Research Summaries

New Immunotherapy, MK-3475, Shows Promise for Metastatic Melanoma

ASCO Annual Meeting
June 2, 2014

According to the results of a large phase I study, a new drug called MK-3475 may benefit people with melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body. MK-3475 blocks the function of a protein called PD-1 (programmed death-1) found on T-cells, a type of white blood cell that directly helps fight disease. Because PD-1 keeps the immune system from destroying cancer cells, stopping PD-1 from working allows the immune system to better eliminate melanoma.

Chemotherapy Plus Either Bevacizumab or Cetuximab Are Equally Effective for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

ASCO Annual Meeting
June 1, 2014

In a large, ongoing study, results indicate that two common treatment regimens approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are equally effective for metastatic colorectal cancer. Metastatic colorectal cancer is cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Second-Line Treatment with Ramucirumab and Chemotherapy Lengthens Lives of Patients with NSCLC

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 31, 2014

Results from a new study show that combining the targeted therapy ramucirumab (Cyramza) with standard chemotherapy lengthens the lives of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. Specifically, ramucirumab targets a protein called VEGF receptor 2, blocking the growth of new blood vessels in the tumor that are needed for the tumor to grow and spread.

For Older Patients with CLL, Ibrutinib May Be an Effective New Treatment Option

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 31, 2014

Early results from an ongoing study show that ibrutinib (Imbruvica) keeps relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) from worsening for longer than ofatumumab (Arzerra), a standard treatment option for relapsed or refractory CLL. CLL is the most common type of leukemia in adults. Relapsed CLL is when the disease returns after remission, a time when there are no signs or symptoms of the disease. Refractory CLL is when the disease worsens despite treatment.

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