January 2015, Vol. 2, No. 1

The Evolving Role of Immunotherapeutic Applications in Oncology

Dear Colleague, Welcome to the 2015 series of Immunotherapy in Oncology (ITO)! In recognition of the enormous advances being made in immuno-oncology and the overwhelming reception by our readership to this journal, the publishers of ITO and I are delighted to announce an increased issuance of this timely and essential [ Read More ]

Sanjiv S. Agarwala, MD

Letter to Our Readers

Commercial Availability of Anti–PD-1 Antibodies in Melanoma: A Benchmark of Success

On September 4, 2014, the FDA approved pembrolizumab for use in advanced or unresectable melanoma following progression on prior therapies. This approval was based on clinical data from the phase 1b KEYNOTE-001 trial and made pembrolizumab the first anti–PD-1 antibody to gain approval in the United States for any solid [ Read More ]

Brianna W. Hoffner, MS, RN, ANP-BC, AOCNP

Melanoma

FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Genentech’s Investigational Cancer Immunotherapy MPDL3280A (Anti–PD-L1) in Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Second FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for MPDL3280A Following Bladder Cancer in 2014 Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, announced today that it has received a second Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its in­vestigational cancer immunotherapy MPDL3280A (anti–PD-L1). The designation was granted for [ Read More ]

Lung Cancer

Immune Checkpoint Blockades: The Future of Cancer Therapy

Using the body’s own defenses to kill cancer may sound like the realm of science fiction. However, in the keynote lecture presented at the 2015 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, T cells and antibodies were shown adept at recognizing and targeting antigens created by tumor mutations as they evolve within patients. “The [ Read More ]

Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium 2015

CAR T-Cell Therapy Achieves High Rate of Remission in Pediatric Relapsed/Refractory ALL

Administration of T cells engineered with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeting CD19 (CTL019) persist over the long term and induce durable remissions in children with relapsed/refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Complete responses were achieved in 92% of recipients of CTL109 cells who were enrolled in a phase 1/2a study, [ Read More ]

ASH 2014

PD-1 Inhibitor–Based Immunotherapy the Newest Breakthrough in Hodgkin Lymphoma

Two PD-1 inhibitors – the investigational drug nivolumab and the recently approved pembro­lizumab – produced dramatic responses in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma in phase 1 clinical trials. Complete or partial responses were reported by up to 87% of patients who had exhausted other treatment options, providing solid evidence that targeting [ Read More ]

ASH 2014

Immunotherapy Attacks Minimum Residual Disease in ALL; Leads to High Rate of Complete Response

An antibody that recruits T cells to attack minimal residual disease (MRD) in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who are in remission can prevent full relapse. No MRD was detected in 78% of patients treated with blinatumomab, a bispecific T-cell engager antibody construct, with nearly all complete responses occurring [ Read More ]

ASH 2014

Monoclonal Antibodies Poised to Be Blockbusters

Monoclonal antibodies may be to multiple myeloma what rituximab has been to lymphoma, according to myeloma experts who expressed enthusiasm over these emerging agents at ASH 2014. “Monoclonal antibodies present an attractive therapeutic strategy,” said Paul G. Richardson, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA. “Monoclonal antibodies have activity [ Read More ]

ASH 2014

Will PD-1 Blockers Have a Role in Hematologic Cancers?

The checkpoint inhibitors – the anti-­CTLA-4 agent ipilimumab and the PD-1 blockers nivolumab and pembrolizumab (with others coming) – have shown promise in multiple solid tumors and are showing hints of activity in hematologic malignancies as well. But according to early research, their use in hematology may be somewhat more [ Read More ]

ASH 2014

The Future of Immunotherapy in Breast Cancer

The oncology community is abuzz with the promise of immunotherapy, sparked by the success of immunotherapeutic approaches in advanced melanoma. There is major interest in studying immunotherapy in other cancers, including breast and lung cancer. At the 2014 Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium, Heather L. McArthur, MD, MPH, a medical oncologist in [ Read More ]

Breast Cancer

Update on Vaccines

Immunotherapy Vaccine for Patients with Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Continues to Show Promising Results ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd, a company focused on the development of immune-based therapies for the treatment of a variety of cancers, presented positive results for its leading vaccine, ICT-107, an intradermally administered autologous vaccine made of the patient’s [ Read More ]