Advanced Melanoma Survival Improves Significantly When Immunotherapy is Given Before Targeted Therapy

A clinical trial led by clinicians at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center showed a remarkable 20 percent advantage in the two-year overall survival rate for people with advanced melanoma who first received immunotherapy (72 percent survival rate) versus those who initially got targeted therapies (52 percent survival rate). Progression-free survival, where the cancer is stable or improving, was also trending in favor of those who started on immunotherapy.

MD Anderson Research Highlights: ESMO 2022 Special Edition

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Research Highlights provides a glimpse into recent basic, translational and clinical cancer research from MD Anderson experts. This special edition features upcoming oral presentations by MD Anderson researchers at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2022 focused on clinical advances across a variety of cancer types. Highlights include promising early data from a novel T cell therapy for solid tumors, targeted therapy progress in rare and advanced cancers, biomarkers of immunotherapy response, and features associated with clinical outcomes in leptomeningeal disease. More information on ESMO content from MD Anderson can be found at MDAnderson.org/ESMO.

UCSF-Led Research Team Reveals Mechanisms at Work in Progression of Pancreatic Cysts to Cancer

A UC San Francisco-led team of international researchers has outlined the comprehensive immune landscape and microbiome of pancreatic cysts as they progress from benign cysts to pancreatic cancer. Their findings, publishing August 31 in Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology, could reveal the mechanism of neoplastic progression and provide targets for immunotherapy to inhibit progression or treat invasive disease.

Genetics May Predict Bladder Cancer Immunotherapy Response

Investigators from Cedars-Sinai Cancer have identified genetic signatures that could predict whether tumors in patients with bladder and other cancers will respond to immunotherapy. Their results, published today in the peer-reviewed Journal of the National Cancer Institute, could one day help guide clinicians to the most effective treatments for cancer patients.

WFIRM researchers create specific cancer organoid system to study bacterial effects on immunotherapy

Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) researchers are using a tumor organoid system to examine the effects of metabolites secreted by bacteria on a specialized immunotherapy – immune checkpoint blockage, a promising cancer treatment development – to determine why some patients don’t respond or develop a resistance to the treatment over time.

MD Anderson Research Highlights for July 27, 2022

Clinical advances include treating hematologic cancers with effective targeted therapies, circulating tumor DNA as a biomarker for recurrence with colorectal liver metastases, and using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to guide surgical decisions for patients with lateral pelvic lymph node metastases in rectal cancer. Laboratory findings offer new understanding of the pancreatic cancer immune microenvironment, melanoma cell states, TP53 mutation status in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and potential targets for metastatic prostate cancer and GNAS-mutant colorectal cancer.

Moffitt Researchers Use Mathematical Modeling to Explain Immunotherapy Responses

In a new article published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers demonstrate how mathematical modeling can be used to analyze the impact of different cancer treatments on tumor and immune cell dynamics and help predict outcomes to therapy and personalize cancer treatment.

MD Anderson Research Highlights for July 13, 2022

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Research Highlights provides a glimpse into recent basic, translational and clinical cancer research from MD Anderson experts. Current advances include new targets involved in protecting DNA replication forks and preventing inflammatory responses, a new treatment option for elderly patients with late-stage acute myeloid leukemia, insights into the breast cancer tumor microenvironment, biomarkers of response to targeted and immune therapies, a novel cellular therapy option for osteosarcoma and a new target for inducing ferroptosis in cancer cells.

MD Anderson Research Highlights for June 29, 2022

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Research Highlights provides a glimpse into recent basic, translational and clinical cancer research from MD Anderson experts. Current advances include a lower-intensity therapy for acute myeloid leukemia, a new target for treating chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, real-world synthetic controls for clinical trials in rare cancers, a potential biomarker to predict endocrine therapy response in breast cancer, integrated CRISPR screens to identify novel tumor suppressors, and a deeper knowledge of the immune tumor microenvironment in melanoma-derived brain metastases.

The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research Expands Partnership with The Johns Hopkins University to Accelerate Groundbreaking Immunotherapy Research

The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (BKI) announced today a new $10 million commitment at The Johns Hopkins University to fund novel work and advance immunotherapy research to provide lifesaving breakthroughs to people with cancer.

