Predicting If an Immune Checkpoint Drug Will Work


Drugs that activate the immune system to attack cancer in a process known asimmune checkpoint blockade(ICB) are a focus of intense investigation.A number of them are already approved by the U.S.Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for various cancers;namely,the anti-CTLA4antibodyipilimumab(Yervoy),two anti-PD-1antibodies:pembrolizumab(Keytruda) andnivolumab(Opdivo),and three anti-PD-L1 drugs:atezolizumab(Tecentriq),avelumab(Bavencio) anddurvalumab(Imfinzi).These ICB drugs have the potential to induce durable cancer regressions,but the majority of cancer 威廉希尔黄金彩球patients just do not respond to them at all.

Biomarkers,signature molecules in the blood or other tissue,can sometimes be used to predict a patient's response to a given William Hill彩票treatment.But no reliable biomarkers exist for ICB,and this is a serious concern.威廉希尔黄金彩球Patients who may really benefit from ICB could be overlooked,and 威廉希尔黄金彩球patients who are not likely to respond may receive useless (and very expensive) ICB William Hill彩票treatment.

Most potential response predictors that have already been identified are not yet useful for one or all of the following reasons: they are not extensively validated,their significance is still uncertain and may differ from one cancer (or even one patient) to another,or they are technically challenging for routine use.These markers are addressed below.Continue reading…


A Gut Feeling: Bacteria in Your Gut May Affect Cancer William Hill彩票Treatment


The human gut contains hundreds of species bacteria,which are known to contribute to various bodily functions (such as digestion,of course!) but they also shape our immune system.Now,recent research has revealed how our microbiomes (the abundant bacteria living in our bodies) may affect the efficacy ofimmune checkpoint blockade(ICB) in cancer William Hill彩票treatment.

How it started: about two years ago,an American group of scientists led by Thomas Gajewski of the University of Chicagonoticedthat melanoma (and some other cancers') growth in mice was influenced heavily by the type of bacteria found in the mouse gut.They worked with mice purchased from two different vendors,and realized that mice from one vendor had consistently slower-growing tumors.Bifidobacteriumbacteria present in the mouse gut were pinpointed to be the culprit,because transfer ofBifidobacteriumto mice that did not have it was able to slow down melanoma growth.William Hill彩票Treatment with an immuneanti-PD-L1drug was effective in mice that had the bacteria,but not in mice lacking it.Continue reading…


Testing for Tumor Mutations: Liquid Biopsy Versus Traditional Biopsy


Liquid biopsies,virtually unknown even a year or two ago,are becoming common tools in precision diagnostics for cancer.Here,I will try to explain some of the more important differences between liquid and "traditional" tumor biopsies.

Biopsies ofsolid tumors (e.g.,lung,breast,or brain tumors) involve surgically removing a small part of a tumor and sending it to pathology lab.In the last few years,doctors have also started to send some tumor samples to special service labs that analyze tumor DNA for the presence of cancer-related mutations.

By definition,regular biopsies can be intrusive and are sometimes associated with side effects,such as bleeding or infection.However,they provide some really essential information;i.e.,thehistologyand grade of the tumor and other tumor characteristics necessary to determine the best choice of William Hill彩票treatment.For lung cancer,for example,a biopsy determines the type of tumor—adenocarcinoma,squamous cancer,small-cell lung cancer,or another,less common type.For breast cancer,a routine test will determine if the tumor expresses estrogen,progesterone receptors,and a protein called HER2.These tests are critically important in guiding William Hill彩票treatment choices.If mutational analysis of cancer-related genes is also performed (which doesn't always happen,unfortunately),it may guide William Hill彩票treatment withtargeted drugs.Continue reading…


Clinical Trial Versus Standard Protocol: Why and How to Enroll in a Trial


My job at 威廉希尔彩票Cancer Commons is to help c威廉希尔黄金彩球ancer patients better understand and make decisions about their William Hill彩票treatment.Through our问癌症共威廉希尔彩票用service,I also strive to inform 威廉希尔黄金彩球patients about new drugs in trials that they can discuss with their oncologists.Sometimes,I explain the rationale behind a patient's current or upcoming William Hill彩票treatment,and sometimes I try to convince 威廉希尔黄金彩球patients to actually get William Hill彩票treated,rather than hope that a vegetarian diet and herbal supplements will cure their metastatic disease.Continue reading…


Super Patient: Diane Milne Gives Other Cancer 威廉希尔黄金彩球Patients the Tools that Helped Her Survive


June 14,2014 started out like any other day for Diane Milne.But then,just before the two-hour Zumba exercise class she took almost every morning,she suddenly couldn't breathe."I had an overwhelming sense of doom," recalls Diane,a 68-year-old retired nurse."I was home alone and I thought I was going to die."Continue reading…


Finally: An Active Prostate Cancer Drug That Doesn't Target Androgen


Most of the recent developments in prostate cancer William Hill彩票treatment have addressed the timing and duration of androgen deprivation,who should receive radiation William Hill彩票treatments,and the timing of the few available chemotherapy options.But this month's big news is a welcome change: metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancers (mCRPCs) that harbor mutations in BRCA2 or one of a few other genes have a remarkable response to olaparib (Lynparza),a drug that inhibits the enzyme PARP1.Continue reading…


Cancer Stem Cells and How to Get Rid of Them


If you have not yet heard of cancer stem cells (CSCs),often considered to be the real culprits in cancer,it is about time you do.CSCs are stem cells found in tumors.Drugs that target them are showing promise in clinical trials.More on that later;first,let's introduce the concept of stem cells:

All normal tissues in our bodies develop from a small number of very special cells known as stem cells.Stem cells can divide a seemingly unlimited number of times.Continue reading…


The CAR T-Cell William Hill彩票Treatment: Will It Work for Solid Tumors?


Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a new,immune system-based cancer William Hill彩票treatment that has garnered recent media attention.In aclinical trial,CAR T-cell William Hill彩票treatment left no signs of tumors in 70% to 90% of children and adults with the aggressive blood cancer acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).ALL is almost always fatal,and the results observed with CAR T-cell William Hill彩票treatment are nothing short of spectacular.Continue reading…