May 2015, Vol. 2, No. 3

Exploring Advances in Immunotherapy

Dear Colleague, In this issue of Immunotherapy in Oncology (ITO), we continue to explore the many facets of immunotherapy, reaching beyond the basic science to bring you the practical implications of its usefulness. We are pleased to report that the FDA recently approved nivolumab injection, for intravenous use, for the [ Read More ]

Sanjiv S. Agarwala, MD

Letter to Our Readers

The Commercialization Process of Immunotherapies:

An Interview with Olivier Lesueur and Rachel Laing, PhD

The field of immunotherapy has made great strides in recent years, culminating in the FDA approvals of 3 checkpoint inhibitors: Yervoy, Keytruda, and Opdivo. For Big Pharma, this means the race is under way to investigate the potential of immunotherapies in as many indications as possible. The potential for blockbuster [ Read More ]

Olivier Lesueur

Interview with the Innovators

The Need for Immunotherapeutic Approaches for Lung Cancer

Non–small cell lung cancer is one of the major cancer types for which new immune-based cancer treatments are currently in development Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women (not counting skin cancer); in men, prostate cancer is more common, whereas in women, breast cancer [ Read More ]

Lung Cancer

FDA Approves Opdivo (Nivolumab) for the Treatment of Patients with Previously Treated Metastatic Squamous Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Opdivo (nivolumab) injection, for intravenous use, for the treatment of patients with metastatic squamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy. Opdivo is the first and only PD-1 (programmed death-1) therapy to [ Read More ]

Suresh Ramalingam, MD

Lung Cancer

Immuno-Oncology Combination Approaches for Lung Cancer

With the advent of new immunotherapeutic agents, including checkpoint inhibitors that target the programmed death-1 (PD-1) pathway and the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) pathway, investigations are being conducted to elucidate the potential combination of various therapies and their possible synergistic activity with chemotherapy Immune checkpoint blockade with monoclonal antibodies [ Read More ]

Combination Treatments

PD-L1: Promising MIUC Therapy for cNAC Nonresponders

There’s hope for patients with muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma (MIUC) who do not respond to cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy (cNAC). According to data presented at the 2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, patients with MIUC who are nonresponders to cNAC fare worse than patients undergoing radical cystectomy (RC) alone, but both groups exhibited similar [ Read More ]

2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

Renal Cell Carcinoma Roundup: Immune checkpoint inhibitors show promise

A new class of cancer therapies has set its sights on immune checkpoints. A trio of studies presented at the 2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium offered a glimpse into the evolving landscape of treatment for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), and the programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and its receptor, programmed [ Read More ]

2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

Cell Cycle Progression Test Impacts Treatment Decisions

The cell cycle progression (CCP) test has the power to alter treatment decisions. Results from a prospective registry of newly diagnosed patients with prostate cancer showed that the CCP risk score led to an increase (12%) or decrease (31%) in actual treatment administered in 44% of patients, according to data [ Read More ]

2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

PROSTVAC plus Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Evidence of Improved Overall Survival in Prostate Cancer

The combination of active immunotherapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors shows signs of improved overall survival (OS) in patients with prostate cancer, according to data presented at the 2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. “The comparison of 3 independent trials of PROSTVAC active immunotherapy provides hypothesis-generating data that the addition of an immune [ Read More ]

2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

NRAS Mutation Impacts Response to Immune Therapies in Melanoma

Among patients with advanced melanoma treated with immunotherapies, those whose tumors had NRAS mutations had better response and treatment outcomes than those whose tumors did not, according to new research. Douglas B. Johnson, MD, and colleagues determined that 28% of patients with NRAS-mutant melanoma had complete or partial responses to [ Read More ]

Melanoma

President Obama’s Bet on Personalized Medicine

"I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine, one that delivers the right treatment at the right time." So said the president of the United States in his State of the Union Address on January 20, 2015. By calling [ Read More ]

Edward Abrahams, PhD

The Last Word