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The Onco'Zine Brief

Author: Peter Hofland, Ph.D

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The Onco'Zine Brief is an interview and discussion program presented by Peter Hofland, Ph.D., covering a broad range of topics and timely news updates with information from all oncology disciplines and sub-specialties from around the world.

The Onco'Zine Brief is a sponsor-supported, program for healthcare professionals involved in the management and care of cancer patients as well as cancer patients and their family and friends.
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In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief, developed in collaboration with ADC Review | Journal of Antibody-drug Conjugates (at www.ADCReview.com), Peter Hofland, Ph.D. talks with William (Bill) Newell, JD, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Sutro Biopharma (www.sutrobio.com)Sutro is a clinical-stage drug discovery, development, and manufacturing company using precise protein engineering and rational design to advance the development of the next-generation oncology therapeutics for unmet medical needs and areas where the current standard of care is suboptimal. To date, Sutro’s technology platform has led to the development of cytokine-based immuno-oncology therapies, antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs, vaccines, and bispecific antibodies.In addition to Sutro’s own pipeline of novel drugs, including STRO-001, a CD74-targeting ADC currently being investigated in a Phase 1 clinical trial of patients with advanced B-cell malignancies, such as multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and STRO-002, a folate receptor alpha (FolRα)-targeting ADC, currently being investigated in a Phase 1 clinical trial of patients with ovarian and endometrial cancers, the company is also collaborating with select pharmaceutical and biotech companies to discover and develop novel, next-generation therapeutics. Antibody-drug conjugates like STRO-001 and STRO-002, are highly targeted biopharmaceutical drugs that combine monoclonal antibodies specific to surface antigens present on particular tumor cells with highly potent anti-cancer agents linked via a chemical linker.Today there are 10 approved ADC on the market – and many more in development. And as a result, ADCs have become a powerful class of therapeutic agents in oncology and hematology. About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.
In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D., talks with Mondher Mahjoubi, MD, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board of Innate Pharma, a clinical-stage oncology-focused biotech company dedicated to improving treatment and clinical outcomes for patients through therapeutic antibodies that harness the immune system to fight cancer.Innate Pharma’s broad pipeline of antibodies includes several potentially first-in-class clinical and preclinical candidates in cancers with high unmet medical needs. The company, based in the South of France, has been a pioneer in the understanding of the biology of natural killer (NK-) cell, and has expanded its expertise in the tumor microenvironment and tumor-antigens, as well as antibody engineering. This innovative approach has resulted in a diversified portfolio and major alliances with leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, and a multi-products collaboration with AstraZeneca.About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.
In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D talks with Tony Polverino, PhD. In September 2918 Polverino joined Zymeworks, a clinical-stage, biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics. He currently serves as the company's Executive Vice President of Early Development and Chief Scientific Officer. Prior to joining Zymeworks, from 2015 until 2018, Polverino was at Kite Pharma, which was acquired by Gilead Sciences in 2017. Zymeworks’ lead clinical candidate, zanidatamab (ZW25), is a novel Azymetric™ bispecific antibody that has been granted Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA and is currently enrolling in a pivotal clinical trial for refractory HER2-amplified biliary tract cancer (HERIZON-BTC-01)[1][2][3[[4] as well as several Phase 2 clinical trials for HER2-expressing gastroesophageal and breast cancers. Zymeworks’ second clinical candidate, ZW49, is a novel bispecific HER2-targeting antibody-drug conjugate currently in Phase 1 clinical development and combines the unique design and antibody framework of zanidatamab with Zymeworks’ proprietary ZymeLink™ linker and cytotoxin. Zymeworks is also advancing a deep preclinical pipeline in oncology (including immuno-oncology agents) and other therapeutic areas.In our program today Hofland asks Polverino about his work in oncology, his work before joining Zymeworks, and the work he and his co-workers are doing at Zymeworks.About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.Reference[1] A Study of ZW25 (Zanidatamab) in Subjects With Advanced or Metastatic HER2-Amplified Biliary Tract Cancers - NCT04466891[2] A Study of ZW25 (Zanidatamab) With Palbociclib Plus Fulvestrant in Patients With HER2+/HR+ Advanced Breast Cancer - NCT04224272[3] A Safety and Efficacy Study of ZW25 (Zanidatamab) Plus Combination Chemotherapy in HER2-expressing Gastrointestinal Cancers, Including Gastroesophageal Adenocarcinoma, Biliary Tract Cancer, and Colorectal Cancer - NCT03929666[4] A Dose-Finding Study of ZW49 in Patients With HER2-Positive Cancers - NCT03821233
