The first program I attended Saturday morning featured targeted novel therapies. Novel therapy is a term most often associated with multiple myeloma–a type of bone marrow cancer which responds well to a number of new chemotherapy drugs.
This program was about novel therapies which are working against other forms of cancer.
The first presentation dealt with a new infusion drug, ipilimumab, along with steroids and a new anti-cancer vaccine. Ipilimumab is the first treatment to improve overall survival in patients with metastatic melanoma.
The second presentation covered a new, successful anti-leukemia drug, dasatinib. Specifically used against chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).
Dasatinib showed promise in a Phase 3 study designed to help patients who aren’t responding to more traditional therapies.
More great news!
The final presentation dealt with progress being made against previously hard to treat brain tumors in children. This study tried to help refractory patients with a poor prognosis after the brain tumors came back. It worked!
The drug, GDC-0449 is able to cross the blood/brain barrier–the largest challenge when using chemotherapy against brain cancer.
This may be the best news of all! Any therapy which can help kids with cancer is pretty great!
Attending a conference like this can be incredibly uplifting. It can also be discouraging. We aren’t winning the war against cancer–we are winning a few skirmishes along the edges. But I’ll take it! How about you?
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat