March 2015, Vol. 2, No. 2

The Reach of Immunotherapy: Focus on Glioblastoma

Dear Colleague, In the new era of personalized treatment for patients battling cancer, the topic of immunotherapy is front and center in our discussions. The possibility of harnessing the power of our own immune system to combat cancer has captivated the imagination of researchers, clinicians, and the public alike. The [ Read More ]

Sanjiv S. Agarwala, MD

Letter to Our Readers

Immunotherapy in Glioblastoma, the Most Lethal Form of Brain Cancer

Glioblastoma is one of the major cancer types for which new immune-based cancer treatments are currently in development The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 22,850 malignant tumors of the brain and spinal cord (12,900 in men and 9950 in women) will be diagnosed in the United States in 2015, [ Read More ]


Targeting EGFRvIII in Glioblastoma

A mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), known as EGFR variant III (EGFRvIII), is expressed in a significant proportion of glioblastoma tumors and is linked to poor long-term survival. Unlike unmutated EGFR, EGFRvIII has not been detected at a significant level in normal tissues; therefore, targeting of this [ Read More ]


Vaccines for Glioblastoma

Cancer vaccines, which depend on activation of the patient’s immune system to recognize and destroy the tumor, have the potential for eliciting a widespread and durable response More than a century ago, researchers began using vaccination to fight cancer. They injected patients with cells and extracts from their own tumors, [ Read More ]


Exploring Immune Checkpoint Blockade for Glioblastoma

The blockade of immune checkpoints is among the most promising approaches to activating therapeutic antitumor immunity Immune “checkpoints” refer to the numerous negative immunologic regulators (inhibitory pathways) that are crucial for maintaining self-tolerance (ie, the prevention of autoimmunity) and modulating the immune responses in peripheral tissues.1 Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated antigen 4 [ Read More ]

Immune Checkpoint Blockade

PD-L1 Inhibitor Pembrolizumab Produces Good Responses in Advanced Gastric Cancer

Add gastric cancer to the list of cancers that respond to immunotherapy. In patients with advanced gastric cancer who express programmed cell death (PD)-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1), the humanized monoclonal antibody pembrolizumab demonstrated robust antitumor activity and an acceptable safety profile, according to updated results presented at the 2015 Gastrointestinal [ Read More ]


Bristol-Myers Squibb to Expand Its Immuno-Oncology Pipeline with Agreement to Acquire Flexus Biosciences, Inc

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Flexus Biosciences, Inc announced today the companies have signed a definitive agreement under which Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire all of the outstanding capital stock of Flexus, a privately held biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel anticancer therapeutics. The transaction has a potential [ Read More ]