In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D. talks with Yoav Kimchy, Ph.D. Kimchy has more than 20 years of experience in the development and management of innovative medical device companies. He founded Check-Cap in 2005 and served as the company's Chief Technology Officer.Check-Cap is a clinical-stage medical diagnostics company aiming to redefine colorectal cancer screening/ through the introduction of C-Scan®, the first patient-friendly preparation-free screening test to detect polyps before they may transform into colorectal cancer. The new screening technology is being designed to enable early intervention and cancer prevention. The capsule-based screening technology is expected to significantly increase screening adherence worldwide, and help millions of people to stay healthy through preventive colorectal cancer screening. The technology is based on an ultra-low-dose X-ray capsule, an integrated positioning, control, and recording system, as well as proprietary software to generate a 3D map of the inner lining of the colon as it travels naturally along the gastrointestinal tract. One of the benefits of the technology is that it is non-invasive and requires no sedation. And unlike other capsule technologies, it requires no preparation, allowing the patients to continue their daily routine without interruption. An important caveat is that the technology is not intended to replace a colonoscopy. In the program, Kimchy argues that at all times a positive result should be followed by colonoscopy.About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.
In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D. talks with Leonard Farber, MD, a board-certified Radiation Oncologist, and healthcare executive. Farber is recognized for his ability to identify ground-breaking technologies and position them for success in clinical practice. He recently joined EHMET Health, an emerging medical device company with a state-of-the-art device for providing radiation as a treatment for breast cancer, Farber joined the company as the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Clinical Research. Farber also works with a large number of pioneering startups focusing on health and medicine, including establishments such as PreludeDx.In today’s program, Hofland and Farber talk about Ductal Carcinoma in Situ or DCIS and DCISionRT, the only risk assessment test for patients with this disease, that predicts radiation therapy benefit.Ductal Carcinoma in SituIn the US, over 60,000 women are newly diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS each year, accounting for an estimated 18 – 25% of the total number of newly diagnosed breast tumors. Fortunately, DCIS is a highly curable disease with a 10-year cancer-specific survival of about 97%. Because DCIS is a "forerunner" of invasive breast cancer – and is often referred to as a pre-cancer - early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for reducing the risk of developing invasive breast cancer. Current treatment strategies include breast-conserving surgery with radiotherapy, breast-conserving surgery alone, mastectomy or observation. A recent study demonstrated that 53% of DCIS patients' risk scores were under classified and 34% were overclassified using traditional methods, resulting in overtreatment or undertreatment.About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.
In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D. talks with Dr. William R. Stern, M.D., a board-certified gastroenterologist and Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology, at the Capital Digestive Care group outside of Washington, DC, about advancements in colorectal cancer screening. Also joining us today is Sue Spielberg, a patient of the Capital Digestive Care group. At the beginning of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, we talk about colorectal cancer and the prevention of this form of cancer. One of the best screening tools to help prevent colon or colorectal cancer is a colonoscopy. And colonoscopies are highly effective screening tools – considered the ‘gold standard’ - used to not only detect colon cancer, rectal cancer, and other conditions – but to actually help prevent these conditions from developing.Colonoscopies are very safe, but not completely without risk. However, and this is what every gastroenterologist, every oncologist, and in fact, every physician will tell you, … colonoscopies are done every day by experienced physicians… But more importantly… they will tell you that your chances of getting colon or colorectal cancer far outweigh the possibility of complications from a colonoscopy.In the program, Hofland, Stern, and Spielberg talk about one of the issues most patients undergoing a colonoscopy may find hard to deal with… It is what happens before the actual procedure: the preparation or prep. With the HyGIeaCare® System, physicians can offer their patients a simpler and easier bowel prep for a colonoscopy.About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.
