Cancer Research Blog

Bringing You the Latest in the Search For a Cure

Month: January 2016

Three New Therapies Approved for Multiple Myeloma

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three new drugs for the treatment of multiple myeloma that has returned after prior therapy.

On November 16, the FDA approved daratumumab (Darzalex®) for patients who have previously received at least three prior treatments. On November 20, the agency approved ixazomib (Ninlaro®) to treat patients with relapsed multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior treatment, and on November 30 it approved elotuzumab (Empliciti®) for patients who have received one to three prior therapies.

Genome Study Links Misfolded DNA to Brain Tumors

Researchers studying brain tumors have identified a previously unknown genetic mechanism that may contribute to cancer. Their findings suggest that a change in how DNA is arranged, or packaged, in the cell nucleus may inappropriately activate a gene associated with brain cancer.

Bradley Bernstein, M.D., Ph.D., of the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA, and his colleagues published their findings December 23 in Nature. The study focused on brain tumors known as gliomas and included lower-grade gliomas, which frequently have mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) genes.

Driving New Approaches to Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

In this post, Barry Kramer, M.D., M.P.H., director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP), discusses a new NCI-funded research effort intended to help guide treatment decisions for people diagnosed with cancer following a screening test.

Research into the prevention and early detection of cancer is entering a new era. With our greater understanding of how cancers develop and, far too often, flourish—and with the availability of powerful new technologies—our approach to preventing cancer, how we screen for it, and how we manage very early-stage disease is now more refined.

Two Drugs Show Efficacy against Common Form of Leukemia

Reports from two early-stage trials of new oral drugs provide hope for patients with high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that has returned after prior treatment. Results from both trials were presented last month at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Some patients with CLL, the most common type of leukemia in the United States, do well even without treatment, whereas others need chemotherapy to manage their disease. Chemotherapy can keep the disease in check for years without symptoms or need for further treatment, but virtually all patients relapse. Ultimately, for most patients, there is no curative therapy.

FDA Approves Alectinib for ALK-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved alectinib (Alecensa®) on December 11, 2015, for some patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with mutations in the ALK gene.

The agency granted an accelerated approval for alectinib for patients whose cancer is no longer responding to the ALK-targeted agent crizotinib (Xalkori®) or who are unable to tolerate further treatment with crizotinib because of side effects.

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