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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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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For what seems the longest time, we have seen the battle in metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) being focused on various anti-VEGF TKIs, whether against interferon, mTOR inhibitors, and even each other.
Lately, anti-PD(L)1 antibodies have also come on the scene – both as monotherapy and in different combinations – so are things set to change?
Will it be plaining sailing or are there hidden dangers ahead for the unwary?
Here, we take a look at the ever evolving landscape in RCC and explore the issues and challenges surrounding some of the novel combination readouts, including a look at the role immuno-oncology might play going forward.
Not surprisingly, there’s a lot to consider, discuss and think about…
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Which of these cakes will you choose?
Greetings from Vienna where we are gearing up for our coverage of the European Cancer Congress (Twitter #ECC2015).
We’ll be writing a “highlights” post for subscribers at the end of the day here on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, then will follow- up with more in-depth coverage after we have talked with experts about the data presented.
Checkpoint Inhibitors and Cancer Immunotherapy are not surprisingly hot topics at the meeting.
In case you missed it, this month’s episode of Novel Targets (are we really on show #6 already?!) takes us on a new branch of the journey looking at various aspects of cancer immunotherapy:
Boosting T cell production – Stepping on the Gas
In past shows, we’ve looked at unlocking the brakes (checkpoint inhibitors), immune biomarkers (MDSCs and STING pathway), an inflamed or immunologic tumour type (lung cancer), a non-inflamed tumour type (prostate cancer), adoptive cell therapies and now it’s time for something really different… what happens when we literally step on the gas with immune agonists?
That’s the theme of the latest show – listen to Episode 6 on SoundCloud or iTunes (open access thanks to our sponsors, Genentech).
This article focuses on more detailed background and show notes for BSB subscribers.
It’s an important topic that is both simple in concept to understand and yet highly complex in terms of optimising therapy.
It’s time to take a deeper dive…
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At the recent American Association of Immunology (AAI) and American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) meetings in New Orleans, we had the good fortune to interview a number of leading cancer immunologists about their work. Some of these have already been published either here on Biotech Strategy Blog, or on the Novel Targets podcast.
In the meantime, the huge tsunami of data from the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) hit and we have been a bit backlogged! Time to address that and focus on some more thoughtful reflections about where the cancer immunotherapy field is going.
Already, we are seeing another round of new collaborations and deals hit the newswires with AstraZeneca announcing two collaborations, one with Inovio on the INO–3112 HPV cancer vaccine and another with Heptares, where they acquired the exclusive global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialise the adenosine A2A receptor antagonist, HTL–1071. The first involves a cancer vaccine and the second immune escape mechanisms. Not to be outdone, their rivals Clovis also announced a collaboration with Genentech to explore rociletinib (EGFR T790M) with atezoliumab (anti-PD-L1) in EGFR mutation-positive lung cancer.
Cancer vaccines have not, however, been a very successful or fertile area of R&D for Pharmaland to date, with only one such therapy approved by the FDA (sipuleucel-T or Provenge) and literally hundreds of other such compounds consigned to dog drug heaven. This illustrates the sheer enormity of the task we need to undertake in stimulating the body’s immune system to successfully attack the cancer in a sustained and robust way.
Dr Rosenberg, NCI
Despite this setback, there is still notable interest in exploring the innate immune system and finding effective ways to target and stimulate the T cells or T lymphocytes to attack the cancer.
One man who has accomplished an incredible body of work over the last two to three decades is Dr Steven Rosenberg from the NCI’s Surgery Branch (right).
No one who attended any of the cancer conferences where he spoke at over the last year is ever going to forget the dramatic before and after slides of remarkable transformation in his patient case history examples using Tumour Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TILs) as this example illustrates:
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