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ASCO 2020: AZ’s Tagrisso Promises Disease-Free Survival in Postoperative EGFR Mutation-Positive NSCLC

By Sangeeta Chakraborty, Ph.D. Introduction Lung cancer (LC) leads the chart in most cancer-associated deaths worldwide, killing about one-fifth of all cancer patients. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 80% of all lung cancer patients. Among them, 30% of the cases are resectable at the time of diagnosis. As a primary treatment modality for early-stage NSCLC, invasive surgical tumor resection has only been moderately successful, with several patients eventually dying from relapse. This poses an impediment to their postoperative disease-free survival. On the other hand, the application of systemic cisplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy in resected NSCLC has shown a minuscule survival advantage of only 5% at five years. Clearly, traditional systemic chemotherapy is no longer seen as the best course of treatment for lung cancer. With the advent of rationally designed drugs that can target specific pathways of malignancy sparing the healthy cells, it is possible to streamline and...
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ASCO 2020: AZ’s Tagrisso Promises Disease-Free Survival in Postoperative EGFR Mutation-Positive NSCLC
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ASCO 2020: Results from the INFORM Registry, A Step Towards Personalized Therapy in Pediatric Cancer

By T. Chakraborty, Ph.D. The “INdividualized Therapy FOr Relapsed Malignancies in Childhood” (INFORM) registry aims to create a personalized database for progressive or refractory pediatric cancer patients. Dr. Cornelis M. van Tilburg from the Hopp Children’s Cancer Center presented some clinical outcomes and subgroup analysis from the registry at the ASCO virtual meeting. Every year approximately 16,000 children are diagnosed with cancer before their 19th birthday in the US. Currently, estimates suggest that one in 285 children will be diagnosed with pediatric cancer, making it a huge socio-economic burden. With advancements in treatments, survival rates have increased, but pediatric cancer is still the second most common cause of death among children. Despite the high overall cure rate among children as compared to adult patients, cancer relapse is a major hindrance with only a 10% cure rate.   The INFORM Consortium The INFORM consortium is an initiative of the German Cancer...
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ASCO 2020: Results from the INFORM Registry, A Step Towards Personalized Therapy in Pediatric Cancer
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ASCO 2020: Maintenance Therapy with Avelumab Post-Chemo Improves Overall Survival of Bladder Cancer Patients

By Ruchi Jhonsa, Ph.D. Bladder cancer is the 6th most common cancer in the US and is responsible for 200,000 deaths globally in 2018. The current standard of care for this disease is platinum-based chemotherapy. Although the majority of patients respond, the progression-free survival and overall survival are short due to resistance posed by the cancer cells against the treatment. The standard second line of therapy for these patients is treatment with avelumab (Bavencio), a human anti-PD-L1 antibody co-developed by Merck KGaA and Pfizer. The drug has been shown to engage both the adaptive and innate immune functions in preclinical models. However, just 25-55% of patients receive this second line of treatment, and only a minority benefit from it.   Avelumab (Bavencio) as First-Line Maintenance Therapy The Phase 3 JAVELIN bladder 100 trial investigated avelumab as the first-line maintenance therapy in patients whose disease had not progressed with first-line platinum-based...
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ASCO 2020: Maintenance Therapy with Avelumab Post-Chemo Improves Overall Survival of Bladder Cancer Patients
Event Feature

What to Expect from the ASCO20 Virtual Program

Photo Courtesy: ASCO Taking the COVID-19 pandemic into consideration, last March, the organizers of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), decided to convert their highly regarded annual meeting into a virtual format. Originally scheduled to take place in Chicago for 5 days, the conference will now transpire as an online program between May 29 - 31. Here is a brief preview of what to expect from the event. The ASCO annual meeting is more than just a scientific congregation of physicians, researchers, and industry professionals reporting on the latest advances in cancer research. It is also an opportunity for education and patient advocacy. While a virtual program may not be an ideal replacement for the in-person meeting to achieve its full potential, the decision is the right one, considering the circumstances. Besides, it offers access to a horde of participants around the globe, who might have otherwise skipped the...
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What to Expect from the ASCO20 Virtual Program
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Novartis’ Kisqali Shows Promising Results in Advanced Breast Cancer Patients with Liver Metastases

By T. Chakraborty, Ph.D. Breast cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer in women, resulting in 1 out of 8 patients in the US, developing an invasive condition in their lifetime. In 2020 alone, approximately 42,170 patients are projected to die [1]. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are a family of protein kinases that are involved in cell cycle progression and cell division. The hyperactivated CDK 4 and CDK 6 proteins in metastatic breast cancer cells cause tumors to divide and propagate without control. Therefore, targeted therapy against CDK4/6 has been used to treat metastatic breast cancers [2]. Kisqali (ribociclib) is a CDK4/6 inhibitor developed by Novartis in collaboration with Astex Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of advanced breast cancer.   The Drug Based on the strong results from the MONALEESA-2 trial, Kisqali was approved first by the FDA and then by the European Commission (EC) in the year 2017....
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Novartis’ Kisqali Shows Promising Results in Advanced Breast Cancer Patients with Liver Metastases
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Interview

Dr. Joseph Kvedar: The Potential of Telemedicine in the Era of Digitalization

Telemedicine is an intervention that facilitates patient access to healthcare outside of the doctor's office. To manage overwhelming patient populations, in recent years, hospital systems around the world have started to embrace it. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has only accentuated the value of this approach with mandatory measures like lockdown and social distancing in place. "The interest in remote or virtual care delivery has been accelerating in the last five years, but our time to shine is now," says Dr. Joseph Kvedar, who has been a staunch advocate of digital health for close to three decades. A seasoned dermatologist at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Kvedar has been at the forefront of telemedicine with his eminent leadership at Partners...
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Dr. Joseph Kvedar: The Potential of Telemedicine in the Era of Digitalization
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INDUSTRY

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ASCO 2020: AZ’s Tagrisso Promises Disease-Free Survival in Postoperative EGFR Mutation-Positive NSCLC

By Sangeeta Chakraborty, Ph.D. Introduction Lung cancer (LC) leads the chart in most cancer-associated deaths worldwide, killing about one-fifth of all cancer patients. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for …

ASIA INSIGHT

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Torii Pharma’s Corectim Ointment Features in Japan’s NHI Drug Price List

The Japanese drug manufacturer’s plans to launch the world’s first non-steroidal JAK inhibitor against atopic dermatitis in the country gets a huge boost with this development. On April 22, Japan-based …

TECHNOLOGY

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Peptide Therapeutics Market: Promise for a Painless Future

The production and consumption of therapeutics have metamorphosed biopharma into a money-spinning industry that has achieved unprecedented growth. Therapeutics, in simple terms, is a device to counter the deficiencies present …

NORTH AMERICA

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Lynparza Greenlighted by FDA for HRR-Mutated, Metastatic Prostate Cancer

By Rajaneesh K. Gopinath, Ph.D. Within days of Clovis Oncology’s regulatory win for Rubraca, Lynparza bagged FDA authorization for the treatment of metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), becoming only the …

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