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The Cancer Letter Inc.
PO Box 9905
DC 20016
Tel: 202-362-1809
Fax: 202-379-1787
publication date: Feb 1, 2016
January 2016 PDF



Phase III Trial Binimetinib Increases PFS in NRAS-Mutant Melanoma vs. Dacarbazine

Array BioPharma reported top-line results from the ongoing phase III clinical trial of binimetinib in patients with advanced NRAS-mutant melanoma, demonstrating that the study met its primary endpoint of improving progression-free survival when compared with dacarbazine treatment.

The median PFS on the binimetinib arm was 2.8 months versus 1.5 months on the dacarbazine arm (HR=0.62, 95% CI 0.47-0.80, p < 0.001). Binimetinib was generally well-tolerated and the adverse events reported were consistent with previous results in NRAS melanoma patients. Binimetinib is a small molecule MEK inhibitor which targets key enzymes in the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway.


    Breast Cancer

    Survey of Breast Cancer Cell Function Identifies New Drug Uses, Combinations

    Researchers conducted a large analysis of breast cancer cell function, saying the results suggest dozens of new uses for existing drugs, new drug discovery targets, and new drug combinations.

    “This study represents the largest survey yet of how the genetic changes in breast cancer cells interfere with pathways critical to their growth and survival, pathways that might be targeted by combinations of new or existing drugs,” said lead study author Benjamin Neel, director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Medical Center.

    The study results were published in the journal Cell. The researchers combined genetic analyses of more breast cancer cell types than studied previously, new statistical methods, and comparisons with databases of molecular signatures and the effects of anti-cancer drugs.


      Ovarian Cancer

      Trial of 200,000 Women Shows Screening Can Reduce Mortality by 20 Percent

      One of the largest randomized trials ever has concluded that ovarian cancer screening may reduce ovarian cancer mortality by an estimated 20 percent after follow up of up to 14 years, but researchers say longer follow-up is needed to determine the ultimate mortality reduction and if screening the general population is cost effective.

      The United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening enrolled 202,638 women, aged 50-74 years, between 2001 and 2005 through 13 trial centers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The study results were published in The Lancet.

      The study tested the hypothesis that screening for ovarian cancer in the general population can reduce disease mortality without significant harm, in line with screening programs for other cancers.


        Colorectal Cancer


        Cervical Cancer

        Analysis Evaluates Moore Criteria for Bevacizumab Effectiveness


        NCI CTEP-Approved Trials for the Month of January


        Drugs and Targets

        • Opdivo-Yervoy combination granted accelerated approval in metastatic melanoma
        • Halaven approved for unresectable or metastatic liposarcoma
        • Zepatier approved for chronic hepatitis C
        • Health Canada grants conditional approval to Blincyto in Ph- acute lymphoblastic leukemia
        • FDA grants breakthrough designations to BI1482694 (HM61713) and venetoclax
        • Priority review granted to lenvatinib in renal cell carcinoma

        Copyright (c) 2016 The Cancer Letter Inc.