A collection of recently published news items.
Pfizer and Allergan announced that they will merge operations in a deal worth $160 billion, creating the world's largest drugmaker. Because Pfizer, an American corporation, is combining with a company headquartered in Ireland, which has a lower tax rate, Pfizer could save millions of dollars in U.S. taxes annually.
Bristol-Myers Squibb's immunotherapeutic nivolumab (Opdivo) received FDA approval for two more indications: the treatment of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma after they have received an antiangiogenic agent, and as a single agent for patients with previously untreated BRAF wild-type advanced melanoma. Nivolumab is a PD-1 inhibitor.
Genentech's cobimetinib (Cotellic), in combination with vemurafenib (Zelboraf), received FDA approval for the treatment of patients with inoperable or metastatic melanoma with the BRAF V600E or V600K mutation. Cobimetinib is not indicated for treatment of patients with BRAF wild-type melanoma.
The FDA also approved Eli Lilly's necitumumab (Portrazza) in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin for first-line treatment of patients with metastatic squamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); the drug is not indicated for the treatment of nonsquamous NSCLC.
Data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey, reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicate that the prevalence of cigarette smoking among U.S. adults declined from 20.9% to 16.8% between 2005 and 2014, including a decline of 1% between 2013 and 2014.
Scientists from the CDC reported that cancer cells originating in a common tapeworm can take root in people with a weakened immune system, causing the development of cancer-like tumors (N Engl J Med 2015;373:1845–52). The report raises concern that similar cases, if they occur, may be misdiagnosed as human cancer—especially in less-developed countries where this tapeworm and immune system–suppressing illnesses like HIV are widespread.
For more news on cancer research, visit Cancer Discovery online at http://cancerdiscovery.aacrjournals.org/content/early/by/section.
- ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.