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A Revolutionary Approach in Brain Tumor Research

Author: Gail S. Thornton, M.A.

For the more than 680,000 Americans living with a brain tumor, there is a revolutionary research effort under way at the Cedars-Sinai Precision Medicine Initiative in Brain Cancer in Los Angeles to look at ways of using precision science to tailor personalized treatments for individuals with malignant brain tumors.

Brain Cancer Meets Precision Science

Brain cancer continues to be among the hardest of diseases to treat. Until now, most medical treatments for the most common, aggressive and lethal form of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, which affects more than 138,000 Americans yearly, have been designed for the average patient. Given that every cancer is genetically unique, this “one-size-fits-all” drug treatment has not worked for brain cancer and for most solid cancers. Unfortunately, today’s standard-of-care, which includes surgical removal, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, has only modest benefits with patients living on average 15 months after diagnosis.

“Precision Medicine, an innovative approach that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments and lifestyles, only works when we apply ‘Precision Science’ to the effort,” notes Dr. Chirag Patil, M.D., Neurosurgeon & Program Director at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “If we want to treat cancer more effectively, we need a novel approach to cancer care. In our program, we use tumor genomics and precision science to build a holistic mathematical model of cancer that then can be used to develop new, personalized cancer treatments.  Right now, we’re focused on the most common type of brain cancer, but are developing a unique scientific process that could tackle ANY type of cancer.”

This past year, the White House launched the Precision Medicine Initiative to dramatically improve health and treatment through a $215 million investment in the President’s 2016 budget.  The Initiative will provide additional impetus to Precision Medicine’s approach to disease prevention and treatment that has already led to powerful new discoveries and several new treatment methods for critical diseases.

PMI photo.png

Caption: The Cedars-Sinai program uses precision science to build a mathematical virtual brain tumor for testing.

Image SOURCEhttp://www.drchiragpatil.com/main.html

Delivering Personalized Cancer Care Through Big Data And Virtual Simulations

Harnessing the power of big data, Dr. Patil’s program puts a patient’s brain tumor through next-generation genomic sequencing to establish a comprehensive profile of that specific brain cancer. Researchers, in collaboration with Cellworks Inc., a therapeutics design company, use this profile to build a mathematical “virtual“ tumor cell. The simulations are then compared to the real patient tumor cells that have been growing in Dr. Patil’s laboratory. The “real data” from experiments in the lab are used to confirm  the virtual tumor model – again, this is customized for each individual patient.

The next step is to run a virtual experiment where all FDA-approved targeted drug combinations are tried on the virtual tumor cell to identify the best drug combination that eradicates the cells for the specific brain tumor.  In the final step, researchers expose the patient’s real cancer cells to this unique and personalized drug combination to ensure that it effectively kills the patient’s cancer cells in the laboratory.

Spreading the Word

This effort is not someday in the future but is happening now, and has demonstrated remarkable progress in the last six months. Researchers expect to have data on 30 brain cancer patients from this precision medicine strategy by mid-2016. From this, they will develop an innovative randomized clinical trial, not simply to compare one drug to another, but rather compare this innovative Precision Medicine treatment algorithm to a current standard treatment regimen.

Learn More

For more information on this revolutionary approach, visit www.BrainTumorExpert.com, to learn more about Dr. Patil and his precision science approach to treating brain tumors.

REFERENCE

http://www.drchiragpatil.com/main.html

SOURCE

http://www.drchiragpatil.com/main.html

Other related articles:

http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2016/02/junk-dna-genome-nessa-carey-book-review

http://www.genengnews.com/gen-news-highlights/advanced-immunotherapeutic-method-shows-promise-against-brain-cancer/81252433/

http://www.mdtmag.com/news/2015/11/blood-brain-barrier-opened-noninvasively-focused-ultrasound-first-time

http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2015/11/protein-atlas-brain

 

Other related articles published in this Open Access Online Scientific Journal include the following:

2015

The 11th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference, November 18-19, 2015, Joseph B. Martin Conference Center of the Harvard New Research Building at Harvard Medical School

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2015/07/09/the-11th-annual-personalized-medicine-conference-november-18-19-2015-joseph-b-martin-conference-center-of-the-harvard-new-research-building-at-harvard-medical-school/

Silicon Valley 2015 Personalized Medicine World Conference, Mountain View, CA, January 26, 2015, 8:00AM to January 28, 2015, 3:30PM PST
https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2015/01/08/silicon-valley-2015-personalized-medicine-world-conference-mountain-view-ca-january-26-2015-800am-to-january-28-2015-330pm-pst/

