2017-03-07Over the past decade, many anticancer drugs have been approved for use only in combination regimens and only in palliative settings, despite having negligible single-agent activity in the same disease. We examine whether these agents provide any tangible clinical benefits and are worthy of continued development, or whether R&D efforts would be better focused elsewhere.
2017-03-07The 69 National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Centers are premier academic institutions that place significant value on research integrity and an ethic that rigorous evidence should guide patient care and define expectations. Recent patient-focused advertising has strayed from these values, obscuring valid reasons for seeking care at these centres.
2017-03-20The standard-of-care treatment for patients with metastatic or unresectable urothelial carcinoma, which is associated with a median overall survival of 12–15 months, is cisplatin-based chemotherapy. For patients with progressive disease after first-line treatment, various chemotherapy regimens can prolong survival for, at best, 6–7 months. The
2017-02-14The findings of a phase III trial in patients with advanced-stage ALK-rearranged non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) reveal the superior efficacy of the ALK inhibitor ceritinib compared with that of platinum-based chemotherapy, in the first-line setting. Patients received four cycles of either ceritinib or cisplatin/carboplatin
2017-02-14Data from a phase III trial in patients with resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), who generally have a poor prognosis, indicate that patients receiving adjuvant capecitabine plus gemcitabine have a superior median overall survival duration compared with patients receiving gemcitabine alone (28.0 months versus 25.5
2017-02-14The outcomes of a randomized phase II study in patients with platinum-treated, recurrent and/or metastatic squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck indicate that treatment with the PI3K inhibitor buparlisib plus paclitaxel provides an improved progression-free survival compared with paclitaxel alone (4.6 months versus 3.5
2017-03-20T cells genetically engineered to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) that recognize tumour-associated antigens are promising anticancer agents. In particular, anti-CD19 CAR T cells can induce complete remission in patients with B-cell malignancies. To date, randomly integrating vectors have typically been used to insert CAR
2017-02-14Several drug combinations are available for the frontline treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), but the risk of disease relapse remains high. On the basis that the PI3Kδ isoform is mainly expressed in leukocytes, Andrew Zelenetz and colleagues conducted a phase III trial
2017-03-02The prevalence of breast cancer is rising in China and an increased use of anthracyclines and taxanes has led to a heavily pretreated and poor-prognostic drug-resistant metastatic breast cancer (MBC) population, with few treatment options. Thus, an urgent need exists for novel therapies for these
2017-02-14Outcomes of patients with HER2+ breast or gastroesophageal cancer are greatly improved with standard anti-HER2 antibody therapies, principally trastuzumab; however, resistance and disease relapse are common. The results of a first-in-human phase I study of a novel anti-HER2 antibody, margetuximab, indicate that enhanced immune-system engagement
2017-02-21Women with endometrial cancer who are found to have lymph-node-positive disease during surgical staging by lymphadenectomy benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy; however, the remaining 78% of women who have node-negative disease do not. Moreover, lymphadenectomy can have adverse effects, including lymphoedema and nerve damage. New data
2017-03-20Patients with advanced-stage marginal-zone lymphoma (MZL) often relapse and the disease is generally incurable. Until now, no standard-of-care or FDA-approved therapeutic options are available. B-cell receptor (BCR) signalling comprises a critical component of tumour growth and survival; Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) is central to this
2017-02-07Data from the recent Stop 2G-TKI study confirm that around 60% of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia who discontinue second-generation BCR–ABL1 tyrosine-kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy after a sustained deep molecular response remain in remission for longer than 1 year. Importantly, the interim findings suggest that prior response to first-line TKI treatment might predict relapse risk after treatment discontinuation.
2016-11-02Cancer cells can escape T-cell-mediated cellular cytotoxicity by exploiting the inhibitory programmed cell-death protein 1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) immune checkpoint. Indeed, therapeutic antibodies that block the PD-1–PD-L1 axis induce durable clinical responses against a growing list of solid tumours. B-cell lymphomas
2016-11-22Many patients diagnosed with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) will develop distant metastatic disease. Over the past three decades, perioperative cisplatin-based chemotherapy has been investigated for its ability to reduce the number of deaths from bladder cancer. Insufficient evidence is available to fully support the use
2016-12-06In recent years, the high heterogeneity of colorectal cancer (CRC) has become evident. Hence, biomarkers need to be developed that enable the stratification of patients with CRC into different prognostic subgroups and in relation to response to therapies, according to the distinctive tumour biology. Currently,
2016-11-15Autophagy is fundamental to the maintenance of intracellular homeostasis in virtually all human cells. Accordingly, defective autophagy predisposes healthy cells to undergoing malignant transformation. By contrast, malignant cells are able to harness autophagy to thrive, despite adverse microenvironmental conditions, and to resist therapeutic challenges. Thus,