Only 22 novel drugs were approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 2016--way down from the 45 approved in 2015--and just six of the new entries are for treating or diagnosing cancer. Still, 2016 was far from a washout for oncology research. Between the Cancer Moonshot and the 21st Century Cures Act, the White House made a big commitment to cancer research in 2016. January 12: V.P. Biden is tapped to lead the new Cancer Moonshot. During the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama launched the Cancer Moonshot and appointed Vice President Joe Biden to lead the initiative.
AstraZeneca and MSD Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., US (MSD: known as Merck & Co., Inc. inside the US and Canada) today announced positive results from the Phase III PAOLA-1 trial in women with advanced ovarian cancer. The trial, in the 1st-line maintenance setting, compared Lynparza (olaparib) added to standard-of-care (SoC) bevacizumab vs. bevacizumab alone in women with or without BRCA gene mutations. The trial met its primary endpoint in the intent-to-treat* population with a statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful improvement in progression-free survival (PFS), increasing the time women taking Lynparza plus bevacizumab lived without disease progression or death vs. those taking bevacizumab alone. The results, including biomarker sub-group analyses, will be presented at a forthcoming medical meeting. The safety and tolerability profiles observed in PAOLA-1 were generally consistent with those known for each medicine.
Drugs are scoring big wins against common cancers, setting new standards for how to treat many prostate, breast and lung tumors. There's even a'uni-drug' that may fight many forms of the disease. What's striking: The drugs are beneficial in some cases for more than a year, much longer than the few months many new drugs provide. Here are highlights from the world's largest cancer meeting, the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago. Janssen Biotech's Zytiga improved survival and delayed cancer growth for 18 months when added to standard care in a study of 1,200 men with advanced prostate cancer.
A drug that is used to treat patients with advanced ovarian and breast cancer can adversely affect a woman's fertility, scientists warn. Researchers in Australia found that olaparib, which is known by the brand name Lynparza, damaged the store of immature eggs in the ovaries of mice. Olaparib, which comes in tablet form, can destroy more than a third of the immature eggs that are contained in structures called primordial follicles, they said. Women are born with a limited number of follicles in their ovaries where eggs are stored, and damage to these follicles or eggs may lead to fertility issues. Olaparib has not been used on young women long enough to see how it affects their fertility – meaning this study could be an important indication of its effects.