2014

10th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference at the Harvard Medical School, November 12-13, 2014, The Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA
http://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2014/10/09/10th-annual-personalized-medicine-conference-at-the-harvard-medical-school-november-12-13-2014-hotel-commonwealth-boston-ma/

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Genetic link to sleep and mood disorders

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Curator

LPBI

 

Scientists identify molecular link between sleep and mood

A poor night’s sleep is enough to put anyone in a bad mood, and although scientists have long suspected a link between mood and sleep, the molecular basis of this connection remained a mystery. Now, new research has found several rare genetic mutations on the same gene that definitively connect the two.

Sleep goes hand-in-hand with mood. People suffering from depression and mania, for example, frequently have altered sleeping patterns, as do those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). And although no one knows exactly how these changes come about, in SAD sufferers they are influenced by changes in light exposure, the brain’s time-keeping cue. But is mood affecting sleep, is sleep affecting mood, or is there a third factor influencing both? Although a number of tantalizing leads have linked the circadian clock to mood, there is “no definitive factor that proves causality or indicates the direction of the relationship,” says Michael McCarthy, a neurobiologist at the San Diego Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center and the University of California (UC), San Diego.

To see whether they could establish a link between the circadian clock, sleep, and mood, scientists in the new study looked at the genetics of a family that suffers from abnormal sleep patterns and mood disorders, including SAD and something called advanced sleep phase, a condition in which people wake earlier and sleep earlier than normal. The scientists screened the family for mutations in key genes involved in the circadian clock, and identified two rare variants of the PERIOD3 (PER3) gene in members suffering from SAD and advanced sleep phase. “We found a genetic change in people who have both seasonal affective disorder and the morning lark trait” says lead researcher Ying-Hui Fu, a neuroscientist at UC San Francisco. When the team tested for these mutations in DNA samples from the general population, they found that they were extremely rare, appearing in less than 1% of samples.

Fu and her team then created mice that carried the novel genetic variants. These transgenic mice showed an unusual sleep-wake cycle and struggled less when handled by the researchers, a typical sign of depression. They also had lower levels of PER2, a protein involved in circadian rhythms, than unmutated mice, providing a possible molecular explanation for the unusual sleep patterns in the family. Fu says this supports the link between the PER3 mutations and both sleep and mood. “PER3’s role in mood regulation has never been demonstrated directly before,” she says. “Our results indicate that PER3 might function in helping us adjust to seasonal changes,” by modifying the body’s internal clock.

To investigate further, the team studied mice lacking a functional PER3 gene. They found that these mice showed symptoms of SAD, exhibiting more severe depression when the duration of simulated daylight in the laboratory was reduced. Because SAD affects between 2% and 9% of people worldwide, the novel variants can’t explain it fully. But understanding the function of PER3 could yield insights into the molecular basis of a wide range of sleep and mood disorders, Fu says.

Together, these experiments show that the PERIOD3 gene likely plays a key role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, influencing mood and regulating the relationship between depression and seasonal changes in light availability, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The identification of a mutation in PER3 with such a strong effect on mood is remarkable,” McCarthy says. “It suggests an important role for the circadian clock in determining mood.”

The next step will be to investigate how well these results generalize to other people suffering from mood and sleep disorders. “It will be interesting to see if other rare variants in PER3 are found, or if SAD is consistently observed in other carriers,” McCarthy says. That could eventually lead to new drugs that selectively target the gene, which McCarthy says, “could be a strategy for treating mood or sleep disorders.”

 

http://dx.doi.org:/10.1126/science.aaf4095

 

 

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New subgroups of ILC immune cells discovered through single-cell RNA sequencing

Reporter: Stephen J Williams, PhD

 

SOURCE

http://ki.se/en/news/new-subgroups-of-ilc-immune-cells-discovered-through-single-cell-rna-sequencing?elqTrackId=f79885cef36049e281109c02da213910&elq=ac700a4d4374478b9d6e10e301ae6b90&elqaid=14707&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=14

Updated on 2016-02-15. Published on 2016-02-15Denna sida på svenska

Jenny Mjösberg and Rickard Sandberg are principal investigators at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Medicine, Huddinge and Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, respectively. Credit: Stefan Zimmerman.

A relatively newly discovered group of immune cells known as ILCs have been examined in detail in a new study published in the journal Nature Immunology. By analysing the gene expression in individual tonsil cells, scientists at Karolinska Institutet have found three previously unknown subgroups of ILCs, and revealed more about how these cells function in the human body.

Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are a group of immune cells that have only relatively recently been discovered in humans. Most of current knowledge about ILCs stems from animal studies of e.g. inflammation or infection in the gastrointestinal tract. There is therefore an urgent need to learn more about these cells in humans.

Previous studies have shown that ILCs are important for maintaining the barrier function of the mucosa, which serves as a first line of defence against microorganisms in the lungs, intestines and elsewhere. However, while there is growing evidence to suggest that ILCs are involved in diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and intestinal cancer, basic research still needs to be done to ascertain exactly what part they play.

Two research groups, led by Rickard Sandberg and Jenny Mjösberg, collaborated on a study of ILCs from human tonsils. To date, three main groups of human ILCs are characterized. In this present study, the teams used a novel approach that enabled them to sort individual tonsil cells and measure their expression across thousands of  genes. This way, the researchers managed to categorise hundreds of cells, one by one, to define the types of ILCs found in the human tonsils.

Unique gene expression profiles

Rickard Sandberg, credit: Stefan Zimmerman,

“We used cluster analyses to demonstrate that ILCs congregate into ILC1, ILC2, ILC3 and NK cells, based on their unique gene expression profiles,” says Professor Sandberg at Karolinska Institutet’sDepartment of Cell and Molecular Biology, and the Stockholm branch of Ludwig Cancer Research. “Our analyses also discovered the expression of numerous genes of previously unknown function in ILCs, highlighting that these cells are likely doing more than what we previously knew.”

By analysing the gene expression profiles (or transcriptome) of individual cells, the researchers found that one of the formerly known main groups could be subdivided.

Jenny Mjösberg, credit: Stefan Zimmerman.

“We’ve identified three new subgroups of ILC3s that evince different gene expression patterns and that differ in how they react to signalling molecules and in their ability to secrete proteins,” says Dr Mjösberg at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Medicine in Huddinge, South Stockholm. “All in all, our study has taught us a lot about this relatively uncharacterised family of cells and our data will serve as an important resource for other researchers.”

The study was financed by grants from a number of bodies, including the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Cancer Society, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, the Swedish Society for Medical Research, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and Karolinska Institutet.

Publication

The heterogeneity of human CD127+ innate lymphoid cells revealed by single-cell RNA sequencing
Åsa K. Björklund, Marianne Forkel, Simone Picelli, Viktoria Konya, Jakob Theorell, Danielle Friberg, Rickard Sandberg, Jenny Mjösberg
Nature Immunology, online 15 February 2016, doi:10.1038/ni.3368

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Two New Drugs for Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome Are Giving Patients Hope

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

Actavis Receives FDA Approval for VIBERZI (eluxadoline) for the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea (IBS-D) in Adults -First in class treatment for IBS-D treats hallmark symptoms of IBS-D; abdominal pain and diarrhea

DUBLIN, May 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Actavis plc (NYSE: ACT) announced today that VIBERZI™ (eluxadoline) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a twice-daily, oral treatment for adults suffering from irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). VIBERZI (eluxadoline) has mixed opioid receptor activity, it is a mu receptor agonist, a delta receptor antagonist, and a kappa receptor agonist.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130124/NY47381LOGO

“The FDA’s approval of VIBERZI is the first step to providing physicians with a new, evidence-based, treatment option for their adult patients with IBS-D,” said David Nicholson, Executive Vice President, Actavis Global Brands R&D. “At Actavis, we are dedicated to providing new treatment options, and the development of new agents that help address the most bothersome symptoms of IBS-D. We are very pleased to be working with the FDA to advance this IBS-D treatment and we eagerly await DEA scheduling determination later this year.”

IBS-D is a multifactorial disorder marked by recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort and altered bowel function that affects as many as 15 million adult Americans, impacting about twice as many women as men.i,ii,iii There are few treatment options available for IBS-D, particularly options that relieve both the diarrhea and abdominal pain associated with IBS-D.

“The unpredictable symptoms experienced by patients with IBS-D can have a significant impact on everyday life,” said William D. Chey, MD, Nostrant Professor of Gastroenterology at the University of Michigan Health System. “It’s exciting when physicians are able to add an additional treatment option like VIBERZI to their toolbox for patients with IBS-D.”

