Generation X faces higher cancer rates, study reveals

Researchers find increased cancer rates among Generation X compared to baby boomers, with pancreatic cancer showing the highest rise

Generation X faces higher cancer rates, study reveals

Researchers have analysed public health records for 3.8 million patients with invasive spreading cancer.

They found that Generation X may be experiencing larger per-capita increases in the incidence of leading cancers compared to previous generations.

This study, conducted by experts at the National Cancer Institute's Division of Epidemiology and Genetics, was published in JAMA Network Open.

Compared with baby boomers, Gen X women had projected increases in pancreatic, thyroid, kidney, rectal, uterine, colon, and ovarian cancers, as well as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia. Pancreatic cancer, noted for its low five-year survival rate and aggressive nature, is considered the deadliest.

Several biotech developers are actively working on innovative solutions to enhance patient health outcomes. These include recent developments from Oncolytics Biotech Inc., Verastem, Inc., Candel Therapeutics, Inc., FibroGen, Inc., and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Oncolytics Biotech Inc.'s Developments

Oncolytics Biotech Inc. presented two abstracts related to their novel immunotherapy, pelareorep, at the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. One abstract detailed a trial-in-progress for cohort 5 of the GOBLET study.

This cohort will examine the effectiveness of combining pelareorep and modified FOLFIRINOX (mFOLFIRINOX) with and without atezolizumab in newly diagnosed patients with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).

The study is funded by a US$5m Therapeutic Accelerator Award grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN).

Matt Coffey, president, and CEO of Oncolytics, highlighted the potential expansion of the company’s pancreatic cancer program if the combination of pelareorep and mFOLFIRINOX shows positive outcomes.

The study uses a Simon two-stage design to evaluate the treatments' effectiveness and safety. If the first stage is successful, the study may proceed to Stage 2 with additional patients.

Verastem, Inc.'s Positive Results

Verastem, Inc. reported initial interim safety and efficacy results from its Phase 1/2 trial evaluating avutometinib plus defactinib in combination with gemcitabine and Nab-paclitaxel for first-line treatment in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Funded by PanCAN, the trial showed an 83 percent overall response rate, with 5 out of 6 patients responding positively. Despite one case of dose-limiting toxicity, the trial progressed with further patient enrolment.

John Hayslip, chief medical officer of Verastem Oncology, emphasized the importance of targeting the RAS/MAPK pathway, given the high prevalence of KRAS mutations in pancreatic tumors. The study continues to evaluate different dose and schedule regimens to determine the recommended Phase 2 dose.

Candel Therapeutics, Inc.'s Encouraging Data

Candel Therapeutics, Inc. reported “very encouraging results” from its phase 2 clinical trial of CAN-2409, targeting borderline resectable pancreatic cancer. The data showed significantly improved survival rates for patients treated with CAN-2409 compared to the control group.

Garrett Nichols, chief medical officer of Candel, noted the need for effective new treatment options for non-metastatic PDAC, highlighting the durability of CAN-2409’s benefits.

FibroGen, Inc. and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Collaboration

FibroGen, Inc. and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced a supply agreement to evaluate FG-3165 as a monotherapy and in combination with LIBTAYO in patients with select solid tumors.

Deyaa Adib, chief medical officer of FibroGen, expressed excitement about the collaboration's potential to improve clinical outcomes.

FibroGen's Q1 2024 financial results indicated upcoming milestones, including the release of topline data from the PanCAN Precision Promise Phase 2/3 study of pamrevlumab in metastatic pancreatic cancer by mid-2024 and from the LAPIS Phase 3 study in Q3 2024.

Thane Wettig, CEO of FibroGen, expressed optimism about the forthcoming data from these late-stage clinical trials.