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Wednesday 22 May 2019
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Topic: oncology

May 17, 2019
Analysing fragments of DNA that are shed by tumours into the bloodstream could indicate early on whether patients are at risk of their cancer spreading, according to new research
Researchers at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in the UK say ctDNA, a form of liquid biopsy, may be an accurate technique to monitor treatment response in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer, allowing treatment to be adapted or changed earlier to try to prevent the development of metastatic disease.
 
May 17, 2019
A new study describes a method of reprogramming regulatory T cells that usually suppress immune responses into inflammatory cells that not only permit but also intensify an antitumour immune response
A new study from the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases (CIID) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) describes a method of reprogramming the regulatory T cells that usually suppress immune responses into inflammatory cells that not only permit but also intensify an antitumour immune response.1 
 
May 2, 2019
Pancreatic Cancer UK has announced that they are investing £750,000 into developing the first simple test for pancreatic cancer by 2024
Currently, pancreatic cancer is diagnosed by a CT or MRI scan and there is currently no ‘non-invasive’ detection test so a development of one would be welcomed.
 
However, whilst having a bio-marker for the disease is fantastic and something we should be investing in, this will not solve the problem of late diagnosis (which is the major cause for the extremely low survival rate in pancreatic cancer).  
 
April 30, 2019
These analyses report on secondary endpoints from the Stop&Go study, with the main endpoint for second-line being progression-free survival
Continuous chemotherapy shows greater benefit in patients with advanced breast cancer by both improving survival and maintaining quality of life compared to intermittent scheduling, according to analyses of the Stop&Go study presented at the ESMO Breast Cancer Congress 2019.1,2  
 
April 25, 2019
This major breakthrough and world-first could hail a new era in the design and production of new antibiotics and anticancer agents
After 20 years of dedicated research, scientists have cracked the chemical code of an incredibly complex 'anti-tumour antibiotic' known to be highly effective against cancer cells as well as drug-resistant bacteria, and have reproduced it synthetically in the lab for the first time.
 
April 23, 2019
Scientists from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at The University of Manchester showed that a small volume of blood can contain up-to-date genetic information about a patient's cancer to inform treatment choices

Scientists could help match cancer patients with no other treatment options to clinical trials with experimental medicines, by analysing the genetic faults in a sample of their blood, according to research published in Nature Medicine.
 

April 16, 2019
Standardisation of doses of intravenous chemotherapy agents was initially proposed to improve pharmacy capacity and reduce medication errors and wastage; however, further optimisation of the administration of anticancer drugs can potentially contribute to a more efficient oncology unit

Key points
 
• Dose standardisation can reduce the risk of calculation errors, decrease preparation time, and reduce waste.
 
• Pharmacists play a critical role in the preparation of chemotherapy and the verification of prescriptions.
 
• An analysis of prescriptions by BOPA identified 2.3% errors that could result in patient harm.
 

April 12, 2019
This opinion piece considers the different technologies used for the preparation of cytotoxic injections and infusions: pharmaceutical isolators, Class II cytotoxic cabinets and closed system transfer devices (CSTDs)
Cytotoxic chemotherapy is synonymous with a narrow therapeutic index, severe adverse effects for patients and occupational exposure risks for pharmacy and nursing staff.
 
April 12, 2019
Improving results for patients by realising the transformational potential of Real World Data
HONEUR (Haematology Outcomes Network in Europe) is a Janssen-led initiative and part of the company’s overall commitment to creating better outcomes for patients – in this case, by harnessing the full potential of Real World Data and the insights it can provide. 
 
April 10, 2019
In oncology, in particular, where there are often no alternatives to these medicines, shortages pose a threat to patient safety as they reduce adherence to therapy and limit the ability of physicians to provide effective treatment regimens

Shortages of essential cancer medicines have a direct impact on patient care across Europe.
 

To ensure that this issue remains a top priority on the EU policy agenda, ESMO collaborated with the European Parliament to organise a cross-partisan event entitled “Shortages of Inexpensive, Essential Medicines: Calling for Tangible Political Commitments in the EU”.1
 

April 10, 2019
First PARP inhibitor approved in the EU for patients with this difficult-to-treat disease and third EU approval for Lynparza

The European Commission has approved Lynparza (olaparib) as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with germline BRCA1/2-mutations (gBRCAm), and who have human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative locally-advanced or metastatic breast cancer.
 

April 5, 2019
Immediate first-line access to this combination could be a treatment option for up to 1700 advanced kidney cancer patients in England
Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued a Final Appraisal Determination recommending the combination of Opdivo® (nivolumab) plus Yervoy® (ipilimumab) to treat NHS patients in England with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). 
 
