Dendreon touts T-cell response data for prostate cancer vaccine Provenge

Dendreon has had no shortage of challenges with Provenge since winning FDA approval for the groundbreaking prostate cancer vaccine back in 2010. Years later, the company has unveiled new data showing the med generates a killer T-cell response—and the strength of that response correlates with overall survival. In a Monday poster session at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting, Dendreon showcased the new data showing that Provenge elicits a T-cell response to the immunizing antigen A2024 and to the target antigen prostatic acid phosphatase on prostate tumor cells. The responses were seen as early as six weeks after patients received Provenge and lasted for a minimum of six months, according to the company. Men with both hormone-sensitive prostate cancer and those with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) experienced the responses, which correlated with improved overall survival.

Johnson & Johnson’s Zytiga slashes death risk by 38% in earlier-stage prostate cancer patients

Johnson & Johnson may soon be able to move prostate cancer med Zytiga into an earlier disease stage, thanks to game-changing new data that rolled out on Saturday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. Zytiga, in tandem with prednisone and androgen deprivation therapy, trounced an ADT-plus-placebo duo at improving survival among patients with high-risk metastatic hormone-naïve prostate cancer, cutting the risk of death by 38%, J&J said Saturday. Median overall survival for the Zytiga arm wasn’t reached, while the placebo arm posted an average of 34.7 months. And that wasn’t all. Zytiga also slashed the risk of progression or death by 53%, more than doubling the average time to one of those events from 14.8 months on ADT alone to 33 months on the J&J med.

AstraZeneca’s Lynparza posts 42% survival win in breast cancer

Back in February, AstraZeneca announced that its Lynparza had become the first PARP inhibitor to find success outside of ovarian cancer, posting positive results among breast cancer patients. And Sunday, the British drugmaker revealed just how positive those results were. In a phase 3 study comparing the medication with standard-of-care chemo in patients with HER2-negative breast cancer and BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, Lynparza pared down the risk of disease worsening or death by 42%, AZ said at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. Tumors shrank in about 60% of patients treated with Lynparza, versus just 29% of those in the chemo arm of the study. And importantly, the med was “effective” among patients with triple-negative breast cancer, which has proven notoriously difficult to treat.

Pfizer’s two-time loser dacomitinib finally wins in phase 3 against AstraZeneca’s Iressa

Pfizer’s EGFR lung cancer candidate, dacomitinib, doesn’t have a pretty past. But the New York drugmaker has finally rung up a phase 3 victory. On Monday, the American Society of Clinical Oncology announced that dacomitinib had topped AstraZeneca’s Iressa in delaying cancer growth in newly diagnosed patients, slashing the risk of progression or death by 41%. With dacomitinib, trial participants went a median 14.7 months without their cancer worsening, compared with 9.2 months on Iressa. Both drugs are part of the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) class of meds. It’s the first positive set of phase 3 results for the Pfizer prospect, which flopped in two late-stage studies back in early 2014. In one, the med failed to improve progression-free survival compared with Roche’s Tarceva, and in the other, also versus Tarceva, it couldn’t significantly increase overall survival.

Roche’s Alecensa trounces Pfizer’s Xalkori in head-to-head ALK matchup

Novartis’ Zykadia just won the right to challenge Pfizer’s Xalkori for the first-line ALK-positive lung-cancer crown. But the way Roche sees it, that crown is Alecensa’s for the taking, as soon as it can nab an FDA approval, too. Monday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, the Swiss drugmaker’s contender posted data showing it could beat Xalkori at cutting down the risk of disease worsening or death by more than 53%. Both drugs are targeted at lung tumors with an ALK gene rearrangement. Alecensa also led when it came to preventing brain metastases, which are more common among ALK-positive patients because it’s an aggressive tumor. Patients in the Alecensa group recorded just a 9% incidence of brain metastases at the 12-month mark, while 41% of patients in the Xalkori arm developed them. Overall, the data are really clear in the sense that this will become the new standard of care for first-line.