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Lung Cancer News

Two reports presented at the 2017 Multidisciplinary Thoracic Cancers Symposium suggest that SBRT may be beneficial for older patients with inoperable early-stage non-small cell lung cancer. Read more in MedPage Today and Cancer Therapy Advisor. A pilot study suggesting that circulating tumour cells may detect lung cancer recurrence before detection by conventional imaging methods was also presented. Read the press release.

Pfizer and Merck KGaA have updated the design of their first-line monotherapy study of avelumab to include a combined primary endpoint of PFS and OS; selection of patients with high PD-L1 expression and increased sample size to 1095 from 420. This is expected to delay results by two years, to mid-2019. Filing for avelumab in second-line remains on track but avelumab is significantly later than nivolumab, pembrolizumab, atezolizumab and durvalumab in the  first-line setting. View the FiercePharma article.

Results of the phase 2 osimertinib AURA study extension phase have been published in the JCO showing that patients with TKI-pretreated EGFRm- and T790M-positive advanced NSCLC had an ORR of 62% and disease control rate of 90%; with median duration of response 15.2 months and median PFS 12.3 months.

A US study published in JAMA Oncology evaluated 4 assays for PD-L1 (antibodies 22c3, 28-8, E1L3N and SP142) and found that three of the four were essentially equivalent while one – SP142 – identified only about 50% of patients who were positive for PD-L1 expression that were identified by the other three tests. These findings follow those of the Blueprint study.

Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine have published a report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute describing a study of gene expression profiling of nasal epithelial brushings from current and former smokers undergoing diagnostic evaluation for suspicious pulmonary lesions. The study “identified 535 genes that had different activity patterns in the nasal epithelium of patients with lung cancer versus those with benign disease,” and concluded that “nasal gene activity was more accurate than clinical risk factors alone for diagnosing lung cancer.”

OncoCyte is planning to launch a liquid biopsy test in the US for lung cancer in the 2nd half of 2017. Data from a 300 patient study will be presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) conference in May. View the FiercePharma report.

FierceBiotech reports on a publication in Nature suggesting that a greater understanding of the interplay between angiogenesis and immune function has implications for future drug development. This theme was also addressed in a review article in the February issue of JTO discussing the clinical potential and rationale for combining immunotherapy and angiogenesis inhibition.

In ALK-positive lung cancer, Roche has announced that the ALEX study met its primary endpoint, showing that alectinib significantly improved PFS compared to crizotinib in the first-line setting. Read the company announcement.