In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief, Peter Hofland, Ph.D., talk with Ajay Nooka, MD, MPH, FACP, Associate Professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and Suzanne Trudel, MSc, MD, Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and an Attending Physician at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.Hofland, Nooka, and Trudel talk about a recently approved drug indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma, a type of hematological cancer, in which patients may, initially, not notice any symptoms. But as the disease progresses, bone pain, anemia, kidney dysfunction, infections, and other symptoms may occur. There’s no cure, but treatments may slow the progression of the disease.The new drug, called belantamab mafodotin, commercially known as Blenrep®, is an antibody-drug conjugate that was approved in 2020. The drug was developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) .During the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in December 2020, a number of studies were presented, which underscore the commitment of GSK to advancing research across newly diagnosed and relapsed and/or refractory patients, and to improving the lives of patients with this type of blood cancer.These presentations included a poster presentation of the DREAMM-6 study and an oral presentation of the ALGONQUIN study, a supportive collaborative study led by the Canadian Myeloma Research Group. Both studies demonstrate the potential of belantamab mafodotin in combination with standard of care therapies and in earlier lines of treatment. About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.
In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D. talks with Malte Peters, MD, Chief Research and Development Officer at MorphoSys, and Peter Langmuir, MD., Vice President, Oncology Drug Development at Incyte. In our program today, which was originally recorded in August 2020, Hofland, Peters, and Langmuir also talk about the companies and the transformative therapies they have developed for patients diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma that has come back or that did not respond to previous treatment and who cannot receive a stem cell transplant.Hofland, Peters, and Langmuir also talk about a tafasitamab, which is branded as Monjuvi. This drug is the first drug, in combination with lenalidomide (Revlimid®; Bristol-Myers Squibb) approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the second-line treatment of adult patients diagnosed with Relapsed or Refractory Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma.Tafasitamab is a humanized CD19 targeting monoclonal antibody. The drug was approved under accelerated approval based on the overall response rate. Continued approval may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial.Diffuse Large B-cell LymphomaDiffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in adults worldwide. The disease, characterized by rapidly growing masses of malignant B-cells in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow, or other organs, is typically diagnosed in patients in their sixties. But that does not mean that younger patients may not get the disease.Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma is an aggressive disease, with about one in three patients not responding to initial therapy or relapsing soon thereafter. In the United States each year approximately 10,000 patients are diagnosed with the disease who cannot receive a stem cell transplant.And that means that managing relapsed or refractory Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma continues to be a challenge for the treating physicians and care team. Despite the treatment advances, approximately 40% of patients relapse or are refractory to chemotherapy, with low subsequent response rates and an associated poor prognosis, poor health-related quality of life, and a loss of life expectancy of about 5 years, compared with the general population.As a result, the disease represents a major medical need, and researchers and scientists are continuing their quest in trying to find an optimal treatment option. The combination therapy which includes tafasitamab, is expected to help reduce this need.About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.
In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland talks with Richard Schilsky, M.D.Dr. Schilsky, the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), is an oncologist who specializes in new drug development and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers. His impressive experience and many accomplishments in both clinical medicine and clinical research, reflect his deep passion for cancer medicine. As a highly respected leader in the field of clinical oncology, Dr. Schilsky has spent the majority of his career at the University of Chicago, where he joined the faculty in 1984. In 2013 he joined ASCO where he launched ASCO’s first-ever prospective clinical trial, the Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry or TAPUR Study. Dr. Schilsky also established the Center for Research & Analytics, developed a Board-approved Policy on Research Scope, set up a process to review and fulfill requests for ASCO data, built a Division of Biostatistics and Research Data Governance, and initiated ASCO’s Research Survey Pool to support surveys of ASCO members for research purposes. Being at the forefront of cancer medicine, Dr. Schilsky also worked on developing ASCO’s CancerLinQ which helped define a real-world evidence research strategy in cancer care, recognizing early on that big data can help us to learn from every patient’s cancer experience—not just from the 3% of patients who are able to participate in clinical trials.In February 2021 Dr. Schilsky will be retiring from his role of chief medical officer at the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In the interview today Hofland and Schilsky talk about progress made in the treatment of cancer.About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.