MD Anderson and Resilience launch joint venture to accelerate development and manufacturing of innovative cell therapies for cancer

MD Anderson and Resilience today announced the launch of a joint venture, the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center, which unites the strengths of both parties to accelerate the development and manufacturing of cell therapies for patients with cancer.

Biomarker in Liquid Biopsy for Lung Cancer Appears More Accurate in Predicting Immunotherapy Response Than Tumor Biopsy

Mount Sinai researchers have validated for the first time that a simple blood test called a liquid biopsy could be a better predictor of whether cancer immunotherapy will be successful for a patient with lung cancer than an invasive tumor biopsy procedure. Their study was published in the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research in June.

MD Anderson Research Highlights for June 1, 2022

Current advances include new biomarkers to predict chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy outcomes and neurotoxicities, novel treatment targets for pre-cancerous pancreatic lesions and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a new approach to improve immunotherapy responses in cold tumors, a profile of synthetic lethal targets for cancers with tumor suppressor loss, and promising clinical data for acute myeloid leukemia and cancers of unknown primary.

Penn Medicine Developed CAR T Cell Therapy Wins Third FDA Approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded its approval for a personalized cellular therapy developed at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center, this time for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy. The accelerated approval was granted today to Novartis for the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy Kymriah® (tisagenlecleucel), making it the third indication for the nation’s first personalized cellular therapy for cancer. It remains the only CAR-T cell therapy approved for both adult and pediatric patients.

MD Anderson Research Highlights: ASCO 2022 Special Edition

This special edition features upcoming oral presentations by MD Anderson researchers at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting focused on quality improvement, health services research, new treatments for skin cancers, and symptoms and survivorship advances. More information on ASCO content from MD Anderson can be found at MDAnderson.org/ASCO.

Next-Generation Immunotherapy Drug Shows Continued Promise in Several Advanced-Stage Cancers

Initial study results show that an experimental drug, called nemvaleukin alfa, when used alone or in combination with another anticancer drug (pembrolizumab) may be effective in treating several types of late-stage cancers in some patients.

A nanoparticle and inhibitor trigger the immune system, outsmarting brain cancer

Scientists at the University of Michigan fabricated a nanoparticle to deliver an inhibitor to brain tumor in mouse models, where the drug successfully turned on the immune system to eliminate the cancer. The process also triggered immune memory so that a reintroduced tumor was eliminated—a sign that this potential new approach could not only treat brain tumors but prevent or delay recurrences.

Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Announce Partnership with Costa Rica for CAR T Cell Therapy

Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), who together pioneered the research and development of the world’s first personalized cellular therapy for cancer — also known as CAR T cell therapy — have announced plans with Costa Rica’s CCSS, or the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (Social Security Program), to facilitate CAR T research in Costa Rica.

Researchers uncover how tumors circumvent prostate cancer therapy, identify promising treatment strategy

A Cleveland Clinic-led research team uncovered how tumors circumvent prostate cancer therapy and identified a promising new strategy for treatment. Findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Antiandrogen strategies remain the backbone for advanced prostate…

Immunotherapy After Bladder Cancer Surgery Shows Excellent Cancer-free Survival Rates

Immunotherapy after surgery helped reduce cancer recurrence in patients with urothelial cancer of the bladder or other sites in the urinary tract that had invaded the muscle and therefore posed a high risk for recurrence, according to clinical trial results presented at the American Urological Association (AUA) annual meeting in May.

Groundbreaking for Major Expansion of University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center

The University of Maryland Medical Center celebrates the groundbreaking of a nine-story patient care tower – the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine – that will become the new home of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. The $219 million building will enable the cancer center to provide the most technologically advanced, integrated care to cancer patients throughout Maryland and the region well into the future

Emily Whitehead, First Pediatric Patient to Receive CAR T-Cell Therapy, Celebrates Cure 10 Years Later

Ten years ago, Tom and Kari Whitehead came to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) looking for a miracle. Their 6-year-old daughter, Emily, had relapsed in her battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), after many months of unsuccessful chemotherapy and a disease that had progressed so rapidly that she was ineligible for a bone marrow transplant to treat it. Her family came to CHOP in the hopes that Dr. Stephan Grupp, a pioneer in the field of cellular immunotherapy, could provide the miracle they were looking for.

