Ultralow dose of nivolumab offers huge cost savings

Source: www.medscape.com Author: M. Alexander Otto, PA, MMS A randomized clinical trial from India raises the possibility of huge cost savings by using much lower doses of immunotherapy. The researchers used just 6% of the recommended dose of nivolumab instead of the full dose in their treatment of patients with advanced head and neck cancer, and the addition of this low dose to the standard regimen improved 1-year survival by 25%. The study was published on January 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and has been downloaded almost 2000 times. The findings suggest that low doses of immunotherapy might be equivalent to the much higher doses that are approved and are currently used, two medical oncologists comment in a related editorial. If these findings can be extrapolated to other immune checkpoint inhibitors and to other tumor types, switching to the lower doses could save healthcare systems billions of dollars, write Aaron Mitchell, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, and Daniel Goldstein, MD, of Tel Aviv University, Israel. Improving Access With limited resources, the Indian healthcare system cannot afford full-dose checkpoint inhibitors, and as a result, fewer than 5% of patients have access to them, explained trial investigators led by Vijay Maruti Patil, MD, a medical oncologist at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India. The goal of the trial was to see whether lower, less expensive doses were effective for patients with advanced head and neck cancer. The idea is to increase access by making treatment more [...]

Treatment side effects to head and neck cancer patients reduced using immunotherapy

Source: www.theepochtimes.com Authors: Shan Lam, Nathan Amery Head and neck cancer patients suffer many side effects from conventional treatments, research shows such side effects can be reduced by using the recently developed “immunotherapy” treatment. Hong Kong Cancer Information Charity Foundation (CICF) announced the results of a questionnaire survey on “head and neck cancers” on Nov. 15. It was found that over 80 percent of the respondents experienced eating difficulties, including taste changes, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and oral ulcers; Respondents who received conventional treatment reported an average of 8.5 treatment side effects, and 43 percent had 10 or more side effects. CICF pointed out that the emergence of “immunotherapy” in recent years has reduced the side effects of conventional treatments and urged the government to include related treatments in funding projects. According to the CICF, head and neck cancers refer to cancer lesions in the head and neck, which can be divided into two types: head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. They are named after the original organs, such as oral cancer, hypopharyngeal cancer, and throat cancer. Over the past ten years, the number of new cases of head and neck cancers in Hong Kong has continued to rise, and the average number of deaths is 210 each year, accounting for 30 percent of those new cases. In the middle of 2022, the research team interviewed 97 head and neck cancer patients directly or through their caregivers in the form of an online questionnaire. The purpose was [...]

2022-11-30T21:31:35-07:00November, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

POISON’s Rikki Rockett wants to get word out about immunotherapy after being declared cancer-free

Source: blabbermouth.net Author: staff Rikki Rockett, drummer for the band POISON, got the best news of his life last week: his cancer is gone. Rockett was diagnosed with oral cancer more than a year ago. Several months ago, he came to Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, where he underwent experimental cancer immunotherapy, which has now eradicated the tumor. Rockett says he joined the clinical trial not only out of concern about himself, but also about being around for his three-year-old daughter, Lucy, and his seven-year-old son, Jude. Immunotherapy is a relatively new form of treatment that boosts the body's immune system, better enabling it to attack cancer cells. Under the care of Ezra Cohen, MD, professor of medicine and associate director for Translational Science at Moores Cancer Center, Rockett participated in a clinical trial that is testing a combination of two immunotherapy drugs that remove defenses cancers use against the immune system. This type of treatment is only available at a few specific medical centers around the country. "We are delighted that Rikki responded so well to immunotherapy. He had already been through a lot with chemotherapy and radiation treatment before he came to us, but his cancer recurred," said Cohen, who also leads the Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program at Moores Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. "That's the advantage of immunotherapy over traditional therapy — there are fewer side effects, we can specifically eradicate cancer cells almost anywhere in the body, and it's [...]

