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This search function provides links to outputs produced by NIHR Innovation Observatory. These are briefing notes or reports on new or repurposed technologies. This search will not return all technologies currently in development as these outputs are produced as required for our stakeholders.

Innovation Observatory > Reports > Cancer and Palliative Care

Results

Drugs

June 2019

Pembrolizumab in addition to platinum therapy and radiation for unresectable locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Pembrolizumab in addition to platinum therapy and radiation is in clinical development for the treatment of unresectable locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Cancers that are collectively known as head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck (for example, inside the mouth, the nose, and the throat). The main risk factors for squamous cell carcinomas are smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol. Symptoms may include sore throat, difficulty swallowing and pain in the ears and others. Treatment options for cancer that has spread usually involve chemotherapy such as (platinum-based therapy) and/or radiotherapy and focus on relieving symptoms and prolonging life rather than curing the cancer.

Drugs

June 2019

Atezolizumab in combination with bevacizumab for untreated unresectable or advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

Atezolizumab in combination with bevacizumab is currently in clinical development for the treatment of patients with an unresectable or advanced type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that have not received previous treatment. HCC is the most common type of liver cancer and occurs mainly in patients with underlying chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. Advanced or metastatic HCC occurs when the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or to other organs. Advanced unresectable HCC is often diagnosed late in life and has a poor prognosis. It is a debilitating condition with many distressing symptoms, including pain, digestive problems and weight loss.

Drugs

June 2019

Spartalizumab in addition to dabrafenib and trametinib for unresectable or metastatic BRAF V600 mutant melanoma – first‐line

Spartalizumab in addition to dabrafenib and trametinib, is in clinical development for patients with previously untreated unresectable or metastatic BRAF V600 mutant
melanoma. Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive and life‐threatening form of skin cancer. General symptoms of advanced melanoma may include weight loss, loss
of appetite and fatigue. Factors associated with a higher risk of developing melanoma include a fair skin, exposure to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet (UV) energy,
and a history of sunburn or moles.

Drugs

June 2019

Ramucirumab in addition to erlotinib for EGFR mutation-positive metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer

Ramucirumab has been designed to attach to a receptor for a protein called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). The VEGF receptor can be present at high levels in tumours and helps in the development of new blood vessels that supply the tumours. Ramucirumab blocks this action by blocking this receptor, thereby reducing the blood supply to the tumour and slowing the growth of the cancer. Erlotinib is currently a standard of care first-line treatment for locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC with EGFR mutations. It is thought that the addition of ramucirumab to erlotinib might improve its efficacy and provide an additional benefit by delaying/suppressing the EGFR mutation in patients with NSCLC.

Drugs

May 2019

Olaparib in combination with bevacizumab for ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer – maintenance therapy

Olaparib belongs to a group of drugs called PARP enzyme inhibitors while bevacizumab is an anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody. Both drugs act in different but synergistic ways to kill tumour cells. It is thought that bevacizumab may increase the sensitivity of olaparib to killing the tumour cells. Olaparib administered orally as a monotherapy is already licensed as a maintenance therapy of advanced ovarian cancer. The addition of bevacizumab given by intravenous infusions may potentially improve treatment outcomes.

Drugs

May 2019

Avapritinib for unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) who have been treated with at least 3 prior lines of therapy and GIST harbouring the PDGFRA D842V mutation regardless of prior therapy

Avapritinib is designed to potently and selectively inhibit the active forms of the KIT and PDGFRA mutant enzymes, and has shown potent activity in GIST driven by these gene mutations. If licensed, avapritinib will offer a fourth-line treatment option for patients with unresectable or metastatic GIST who have exhausted all other approved treatment options. It will also be the first licensed treatment option specifically for patients with unresectable or metastatic GIST harbouring a PDGRFA D842V mutation.

Drugs

May 2019

131I-omburtamab for neuroblastoma with central nervous system or leptomeningeal metastasis in paediatric patients

131I-omburtamab is a monoclonal antibody that binds to the surface of neuroblastoma cells. It is linked to radioactive iodine (iodine-131) that produces low-level radiation with a short range, a type of treatment known as radioimmunotherapy. As such, 131I-omburtamab delivers precision radiation to the cancer cells. This radiation from the iodine damages the DNA of the cancer cells which shrinks the tumour and therefore controls the disease. 131I-omburtamab is given by injection into cerebrospinal fluid. If licensed, 131I-omburtamab may offer a treatment option for children with neuroblastoma which has spread to the central nervous system or brain.

Drugs

April 2019

Nivolumab in combination with cabozantinib for metastatic renal cell carcinoma – first-line

Nivolumab works by improving the activity of white blood cells thereby increasing the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells. Cabozantinib works to stop signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow. It is thought that when used in combination, both drugs may be more effective than each drug on its own. If licenced, nivolumab in combination with cabozantinib may improve long-term outcomes in mRCC patients who currently have limited treatment options.

Drugs

April 2019

Nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab for oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma – first line

Nivolumab and ipilimumab are immune therapy medicinal products that are currently licensed as a combination treatment of advanced cancers such as melanoma and kidney cancer. Nivolumab works by improving the activity of white blood cells (T-cells) thereby increasing the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells. Ipilimumab works in a different way but also to increase the activity of T-cells. It is thought that when used together, both drugs may be more effective than each on its own. Both drugs given by injection and the combination may offer a treatment option for patients with advanced, recurrent or metastatic oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma who have not been treated previously.

Drugs

April 2019

Olaparib for BRCAm or ATM mutated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

Olaparib is taken orally and works by blocking a protein called poly [adenosine diphosphate-ribose] polymerase (PARP). PARP is an important protein which tries to fix damaged deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). By blocking PARP from fixing damaged DNA, the tumour cells may die. If licensed, olaparib will offer an additional treatment option for men with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer with BRCAm or ATM mutations who have progressed following a prior new hormonal agent.

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