In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland talks with Pascal Touchon, President, Chief Executive Officer, and member of the Board of Directors Atara Biotherapeutics. With more than 30 years of global biopharmaceutical leadership experience, Pascal Touchon has committed his career to transform the lives of patients with serious medical conditions.Before joining Atara Biotherapeutics Dr. Touchon was Global Head, Cell & Gene and member of the Oncology Executive Committee at Novartis Oncology, where he was responsible for the global launch of Novartis’ CAR T-cell drug and expanded global CAR T-cell manufacturing and technical operations.Now, at Atara Biotherapeutics, Dr. Touchon guides the company in developing the next-generation of off-the-shelf CAR T-cell immunotherapies, using a technology platform that makes it possible to manufacture a T-cell library in advance of a patient’s specific medical needs.The company is developing a host of potentially transformative T-cell immunotherapies for cancer, autoimmune, and viral diseases, using Epstein-Barr Virus T-Cells from donors with a healthy immune function.Epstein-Barr Virus is associated with a wide range of hematological malignancies and solid tumors, as well as certain autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Among the novel therapies the company is developing, is ATA3271, a next-generation, off-the-shelf, allogeneic Epstein-Barr Virus CAR T-cell therapy targeting mesothelin, a cell surface antigen that is strongly expressed in mesothelial cells and is highly expressed in pancreatic cancers, ovarian cancers, mesotheliomas, and some other cancers. The investigational drug is designed for the treatment of solid tumors. Earlier this year, during the 35th annual meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) the company presented favorable findings from in vitro and in vivo evaluation of ATA3271During the upcoming 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), being held virtually from December 5th through 8th this year, pre-clinical data of another investigational agent, ATA3219, will be presented. The available data shows that ATA3219 demonstrates efficient targeting of CD19-expressing tumor cells, both in vitro and in vivo In the interview today, originally recorded in June 2020, Hofland and Touchon talk about the company and the transformative therapies being developed for patients diagnosed with solid tumors, hematologic cancers, and autoimmune disease.About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.
In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland talks with Peter Keeling about Personalized Medicine, diagnostic testing, and the effect of Covid-19 on cancer and cancer diagnostics. Hofland and Keeling also talk about the world’s first Diagnostic Network for Precision Medicine.Peter Keeling is the chief executive officer and Founder of Diaceutics. Since its founding, the company has built the world’s largest repository of diagnostic testing data with a growing network of 2,500 laboratories in 51 countries.The company recently launched the world’s first digital diagnostics platform solution. Diaceutics has launched this new platform – called --The Diagnostic Network® ---to help solve the many problems that exist today within the patient diagnosis process.A proper diagnostic test is an essential step to ensure that a patient receives the most effective treatment.Correctly diagnosing also leads to efficiently managing a patient’s disease, which, in turn, results in improved healthcare outcomes. In contrast, the failure to diagnose a condition correctly can reduce the possibility of a good healthcare outcome and limit a patient's ability to fully recover.Diaceutics’ network has been designed to accelerate the end-to-end development and commercialization of precision medicine diagnostics. But more importantly, the platform is designed to get every patient the treatment he or she deserves.About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.
In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland Ph.D., talks with Raj Malik M.D. and Robert Epstein M.D.Malik is Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, R&D, at G1 Therapeutics. He leads the company’s clinical development, medical affairs, regulatory affairs, biometrics, translational medicine and preclinical teams. Epstein is an epidemiologist with extensive expertise in pharmaco-economics and health outcomes research. He served in academia and public health prior to joining the private sector and is currently the Chief Executive Officer and co-Founder of Epstein Health, providing strategic consultancy services to life sciences companies Hofland and his guests talk about the burden of Chemotherapy-induced Myelosuppression (CIM), which is also referred to as Bone Marrow Depression. [1] Chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression is a common side effect of chemotherapy. It generally ranges from mild to severe. Severe cases of myelosuppression, referred to as myeloablation, can be fatal.As a result, the side effects of chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression remain a major source of concern for both patients and health care providers. And the consequences include anemia, thrombocytopenia, and neutropenia, all of which can cause severe complications, and limit the ability of patients to receive chemotherapy on time and at standard-of-care doses. [1]Chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression is one of the most common dose-limiting complications of cancer treatment and is associated with a range of symptoms that can significantly impact patients’ health related quality of life. Despite the current availability and use of various supportive care interventions, chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression places a substantial burden on patients with advanced solid tumors, impacting many aspects of their daily livesBreakthrough TherapyIn the program today Hofland and his guests also talk about G1 Therapeutics first-in-class FDA-designated "Breakthrough Therapy" designed to improve outcomes for people with cancer who are treated with chemotherapy and we talk about myelopreservation which may reduce chemotherapy-related toxicity, making chemotherapy safer and more tolerable, and also reduce the need for rescue interventions that address the effects of myelosuppression, such as growth factors or blood and platelet transfusions.Data from a study published earlier this year in advances in therapy highlights that despite the various methods used to address chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression, and the patient-focused approach of oncologists, the real-world impact of chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression on patients is substantial. Based on the results of the study, the authors conclude that improving communication between patients and health care providers may help improve patients’ understanding of chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression and foster shared decision-making in terms of treatment. For more information about chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression and GI Therapeutics visit the company’s web site at https://www.g1therapeutics.com/ About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.References[1] Epstein, R.S., Aapro, M.S., Basu Roy, U.K. et al. Patient Burden and Real-World Management of Chemotherapy-Induced Myelosuppression: Results from an Online Survey of Patients with Solid Tumors. Adv Ther 37, 3606–3618 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12325-020-01419-6
In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland talks with Peggy Berry, Vice president of Global Regulatory Affairs at Rakuten Medical.*Rakuten Medical is developing a technology platform called Illuminox™ which is based on a cancer therapy called Near Infrared Photoimmunotherapy. This technology was originally developed by Hisataka Kobayashi, M.D., Ph.D. and his team at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the United States. [1]Rakuten Medical’s first investigational drug, based on it’s Illuminox™ platform technology, is called cetuximab saratolacan (previously known as ASP-1929 and RM-1929).Cetuximab saratolacan is an antibody-dye conjugate which includes the antibody, cetuximab (Erbitux®; Eli Lilly and Merck Serono) and a near-infrared, water-soluble, silicon-phthalocyanine derivative, photosensitizer or light activatable dye called IRdye700DX (IR700).The antibody-dye conjugate specifically targets the epidermal growth factor receptor or EGFR, which is broadly expressed in tumors such as head and neck cancer, gastric cancer, prostate cancer, lung and pancreatic cancers as well as glioblastoma.[2]The investigational agent has a unique mechanism of action. After cetuximab saratolacan is administered and binds to EGFRs on tumor cells, the drug is locally activated with non-thermal red light using a device laser system (called BioBlade® Laser System), which is the medical device used in the combination with cetuximab saratolacan. Pre-clinical data shows that following activation, cetuximab saratolacan induces rapid cell membrane disruption of the targeted cancer cells, leading to cell necrosis, and immune-o-genic cell death. Pre-clinical data also shows that cetuximab saratolacan can also induce innate and adaptive anti-cancer immune responses. Rakuten Medical is currently conducting a global Phase III multi-center clinical trial with cetuximab saratolacan to evaluate the efficacy and safety in patients with recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.In this program we talk about the platform technology and the regulatory aspects of developing this novel approach. We also talk about clinical trials, trial recruitment and real-world data.About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.Note* Previously know as Aspyrian TherapeuticsReferences[1] Kobayashi H, Choyke PL. Near-Infrared Photoimmunotherapy of Cancer. Acc Chem Res. 2019 Aug 20;52(8):2332-2339. doi: 10.1021/acs.accounts.9b00273. Epub 2019 Jul 23. PMID: 31335117; PMCID: PMC6704485.[2] Baselga J. Why the epidermal growth factor receptor? The rationale for cancer therapy. Oncologist. 2002;7 Suppl 4:2-8. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.7-suppl_4-2. PMID: 12202782.
In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D. talks with Anthony Yanni, M.D., Senior Vice President, patient-centricity at Astellas. In this role, Yanni is responsible for leading the development and execution of Astellas’ global patient-centricity strategy. To understand patient centricity, consider the fact that 10 years ago, patient-centricity wasn’t even a concept – In most cases, drugs were developed if scientists could achieve innovation, without considering if companies should actually develop a medicine based on the real-world unmet medical needs and the perspectives of the patient. And while ‘patient-centricity’ has become an industry’s catchphrase, not everyone has the same understanding of its true meaning. The concept of 'patient-centricity' comes from the United Kingdom’s National Health Service -idea of “no decision about me, without me.”But 'Patient-centricity' is more than a catchphrase. In the most advanced form, it is about the meaningful use of insights from patients - to support the development of health solutions, including the development of novel therapeutics.The essence of patient-centricity requires companies to have a 'listening ear' – to listen to the patient, to listen to what they think and understand – and really understand what they mean. According to a number of peer-reviewed studies patient-centricity – and with that - increased engagement with patients and providers leads to better care, decreased levels of disease, and a decrease of overall health-related expenses. In this process Information is essential. Information may help all participants involved in this process to have a better understanding of a particular disease and the individual, unmet medical needs of the patient.If patient-centricity is to succeed, engaging