An experimental drug that targets the immune system, ipilimumab, has helped patients with advanced cases of melanoma live longer than expected. The results are from the first large randomized clinical trial to show an improvement in survival for patients with advanced melanoma whose disease had progressed on other treatments.
Patients who received ipilimumab lived nearly 4 months longer than those who received an experimental therapeutic vaccine that has shown some activity against melanoma: median survival was 10.1 months for those who received ipilimumab versus 6.4 months for those who received the vaccine. The difference was both statistically significant and, given the lack of any effective treatment options for advanced melanoma, clinically meaningful for patients, researchers said earlier this month at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. Read more > >
In light of the mounting evidence of cancer’s complexity presented by researchers from around the world at this year’s annual meetings of the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, I remain both sober and hopeful about the future of our work. In a way, we now stand at a defining moment in the history of cancer research. Just as high-throughput technology and computing capacity made it possible to discover what exactly constitutes a human genome, it is clear that we can now harness these same techniques to determine the exact nature of cancer genomes.
To successfully do this, though—to truly push the boundaries of the possible—we must perfect the art of strategic collaboration. Although the contributions and discoveries made by individual investigators remain the cornerstone of new knowledge, effective use of that knowledge now depends on the power of partnership and teamwork. Read more > >
A MESSAGE TO READERS
Clinical Trials Featured on Cancer.gov
This month, the NCI Web site highlights the importance of clinical trials in cancer research. Read more about this topic by clicking the Cancer.gov homepage banner or going to NCI Features: Clinical Trials Shape Cancer Care.
And, if you missed it, visit the NCI Cancer Bulletin special issue on clinical trials enrollment, published May 18, 2010.
- FDA-ASCO Educational Module Expands Access to Investigational Drugs
- NCRR and Yale Host Third Annual Clinical Research Management Workshop
- NCAB Convenes Meeting Next Week
- Third Telephone Workshop for Cancer Survivors Slated for June 22
- Administrative Supplements to Increase Awareness of Pediatric Cancers
- caBIG Annual Meeting Slated for September
Selected articles from past issues of the NCI Cancer Bulletin are available in Spanish.
The NCI Cancer Bulletin is produced by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which was established in 1937. Through basic, clinical, and population-based biomedical research and training, NCI conducts and supports research that will lead to a future in which we can identify the environmental and genetic causes of cancer, prevent cancer before it starts, identify cancers that do develop at the earliest stage, eliminate cancers through innovative treatment interventions, and biologically control those cancers that we cannot eliminate so they become manageable, chronic diseases.
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