• The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vismodegib (Erivedge; Genentech) for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma and axitinib (Inlyta; Pfizer) for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma.

  • Additionally, the FDA has granted priority review for Genentech's pertuzumab in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin; Genentech) and docetaxel chemotherapy for patients with HER2-positive metastatic or locally recurrent unresectable breast cancer who have not received previous treatment or whose disease has relapsed after adjuvant therapy.

  • The Norwegian Cancer Genomics Consortium is taking a step toward integrating next-generation genome sequencing into the country's health care system. In a 3-year pilot program, the group plans to prospectively sequence hundreds of genes in samples from 1,000 cancer patients as well as study 3,000 existing tumor samples.

  • Amgen of Thousand Oaks, CA, is buying Micromet of Rockville, MD, for $1.16 billion.

  • The aromatase inhibitor exemestane (Aromasin; Pfizer), demonstrated in the Mammary Prevention 3 (MAP.3) trial to prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women at high risk of developing the disease, appears to significantly worsen age-related bone loss, according to an article in The Lancet Oncology.

  • Overall success rates for NIH extramural research project grants fell to a record low of 18% in fiscal year 2011.

  • The Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha will build a new cancer center that aims to become an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center by 2020.

  • In an international phase III clinical trial, median length of survival for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who were treated with Bayer's multikinase drug regorafenib increased from 5 months to 6.5 months, a statistically significant jump. This could be the first new therapy in recent years to result in improvement for such patients.

For more news on cancer research, visit Cancer Discovery online at www.AACR.org/CDnews.