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ESMO 2019: Translating Science into Better Cancer Care

The field of oncology has seen a number of significant advances in recent years. The considerable number of positive reports from the 2019 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) last month clearly reflected the meeting’s theme — the translation of scientific advances into better cancer care.   AstraZeneca/Merck was one of stars...

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New Excitement About Antibody-Drug Conjugates in Cancer

The ability to target malignant cells without damage to surrounding healthy ones has been a long-sought goal in cancer drug development. Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) have been investigated as one such solution aimed at delivering more targeted therapies. ADCs — an approach first envisioned by Paul Ehrlich in the early 20th century — combine the targeting...

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AI Aiding Earlier, More Accurate Cancer Screening

Recent research clearly illustrates the potential that artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning systems offer for improving the detection and diagnosis of cancer, whether from radiological images or tissue analysis. While further clinical validation of such systems is needed before they can be reliably deployed in medical practice, they are expected to benefit patient care...

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Real World Evidence Replacing Some Clinical Trials?

Pharmaceutical companies have long used real-world data on drug performance to help justify their pricing decisions to payers. But now such real-world evidence (RWE), gathered from electronic medical records (EMRs), national patient registries and other patient databases, is increasingly being looked at as a way to make the case for new supplemental approvals and label...

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News from ASCO: Part 2

In this post, we continue our report on some of the precision medicine approaches and initiatives we noted at ASCO.   Neoantigens Revitalizing Cancer Vaccine Efforts   Early efforts to create cancer vaccines aimed at increasing the immune system’s exposure to tumors, but the effectiveness of first-generation vaccines created by Dendreon and others was limited....

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Report on ESMO 2018 – Part Two

We recently returned from the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting where conference news highlighted the increased movement of targeted therapies and immunotherapies into adjuvant and early-stage cancer settings. Read our earlier report on combination therapy trials in melanoma, colon cancer and breast cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer. Here, we cover other targeted therapies....

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Report on ESMO 2018 – Part One

We recently returned from the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting where conference news highlighted the increased movement of targeted therapies and immunotherapies into adjuvant and early-stage cancer settings, plus plenty of positive data from a variety of combination therapy trials in breast cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer.   (Neo)Adjuvant Treatment Gets a Boost  ...

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A Few Takeaways from ASCO 2018 — Part One

Precision medicine was an important theme of ASCO 2018 — the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology — with this year’s meeting subtitled as “Delivering Discoveries, Expanding the Reach of Precision Medicine.”  This theme was reflected not only in discussions around molecular profiling of patients, but also by the ever-increasing focus on...

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Lynparza — Extending Cancer Treatment Based on Underlying Genetic Cause

On January 12, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Lynparza (olaparib), the PARP inhibitor partnered by AstraZeneca and Merck, for the treatment of BRCA-mutated, HER2-negative advanced metastatic breast cancer.   The FDA’s action adds another cancer type for Lynparza; in late 2014 it was the first PARP inhibitor to be approved for use in...