12/07/17 Recurrent glioma clinical trial, CheckMate-143: the game is not over yet
This article looks at the failure of the Nivolumab trial and tries to show why it failed and how we can overcome those failures. This trial used Nivolumab as a monotherapy at the time of first recurrence and it failed to show an improvement in overall survival. The authors say that it may work better in combination with some other treatments that boost the immune system, such as radiation, vaccines or other immunotherpaies. It also may work better with newly diagnosed instead of recurrent patients.
12/06/17 FDA Grants Genentech’s Avastin Full Approval for Most Aggressive Form of Brain Cancer
This is great news. I was worried that they would remove the approval based on the study mentioned. The study showed "no significant increase in overall survival". That study did not take into account how Avastin is used in the real world. In the real world it is used in combination with many other things and is a very useful drug. Our virtual trial is tracking the combinations. One that looks exceptionally good (although only 4 patients used the combination) is Avastin plus Optune. 2 of the 4 patients died, but they survived an average of 30 months. The other 2 are alive - one for 22 months so far and the other an amazing over 8 years.
12/03/17 Correction regarding dose of Avastin in an old article
This correction just came out. In this article about Avastin for GBMs from 2008, they used the wrong units for the dosage calculation. The correct units are mg per kilogram, not the mg per square meter of body surface area that they originally reported. The difference is huge. For a typical 200 pound 6' tall patient, at 5mg per square meter, the incorrect dose would be about 10mg of Avastin. Using the correct formula, 5mg per kg, it would be about 450 mg. Note that the correct dose of Avastin is not really known. Some use 5mg per kg, some 10mg per kg and some higher doses.
12/02/17 Researchers identify vulnerability for glioblastoma subtypes
This type of research is the key to finding the cure. All of the treatments that have failed phase 2 and 3 trials should be retested to try to figure out why there was enough success in the phase 1 trial to justify the phase 2, then having the subsequent trial fail. Most likely there is a subtype of tumor that IS sensitive to the treatment.
11/24/17 Effectiveness of ONC201 in H3 K27M Glioma to be Presented at SNO
This H3 K27M mutation is a marker for the worst prognostic group of brain tumors, and as far as I know, this is the first drug in clinical trials to target this mutation. Aside from being present in some of the worst GBMs, it is present in most DIPG tumors.
11/22/17 Medicenna Presents Updates on Phase 2b Clinical Trial of MDNA55 at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Neuro-Oncology
This shows that the convection enhanced delivery methods have improved to the point where they can get the drug, on average, to over 75% of the tumor, and it should only get better with more experience. They compare this to the PRECISE trial where the drug only got to about 20% of the tumor.
Here is a link to the poster.
There is a phase 2 clinical trial going on now for this treatment, MDNA55, in patients with recurrent or progressive GBM.
Disclaimer: Medicenna Therapeutics is a sponsor of the Musella Foundation