• In a phase II study reported at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago in June, patients with non–small cell lung cancer carrying KRAS mutations showed improved progression-free survival when treated with the MEK inhibitor selumetinib (Array BioPharma and AstraZeneca). This is the first prospective study to demonstrate a clinical benefit of a targeted therapy for patients with KRAS-mutant cancer of any type, investigators said.

  • The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital–Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project has released whole-genome sequences with matched sets of normal and tumor tissue samples from 260 pediatric cancer patients.

  • In patients with metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma, treatment with the antiangiogenic agent pazopanib (Votrient; GlaxoSmithKline) nearly tripled progression-free survival (PFS) compared with placebo, in results published in The Lancet. The PALETTE trial is said to be the first randomized phase III trial in metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma to demonstrate improvement in PFS.

  • The NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) launched a collaborative program that opens up certain pharmaceutical industry compounds to outside researchers. In a pilot phase, NCATS joined with AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer, which initially will make available more than 20 compounds that cleared key steps in development, including safety testing in humans, but are not approved for clinical use.

  • Agilent Technologies of Santa Clara, CA, will acquire Dako of Glostrup, Denmark, for $2.2 billion. Dako, whose annual revenue was about $340 million in 2010, provides products used in cancer diagnostics and creates companion diagnostics for targeted therapies.

  • Global incidence of cancer will surge more than 75% above current levels by 2030, almost doubling in the poorest countries, predicts a study published in The Lancet Oncology.

For more news on cancer research, visit Cancer Discovery online at http://CDnews.aacrjournals.org.