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Archive - Sep 30, 2019

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Interim Results of Phase 3 Trial Show Immune Therapy Eliminates Tumor Cells in Early Triple-Negative Breast Cancer; Combination of Anti-PD-1 Monoclonal Antibody Pembrolizumab Plus Chemotherapy Could Become A Standard of Care If Approved, Expert Says

Immune therapy added to chemotherapy improves pathological complete response in patients with early triple-negative breast cancer, according to late-breaking interim results from the KEYNOTE-522 trial presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (EMSO) Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain (https://www.esmo.org/Conferences/ESMO-Congress-2019) (September 27-October 1). Interim results from the KEYNOTE-522 trial interim were presented by study first author Professor Peter Schmid, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, UK, during the Presidential Symposium II on September 29, 2019, and published in Annals of Oncology, Volume 30, Supplement 5, October 2019. The title of the results presentation was “LBA8_PR 'KEYNOTE-522: Phase 3 Study of Pembrolizumab (Pembro) + Chemotherapy (Chemo) vs Placebo (Pbo) + Chemo As Neoadjuvant Treatment, Followed by Pembro vs Pbo As Adjuvant Treatment for Early Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC).” The interim results from the study, which is the first phase III trial of immunotherapy in early breast cancer, also indicated an improvement in event-free survival. "The data suggest that the improved pathological complete response with pembrolizumab translates into fewer recurrences," said Professor Schmid. Triple-negative breast cancer is the most aggressive sub-type of breast cancer and more often affects young women. Patients typically receive chemotherapy, followed by surgery to remove the tumor. This provides the best chance of pathological complete response, meaning no cancerous cells remaining on the resected tumor. Women with a pathological complete response have an 85-90% likelihood of being cured, while those with residual viable tumor tissue have a 40-50% probability of recurrence, which often occurs within three years.

Low-Cost Electronic Device May Reverse Early Stages of Pattern Baldness; Small, Wearable Device “Wakes Up” Dormant Hair Follicles, Restores Hair Growth; Device Developed by Engineers at UW-Madison

Reversing baldness could someday be as easy as wearing a hat, thanks to a noninvasive, low-cost hair-growth-stimulating technology developed by engineers at the University of Wisconsin (UW)–Madison. “I think this will be a very practical solution to hair regeneration,” says Xudong Wang, PhD, a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Wisconsin (UW)–Madison. Dr. Wang and colleagues published a description of the technology in the journal ACS Nano on September 10, 2019. The article is titled “Self-Activated Electrical Stimulation for Effective Hair Regeneration via a Wearable Omnidirectional Pulse Generator. Based on devices that gather energy from a body’s day-to-day motion, the hair-growth technology stimulates the skin with gentle, low-frequency electric pulses, which coax dormant follicles to reactivate hair production. The devices don’t cause hair follicles to sprout anew in smooth skin. Instead, they reactivate hair-producing structures that have gone dormant. That means they could be used as an intervention for people in the early stages of pattern baldness, but they wouldn’t bestow cascading tresses to someone who has been completely bald for several years. Because the devices are powered by the movement of the wearer, they don’t require a bulky battery pack or complicated electronics. In fact, they’re so low-profile that they could be discreetly worn underneath the crown of an everyday baseball cap. Dr. Wang is a world expert in the design and creation of energy-harvesting devices. He has pioneered electric bandages that stimulate wound-healing and a weight-loss implant that uses gentle electricity to trick the stomach into feeling full.