out the front page slider for more information on those write-ups and commentary!
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In the enlightened realm of phase 1 oncology trials there generally more unknown unknowns than there are known unknowns, especially with new target approaches.
Who knew it was so beautiful outside of the cold dark halls?!
You could say that makes for a more interesting world, but it also makes for more caution, especially when the FDA is considering agonists that induce stimulatory effects. What it means is that you start off very low – in this latest example it was 50µg and going up to 1600µg to determine the safety profile of a combination.
We have covered the STING pathway quite extensively over the last four or five years now, so it’s time for a new update and a look at some of the much awaited combination data. What can we learn?
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As 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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Chicago – the 2019 ASCO annual meeting is in full swing and it’s plenary Sunday where the jewels in the crown are presented.
Noteworthy this year is the olaparib data being presented by Dr Hedy Kindler.
In this post, we’ve commentary on the data we’ve heard so far, highlights from yesterday’s sessions, and what you can expect to hear today if you’re in Chicago for Plenary Sunday.
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