As organisms adapt to their environment, adaptations that serve them in their current environment can become liabilities if that environment changes. The control of traits that are an asset in one situation and a liability by the same gene is called antagonistic pleiotropy. In the March 16, 2020, online issue of Nature Genetics, researchers reported a method to systematically identify mutations that conferred antagonistic pleiotropy – in the form of resistance to one drug, but heightened sensitivity to another – in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has significantly relaxed the national restrictions on coverage of next-generation sequencing for cancer, affirming that early-stage breast and ovarian cancer patients will be covered. However, Medicare administrative contractors can cover tests that have not been reviewed by the FDA, a move that should also significantly boost utilization for makers of next-generation sequencing systems in clinical labs.
LONDON – Advanced Oncotherapy plc is starting verification and validation of the world’s first linear proton beam accelerator system, which is assembled and ready for testing at the Daresbury particle physics laboratory in Cheshire, U.K.
HONG KONG – Lucence Diagnostics Pte Ltd., a genomic medicine company headquartered in Singapore, has secured $20 million in series A investment. The company is focused on inventing liquid biopsy tests for cancer screening and personalizing care.
There are a pair of approved CAR T drugs, Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) from Gilead Sciences Inc. and Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) from Novartis AG, that have been available since 2017 for a few hematological cancers including some lymphomas and leukemias. But little is known about how these engineered chimeric antigen receptor T cells that both target CD19, an antigen prevalent in the cells of many B-cell malignancies, move through the body and proliferate after they are first removed, altered, expanded in number and, finally, returned to a patient's body.
LONDON – Pfizer Inc. is taking further steps to distinguish its third-generation anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, Lorbrena, from the rest of the field, funding a pan-European trial that will use liquid biopsies to track the resistance profile of non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLC).
HONG KONG – In one of the latest combination efforts against cancer, Kahr Medical Ltd. is teaming up with Switzerland's Basel-based Roche Holding AG to study the use of the former's lead program, DSP-10, in combination with the latter's PD-L1-blocking checkpoint inhibitor, Tecentriq (atezolizumab), in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung carcinoma refractory to checkpoint inhibitors.
Since being diagnosed with cancer a few months ago, I have been in an unwanted crash course on the patient perspective of everything I’ve been writing about biopharma for the past several years. It’s an eye-opener. Genetic testing, lack of research, unmet medical need, off-label use, drug shortages, adverse events, informed consent, clinical trial data that don’t represent real-world practice, drug-drug interactions, co-morbidities, labeling precautions, reimbursement, data-sharing vs. privacy issues. ... Up until now, these were all topics I wrote about or discussed with my colleagues during our news meetings. Now, they’re personal. They impact my daily life and could...
This isn’t exactly “funny” – nothing about cancer is – but during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago I couldn’t help noticing the multitude of hand-sanitizer vending devices posted around McCormick Place. They seemed … odd there. “Scrub some alcohol gel on your hands, so you don’t catch cold! Oh, cancer? Not a lot we can do about that. We’re working on it.” So they are. The number of abstracts submitted and attendees set records this year. I’m not always assigned to cover ASCO, but I’ve done my share, and 2014’s meeting seemed uncommonly active. Of...
As the biggest names in cancer care gather at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's 50th annual meeting in Chicago, talk of the exorbitant cost of new cancer drugs is no doubt echoing in the halls of McCormick Place. Outrage is easy to summon. At nearly $10,000 a month the average cost for a branded oncology drug in the U.S. is double what it was a decade ago and a full fifth of annual median household income. Last year, 10 new oncology drugs joined the fray, helping drive global spending on cancer therapeutics to $91 billion. Newer targeted therapies accounted for nearly half the...