Monday, January 30, 2012

Vemurafenib Seeks Wider Audience

Vemurafenib (Zelboraf ®; Genentech/Daiichi Sankyo) is a BRAF V600E kinase inhibitor approved for metastatic melanoma.  Since its approval last year, vemurafenib has become the drug of choice for these patients.  BRAF V600E mutant gene is also found in several other solid cancer, including colon, ovarian and thyroid, and certain leukemias.  Zelboraf is making inroads in these cancer types.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

One-Two Punch: Curbing HER-2 Positive Breast Cancer with Herceptin-Tykerb Combo

Using Tykerb (lapatinib; GlaxoSmithKline, U.K.) and Herceptin (trastuzumab; Genentech, South San Francisco, Calif.) anti-HER-2 drugs together doubles the odds of recovery compared to either drug alone in HER-2 positive early breast cancer patients, reports NeoALTTO trial investigators in the January 17th online publication at Lancet Oncology journal homepage.  This study provides a proof-of-concept that dual HER-2 block is better than using a single agent HER-2 blocker.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Meeting Report: AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death, accounting for one-third of all cancer deaths.  Lung cancer is also the second most common cancer in men (after prostate cancer) and women (after breast cancer).  Over 200,000 people are diagnosed with and about 150,000 people die from lung cancer every year in the United States [a, b].  While surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are routine treatment choices, in the recent years, patients have benefited from the introduction of targeted therapies based on the discovery of mutations in the EGFR and KRAS genes, and EML/ALK translocations.   EGFR mutations are more commonly found in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors in Asian population (30-40%) than Caucasians (10-15%).   About 4% of the patients carry EML/ALK translocation.

The ongoing 2012 AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer: Biology, Therapy and Personalized Medicine in San Diego highlights some of the recent advances in lung cancer biology, diagnosis and treatment (see below)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Most Common Somatic Mutations in Cancer

Here is a list of most common mutations in cancer genes.  This list is from a recent PLoS ONE article and it contains 60 most common mutations in 15 cancer genes.