The FDA has recommended that VIBERZI be classified as a controlled substance. This recommendation has been submitted to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  Once VIBERZI receives final scheduling designation, the updated label will be available. Pending final scheduling designation, product launch is anticipated in Q1 2016.

About VIBERZI

VIBERZI is an orally active compound indicated for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) in men and women. VIBERZI (eluxadoline) has mixed opioid receptor activity, it is a mu receptor agonist, a delta receptor antagonist, and a kappa receptor agonist.

Efficacy was established in two Phase III clinical studies, demonstrating significant superiority over placebo on the composite endpoint of simultaneous improvement in both abdominal pain and diarrhea at both 75 mg and 100 mg twice daily doses. The primary efficacy responder endpoint was evaluated over the duration of double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment. Response rates were compared based on patients who met the daily composite response criteria (improvement in both abdominal pain and stool consistency on the same day) for at least 50% of the days from weeks 1 to 12 (FDA endpoint) and weeks 1 to 26 (European Medicines Agency endpoint).

The most common adverse events in the two Phase III clinical trials were constipation (7% and 8% for eluxadoline 75 mg and 100 mg; 2% for placebo) and nausea (8% and 7% for eluxadoline 75 mg and 100 mg; 5% for placebo). Rates of severe constipation were less than 1% in patients receiving 75 mg and 100 mg eluxadoline. Rates of discontinuation due to constipation were low for both eluxadoline and placebo (≤2%) and similar rates of constipation occurred between the active and placebo arms beyond 3 months of treatment. A total of 2,426 subjects were enrolled across the two studies.

For more information including full prescribing information about VIBERZI at http://www.actavis.com/Actavis/media/PDFDocuments/VIBERZI_PI.pdf

About IBS-D

Irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) is a functional bowel disorder characterized by chronic abdominal pain and frequent diarrhea, which affects approximately 15 million patients in the U.S.  Although the exact cause of IBS-D is not known, symptoms are thought to result from a disturbance in the way the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system interact.

IBS-D can be debilitating and there are limited therapeutic options for managing the chronic symptoms. IBS-D is associated with economic burden in direct medical costs and indirect social costs such as absenteeism and lost productivity, along with decreased quality of life.

About Actavis
Actavis plc (NYSE: ACT), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a unique, global pharmaceutical company and a leader in a new industry model—Growth Pharma. Actavis is focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing innovative branded pharmaceuticals, high-quality generic and over-the-counter medicines and biologic products for patients around the world.

Actavis markets a portfolio of best-in-class products that provide valuable treatments for the central nervous system, eye care, medical aesthetics, gastroenterology, women’s health, urology, cardiovascular and anti-infective therapeutic categories, and operates the world’s third-largest global generics business, providing patients around the globe with increased access to affordable, high-quality medicines. Actavis is an industry leader in research and development, with one of the broadest development pipelines in the pharmaceutical industry and a leading position in the submission of generic product applications globally.

With commercial operations in approximately 100 countries, Actavis is committed to working with physicians, healthcare providers and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help people around the world live longer, healthier lives.

Actavis intends to adopt a new global name – Allergan – pending shareholder approval in 2015.

For more information, visit Actavis’ website at www.actavis.com.

Actavis Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Statements contained in this communication that refer to Actavis’ estimated or anticipated future results, including estimated synergies, or other non-historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect Actavis’ current perspective of existing trends and information as of the date of this communication. Actual results may differ materially from Actavis’ current expectations depending upon a number of factors affecting Actavis’ business. These factors include, among others, the timing and success of product launches; the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of product development efforts and regulatory agency approvals or actions, if any; market acceptance of and continued demand for Actavis’ products; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and such other risks and uncertainties detailed in Actavis’ periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Actavis plc’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 and from time to time in Actavis’ other investor communications. Except as expressly required by law, Actavis disclaims any intent or obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements.

i Camilleri M. Current and future pharmacological treatments for diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. 2013;14:1151.

ii Grundmann O, Yoon SL. Irritable bowel syndrome: epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment: an update for health-care practitioners. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2010;25:691–699.

iii Eluxadoline Xifaxin Summary Final. November 2014.

CONTACTS:
Investors:
Lisa DeFrancesco
(862) 261-7152

Media:
David Belian
(862) 261-8141

SOURCE Actavis plc

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Synergy’s Looming FDA Filing Makes It Pharma of the Month

By James Passeri Follow

| Jan 05, 2016 | 8:39 AM EST  | 0

Keep an eye on Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) this month: Analysts like it, its shares have waned since a big spike this summer, and the official filing of its star product is expected any day.

