May 2015, Vol. 2, No. 3
Exploring Advances in ImmunotherapyLetter to Our Readers
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 treatment of patients with metastatic squamous nonâ€“small cell lung cancer with progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy. This is good news, as nivolumab, a PD-1 (programmed death-1 receptor) therapy, demonstrated improved overall survival in this population. In light of this advance, we present additional articles exploring the need for immunotherapy options in lung cancer, specifically â€śThe Need for Immunotherapeutic Approaches for Lung Cancerâ€ť and â€śImmuno-Oncology Combination
Approaches for Lung Cancerâ€ť. We will continue to explore this topic in future
issues of ITO.
Also of interest is the business side of immunotherapy. In our Interview with the Innovators feature, titled â€śThe Commercialization Process of Immunotherapies: An Interview with Olivier Lesueur and Rachel Laing, PhD,â€ť we had the pleasure of talking with two experts from a consulting firm that specializes in bringing products to market. They compare the impact of immunotherapies in the current day to what chemotherapy agents were to cancer care in the 1970s. This comparison isnâ€™t lost on pharmaceutical companies, who are focused on commercializing immunotherapy agents as quickly as possible.
Also in this issue, we present articles from meetings around the country monitoring the progress of immunotherapies. From FDA approvals to biomarkers, youâ€™ll find an array of the most recent, groundbreaking events from the immunology field. We are greatly encouraged by the advances in cancer treatment that immunotherapy affords us, and it is our sincere hope this information assists you in providing the best care for your patients. We are pleased to be your source for information, and as always, we thank you for being part of our reading community.
Sanjiv S. Agarwala, MD
Editor in Chief
Immunotherapy in Oncology
FDA Approves Opdivo (Nivolumab) for the Treatment of Patients with Previously Treated Metastatic Squamous Nonâ€“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 nonâ€“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 ]
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 ]