with the patient at a much earlier stage than has traditionally been the case may be essential. For example, patients, patient advocates, and their organizations may help in the drug development phase, including clinical trial design.By doing so, pharma – and in its wake the entire life sciences industry - can then leverage the patients’ expertise and detailed knowledge of their own disease and their own medical history to provide more effective patient-centric care. In his role as Senior Vice President and Head of Patient Centricity at Astellas, Yanni is responsible for leading the development and execution of the company’s global patient-centricity strategy. In that capacity, he helps guide the company to really understand the patient journey in a real-world setting - along with the continued development of a patient-focused corporate culture.In his view, medicine is more than a novel drug: “At the end of the day,” Yanni notes, “we are not here to treat a patient – we’re here to care for a person. Having a conscious awareness of that person in every activity, from every area of the company, every single day, ensures we will create truly meaningful innovations.”More than ever before, there is a need for meaningful innovation that can ease the challenges and worries patients and their caregivers have. And this is particularly so amid the current COVID-19 pandemic. In their process of listing to the patient, Astellas Oncology, years ago, established the Changing Cancer Care or C3 Prize.This prize is more than a listening exercise. It’s an effort to foster innovation in cancer care beyond medicine and change the entire experience for patients, caregivers, and loved ones. The C3 Prize is open to anyone with a great idea to change cancer care. Past winners have developed charity initiatives, patient education programs, apps, augmented reality experiences, and other programs aimed at changing the overall experience of cancer care. Any idea that can have an impact, especially if it is simple – is welcome.This year, Astellas Oncology is looking for ideas beyond medicine that can bring solutions to everyday challenges facing people with cancer, including concepts that can ease the increased burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care and health disparities affecting patients and caregivers. The program will award U.S. $ 200,000 in grants and resources to help winners further develop and advance their ideas.The award is open to anyone with a great idea – past winners included patients and their caregivers, healthcare providers, business leaders, and more. The C3 Prize is a global initiative and past prize winners included participants from Nigeria, Europe, the United States, Australia, and other countries.To learn about past winners, go to https://www.c3prize.com/winning-ideas To learn more and apply go to www.C3Prize.com - Applications to participate are open now until September 28, 2020About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.
In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D., talks with Tim Blauwkamp, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Karius.Karius, based in Redwood City, CA, has developed a non-invasive liquid biopsy, a blood test, called the Karius Test®. The test is based on next-generation sequencing of microbial cell-free DNA and can rapidly detect pathogens causing serious infections, including those diseases that are difficult to diagnose through conventional methods. The test can identify and quantify over 1,000 clinically relevant pathogens, including bacteria, DNA viruses, fungi, and parasites. The test can be used to identify infections related to complicated and atypical pneumonia, infections in immunocompromised patients including invasive fungal infections, viral infections and neutropenic fever, and endocarditis and other cardiovascular infections.In the right patient population, the test is faster than conventional culture-based diagnostics and eliminates traditional diagnostic methods for deep-tissue infections, which may require a diagnostic surgical procedure.But overall, the test helps clinicians make rapid, treatment decisions.And this is especially important for infectious disease diagnostics in immunocompromised patients, including patients with cancer.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, about 650,000 cancer patients receive chemotherapy in an outpatient oncology clinic in the United States. And while chemotherapy is important for the treatment of cancer and hematological malignancies, it may also lead to a condition known as neutropenia, a dramatic reduction of white blood cells. These cells, called leukocytes, include B-cells, T-cells, and NK- or natural killer - cells. They are designed to help fight infections. But when their numbers are reduced by cancer therapy, infections may develop easier and are harder to control.Infections may make treating cancer more complicated. When infections develop, the medical team needs to eradicate the infection before they can start another cycle of chemotherapy or radiation therapy or perform any surgical procedures. Preventing or eradicating infection is vital to continuing a patient’s cancer-targeted therapy. A complicating factor is that the medical team must also be on the lookout for side effects caused by the medications they use to treat the infection in patients who are already dealing with side effects related to their cancer therapy.Without a doubt, patients receiving chemotherapy are at a higher risk of developing infections. In turn, these infections may lead to hospitalization, disruptions in chemotherapy schedules, and even death.The CDC estimates that about 60,000 cancer patients are hospitalized with infections every year in the United States. In fact, infections remain a primary cause of severe morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. In some cases, even more so than the morbidity caused by cancer itself.About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.comTo sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.