When the New York-based pharmaceutical company, which specializes in gastrointestinal therapy, announced that it passed clinical trials on its flagship drug plecanatide this summer, shares rocketed 95%.

But today analysts appear mystified at why the stock has receded 45% from its July high, especially with plecanatide’s new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration expected this month. (It’s currently trading below $6, and the consensus price target is over $13, according to data provided by Bloomberg.)

Synergy should be raking in $600 million from plecanatide, a daily tablet that treats patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), within five years of obtaining FDA approval (expected in 2017, according to equity research firm BTIG. Synergy currently has a market capitalization of just $645 million.

BTIG’s $11 price target is also buoyed by roughly $142 million on the balance sheet, as well as newly appointed management including CFO Gary Sender and COO Troy Hamilton, both former executives at pharma success story Shire (SHPG). Though Shire shares are down just under 4% over the past 12 month, they have rocketed 112% over the past two years.

Synergy also stands to benefit from a growing demand for gastrointestinal treatments, feeding the appetite of Big Pharma for potential acquisitions, according to BTIG.

“With about 45 million Americans suffering from chronic constipation and IBS, and major companies like Allergan(AGN) and Valeant (VRX) focusing their marketing efforts on GI treatments, it seems logical to imagine SGYP as a takeover candidate,” BTIG analyst Timothy Chiang wrote in a November report.

Whether or not this leads to a buyout or another stock surge, Synergy certainly can be counted on for a healthy dose of small-cap volatility as its chief product takes the final steps toward reaching its customers.

 

 

Synergy Pharmaceuticals Announces Successful End-of-Phase 2 Meeting with FDA for Plecanatide in Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation

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Pivotal Phase 3 IBS-C Program to be Initiated in the Fourth Quarter of 2014

NEW YORK– Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:SGYP) today announced that it has successfully completed an End-of-Phase 2 meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on its lead drug plecanatide for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C). Agreement was reached with the FDA for the plecanatide pivotal phase 3 IBS-C clinical development program that is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of our meeting with the FDA and have a clear path forward to start the IBS-C registration program with plecanatide this year,” said Dr. Gary S. Jacob, Chairman and CEO of Synergy. “The pivotal phase 3 IBS-C trials will include both 3.0 mg and 6.0 mg plecanatide, which are consistent with the doses currently being evaluated in our phase 3 chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) program. Plecanatide has demonstrated a clinical dose-response for efficacy with an excellent tolerability profile that is observed across trials. This is an important advantage as we look to bring two doses to market in both indications and provide physicians with options for addressing individual patient needs.”

Synergy’s pivotal phase 3 IBS-C clinical development program will consist of two registration trials, each including 1,050 patients who will receive either placebo, 3.0 mg or 6.0 mg plecanatide. IBS-C patients successfully completing either of the 12-week placebo-controlled registration trials will be offered enrollment into a long-term safety trial in order to complement and support the ongoing long-term safety database for the CIC indication.

About Plecanatide

Plecanatide is Synergy’s lead uroguanylin analog in late-stage clinical development to treat patients with CIC and IBS-C. Uroguanylin is a natural gastrointestinal (GI) hormone produced by humans in the small intestine and plays a key role in regulating the normal functioning of the digestive tract through its activity on the guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) receptor. The GC-C receptor is known to be a primary source for stimulating a variety of beneficial physiological responses. Orally administered plecanatide mimics uroguanylin’s functions by binding to and activating the GC-C receptor to stimulate fluid and ion transit required for normal bowel function. Synergy has successfully completed a phase 2b trial of plecanatide in 951 patients with CIC and is currently enrolling patients in two pivotal phase 3 CIC trials. The company also recently announced positive top-line data results from a phase 2b dose-ranging study with plecanatide in patients with IBS-C.

About Synergy Pharmaceuticals

Synergy Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SGYP) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapies based on the natural human hormone, uroguanylin, to treat GI diseases and disorders. Synergy has created two unique analogs of uroguanylin – plecanatide and SP-333 – designed to mimic the natural hormone’s activity on the GC-C receptor and target a variety of GI conditions. SP-333 is currently in phase 2 development for opioid-induced constipation and is also being explored for ulcerative colitis. For more information, please visit www.synergypharma.com.