2022-09-24T06:56:37-07:00September, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Pilot study to look at ctDNA results in cancer patients with extraordinary immunotherapy response

Source: web.musc.edu Author: Leslie Cantu Every once in a while, oncologist John Kaczmar, M.D., will have a patient following a course of immunotherapy whose cancer just seems to vanish. “In your heart of hearts, you’re like, ‘Man, I kind of think we might have cured this person,’” said the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center researcher. “Cure” is a word that cancer doctors tend to shy away from, especially in those who have metastatic cancer he said. But Kaczmar is curious about whether those people whose cancer is quickly knocked down – he terms them “extraordinary responders” – could potentially stop immunotherapy treatments sooner. Right now, he said, immunotherapy treatments typically last two years, though there isn’t strong research indicating what the proper length of treatment should be. If doctors and patients were confident that the cancer was gone, they could stop treatment sooner. “Side effects are random in immune therapy. They can happen six months out. They can happen nine months out,” Kaczmar said. “Perhaps some can have a shorter treatment course and avoid immunotherapy toxicity and reduce financial toxicity.” To begin to pull together data, Kaczmar is running a pilot study to look at circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in these extraordinary responders. Circulating tumor DNA is DNA from the cancer that can be found in the patient’s blood. Once a specialized lab has a sample of the tumor, collected either from a biopsy or during surgery, the tumor tissue can be sequenced to find the likely cancer mutations and develop [...]

2022-09-22T05:43:34-07:00September, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Administering immunotherapy drug before surgery for oral cavity cancer did not increase complications

Source: www.news-medical.net Author: Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc A University of Cincinnati study found administering an immunotherapy drug before surgery for oral cavity cancer did not lead to increased rates of complications during and after surgery. The findings were published Aug. 25 in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. Alice Tang, MD, first author on the study, said the research built upon previous findings led by UC's Trisha Wise-Draper that found adding immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab to the standard of care increased survival rates for patients with head and neck cancer with intermediate risk features. Pembrolizumab, sold under the brand name Keytruda, is an antibody used in cancer immunotherapy that treats a variety of cancers, including head and neck. Researchers reviewed outcomes of 32 patients from Wise-Draper's clinical trial who received pembrolizumab before head and neck cancer surgery and 32 control patients to see if the drug led to increased adverse events, including tissue swelling, wound infections, improper wound healing and failure of reconstruction, during and after surgery. "What we found was that patients who received preoperative treatment with immunotherapy did not have an increase in morbidities around the time of surgery," Tang said. Tang said the findings are encouraging as immunotherapy drugs continue to be researched as treatments for head and neck cancer. "For patients who are treatment naïve, meaning that they have not previously received chemotherapy, radiation or surgery for their oral cavity cancer, we can feel reassured that their complication rate would not be different [...]

2022-09-09T04:30:13-07:00September, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

New discovery could help combat side effects of cancer immunotherapy

Source: news.liverpool.ac.uk Author: staff Researchers in Liverpool and the US have made a breakthrough that could lead to improved immunotherapy treatments for some cancer patients. Their findings, which have been published in Nature, provide critical clues to why many immunotherapies trigger dangerous side effects – and point to a better strategy for treating patients with solid tumours, such as head and neck cancers. The work was led by Professor Christian Ottensmeier, Professor of Immuno-Oncology at the University of Liverpool and a Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, and Professor Pandurangan Vijayanand at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in California. Immunotherapy side effects While immunotherapy has revolutionised the world of cancer treatment, long term disease control is achieved in only around 20 to 30 percent of patients with solid cancers. Immunotherapy can also come at a cost as many patients develop serious problems in their lungs, bowel, and even skin during treatment. These side effects can be debilitating and may force physicians to stop the immunotherapy. When head and neck patients started showing adverse side effects during an immunotherapy trial sponsored and funded by Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development in a number of cancer centres across the UK, the researchers went back through the data and worked with patient samples to see what went wrong. The patients had been given an oral cancer immunotherapy called a PI3Kδ inhibitor, which are new to the cancer immunotherapy scene, but hold promise for their ability to inhibit “regulatory” T [...]

Gene mutations that contribute to head and neck cancer also provide ‘precision’ treatment targets

Source: www.sciencedaily.com Author: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University About one-fifth of often deadly head and neck cancers harbor genetic mutations in a pathway that is key to normal cell growth, and scientists report those mutations, which enable abnormal cancer cell growth, can also make the cancer vulnerable. Keys to targeting that vulnerability include individualized genomic analysis to identify a patient's specific mutation, and finding the drugs that directly target it, investigations that should be given more attention in cancer therapy development, they report in a review article in the journal NPJ Genomic Medicine. The MAPK pathway is a "signaling hub" for cells important to the usual development of the head and neck region, and activating key pathway constituents, like the genes MAPK1 and HRAS, is known to drive the growth of a variety of cancers, says Dr. Vivian Wai Yan Lui, molecular pharmacologist and translational scientist at the Georgia Cancer Center and Medical College of Georgia and the paper's corresponding author. But the mutations in the genes in the MAPK pathway that enable tumor growth can also make it sensitive to drug therapy, says Lui. While a lot of discovery is still needed to find more mutations in the MAPK pathway and the drugs that target them, Lui says they are among the most logical treatment targets for this tough-to-treat cancer. As she speaks, she is looking in her lab for drugs that kill head and neck primary tumors from patients, and at the genetics behind how they [...]

