This last week saw the ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco, although very little caught my attention from a drug development point of view. Much of the attention seemed to be focused on surgery, genetic counselling and screening.
With the 2014 European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) conference in Madrid coming up fast in only 2 weeks time, it seems a good point to take a look at what’s on the slate there, since there are some important clinical trials being presented there with new data that we can expect to hear a lot more about.
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Companies mentioned: Roche/Genentech, GSK, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Medivation, Astellas
Drugs mentioned: Pertuzumab, trastuzumab, lapatinib, PI3K inhibitors, olaparib, enzalutamide
There are a couple of important breast cancer trials with data being presented for the first time at Madrid.
One area that is finally seeing a lot more research results of late is neo-adjuvant therapy in breast cancer, i.e. therapeutic intervention prior to surgery.
The main advantages of neo-adjuvant over adjuvant therapy are:
- If it works, then the therapy allows the margins to shrink prior to surgery, potentially making the tumour easier to excise
- If therapy works prior to surgery, you know what will likely be effective post surgery, whereas in adjuvant treatment after surgery, this is unknown.
One of the leading trials for neoadjuvant breast cancer was the ISPY2 (Investigation of Serial studies to Predict Your therapeutic response with imaging and molecular analysis 2) study. I wrote about it in more detail at the time it was launched on Pharma Strategy Blog, if you need more information. Basically, the study is based on a complex adaptive conjoint design in neoadjuvant breast cancer, so over time, additional arms were added to the study (there were originally four) while others were removed. In this way, the investigators can find the best therapies for each tumour subtype (HER2+/1, ER+/- or triple negative) based on the responses and biomarkers.
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Whew, having just finished the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting, we run on to the breast cancer symposium in San Antonio (SABCS), making for a very busy week of data deluge! Our Post ASH analysis will also run concurrently for a few days.
There are also a number of interesting areas to look out for in terms of interesting breast cancer developments.
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Companies: Roche, GSK, AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Lilly
Drugs: Herceptin, Avastin, Perjeta, Tykerb, veliparib, olaparib, BKM120, ramucirumab, PD-1, PD-L1
Here’s a quick preview of some of the landmark data emerging from this conference, some positive, some negative.
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