 

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False-Positive Mammogram Results May Be Linked to Higher Risk Later in Life

While screening mammograms aren’t perfect, they are the best way we have right now to detect breast cancer early, when it’s most treatable.

When a screening mammogram shows an abnormal area that looks like a cancer but turns out to be normal, it’s called a false positive. Ultimately the news is good: no breast cancer. But the suspicious area usually requires follow-up with more than one doctor, extra tests, and extra procedures, including a possible biopsy.

A large study suggests that women with false-positive mammogram results have a slightly higher risk of developing invasive breast cancer within the next 10 years.

The research was published online on Dec. 2, 2015 by the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Read the abstract of “Increased Risk of Developing Breast Cancer after a False-Positive Screening Mammogram.”

To do the study, the researchers looked at information from nearly 1.3 million women ages 40 to 70 with no family history of breast cancer who had screening mammograms from 1994 to 2009. The information came from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium database, which is maintained by the National Cancer Institute.

The researchers found that the 1,297,906 women had a total of 2,207,942 screening mammograms. There were:

  • 159,448 false-positive results with a recommendation for more imaging
  • 22,892 false-positive results with a recommendation for biopsy
  • 2,025,602 negative mammograms

Women ages 40 to 49 made up the largest percentage of false-positive mammogram results with a recommendation for more imaging (33.1%). Women with dense breasts also were more likely to have false-positive results.

The researchers then compared the rates of invasive breast cancer between women who had false-positive mammogram results and women who had negative mammogram results:

  • there were 3.91 invasive breast cancers per 1,000 person-years of follow-up among women with negative mammogram results
  • there were 5.51 invasive breast cancers per 1,000 person-years of follow-up among women with false-positive mammogram results with a recommendation for more imaging
  • there were 7.01 invasive breast cancers per 1,000 person-years of follow-up among women with false-positive mammogram results with a recommendation for biopsy

The researchers said the 10-year risk of invasive breast cancer was:

  • 39% higher in women with false-positive results with a recommendation for more imaging
  • 76% higher in women with false-positive results with a recommendation for biopsy

compared to women with negative results.

It’s important to know that the increases above are increases in relative risk — the risk of a woman with a false-positive result relative to the risk of a woman with a negative result.

In terms of absolute risk, the increase is small:

  • women with false-positive results have about a 2% risk of developing invasive disease in the 10 years after the false-positive result
  • women with negative results have about a 1% risk of developing invasive disease in the 10 years after the negative result

The researchers didn’t offer an explanation about why false-positive mammogram results appear to be linked to a slightly higher risk of invasive disease. Many experts think that the subtle changes suggested on the mammogram may be an early clue to cancer before actual cancer exists.

It’s also important to know that this association has been suggested in other studies. But the large number of women in the study and the length of follow-up add more evidence that the link between false-positive results and a somewhat higher risk of invasive disease actually exists.

“The power of this study to show the association is very strong, particularly when you combine it with the results of the other studies that have been done,” said Richard Wender, M.D., chief of cancer control at the American Cancer Society, in an interview. “I think we can now say with confidence that women who have had a previous false-positive mammogram are at somewhat higher risk for breast cancer.”

The researchers who did this study want to incorporate false-positive mammogram results into models that predict breast cancer risk.

“Now that we have this information, our hope is that we can add it into existing risk-prediction models to improve their ability to discriminate between women who will go on to develop breast cancer and those who won’t,” said Louise Henderson, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, who was the lead author of the study. “We should accept that a false-positive mammogram is a risk factor for predicting future risk of breast cancer.

“In clinical terms, that means women who have a false-positive mammogram need to be particularly vigilant about keeping up with regular mammographic screening,” she continued. “The clinicians caring for these women should have a way to track women who have had a false-positive and make sure that every effort is made to keep up to date with mammography.”

It’s important to know that a false-positive mammogram result doesn’t mean you will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Having any history of breast biopsies is associated with a higher risk,” said Breastcancer.org President and Founder Marisa Weiss, M.D. “Breast tissue that is dense or has proliferative changes tends to lead to questions on the breast imaging. Sometimes it leads to biopsies. In contrast, breast tissue that is boring, without any extra activity, rarely leads to any kind of biopsy. That kind of inactive breast tissue is less likely to develop breast cancer.”

