A collection of recently published news items.

Exact Sciences will acquire Thrive Earlier Detection for $1.7 billion up front and up to $450 million more in milestone payments. Exact will gain CancerSEEK, Thrive's liquid biopsy cancer-screening test that combines genomic screening with protein analysis. Exact will also acquire Base Genomics, an epigenetics company developing technology for DNA methylation sequencing.

CRISPR Therapeutics announced positive results but concerning side effects with CTX110 in patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell malignancies. In the phase I CARBON trial, the allogeneic anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy elicited complete responses in four of 11 patients. However, three patients developed cytokine release syndrome, one experienced immune effector cell–associated neurotoxicity syndrome, and one died due to side effects.

The FDA approved Bristol Myers Squibb's nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) for patients with newly diagnosed, inoperable malignant pleural mesothelioma. The approval was based on the phase III CheckMate-743 trial, in which patients treated with the PD-1–CTLA4 inhibitor combination had a median overall survival of 18.1 months, compared with 14.1 months in patients who received standard chemotherapy.

People living in U.S. counties with persistent poverty may have a higher risk of dying from cancer than those living in areas with less poverty (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020;29:1949–54). Between 2007 and 2011, the cancer mortality rate was 201.3 deaths per 100,000 people in counties with persistent poverty (those with poverty rates of at least 20% in Census data since 1980), compared with 179.3 deaths per 100,000 people in counties without persistent poverty.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically cut cancer screenings, diagnoses, and treatments (JCO Clin Cancer Inform 2020 Oct 21 [Epub ahead of print]). Researchers analyzed 6,227,474 Medicare claims and found significant decreases in screening when comparing April 2019 with April 2020: Screening dropped by 85% for breast cancer, 75% for lung cancer, 74% for colon cancer, and 56% for prostate cancer. There were also declines in biopsies, chemotherapy treatments, and surgery.

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