Senior Correspondent, London
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Sep 29, 2014

Roche, GSK cancer pill combos look similar in showdown

MADRID, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Rival two-pill combinations for
melanoma from Roche and GlaxoSmithKline have
yielded similar results in separate clinical trials, leaving
doctors with little to choose between the two regimens.

Roche’s combination is not yet available but GSK is already
marketing its combined treatment, though it now plans to sell
the drugs involved and other oncology products to Novartis
under a deal announced in April.

Sep 28, 2014

Gain from adding Roche’s Avastin to immune drug unclear

MADRID, Sept 28 (Reuters) – It is too early to say whether
combining Roche’s best-selling Avastin cancer drug with
the company’s experimental immune-boosting medicine MPDL3280A
gives a better outcome in fighting tumours.

That is the verdict of experts following a presentation of a
small clinical study assessing the combination in patients with
a variety of solid tumours.

Sep 28, 2014

Roche breast cancer drug “unprecedented” in extending lives

MADRID, Sept 28 (Reuters) – A new breast cancer drug from
Roche has shown “unprecedented” benefits in extending
lives in a clinical trial and experts urged its widespread use
for women with an aggressive form of the disease.

Patients with a type of breast cancer known as HER2
positive, which makes up about a quarter of all breast cancers,
who were given Perjeta on top of older medicine Herceptin and
chemotherapy lived 15.7 months longer than those on Herceptin
and chemotherapy alone.

Sep 28, 2014
Sep 28, 2014

Failed cancer vaccines might live again with new immune drugs

MADRID, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Using vaccines to fight cancer
is a field littered with failures but experts believe it is
possible the approach could get a new lease of life if such
shots are combined with a new class of drugs called checkpoint
inhibitors.

Unlike traditional preventative vaccines, therapeutic cancer
vaccines are designed for people with established disease and
are supposed to boost the patient’s immune system to keep
tumours at bay.

Sep 28, 2014
Sep 28, 2014

Merck drug extends immune system fight to stomach cancer

MADRID, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Merck & Co’s drug
Keytruda, the first in a new wave of immune-boosting medicines
to be approved for treating melanomas in the United States,
also has potential in stomach cancer, new research shows.

Early clinical trial results reported on Sunday mean that
gastric, or stomach cancer can be added to a growing list of
tumour types where so-called immunotherapy may have an important
role to play.

Sep 28, 2014

Roche breast cancer drug shows “unprecedented” survival benefit

MADRID, Sept 28 (Reuters) – A new breast cancer drug from
Roche has shown “unprecedented” survival benefits in a
clinical trial, boosting prospects for its widespread use in
women with an aggressive form of the disease.

Patients with a type of breast cancer known as HER-2
positive, which makes up about a quarter of all breast cancers,
who were given Perjeta on top of older medicine Herceptin and
chemotherapy lived 15.7 months longer than those on Herceptin
and chemotherapy alone.

Sep 28, 2014

No benefit from continued use of AstraZeneca’s Iressa drug

MADRID, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Continuing to give AstraZeneca’s
drug Iressa plus chemotherapy to lung cancer patents
whose disease has worsened after previously taking the medicine
on its own does not provide any benefit.

Some doctors had hoped that extending the use of Iressa in
combination with chemotherapy would help to keep cancers at bay,
even when tumour cells had started to develop resistance to the
drug.

Sep 27, 2014
    • About Ben

      "Ben Hirschler is European pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare correspondent, based in London. Previously, he was in charge of British company news and before that was posted to Johannesburg, covering the economic challenges facing post-apartheid South Africa."
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