cancer Cancer Discovery Cancer screening

Johns Hopkins Researchers Advance Role of Circulating Tumor DNA to Detect Early Melanoma Growth, Uncover Treatment Options

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have added to evidence that measuring and monitoring tumor DNA that naturally circulates in the blood of melanoma patients can not only reliably help reveal the early stages of cancer growth and spread but also uncover new treatment options that tumor genetic analysis alone may not. “For some patients in our study, ctDNA (circulating tumor DNA) levels measured in a relatively simple
cancer Cancer Discovery

Combination Immunotherapy Shrinks Melanoma Brain Metastases

Combination immunotherapy shrank melanoma that has spread to the brain in more than half of the patients in a clinical trial reported in the New England Journal of Medicine led by an investigator at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Of 94 patients in the single-arm study combining checkpoint inhibitors ipilimumab and nivolumab, at a minimum follow-up of nine months and a median of 14 months, 24 (26 percent)
Biotechnology cancer

Merck’s KEYTRUDA® Demonstrated Long-Term Survival Benefit Based on Four and Five Years of Follow-Up from Two Pivotal Studies in Advanced Melanoma

Merck announced long-term efficacy data from the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-006 study and the melanoma cohort of the Phase 1b KEYNOTE-001 study investigating KEYTRUDA, Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in patients with advanced melanoma. A new analysis from KEYNOTE-006 demonstrated durable efficacy benefits among patients who completed two years of KEYTRUDA treatment, combined with updated overall survival (OS) results across both studies, confirming anti-tumor activity in advanced melanoma patients. At a median follow-up
Cancer Discovery

Despite Risk of Breast Cancer, Few Men Undergo Genetic Tests, Study Finds

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death among Americans. At least 10 percent of cancers are caused by inherited mutations in genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2. Parents with the cancer gene mutation have a 50 percent chance of passing it on to a son or daughter. It’s well-known that women with BRCA are at a very high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Less known is the
cancer

New Study Shows Repurposing Leukemia Drugs May Prevent Melanoma Metastasis

Data from a new study led by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers shows that repurposing drugs used to treat leukemia has promise for preventing melanoma metastasis. Published in Science Signaling, the study showed new evidence linking the activation of ABL kinases – cancer-promoting genes – to the secretion of pro-metastatic cathepsins in melanoma. Cathepsins are enzymes that degrade proteins and are highly expressed in cancer cells, resulting in their release
cancer Clinical Trials

Phase I Clinical Trial Shows Some Promise for Investigational Drug for Melanoma

An investigational compound designed to block a hyperactive cell growth signal in advanced melanoma and other cancers has shown some promise in an early-stage clinical trial, researchers at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and other institutions have reported. In JCI Insight, UNC Lineberger’s Stergios Moschos, MD, and colleagues published the results of a phase I, multi-institution clinical trial for an investigational treatment for melanoma and other
Biotechnology

Rare Melanoma Type Highly Responsive to Immunotherapy

Desmoplastic melanoma is a rare subtype of melanoma that is commonly found on sun-exposed areas, such as the head and neck, and usually seen in older patients. Treatment is difficult because these tumors are often resistant to chemotherapy and lack actionable mutations commonly found in other types of melanoma that are targeted by specific drugs. However, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers report in the Jan. 10 issue of Nature that patients with desmoplastic melanoma are more responsive
cancer Clinical Trials Immunotherapies

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco researchers joined by physicians from UCSF Health. The findings provide a novel predictive biomarker to identify patients who are most likely to respond well to a combination of immunotherapy drugs known as
Biotechnology cancer Clinical Trials Immunotherapies

FDA Halts Three Multiple Myeloma Studies Evaluating Merck’s KEYTRUDA®

Merck known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed a clinical hold on KEYNOTE-183, KEYNOTE-185 and KEYNOTE-023, three combination studies of KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), the company’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in the blood cancer multiple myeloma. This decision follows a review of data by the Data Monitoring Committee in which more deaths were observed in the KEYTRUDA arms of KEYNOTE-183
rare diseases Vaccines

New Driver, Target in Advanced Mucosal Melanoma

Not all melanomas are created equal. While most melanomas appear on the skin as the result of sun exposure, a small subset of melanomas arise spontaneously from mucosal tissues. And while targeted treatments and immunotherapies have dramatically improved the prognosis for many patients with sun-associated melanomas, these treatments are ineffective in the mucosal form of the disease. A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published today in the journal Melanoma
cancer

Drug Combination Delivered by Nanoparticles May Help in Melanoma Treatment

The first of a new class of medication that delivers a combination of drugs by nanoparticle may keep melanoma from becoming resistant to treatment, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. CelePlum-777 combines a special ratio of the drugs Celecoxib, an anti-inflammatory, and Plumbagin, a toxin. By combining the drugs, the cells have difficulty overcoming the effect of having more than one active ingredient. Celecoxib and Plumbagin work together
Biotechnology Clinical Trials Gene Therapy Genetic Disorders Immunotherapies

Successfully Treating Genetically Determined Autoimmune Enteritis

Using targeted immunotherapy, doctors have succeeded in curing a type of autoimmune enteritis caused by a recently discovered genetic mutation. This report comes from researchers at the Department of Biomedicine of the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel. Their results raise new possibilities for the management of diarrhea, which is often a side effect of melanoma treatment. Immunodeficiencies can arise due to gene mutations in immune system proteins. As
Biotechnology cancer Cancer Discovery

New technology for detecting malignant melanoma skin cancer

Billions are spent on cancer research, some new treatments are available, but why aren’t we making more progress toward a cure? Because cancer is molecular disease – it’s something going wrong with the “molecular machinery” in the cells of our body that normally produce the millions of molecules that keep us alive and healthy. But in cancer cells, this machinery goes awry, creating a growing cell population that keeps multiplying,