In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief, Peter Hofland, Ph.D., talks with Vince McRuiz and Margo Shoup, MD, FACS.Margo Shoup is a nationally recognized surgical oncologist who specializes in gastrointestinal cancers and sarcomas. She is also the senior vice president, and system chair of the Nuvance Health Cancer Institute, where she provides strategic and clinical leadership for all aspects of Nuvance Health’s cancer services. Vince McRuiz is a patient of Dr. Shoup.In March 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic was ramping up in the northeastern United States, Vince was diagnosed with a retroperitoneal sarcoma — a rare abdominal cancer —that develops in the lining of the abdominal wall and the soft tissues that surround the kidneys, pancreas, and blood vessels. Vince needed surgery to remove the tumor. But removing this kind of cancer requires one of the most complex types of surgery. And while a diagnosis of cancer alone can be daunting, what if the cancer is rare and you’re diagnosed during a pandemic? In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief Hofland talks about that experience with Vince McRuiz, a father of three and grandfather of four, who has experienced several health and personal challenges over the past several years. In 2013 Vince was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and in 2019 he underwent major colon surgery, which required a three-week hospital stay. In 2018, Vince also lost his wife, Cynthia, to complications from Parkinson’s disease.And, then, in March 2020, during a routine CT scan to follow up on the colon surgery, doctors discovered a mass in Vince’s abdomen. Biopsy results confirmed that the mass was malignant. About retroperitoneal sarcomaThe retroperitoneum is the space between the peritoneum and the posterior abdominal wall that contains the kidneys and associated structures, the pancreas, and part of the aorta and inferior vena cava.According to the American Cancer Society, 15% of all diagnosed soft tissue sarcomas arise in the retroperitoneum. And approximately one-third of malignant tumors that arise in the retroperitoneum are sarcomas. With approximately 8,600 patients diagnosed each year in the United States, representing less than 1% of all newly diagnosed malignancies, soft tissue sarcomas, including retroperitoneal sarcoma, are considered rare.The most common types of retroperitoneal sarcomas diagnosed in adults are liposarcomas, leiomyosarcomas, and malignant fibrous histiocytomas. Patients diagnosed with retroperitoneal sarcoma are often diagnosed in later stages with advanced disease because these tumors arise in the large potential spaces of the retroperitoneum where they can grow very large without producing symptoms.Furthermore, because retroperitoneal sarcoma is a rare disease in an anatomically complex location, evaluation, and treatment is challenging. The overall survival rates of patients are affected by the tumor size on presentation, the inability to achieve wide surgical margins, and the limitations of treating retroperitoneal sarcoma with radiation and chemotherapy.After surgery patients are scheduled for quarterly follow-up CT scans to make sure they are healing well and to determine if additional treatment is required.About The Onco'Zine BriefThe Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcast and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio. For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebriefFor more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.com
In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D. talks with Armon Sharei, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer of SQZ Biotech, about the development and manufacturing of cell therapies. Traditionally, the foundation of cancer treatment included surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. But over the last few decades, targeted therapies —drugs that specifically target molecular changes seen primarily on cancer cells—have become a standard treatment for many cancers.In addition, over the past several years, immunotherapies—therapies that are designed to use the power of a patient's own immune system to attack cancer, have emerged as a new treatment.One of the rapidly emerging immunotherapy approaches is called adoptive cell transfer. It is based on collecting and using patients' own immune cells to treat their cancer. Although there are several types of these therapies, one approach that has advanced the furthest in clinical development is called Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy or CAR T-cell therapy.In 2017, as the result of the remarkable responses seen in some patients—both children and adults— two CAR T-cell therapies were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.One treatment was approved for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and the other for adults with advanced lymphomas. But given the unique and personalized approach, the Manufacturing of cell therapies is expensive and complex. One reason is that because CAR T-cell therapies are hyper-personalized - using a patient’s own T-Cells - it may take 3 – 4 weeks, and sometimes even longer - to manufacture such a personalized and unique treatment option. And the manufacturing comes with a high price tag. So, scientists started to look for alternatives.Scientists at SQZ Biotech - a privately-held clinical-stage company are developing transformative cell therapy candidates for patients with cancer and other serious diseases. Hofland talks with Sharei about SQZ Biotech’s cell engineering platform which was named as a top 10 world-changing technology by Scientific American in 2014.SQZ Biotech’s approach could provide treatment options for patients across many different diseases, including, but not limited, to cancer and hematological malignancies. For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebrief For more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.com