Researchers find new treatment combo effective for head and neck cancer

Source: nocamels.com Author: Simona Shemer Israeli researchers have helped to develop a new treatment combination for patients with advanced or metastatic head and neck cancer (HNC). The treatment, which uses both a targeted drug and immunotherapy following a certain sequence and within a specific time frame, blocks a signaling pathway that suppresses the immune system and keeps it from fighting tumor cells. The research was conducted by an international team of scientists led by PhD student Manu Prasad in the laboratory of Prof. Moshe Elkabets of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Their findings were just published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer in a study co-authored by Israeli, Chinese, French, German, and US researchers. The researchers targeted an aggressive type of HNC which is driven by the hyperactivation of a specific signaling pathway that will not allow the immune system to kill tumor cells. This was found in more than 40 percent of HNC cases. Head and neck cancers include cancer in the larynx (voice box), throat, lips, mouth, nose, and salivary gland, or malignant tumors that arise from the lining of the head and neck regions. The treatments currently available treatments are ineffective, Prof. Elkabets tells NoCamels. HNC develops in multiple sites on a person and existing treatments, which include chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy have a relatively low response rate of about 20 percent. The average survival rate for patients in Stage III or IV of the disease is only about [...]

Wirral, UK cancer patient trials vaccine

Source: www.wirralglobe.co.uk Author: Craig Manning, Chief Reporter A Wirral man has become the first in the UK to trial a 'vaccine' that is hoped will stop his recurring head and neck cancer from returning. The clinical research team at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has given patient Graham Booth an injection of a therapy tailor-made to his personal DNA and designed to help his own immune system ward off cancer permanently. Graham first had head and neck cancer in 2011 and it then returned four times, each time meaning he needed grueling treatment, including facial surgery, reconstruction and radiotherapy. He is now hoping this new treatment – part of the Transgene clinical research study – will mean it does not come back. Dad-of-five Graham, 54, will have a year-long course of immunotherapy injections in a bid to keep him cancer-free, part of a research project designed to reduce deaths and recurrence in head and neck cancers, including of the throat, neck, mouth and tongue. Graham, from West Kirby, said he was not worried about being the first person in the UK to receive this pioneering treatment and that it "opened new doorways" which gave him hope that the cancer would not come back. He added: "When I had my first cancer treatment in 2011, I was under the impression that the cancer would not return. "My biggest fear was realised in 2016 when it came back and then in 2019 and then two cases in 2021. "Last year I had the [...]

2022-02-07T13:33:09-07:00February, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Trial underway for novel agent plus immunotherapy for HPV-related head and neck cancer

Source: www.curetoday.com Author: Brielle Benyon Results from a phase 2 clinical trial demonstrated promise for the combination of the novel agent PDS0101 plus Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in treating human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated head and neck cancer. As such, the trial will now progress to full enrollment of 54 patients who have not been previously treated with a checkpoint inhibitor. The trial, VERSATILE-002, involves two groups of HPV16-positive patients with head and neck cancer that is either metastatic or has returned after treatment. One group consists of patients who have no prior treatment with checkpoint inhibition immunotherapy, while the other group is made up of 21 patients whose disease failed checkpoint inhibition — assessment for this group is still ongoing. In the checkpoint inhibitor-naïve group, four or more of the 17 patients achieved an objective response, which was classified by a 30% or more reduction in tumor size. “The achievement of this important milestone in the VERSATILE-002 phase 2 clinical trial strengthens the evidence of our novel Versamune platform’s potential ability to induce high levels of tumor-specific CD8+ killer T-cells that attack the cancer to achieve tumor regression,” commented Dr. Lauren V. Wood, Chief Medical Officer of PDS Biotech, the developer of PFS101, in a statement. “The initial data solidifies our belief that PDS0101’s demonstrated preclinical efficacy when combined with Keytruda has the potential to significantly improve clinical outcomes for patients with advanced HPV16-positive head and neck cancers.” PDS0101 works by inducing large quantities of CD4+ helper and CD8+ killer T cells, a [...]

2022-02-03T10:51:38-07:00February, 2022|Oral Cancer News|
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