“This study doesn’t suggest that having a false-positive leads to breast cancer,” said Brian Wojciechowski, M.D., Breastcancer.org’s medical adviser. “Rather, it reflects an association between breast cancer risk and abnormal breast imaging. Women should not worry that getting mammograms will increase their risk of breast cancer in the future.”

There’s only one of you and you deserve the best care possible. Don’t let any obstacles get in the way of your regular screening mammograms, especially if you’ve had a false-positive result.

  • If you’re worried about cost, talk to your doctor, a local hospital social worker, or staff members at a mammogram center. Ask about free programs in your area.
  • If you’re having problems scheduling a mammogram, call the National Cancer Institute (800-4-CANCER) or the American College of Radiology (800-227-5463) to find certified mammogram providers near you.
  • If you find mammograms painful, ask the mammography center staff members how the experience can be as easy and as comfortable as possible for you.
  • If you’re concerned about unknown results or being called back for more testing, talk to your doctor about what happens when mammogram results are unclear, as well as what to expect if you’re called back for more testing.

For more information on mammograms and other tests to detect and diagnose breast cancer, visit the Breastcancer.org Screening and Testing section.


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PD1 Inhibitor atezolizumab may show promise in bladder cancer in patients with high PDL1 expression

Reporter: Stephen J Williams

Updated 4/15/2016

Promising Immunotherapy Agents on Horizon in Bladder Cancer

Reported from OncLive

Virginia Powers, PhD

Published Online: Monday, November 16, 2015 at http://www.onclive.com/web-exclusives/promising-immunotherapy-agents-on-horizon-in-bladder-cancer

 

thompson

Thomas Powles, MD

The dramatic and often practice-changing findings demonstrated by trials of immunotherapies in melanoma and lung cancer may soon be reflected in the treatment of bladder cancer, according to a summary of ongoing studies1 presented at the 7th European Multidisciplinary Meeting on Urological Cancers (EMUC).

“Immune therapy is a promising new treatment in transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder,” said Thomas Powles, MD, medical oncologist, director of St Bartholomew’s Cancer Centre, London. “Until recently, bladder cancer research has been somehow left behind.”

Powles underscored that immune checkpoint inhibitors are active in urothelial bladder cancer (UBC) and provided an overview of the emergence of immune therapy in bladder cancer that focused on agents targeting the immune checkpoint axis, especially the programed death receptor (PD1) and its ligand (PD-L1).

“Each drug has a unique companion diagnostic but the strongest data so far are seen with blocking PD-L1 and atezolizumab,” he said.

The confirmed overall response rate (ORR) by RECIST to atezolizumab are associated with PD-L1 expression levels in the tumor. In a phase I trial of second line atezolizumab (MPDL3280A) in TCC, a response was demonstrated in patients that had previously showed only a 10% response rate to chemotherapy. The ORRs were 43% for patients with tumors expressing high levels of PD-L1 (IHC 2/3) compared to 11% in patients with tumors having low expression (IHC 0 or 1).2

PD-L1 expression on the immune cells (IC) infiltrating the tumor has also been shown to be associated with response. The PD-L1 expression on ICs was evaluated as low, medium, and high in approximately one-third each of 311 patients with locally-advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) participating in the phase II IMvigor 210 trial, which corresponded to an ORR with atezolizumab of 9%, 10%, and 27% in the respective expression groups.

Overall survival (OS) at a median follow-up of 7 months (range, 0-11) also correlated with expression levels and was 6.7 months in low (IC0/1), not reached in high (IC2/3) expressing patients, and 7.9 months in overall population. However, no difference was seen in progression-free survival (PFS) according to expression levels; median PFS was 2.1 months in the overall population and in patients having both low (IC0/1) and high (IV2/3) expression levels, respectively. These data were emphasized as early response data that are expected to mature in further analyses.3

Powles commented that his team is beginning a phase III randomized trial of atezolizumab in 767 patients with locally-advanced UBC who were also chemotherapy-resistant following 1 to 2 prior lines of a platinum-based regimen. Patients have been stratified by chemotherapy regimen, PD-L1 expression, IHC status, risk factors, and the presence of liver metastasis. The primary endpoint is OS and secondary endpoints include ORR, PFS, and duration of response (DoR), safety, and tolerability. Other objectives include disease control rate and potential biomarkers.

“PD-L1 expression appears important but we need to find other biomarkers,” he remarked.

