A collection of recently published news items.
Vice President Joe Biden delivered a report on the Cancer Moonshot, summarizing the work of its Task Force and laying out his strategic plan for transforming cancer research and care. In addition, the report notes areas of “scientific opportunity” as determined by a Blue Ribbon Panel and announced in September. It also outlines several new collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors. For example, the NCI, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft are building a sustainable model for maintaining cancer genomic data in the cloud.
Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY, got the FDA's go-ahead to evaluate CIMAvax-EGF, a lung cancer vaccine developed in Cuba, in a U.S. clinical trial. Roswell Park also received authorization from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to establish a joint business venture with the Center of Molecular Immunology in Havana, aimed at discovering and developing new biotech products.
The U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer released a consensus statement on using the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) for colorectal cancer screening (Ann Intern Med 2016 Oct 25 [Epub ahead of print]). FIT is “an excellent alternative” to colonoscopy for preventing this disease, the authors said, adding that “surprisingly little published evidence supports the predominance of colonoscopy.”
Genentech announced that the FDA approved atezolizumab (Tecentriq) for the treatment of metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has progressed during or after treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy. Atezolizumab is the first PD-L1 inhibitor given the green light by the agency for NSCLC; in May, it received accelerated approval for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma.
Celgene acquired Swiss biotech EngMab for $600 million, expanding its pipeline of immunotherapies targeting BCMA, an antigen almost exclusively expressed on plasma cells and multiple myeloma cells. EngMab is developing a bispecific antibody that binds to BCMA on multiple myeloma cells and to CD3 on T cells, triggering T cell–mediated cytotoxicity.
For more news on cancer research, visit Cancer Discovery online at http://cancerdiscovery.aacrjournals.org/content/early/by/section.