Breaking the shield that protects pancreatic cancer from immunotherapy

Scar-like cells that make up a sizable portion of malignant pancreatic tumors and shield these cancers from immune attack are derived from mesothelial cells that line tissues and organs, a new study led by UT Southwestern researchers suggests. The findings, published in Cancer Cell, could offer a new strategy to fight pancreatic cancer, a deadly disease for which no truly effective treatments exist.

MD Anderson Research Highlights for May 4, 2022

Featured studies include clinical advances with a new combination therapy targeting angiogenesis in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and a promising immunotherapy combination for kidney cancer, plus laboratory studies that focus on targeting ferroptosis in specific lung cancers, developing chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies for blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasms, and characterizing racial and ethnic disparities in breast cancer early detection.

New technique may lead to safer stem cell transplants

Studying mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a method of stem cell transplantation that does not require radiation or chemotherapy. Instead, the strategy takes an immunotherapeutic approach, combining the targeted elimination of blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow with immune-modulating drugs to prevent the immune system from rejecting the new donor stem cells.

Immunotherapy-Chemotherapy Treatment Coupled with In-Depth Genomic Analyses Leads to Improved Survival for Patients with Mesothelioma

Combining the immunotherapy agent durvalumab with the chemotherapy agents pemetrexed and cisplatin or carboplatin may provide a new treatment option for patients who have inoperable pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the tissues lining the lungs, according to a phase II clinical trial led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

MD Anderson Research Highlights for November 3, 2021

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Research Highlights provides a glimpse into recently published studies in basic, translational and clinical cancer research from MD Anderson experts. Current advances include the cost-effectiveness of expanded lung cancer screening criteria, a novel biomarker for predicting immunotherapy responses, development of a technique for multiplex single-cell chromatin profiling, combination immunotherapy for bone metastatic prostate cancer, understanding drivers of lung cancer metastasis, and enabling new T cell therapies for treating COVID-19.

CHOP Researchers Develop a New Class of CAR-T Cells that Target Previously Untargetable Cancer Drivers

In a breakthrough for the treatment of aggressive solid cancers, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have developed a novel cancer therapy that targets proteins inside cancer cells that are essential for tumor growth and survival but have been historically impossible to reach. Using the power of large data sets and advanced computational approaches, the researchers were able to identify peptides that are presented on the surface of tumor cells and can be targeted with “peptide-centric” chimeric antigen receptors (PC-CARs), a new class of engineered T cells, stimulating an immune response that eradicates tumors.

MD Anderson Research Highlights: ASTRO 2021 Special Edition

This special edition features oral presentations by MD Anderson researchers at the 2021 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting (Oct. 24-27) on novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches, including partial breast irradiation, evaluating PD-L1 levels as biomarkers to better predict response to immunotherapy, and deep learning and biomechanical models.

MD Anderson Research Highlights: ESMO 2021 Special Edition

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Research Highlights provides a glimpse into recent studies in basic, translational and clinical cancer research from MD Anderson experts. This special edition features oral presentations by MD Anderson researchers at the virtual European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021 on novel therapeutic approaches, including cell therapy for solid tumors, antibody drug conjugates targeting TROP2 and neoadjuvant pembrolizumab for advanced solid tumors with mismatch repair deficiencies.

Yale Cancer Center Study Shows New Drug Combinations Improve Outcomes for Patients with Advanced Lung Cancer

New findings from a large study led by researchers at Yale Cancer Center shows the addition of the drugs oleclumab or monalizumab to durvalumab improved progression-free survival for patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

How a plant virus could protect and save your lungs from metastatic cancer

Using a virus that grows in black-eyed pea plants, researchers developed a new therapy that could keep metastatic cancers from spreading to the lungs, as well as treat established tumors in the lungs.