Bulletin: American Association For Cancer Research (AACR) – Preview

For the first time, AACR held a web conference with reporters in advance of the annual meeting (April 15-18) in Chicago. Four studies were highlighted: CAR T cell quality, HER2 breast cancer resistance, disparities in clinical trial participation, and the link between chlamydia and ovarian cancer.

International Symposium On Endovascular Therapy (ISET)

This appeared to be a smaller, quieter ISET than last year. There was little controversy at ISET this year, but lots of interesting data. Among the key findings: Embolic filters are a must for carotid stenting, and there are a number that work well; the benefit of drug-coated balloons appears to fade over time; EVAR and TEVAR continue to gain popularity; there is real interest in using thrombectomy for pulmonary embolisms, but more data are needed; and while small bore vascular closure devices are underutilized, large bore VCDs are in strong demand because of the growth of procedures like TAVR.

American Academy Of Dermatology (AAD)

More than 18,000 people attended AAD this year. While the news was mostly in medical dermatology, cosmetic dermatology was alive and well, and this was one medical conference where there was not a shortage of doctors on the exhibit floor. It’s an exciting time in medical dermatology, with new drugs looking promising for acne, atopic dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, hyperhidrosis, and psoriasis. There are also drugs in development for pemphigus vulgaris, but it is too early to say if they are promising. In cosmetic dermatology Allergan’s Kybella for submental fat has not taken off strongly, but device therapy looks more promising, particularly with Cynosure’s SculpSure. New toxins appear to offer both longer duration than Allergan’s Botox and short duration for new uses. Vaginal therapy is becoming mainstream, though not targeted for dermatologists. And there are some notes on onychomycosis and melanoma.

FDA Advisory Committee Rejects Expanded Approval For Pacira's Exparel

An FDA Advisory Committee rejected an expansion of the label for Pacira Pharmaceuticals’ Exparel to include nerve blocks. The panel wasn’t convinced of the efficacy because the trials had mixed results and did not use an active comparator. And the panel was worried about the safety, particularly deaths and falls. Despite a strong presentation by the company and some compelling endorsements by the public speakers, the panel said new trials are needed.

Society Of Thoracic Surgeons (STS)

Despite all the hoopla over transcatheter procedures, cardiac surgery is alive and well. Surgeons continue to be active partners in the Heart Team, and their devices and procedures continue to improve. Among the trends: Surgeons are increasingly ablating patients with atrial fibrillation during open cardiac procedures; robotic cardiac surgery is growing, with several new robots on the horizon; for temporary hemodynamic support, Abiomed’s Impella 5.5 looks promising; use of mechanical aortic valves is decreasing; TAVR volume has surpassed SAVR; and mitral repair is preferable to replacement.

North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS)

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS)use market has been growing by double digits, and that is expected to continue in 2018. That growth is driven by new data, device improvements, and marketing more than a move away from opioids for pain, though the expectation is opioid restrictions will spur future use of SCS. All vendors are likely to benefit, and there is interest in using the devices for new indications, but not until there is FDA approval and payor reimbursement.

Digital Therapeutics

Software and mobile apps for treating diseases by monitoring and modifying patient behavior, known as digital therapeutics, are still in their infancy, but a number of companies are actively trying to develop and market products. FDA approval and oversight is evolving, and the Agency has launched a Pre-Cert pilot program.

American Association For The Study Of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Industry Colloquium: Novel Targets And Therapies In Liver Disease

This non-CME conference was led by AASLD officials, but the FDA had an active role. There was no breaking news or new trial data presented, but it offered an excellent overview of the status of development in several areas: non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), hepatitis B virus (HBV), primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). While liver is an active area, academic researchers and pharmaceutical companies alike are still trying to figure out where to focus and what is most promising. This meeting was intended to bring both groups together and help them focus on how to advance the field.

Clinical And Cost Burdens Of CMV And Antiviral Therapies For HCT Patients

For more than 25 years, preemptive antiviral therapy has been the standard of care for cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) patients. These drugs typically have been IV Cytovene (ganciclovir, Roche) or its oral prodrug, Valcyte (valganciclovir, Roche), or, alternatively, IV Foscavir (foscarnet sodium, Clinigen) or Vistide (cidofovir, Gilead Sciences).

North American Spine Society (NASS)

There is a slowdown in spine procedures, and it is due mostly to insurance company hurdles but also more focus on non-surgical approaches. Surgical robots are catching on in spine, but slowly because of cost, lack of a perceived need, and the limited applications in spine so far (just pedicle screws). But there is marketing appeal. Three companies have FDA-cleared spine robots – with more on the horizon – but the buzz at NASS was about Globus Medical’s ExcelsiusGPS.

1 2 3 4 5 81