On the 16th of August 2018, the FDA granted accelerated approval to nivolumab (Opdivo®, Bristol-Myers Squibb) for use in patients with metastatic small cell lung cancer (SCLC) who progressed after two lines of therapy, including one line of platinum-based chemotherapy.
On June 19, the FDA limited the use of atezolizumab and pembrolizumab for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer patients ineligible for cisplatin-containing therapy.
Breast cancer: a front-runner when it comes to the development of novel therapeutic strategies. With the advent of newer targeted- and immunotherapies, oncologists have an increment of options to offer their patients. The American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) 2018 Breast Cancer track offered an extensive look at the latest advancements and updates from on-going trials covering the various subtypes of breast cancer.
- On June 12, 2018 the FDA approved pembrolizumab (KeytrudaⓇ, Merck & Co. Inc.) for patients with chemotherapy-refractory recurrent or metastatic (r/m) cervical cancer and with a combined positive score (CPS)≥1 PD-L1 level expression.
- FDA approved Fulphila (pegfilgrastim-jmdb, Mylan GmbH), a biosimilar of Neulasta (pegfilgrastim, Amgen, Inc.) to decrease the chance of infection due to febrile neutropenia in patients receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy with clinically significant incidence of febrile neutropenia and with non-myeloid cancers.
On May 18, the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert about the decreased survival in studies with pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq®) as single agent first-line therapy for patients with metastatic urothelial cancer (mUCC) and low expression of the programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) protein.
- On May 14, 2018 the FDA announced approval of biosimilar epoetin alfa-epbx (Retacrit®, Hospira, a subsidiary of Pfizer) for the treatment of anemia due to chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients on dialysis and not on dialysis, use of zidovudine in patients with HIV infection, and the effects of concomitant myelosuppressive chemotherapy. Epoetin alfa-epbx is also approved for the reduction of allogeneic red blood cell transfusions in patients undergoing elective, noncardiac, nonvascular surgery. Retacrit® is a biosimilar of Epogen/Procrit (epoetin alfa, Amgen).
First-line atezolizumab plus bevacizumab, carboplatin and paclitaxel improves PFS in patients with non-squamous NSCLC. Two presentations on the IMPower150 study by Martin Reck (ELCC 2018) and Mark Socinski (AACR 2018) discussed the frontline addition of atezolizumab to bevacizumab and chemotherapy in different lung cancer subgroups (NCT02366143).
AACR 2018: Frontline pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy in NSCLC reduces the risk of death by more than 50%. The Phase III KEYNOTE-189 trial combined pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) plus standard of care platinum-based chemotherapy in non-squamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) without EGFR or ALK genetic aberrations (NCT0278680)
- FDA approved brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris, Seattle Genetics, Inc.) to treat adult patients with previously untreated stage III or IV classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) in combination with chemotherapy. More Information.