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March 4, 2022updated 06 Apr 2022 6:36am

Twitter: Dr Toni Choueiri – FDA approval of pembrolizumab – top tweet Q4 2021

Clinical Trials Arena lists five of the most popular tweets on oncology in Q4 2021 based on data from GlobalData’s Pharmaceuticals Influencer Platform.

The top tweets are based on total engagements (likes and retweets) received on tweets from more than 150 oncology experts tracked by GlobalData’s Pharmaceuticals Influencer platform during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021.

1. Dr. Toni Choueiri’s tweet on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of pembrolizumab for adjuvant treatment of RCC

Dr. Toni Choueiri, a medical oncologist, clinical trialist and translational researcher at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), shared an article on the FDA approval of pembrolizumab as an adjuvant therapy for patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who are at intermediate-high or high risk of recurrence post nephrectomy and resection of metastatic lesions. Pembrolizumab is available under the brand name KEYTRUDA® and marketed by US-based pharmaceutical company Merck. It is approved for the treatment of a range of cancers including unresectable or metastatic melanoma, head and neck squamous cell cancer, and urothelial carcinoma.

The approval was based on the KEYNOTE-564 trial, which recruited 994 patients with intermediate-high or high risk of RCC. The patients were administered with 200mg pembrolizumab every three weeks or placebo for a year till illness recurrence, or intolerable toxicity. The efficacy outcome measure of the study was disease-free survival (DFS) or time to recurrence, metastasis, or death. A statistically significant improvement in DFS was observed in the pembrolizumab arm with 109 (22%) events compared to the placebo arm with 151 (30%) events in the study.

Username: Toni Choueiri, MD

Twitter handle: @DrChoueiri

Likes: 565

Retweets: 190

2. Dr. Anirban Maitra’s tweet on the single-cell transcriptome analysis of PDAC organoids

Dr. Anirban Maitra, pancreatic cancer researcher and gastrointestinal pathologist, shared a study that examined the functional hierarchy of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and use of PDAC organoids or tumours grown from samples as a clinically relevant model for in vitro studies involving tumour heterogeneity. PDAC is the most common form of pancreatic cancer with a current five-year survival rate of just 9% as response to chemotherapy is poor and long-term survival is achieved only in a small percentage of patients. The disease is expected to be the second leading cause of cancer mortality by 2030.

Furthermore, PDAC is challenging for experimental study as ex vivo tumour samples are often inaccessible and have low malignant cell content. The study aimed to analyse PDAC organoids produced from 18 patients using single-cell transcriptome to detect tumour cell states across different patients. The analysis indicated the presence of cell state heterogeneity and a developmental hierarchy. It also highlighted that organoid-based assay can help in the in vitro identification of compounds that can improve outcomes in PDAC patients.

Username: Anirban Maitra

Twitter handle: @Aiims1742

Likes: 101

Retweets: 40

3. Ophira Ginsburg’s tweet on HPV vaccines preventing cervical cancer among women

Ophira Ginsburg, senior visiting scientist at International Agency for Research on Cancer, shared an article on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines preventing cervical cancer among women. A study funded by Cancer Research UK examined data from the National Health Service’s (NHS) HPV immunisation programme, in which the Cervarix vaccine was administered to girls and boys aged between 12 and 13 years from 2008 to September 2012.

The findings of the study revealed that cervical cancer rates were 87% lower among the unvaccinated people, with cases dropping from 50 a year to just five within the same age group. Furthermore, the cancer rates reduced by 62% in women who were vaccinated between the ages of 14 and 16 years, and by 34% in women vaccinated between the ages of 16 and 18 years, the article highlighted.

The researchers stated that the findings are the first direct evidence of the possibility of preventing cervical cancer using HPV vaccine. Cancer Research UK added that cervical cancer may become rare if the vaccines are combined with effective screening.


Username: Ophira Ginsburg

Twitter handle: @OphiraG

Likes: 87

Retweets: 39

4. Ravi B. Parikh’s tweet on  survival outcomes in patients with advanced cancers following ICI therapy

Ravi B. Parikh, an oncologist and a researcher, shared an article on the survival outcomes in trial-ineligible patients with advanced cancers following immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy. A study was conducted on 34,131 participants who were ineligible for a trial and were undergoing first-line systemic treatment for newly diagnosed cancer types from January 2014 to December 2019. The study examined cases including various cancer types such as metastatic or recurrent non-targetable non-small cell lung, urothelial cell, RCC, and hepatocellular carcinoma.

The findings revealed that trial ineligibility led to the increased usage of ICI monotherapy than non-ICI therapy. The survival rates were also not different for those who received ICI monotherapy, ICI combination therapy and non-ICI therapy. Furthermore, positive outcomes for ICI therapy in phase III trials will not apply to this patient population, who have low response or organ dysfunction, the study found.

Username: Ravi B. Parikh

Twitter handle: @ravi_b_parikh

Likes: 93

Retweets: 32

5. Daniel Stover’s tweet on researchers exploring new treatment strategies for ovarian cancer

Daniel Stover, a medical oncologist, shared an article on researchers exploring new treatment strategies for ovarian cancer. Treatment-resistant high-grade serous ovarian cancers remain widespread and often recur in more than 80% of patients within two years even after receiving treatments. Researchers at DFCI are exploring several scientific approaches to treat ovarian cancer that can potentially enhance results.

Elizabeth Stover, an oncologist at DFCI, proposed in a paper published in Molecular Cancer Research that targeting genes involved in apoptosis, a natural cell death mechanism, can help in preventing cancer recurrence. New studies on anti-apoptotic gene inhibitors can lead to new therapy options for chemotherapy-resistant high-grade ovarian cancer. Researchers are also testing various combinations of anti-apoptotic and standard-of-care drugs on patient tumour samples to improve outcomes in ovarian cancer patients, the article highlighted.

Username: Daniel Stover, MD

Twitter handle: @StoverLab

Likes: 79

Retweets: 3

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