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Guarded optimism on new breast cancer drug (CDK 4/6 Inhibitors and ER+ disease)

April 6, 2014

By Andrew Pollack, NY Times

SAN DIEGO — Researchers say that a new type of drug can help prevent advanced breast cancer from worsening, potentially providing an important new treatment option for women and a blockbuster product for Pfizer.

In a clinical trial, the drug cut in half the risk that cancer would worsen, or progress, researchers said here on Sunday. The median time before the disease progressed or the women died was 20.2 months for those who received the drug, compared with 10.2 months for the control group.

Ludwig researchers to give plenary talks on immunotherapy (CD47) at 2014 AACR Annual Meeting

April 6, 2014

By Ludwig Cancer Research press release

April 6, 2014, San Diego, Calif. - Ludwig researchers Irving Weissman and Jedd Wolchok will each give a talk during tomorrow’s plenary session of the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, starting at 8:45 am PT. The session, dedicated to one of the most promising and rapidly advancing areas of cancer research and therapy, is titled Targeted Immunotherapy: Mobilizing the Immune System against Cancer.

Weissman, who directs the Ludwig Center at Stanford, will speak about his team’s characterization of a cell-surface protein that is found on almost every major kind of cancer cell and their work describing its role in protecting malignant tissue. They have shown that cancer cells use this protein, CD47, to transmit a “don’t eat me” signal to patrolling immune cells known as macrophages, which would otherwise kill and ingest them to initiate a devastating immune attack on tumors.