March 28, 2019
New immunotherapy drug targets for cancer will be progressed through a multimillion-pound drug discovery alliance between Cancer Research UK, LifeArc and Ono Pharmaceutical Co Ltd
A multi-year partnership brings together Cancer Research UK’s network of world-leading scientists and drug discovery expertise, LifeArc’s renowned therapeutic antibody engineering and development expertise, and Ono’s considerable track record in developing cancer immunotherapies.
 
March 20, 2019
Precision-Panc seeks to uncover the molecular profile of individual patients with pancreatic cancer, to learn more about the disease and to pave the way for patients entering clinical trials in a way that matches their tumour biology to the type of treatment

A groundbreaking pancreatic cancer trial, which aims to match patients with more targeted and effective treatment for their tumours, has successfully recruited its 100th patient.
 

Run by Precision-Panc, a research programme and clinical trials project led by the University of Glasgow with major funding from Cancer Research UK, the trial brings a precision medicine approach to pancreatic cancer treatment for the first time in the UK.
 

March 18, 2019
Professor Evelien Dekker discusses the rising burden of colorectal cancer in Europe and the need for consistent and successful screening programmes across the continent
Colorectal cancer is Europe’s second biggest cancer killer, claiming the lives of nearly 200,000 people across the continent each year. Current trends predict that the burden of colorectal cancer could increase by 12% by 2020, affecting 502,000 Europeans a year by 2020.1
 
March 7, 2019
A report commissioned by the European Biosafety Network was launched at a roundtable on preventing exposure to hazardous drugs in healthcare, held in the European Parliament in Brussels attended by MEPs, unions, employers, professional associations, representatives of Member States and the European Commission
A report commissioned by the European Biosafety Network has shed light on conditions in hospitals across the EU which are endangering the lives of nurses and pharmacists, other hospital staff, carers and patients.
 
The report was launched on 7 March at a roundtable on preventing exposure to hazardous drugs in healthcare, held in the European Parliament in Brussels attended by MEPs, unions, employers, professional associations, representatives of Member States and the European Commission. 
 
March 4, 2019
Napp Pharmaceuticals' Pelmeg, a pegfilgrastim biosimilar, has been launched in the UK following its European Commission approval in November 2018
Napp Pharmaceuticals has announced the UK launch of Pelmeg®, a biosimilar of pegfilgrastim, following European Commission (EC) approval in November 2018.  
 
January 17, 2019
Erleada™ (apalutamide) offers a new treatment option for men with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who are at high risk of metastatic disease
Janssen has announced that the European Commission (EC) has licensed Erleada (apalutamide), for the treatment of men with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC) who are at high risk of developing metastatic disease.
 
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK,1 resulting in over 47,000 diagnoses each year, or 129 each day.2
 
December 6, 2018
Delays in taking new cancer drugs through clinical trials and getting them approved for use mean NHS patients are waiting longer to access them, a report by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) finds.

NHS patients are waiting longer for new cancer drugs because of delays in taking them through clinical trials and getting them approved for use, a new report has revealed.
The average time from when a cancer drug is patented to approval by NICE increased from 12.7 years between 2000-08 to 14.1 years between 2009-16, The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR) found.

November 29, 2018
First child cancer patients treated with new CAR-T therapy in UK

Children with cancer at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London are this week starting a new therapy treatment tailored to target patients’ specific cancer cells.
 
The CAR-T treatment involves collecting and using a patient’s own immune cells to fight the cancer over a number of weeks. 
 
Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital is also offering the immunotherapy treatment, and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will join next month.
 

November 29, 2018
First child cancer patients treated with new CAR-T therapy in UK

Children with cancer at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London are this week starting a new therapy treatment tailored to target patients’ specific cancer cells.
 
The CAR-T treatment involves collecting and using a patient’s own immune cells to fight the cancer over a number of weeks. 
 
Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital is also offering the immunotherapy treatment, and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will join next month.
 

November 29, 2018
In the EU, regorafenib is indicated for treatment of adult patients with advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma who have been previously treated with sorafenib
Bayer has announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Stivarga® (regorafenib) as an option for treating advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in adults who have had Nexavar® (sorafenib) only if patientshave Child-Pugh grade A liver impairment and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1.1
 
November 28, 2018
Data from the ALTA trial showed sustained systemic and intracranial efficacy results and a manageable safety profile, leading to the longest progression-free survival and overall survival reported in this setting

Takeda has announced that the European Commission (EC) granted marketing authorisation for Alunbrig (brigatinib) as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) previously treated with crizotinib.

 

The decision follows a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) on 20 September, 2018. 

 

November 7, 2018
Olarpip could provide effective treatment for brain tumours, charity reveals

An ovarian cancer drug could be an effective treatment for a difficult-to-treat type of brain tumour, research by a cancer charity has revealed.
 
Olaparib could leak through the blood brain barrier to treat glioblastoma – a condition which many other drugs have failed to treat – according to a study presented at the National Cancer Research Institute’s (NCRI) Cancer Conference in Liverpool on Monday (5 November).
 

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