Cancer Drug Shortages for Kids; Pharma Agrees to Price Talks; Catch-Up on Screening

Derick Alison
Derick Alison
3 Min Read

Despite ongoing efforts to overcome shortages of cancer drugs, many hospitals report critically low supplies of drugs to treat leukemia and lymphoma in children. (NBC News)

Reluctantly, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Merck have agreed to meet with CMS to negotiate drug pricing. (Fierce Pharma)

Merck and Eisai announced that two phase III trials of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and lenvatinib (Lenvima) for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) did not meet the primary endpoints of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS).

Meanwhile, Merck, Seagen, and Astellas said that the combination of pembrolizumab and enfortumab vedotin (Padcev) significantly improved OS and PFS versus chemotherapy in a phase III trial of previously untreated advanced/metastatic urothelial carcinoma.

The antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) datopotamab deruxtecan achieved statistically and clinically significant improvement in PFS in a phase III trial of advanced/metastatic hormone receptor-positive, HER2-low or negative breast cancer, AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo announced.

Finally, Bristol Myers Squibb said that a phase III trial of perioperative nivolumab (Opdivo) met the primary endpoint of event-free survival in resectable NSCLC.

The FDA approved bosutinib (Bosulif) for pediatric patients with chronic-phase, Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia.

A meta-analysis found that combination therapy with nivolumab and ipilimumab (Yervoy) did not improve OS versus nivolumab alone for lung cancers, urothelial and esophagogastric carcinoma, sarcoma, and glioblastoma. (Northwestern Medicine, JAMA Oncology)

The combination of adoptive T-cell therapy and a personalized cancer vaccine led to disease control in two-thirds of patients with advanced drug-resistant ovarian cancer enrolled in a preliminary clinical study. (Ludwig Cancer Research, Nature Cancer)

Adding a dendritic cell vaccine to autologous stem-cell transplantation led to long-term disease control in high-risk multiple myeloma. (American Association for Cancer Research)

The ADC mirvetuximab soravtansine (Elahere) improved OS and PFS in advanced folate receptor alpha-positive platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, regardless of the number of prior lines of therapy or exposure to PARP inhibitors, Immunogen announced.

While trying to “make up for lost ground,” cancer specialists warn that cancer services, especially screening, will take some time to return to pre-COVID levels. (CNN)

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    Charles Bankhead is senior editor for oncology and also covers urology, dermatology, and ophthalmology. He joined MedPage Today in 2007. Follow

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