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American Association for Cancer Research, April 5-9

The American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research was held from April 5 to 9 in San Diego and attracted approximately 18,000 participants from around the world, including scientists, cancer survivors, clinicians, allied health professionals, industry professionals, and others interested in cancer research. The conference highlighted recent advances in the treatment, management, and prevention of cancer.

In one study, Emmanuel Antonarakis, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, and colleagues identified a genetic biomarker (called AR-V7) that can be detected in circulating tumor cells and predicts resistance to enzalutamide in men with advanced prostate cancer.

"AR-V7 was found in 39 percent of patients tested, meaning that it is fairly common," said Antonarakis. "Patients who are considering treatment with enzalutamide could have a blood test taken to determine if their cancer contains AR-V7. If yes, then these patients should seek alternative therapies because enzalutamide will not be effective."

Overall, according to Antonarakis, advanced prostate cancers that contain AR-V7 should not be treated with enzalutamide, and these patients should be offered other therapies such as chemotherapy.

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In another study, Eytan M. Stein, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues found that AG-221, a novel inhibitor of isocitrate dehydrogenase 2-mutant metabolic enzyme (IDH-2), was effective for patients with advanced and refractory blood cancers with IDH-2 mutations.

"AG-221 is safe and well tolerated at the first four dose levels (30 mg twice daily, 50 mg twice daily, 75 mg twice daily, and 100 mg once daily," said Stein.

Consistent with pre-clinical hypothesis, the investigators found that AG-221 reduced levels of the oncometabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate by over 90 percent.

"Of the 10 patients who were evaluable for efficacy, three passed away from disease-related complications. Of the remaining seven, six had an objective response, with two complete remissions, three complete remissions with incomplete platelet count recovery, and one partial remission," said Stein. "This is a phase I study that has not yet been completed. I am hoping, though, that we will continue to see similar results in the rest of the patients who are going to enter into the study."

The study was funded by Agios Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of AG-221.

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Adil I. Daud, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues found that melanoma patients who had the protein PD-L1 in their tumors experienced better immune response and improved survival when treated with MK-3475. Specifically, the investigators found that melanoma patients who received MK-3475 and whose tumors had PD-L1 present experienced an overall response rate of 46 percent, compared to those without the protein, who experienced an overall response rate of 17 percent.

"We found a major difference in the response rates between patients with PD-L1-positive and PD-L1-negative tumors treated with MK-3475," Daud said in a statement. "This is the largest data set yet, to my knowledge, looking at PD-L1 expression in tumors from melanoma patients treated with PD-1 inhibitors."

The investigators also found that prior treatment with ipilimumab did not impact response to MK-3475.

"This suggests that prior treatment with the anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 antibody ipilimumab does not impact the ability of these tumors to respond to MK-3475, nor does it affect the viability of PD-L1 as a marker of response to MK-3475," Daud added in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to Merck, which manufactures MK-3475 and funded the study, and GlaxoSmithKline.

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AACR: High BMI Prediagnosis May Lead to Poor CRC Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- High prediagnosis body mass index (BMI) is associated with increased mortality after colorectal cancer diagnosis, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 5 to 9 in San Diego.

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AACR: Irregular Menstrual Cycles Tied to Ovarian Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Irregular menstrual cycles may be an early marker of ovarian cancer risk, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 5 to 9 in San Diego.

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AACR: Coffee Consumption Linked to Lower Liver Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Increased coffee consumption may reduce hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk across ethnicities, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 5 to 9 in San Diego.

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AACR: ICMgp100 Tolerated, Active in Advanced Melanoma

TUESDAY, April 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An affinity-enhanced T cell receptor specific for the human leukocyte antigen-A2 restricted melanoma gp 100 peptide fused to an anti-CD3 antibody fragment, IMCgp100, seems promising for advanced melanoma, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 5 to 9 in San Diego.

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AACR: LY2835219 Promising for Metastatic Breast Cancer

MONDAY, April 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The novel cell cycle inhibitor selective for the cyclin-dependent kinases CDK4 and CDK6 (CDK4/6), LY2835219, shows promise for metastatic breast cancer, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 5 to 9 in San Diego.

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