Powles moved on to discuss the KEYNOTE-012 phase Ib trial of pembrolizumab, an anti-PD1 antibody that blocks interaction with both PD-L1 and PD-L2. In KEYNOTE, pembrolizumab demonstrated anti-tumor activity in patients with recurrent or metastatic PD-L1–positive UBC in 64% of patients experiencing a decrease in target lesions from baseline.4

Combination and adjuvant studies are ongoing, according to Powles. A trial of atezolizumab as adjuvant therapy versus placebo is underway in patients with TCC whose tumors express PD-L1. The trial has a primary endpoint of disease-free survival (DFS).

“Next-generation combination therapy with nivolumab plus ipilimumab is a common sense approach that was tested in advanced melanoma and is now being evaluated in the Danube trial,” Powles said.

Nivolumab, a PD-1 blocking antibody, and ipilimumab, which blocks CTLA-4, will be evaluated in Danube, a randomized phase III study that will enroll 800 patients with untreated metastatic TCC. The endpoints are PFS and OS. Patients are required to have available tissue for PD-L1 testing and no contraindications for immune therapy.

The rationale for the combination was demonstrated in melanoma, where confirmed objective responses were seen in 61% of patients receiving nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus 11% in patients receiving ipilimumab and placebo (P <0.001). Complete responses were reported in 16 patients (22%) with combination compared to no patients receiving ipilimumab monotherapy.5

“It looks like checkpoint inhibition works particularly well in node positive patients; in the future we can see treatment with first-line immunotherapeutic agents,” said Powles.

“We hope that immune therapy will identify a subset of patients who get long-term benefits from immune therapy,” Powles said. “The future looks bright for immunotherapy in bladder cancer.”

References

  1. Powles T. Update on systemic treatments in bladder cancer. Presented at: 7th European Multidisciplinary Meeting on Urological Cancers (EMUC), Barcelona, Spain, November 12–15, 2015.
  2. Powles T, Eder JP, Fine GD, et al. MPDL3280A (anti-PD-L1) treatment leads to clinical activity in metastatic bladder cancer. Nature. 2014;515(7528):558-562.
  3. Rosenberg J, Petrylak D, Abidoye O, et al. Atezolizumab in patients (pts) with locally-advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC): Results from a pivotal multicenter phase II study (IMvigor 210). Presented at: 2015 European Cancer Congress; September 25-29; Vienna, Austria. Abstract 21LBA.
  4. Plimack ER, Bellmunt J, Gupta S, et al. Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) for advanced urothelial cancer: Updated results and biomarker analysis from KEYNOTE-012. J Clin Oncol 33, 2015 (suppl; abstr 4502).
  5. Larkin J, Chiarion-Sileni V, Gonzalez R, et al. Combined nivolumab and ipilimumab or monotherapy in untreated melanoma. N Engl J Med. 2015; 373:23-34.

– See more at: http://www.onclive.com/web-exclusives/promising-immunotherapy-agents-on-horizon-in-bladder-cancer#sthash.c63jReGo.dpuf

Speedy review for Merck’s Keytruda in head and neck cancer

DAILY NEWS | APRIL 14, 2016

SELINA MCKEE

Speedy review for Merck's Keytruda in head and neck cancer

US regulators have agreed to undertake a speedy review of Merck & Co’s application to market immunotherapy Keytruda for the treatment of certain patients with head and neck cancer, it third potential indication in the country.

 

The company is targeting the drug towards patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy.

 

“We are encouraged by the data emerging from our program in this type of cancer, and welcome today’s news as this is an important step toward making Keytruda (pembrolizumab) available to these patients,” said Roger Dansey, senior vice president and therapeutic area head, oncology late-stage development, Merck Research Laboratories.

 

The US Food and Drug Administration has set an action date for Keytruda – an anti-PD-1 therapy dosed as a single agent intravenously every three weeks – of August 9.

 

Keytruda is a humanised monoclonal antibody that boosts the ability of the body’s immune system to help detect and fight tumour cells. The drug has already racked up approvals in melanoma and lung cancer in the US.

Read more at: http://www.pharmatimes.com/Article/16-04-14/Speedy_review_for_Merck_s_Keytruda_in_head_and_neck_cancer.aspx#ixzz45uMyaCdc
Follow us: @PharmaTimes on Twitter

 

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Lab Grown Brains and more from Twittersphere on 3D Bio-Printing News

Curator: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D

How Tiny Lab-Grown Human Brains Are Giving Big Insights Into Autism and more from the Twittershpere

 

https://twitter.com/singularityhub/status/664508353771610112

(more…)

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