September 2015, Vol. 2, No. 5

Enthusiasm Mounts as Immunotherapy Continues to Play a Positive Role in Many Disease States

Dear Colleague, I am writing to you with a renewed enthusiasm for the field of immunotherapy in oncology after hosting the World Cutaneous Malignancies Congress this summer! This educational opportunity is an event of which I am proud, as world-renowned experts convene to present the most up-to-date information on the [ Read More ]

Sanjiv S. Agarwala, MD

Letter to Our Readers

Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer, the Most Commonly Diagnosed Cancer Among Women Worldwide

Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women.1 An estimated 234,190 new cases of invasive breast cancer (231,840 in women and 2350 in men) are expected to be diagnosed among Americans during 2015.1 Breast cancer ranks second as a cause of cancer death [ Read More ]

Breast Cancer

Molecular Biology of Cutaneous Malignancies Informs Clinical Practice

Understanding the clinical presentations and molecular biology of cutaneous malignancies is essential to applying therapy to clinical practice. At the 2015 World Cutaneous Malignancies Congress, experts discussed contributors to the pathogenesis of melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and Merkel cell carcinoma, including genetic drivers. Melanoma New concepts in [ Read More ]


Encouraging Treatments Are Plentiful in BCC, CTCL, and MCC

Several therapies for advanced nonmelanoma malignancies have recently taken hold or have shown encouraging potential, said presenters at the 2015 World Cutaneous Malignancies Congress. Basal Cell Carcinoma Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) represents a spectrum of disease, from curable with surgery to locally advanced or metastatic disease, for which surgery is inappropriate. [ Read More ]


Emerging Approaches in Advanced Melanoma Include Progress in Adjuvant Therapy, Novel Vaccines

Emerging approaches in advanced melanoma include adjuvant targeted therapy/immunotherapy, new immunotherapy treatment algorithms, and novel vaccines. The progress on each was reviewed by presenters at the 2015 World Cutaneous Malignancies Congress. State-of-the-Art Adjuvant Therapy Despite advancements in progression-free survival (PFS) in treatment-naive unresectable melanoma with the use of targeted agents [ Read More ]


Much on the Horizon in Surgical and Locoregional Treatment of Melanoma

Emerging concepts in the treatment of melanoma include new definitions for stage I/II and stage III disease, new surgical paradigms that incorporate systemic neoadjuvant therapy for advanced disease, and locoregional treatment with intralesional therapies that have both local and distant effects, said presenters at the 2015 World Cutaneous Malignancies Congress. [ Read More ]


Anti–PD-L1 Alone or Combined with Chemotherapy for NSCLC

Preliminary clinical trials suggest that the investigational programmed death-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor atezolizumab has excellent single-agent activity and also can be safely combined with platinum-based chemotherapy for the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Atezolizumab is 1 of 3 anti–PD-L1 agents in development; none is currently approved by [ Read More ]


Older Adults with ALL and CAR-T Therapy

Although acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is predominantly a disease found in children, the incidence peaks again in older adults, who have a high risk of treatment-related mortality. Thus, effective and better tolerated treatment of ALL in older patients is an unmet clinical need, said David I. Marks, MD, PhD, University [ Read More ]


Pembrolizumab Has Encouraging Preliminary Activity in Advanced PD-L1–Positive Gastric Cancer

An analysis of the KEYNOTE-012 phase 1 trial suggests that pembrolizumab has durable efficacy in heavily pretreated patients with programmed death-1 (PD-1) ligand 1 (PD-L1)-positive gastric cancer. Pembrolizumab had a manageable safety profile with no new or unexpected events observed (Abstract 4001). “PD-L1 expression on both tumor and immune cells [ Read More ]


Pembrolizumab in Advanced Urothelial Bladder Cancer

Advanced urothelial bladder cancer (UBC) joins the list of tumor types for which treatment with pembrolizumab, a programmed death-1 (PD-1) inhibitor with dual blockade of its ligands PD-L1 and PD-L2, holds promise. Updated safety and efficacy data from the phase 1b KEYNOTE 012 study showed an overall response rate (ORR) [ Read More ]


CAR-T Cells Moving Along in Hematologic Malignancies

There is excitement about immunotherapy for the treatment of several types of tumors, and the list of cancers amenable to this approach is expanding. In addition to the programmed death-1 (PD-1) and its ligand 1 (PD-L1) immunotherapies, chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T)-cell therapy is also garnering much interest, especially in [ Read More ]


Immuno-Oncology Brings New Opportunities for Developers of Targeted Cytotoxics

Among the highlights of this year’s American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting were outstanding data from the combination of Bristol- Myers Squibb’s nivolumab and ipilimumab, which produced a longer progression-free survival than ipilimumab alone in non–BRAF-mutated melanoma. Companies are furiously mixing and matching combinations of their immuno-oncology therapies to [ Read More ]

Rachel Laing, PhD; Olivier Lesueur