The Lynx Group

August 2021, Vol 12, No 4

The theme for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2021 virtual annual meeting was “Equity: Every Patient. Every Day. Everywhere.” As ASCO President Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, explained during her opening address, there is an urgent need to focus on effective ways to eliminate racial and socioeconomic disparities so that every patient can receive care that results in the best possible outcome.
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Treatment with the immune checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab (Tecentriq) following surgical resection and chemotherapy significantly improved disease-free survival (DFS) compared with best supportive care (BSC) alone in patients with stage II-IIIA non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and tumor composite score PD-L1 ≥1%, according to interim results from the phase 3 IMpower010 clinical trial, which were presented at the ASCO 2021 virtual annual meeting.
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Biosimilars have the potential to create a more sustainable healthcare environment by offering substantial cost-savings and expanding patient access to lifesaving therapies. At the ASCO 2021 virtual annual meeting, Lalan S. Wilfong, MD, Executive Vice President, Value-Based Care and Quality Programs, and Medical Oncologist/Hematologist, Texas Oncology, Presbyterian Cancer Center Dallas, TX, discussed how a community practice model for therapeutic interchange of brand drugs to biosimilars led to a significant increase in utilization of biosimilars and substantial cost-savings over the course of a single year at his institution.
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A single dose of ciltacabtagene autoleucel (cilta-cel), an investigational B-cell maturation antigen–directed CAR T-cell therapy, resulted in early, deep, and durable responses in heavily pretreated patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, according to updated results from the phase 1b/2 CARTITUDE-1 clinical trial. These findings were reported by Saad Zafar Usmani, MD, FACP, Director, Plasma Cell Disorder Program, and Director, Clinical Research in Hematologic Malignancies, Levine Cancer Institute, Charlotte, NC, at the ASCO 2021 virtual annual meeting.
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On June 30, 2021, the FDA accelerated the approval of asparaginase erwinia chrysanthemi (recombinant)-rywn (Rylaze; Jazz Pharmaceuticals), an asparagine-specific enzyme, as a component of a multidrug chemotherapy regimen for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and lymphoblastic lymphoma (LBL) in patients aged ≥1 months with hypersensitivity to Escherichia coli–derived asparaginase. The FDA granted asparaginase erwinia a fast-track review and an orphan drug designation for this indication.
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On May 28, 2021, the FDA accelerated the approval of infigratinib (Truseltiq; QED Therapeutics), an oral kinase inhibitor, for the treatment of adults with previously treated, unresectable locally advanced or metastatic cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) and FGFR2 fusion or other rearrangement, as detected by an FDA-approved test. The FDA granted infigratinib priority and fast-track review, as well as orphan drug designation for this indication.
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On July 9, 2021, the FDA accelerated the approval of a new indication for daratumumab and hyaluronidase-fihj (Darzalex Faspro; Janssen Biotech), in combination with pomalidomide (Pomalyst; Bristol Myers Squibb) and dexamethasone, for the treatment of adults with multiple myeloma who have received at least 1 previous line of therapy, including lenalidomide (Revlimid) or a proteasome inhibitor.
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On June 16, 2021, the FDA approved a new indication for avapritinib (Ayvakit; Blueprint Medicines) for the treatment of adults with advanced systemic mastocytosis (AdvSM), including patients with aggressive systemic mastocytosis, systemic mastocytosis with an associated hematologic neoplasm, and mast-cell leukemia. The FDA granted this indication a priority review and breakthrough therapy and orphan drug designations.
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On July 21, 2021, the FDA granted full approval for the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda; Merck), in combination with the kinase inhibitor lenvatinib (Lenvima; Eisai), for the treatment of advanced endometrial carcinoma that is not MSI-H (microsatellite instability-high) or dMMR (mismatch repair-deficient), in patients whose disease progressed after previous systemic therapy in any setting, and who are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation.
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On July 9, 2021, the FDA granted full approval to enfortumab vedotin-ejfv (Padcev; Astellas Pharma), a Nectin-4–directed antibody and microtubule inhibitor conjugate, for the treatment of adults with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who have previously received a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor and platinum-containing chemotherapy, or who are ineligible for cisplatin-containing chemotherapy and have received ≥1 previous lines of therapy.
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