The Week of July 29 in Review

August 2, 2013

The week of July 29 in review, featuring stories and physician interviews on genetic testing, expanding anti-HER2 therapy, and nivolumab for the treatment of melanoma.

Changing Landscape for Genetic Testing

Dr. Jane Robertson on the Mechanism of Action of Olaparib

TweetThe US Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling that an individual’s genes cannot be patented, together with actress Angelina Jolie’s announcement of her prophylactic double mastectomy, have focused much attention on cancer genetic testing in recent weeks, leaving many to wonder what’s next in the burgeoning field of cancer genetics.Jane Robertson, MD, Global Product Vice President at AstraZeneca, describes the mechanism of action of olaparib, a PARP inhibitor.

Positive Findings for Nab-Paclitaxel/Gemcitabine Combination

Three presentations from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2013 Annual Meeting extended positive findings from the international phase III Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Clinical Trial (MPACT) comparing nanoparticle albumin- bound (nab) paclitaxel (Abraxane) and gemcitabine (nab-P+G) to gemcitabine (G) in 861 untreated patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Fowler on How T-rapa Cells Work

Daniel H. Fowler, MD, senior investigator, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, describes how T-rapa cells work.

Exploring the Potential for Expansion of Anti-HER2 Therapy

Max S. Wicha, MD, a founding director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, is an internationally renowned research expert in the field of breast oncology. His lab was part of the first team to discover stem cells in breast cancer, and he is among the most highly cited investigators in the field of cancer stem cells.

Mechanism of Action: Afatinib (BIBW 2992)

Afatinib (Gilotrif), previously known as BIBW 2992, is an FDA-approved pan-HER inhibitor for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors have EGFR exon 19 deletions or exon 21 (L858R) substitution mutations as detected by an FDA-approved test. Afatinib is also being looked at in breast cancer, prostate cancer, glioma, and head and neck cancer.

Suzanne A. W. Fuqua, PhD, on Targeting the Androgen Receptor in Breast Cancer

Suzanne A. W. Fuqua, PhD, professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, discusses targeting the androgen receptor in breast cancer. The androgen receptor is a nice target, Fuqua says, because it is frequently expressed and has several drugs already available.

The Changing Landscape of Oncology: Impact for Payers and Providers

Cancer. The word strikes fear as a clinical diagnosis. It also keeps managed care and employer medical directors up at night, wondering what the future will bring and how they will manage cancer coverage in the context of the limited dollars available for all medical care and diseases.

Dr. Schuchter Describes Two Trials Looking at Nivolumab in Melanoma

Lynn M. Schuchter, MD, Chief, Hematology Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, describes two trials presented at the 2013 ASCO Meeting looking at nivolumab in patients with melanoma.