•   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt from OncLive:

    “Developing predictive biomarkers will be key to treating patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), especially when choosing a targeted therapy, said Banu K. Arun, MD.

    “In a presentation during the 2018 OncLive® State of the Science Summit™ on Breast Cancer, Arun said there is evidence that PARP inhibitors as well as immunotherapy in combination with various agents may be effective in women with TNBC and BRCA1-related breast cancers, but the science isn’t there yet.”

    Go to full article published by OncLive on Aug 29, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt from GenomeWeb:

    “Researchers from Genentech, Foundation Medicine, UC Davis, and other medical centers, have published a report on the development and early validation of Foundation’s planned blood-based tumor mutational burden test.

    “Appearing today in Nature Medicine, the study describes the development of the test and its characteristics, and its retrospective validation in two cohorts. Investigators demonstrated, by applying the assay to samples from two clinical trials, that blood-based TMB (bTMB) could reproducibly identify lung cancer patients who respond to immunotherapy treatment with Roche/Genentech’s atezolizumab (Tecentriq).”

    Go to full article published by GenomeWeb on Aug 4, 2018 (Free registration required).

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt from OncLive:

    “As a medical oncologist and investigator, Rinath M. Jeselsohn, MD, focuses on the detection and clinical implications of ESR1 mutations in estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer. She is a member of the research team in the lab of Myles A. Brown, MD, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, where investigators are seeking to elucidate the factors underlying the mechanisms of hormone responsiveness, particularly steroid hormone receptors, in human cancers.

    “Jeselsohn, who has led numerous studies into ESR1 mutations, discussed the field in an interview with OncologyLive®.”

    Go to full article published by OncLive on Aug 3, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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    Predicting If an Immune Checkpoint Drug Will Work

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Drugs that activate the immune system to attack cancer in a process known as immune 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-CTLA4 antibody ipilimumab (Yervoy), two anti-PD-1 antibodies: pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo), and three anti-PD-L1 drugs: atezolizumab (Tecentriq), avelumab (Bavencio)… Read more »

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    “Healthcare informatics firm Massive Bio has enrolled its first patient in a global registry it launched as part of a new clinical trial matching system that seeks to connect patients to appropriate biomarker-based clinical trials using information such as clinical history and genomic testing results.

    “Previously, Massive Bio offered its clinical trial matching capability as part of a broader oncology clinical decision support system through which it provides treatment guidance and expert recommendations primarily to oncologists working in community practices. By separating the clinical trial matching component, the company hopes to broaden its market reach, said Massive Bio CEO and Cofounder Selin Kurnaz. The company also hopes the new tool will appeal to contract research organizations, molecular diagnostics companies, and patients themselves.”

    Go to full article published by GenomeWeb on Mar 29, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which administers the federal Medicare insurance program, will begin covering FDA-approved diagnostic tests that scan tumors for a range of genetic mutations. The news is a boost for companies like Foundation Medicine and Thermo Fisher Scientific, who are among the few firms with such tests on the market.

    “Late Friday, the CMS said that, going forward, it will start to reimburse for tests that use DNA sequencing technology to map the tumors of patients with advanced cancers once approved by the FDA. Two of the already-approved tests fitting this description are FoundationOne CDx, from Cambridge, MA-based Foundation, and Oncomine Dx Target Test, from Waltham, MA-based Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO). FoundationOne CDx looks for 324 cancer-related alterations in patients’ DNA. Foundation amasses a report based on the results and sends it to doctors, who use the data to suggest possible treatments. Oncomine detects 23 genetic alterations associated with non-small cell lung cancer.”

    Go to full article published by Xconomy on Mar 19, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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    Targetable Mutations in NSCLC: More Testing Needed!

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Diagnosis of adenocarcinoma of the lung, a major subtype of non-small lung cancer (NSCLC), nowadays triggers mandatory testing of tumor tissue for alterations in four genes: EGFR, ALK, ROS1, and more recently, BRAF. If present, these alterations predict sensitivity to specific targeted drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that work better and often longer than standard chemotherapy, and are better… Read more »

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    “U.S. regulators have approved a first-of-a-kind test that looks for mutations in hundreds of cancer genes at once, giving a more complete picture of what’s driving a patient’s tumor and aiding efforts to match treatments to those flaws.

    “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Foundation Medicine’s test for patients with advanced or widely spread cancers, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed covering it.

    “The dual decisions, announced late Thursday, will make tumor-gene profiling available to far more cancer patients than the few who get it now and will lead more insurers to cover it.”

    Go to full article by Houston Chronicle on Dec 2, 2017.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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    The Trouble With KRAS

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Mutations in the gene that encodes the KRAS protein are frequently encountered in various human cancers. They are found in about 30% of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs), making KRAS the single most common gene mutated in this cancer. The rate of KRAS mutations in other cancers, such as pancreatic or colorectal, is even higher. A mutant KRAS protein that is always in the… Read more »

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    Metastatic Melanoma: Not Quite Curable…But Getting There

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    By 2050, the number of deaths due to malignant melanoma in the U.S. could be three times lower than peak levels reached before 1960. Researchers presented the data behind this prediction at the 2017 European Cancer Congress in January. It is unclear how much of this anticipated decline in deaths can be attributed to the availability of new, effective treatments. However, it is obvious… Read more »