TOP - May 2019, Vol 12, No 2

Promising markers of response to immune checkpoint inhibition include tumor mutation burden (TMB) and genomic markers that reflect a disruption of the tumor immunity cycle, said Natalie Vokes, MD, MPhil, Medical Oncology Fellow, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, at the 2019 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium.
Many patients with leukemia or lymphoma who receive treatment with anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy achieve minimum residual disease (MRD) negativity, and many are in complete remission well beyond 12 months. As such, CAR T-cell therapies are curing these patients.
It is important for patients with cancer to have access to a complete range of healthcare services, including support services. However, many healthcare professionals, including oncology pharmacists, often have a “blind spot” when it comes to providing patients with cancer support services that can lead to better outcomes.
The addition of the PD-1 inhibitor durvalumab (Imfinzi) and the CTLA-4 inhibitor tremelimu­mab to best supportive care improved overall survival (OS) by >2 months compared with best supportive care alone in patients with advanced refractory colorectal cancer (CRC), according to results of the phase 2 Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) CO.26 clinical trial.
Options for the treatment of patients with advanced hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-­negative breast cancer are expanding. The updated National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guideline (version 1.2019) for the management of invasive breast cancer is focused on HR-positive, HER2-­negative disease.
The updated National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guideline for non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC; version 3.2019) is focused on improving patient outcomes with immunotherapy.
This section provides a brief overview of new cancer drugs or new indications approved by the FDA between February 22 and May 2, 2019.
Adding the PD-L1 inhibitor atezolizumab (Tecentriq) to nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) chemotherapy is the first immunotherapy-based combination to improve progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in women with advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer and PD-L1 expression compared with placebo plus nab-paclitaxel, according to results of the IMpassion130 clinical trial.
Breast cancer research continues to improve survival across all subsets and settings of the disease, according to Sandra Cuellar, PharmD, BCOP, Director, PGY-2 Oncology; Clinical Oncology Pharmacist and Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, Chicago.
Given the high cost of oncology drugs, it is important for pharmacists to become more business savvy regarding their practices, said Andrea Ledford, PharmD, BCOP, Oncology Pharmacy Manager, Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center, FL, at the 2019 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) Annu­al Conference.
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