In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D. talks with Christian Massacesi, MD, Senior Vice President, Head of Late Development Oncology R&D at AstraZeneca and with Jeffrey Skolnik, MD, Vice President, Clinical Development at Inovio Pharmaceuticals about new data and exciting developments both companies are presenting during the 2020 virtual annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology – ASCO.This year, amidst the SAR-CoV-2 or coronavirus pandemic, the ASCO organization has been hard at work to offer a unique scientific program for oncology professionals, patient advocates, and industry representatives.In the program, Hofland and Massacesi talk about AZD9833, a drug in clinical development for the treatment of women with ER+ HER2- advanced breast cancer. They also talk about a drug AstraZeneca is developing for the treatment of Tripple Negative Breast Cancer… and a potential treatment for a very uncommon form of lung cancer … and, last but not least, they talk about the company’s partnerships with Daiichi Sankyo in developing a very targeted drug – an Antibody-drug Conjugate or ADC – called Trastuzumab Deruxtecan - for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive advanced gastric cancer – and other HER2-positive cancers. In the second part of the program, Hofland talks with Jeffrey Skolnik about the DNA medicines Inovio Pharmaceuticals is developing to potentially treat and protect people from serious diseases, including life-threatening diseases associated with HPV, cancer, and infectious diseases.They talk about the company’s presentations during ASCO, including data about their HPV treatment and novel treatment for Glioblastoma or GBM, a hard to treat form of brain cancer. They also talk about the complexity of conducting clinical trials during the coronavirus pandemic and how the pandemic is impacting the clinical trial process.For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebrief For more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.com
In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief, Peter Hofland talking with Helen Sabzevari, the president of Precigen. Precigen is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and clinical-stage development of the next generation of gene and cell therapies using precision technology. The company is developing novel therapeutic agents that are designed to target the most urgent and difficult diseases in immuno-oncology, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases.During the second part of the virtual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Research – AACR - being held June 22 to June 24, 2020, the company presented preclinical results of an investigational drug called PRGN-3005 which is being developed for the treatment of patients with advanced, recurrent platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.And there is a large unmet medical need for these patients.Worldwide, nearly 300,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year with approximately 22,000 of them in the US. Since early ovarian cancer is often without obvious symptoms, the disease is frequently diagnosed at an advanced stage where cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as the liver or lungs. Five-year survival rates depend on stage and type of ovarian cancer with rates decreasing for advanced-stage cancers that have spread to distant parts of the body.  The novel drug being developed by Precigen is a new kind of CAR T-cell therapy.CAR T-cell therapy is a form of immunotherapy that uses specially altered T cells — a part of the immune system — to fight cancer. Traditionally a sample of a patient's T cells are collected from the patient’s own blood, then modified to produce special structures called chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) on their surface. When these CAR T cells are reinfused into the patient, the new receptors enable them to latch onto a specific antigen on the patient's tumor cells and kill them.In addition to the standard CAR-T-cell therapies which are approved and commercially available in the United States, different forms CAR T-cell therapies have been developedThis includes the so-called ‘off-the-shelve’ CAR T-cell – which are in clinical development. In our interview today, we talk with Helen Sabzevari about Precigen’s approach in the development of their CAR T-cell therapy, which is unique and different from the traditional and the ‘off-the-shelve’ approach.
In this episode of The Onco'Zine Brief, Peter Hofland talks with Thorsten Sperber, Global Head Medical Affairs at Immunomedics. Hofland and Sperber talk about sacituzumab govitecan, a novel antibody-drug conjugate. At the time of the interview, the drug was not yet approved, but in the weeks following the interview, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved sacituzumab govitecan (Trodelvy™) for the treatment of adult patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC) who have received at least two prior therapies for patients with relapsed or refractory metastatic disease.Sacituzumab govitecan, previously known as IMMU-132, is Immunomedics’ lead product and the most advanced program in the company’s unique antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform. The drug binds the humanized anti-trophoblast cell-surface antigen 2 (Trop-2) monoclonal antibody (mAb) hRS7 IgG1κ through the cleavable CL2A linker to the anti-cancer drug SN-38 to kill cancer cells. Trop-2 is expressed in more than 85% of all cancers, including breast cancer and TNBC.With the FDA’s decision, sacituzumab govitecan is the eight approved and available ADCs reaching the market, making these targeted drugs a powerful class of therapeutic agents in oncology and hematology.
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