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05-01-2018 | Oncology | News | Article

In other news

medwireNews: Here we cover a study exploring the effects of age on melanoma immunotherapy outcomes and two clinical trials, one assessing anamorelin in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)-related cachexia and the other investigating a novel fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) kinase inhibitor in the advanced cholangiocarcinoma setting.


“[A]ge should not be a limiting factor for immunotherapy,” say French researchers who found that metastatic melanoma patients older than 65 years had better outcomes than their younger counterparts in response to anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 agents, while the incidence of immune-related toxicities was comparable.

Specifically, median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) durations were 4.8 months and unreached, respectively, for the 38 older patients in the single-center cohort, which were significantly longer than the corresponding median times of 3.4 and 10.1 months for the 54 younger participants.

And age remained an independent predictor of improved PFS and OS in multivariate analysis, report Amelie Boespflug, from Lyon Sud University Hospital, and co-researchers in JAMA Dermatology.


In a Japanese double-blind trial comprising 173 patients with inoperable stage III or IV NSCLC and cachexia, treatment with the selective ghrelin receptor agonist anamorelin 100 mg for 12 weeks led to a significant increase in lean body mass compared with placebo, with a least squares mean change at 12 weeks of 1.38 and –0.17 kg, respectively.

As reported by Nobuyuki Katakami (Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation, Kobe) and fellow investigators in Cancer, participants randomly assigned to receive anamorelin also had significant improvements in body weight, anorexia symptoms, and nutritional status relative to those given placebo, but not motor function as assessed by handgrip strength and the 6-minute walk test.


Lead author Milind Javle (The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA) and team report that BGJ398 – a first-in-class FGFR kinase inhibitor – has “meaningful clinical activity” in patients with FGFR2 fusion-positive cholangiocarcinoma who have failed first-line gemcitabine-based therapy.

Sixty-one patients with tumors harboring FGFR alterations received BGJ398 125 mg/day for 21 days of each 28-day cycle for a median of 4.7 months. This led to an overall response rate of 14.8%, with all responses seen in patients with tumors bearing FGFR2 fusions.

Javle et al conclude in the Journal of Clinical Oncology: “This promising antitumor activity supports continued development of BGJ398 in this highly selected patient population.”

By Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2018 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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