Existing drugs to watch at ASCO

It's finally here: The big American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting kicks off today, so expect a veritable avalanche of drug-trial news over the next several days. Already, some savvy pharma-watchers are providing ASCO-watch guides to help us navigate to the studies that matter. Here's a look at what some folks are saying about the upcoming data on already-marketed cancer meds. (For info on in-development drugs, see our sister pub FierceBiotech.)

Among the biggest trends in cancer meds these days is genetically targeted treatment. As you know, last year's ASCO meeting was chock-full of studies showing that a variation in a particular gene--known as KRAS--could determine a patient's response to various drugs. Expect to see new data on KRAS this year, plus studies on targeting meds according to BRCA mutations, HER2 expression, and so on. These data could help certain drugs gain targeted regulatory approvals. And it might even resurrect some remedies that seemed disappointing at first, but appear much more helpful when targeted toward the right populations, gene-wise. Can you say Iressa, for instance?

Then there are a host of studies pitting current cancer meds against different types of cancer. Eli Lilly's Gemzar, for instance, will get new studies in cervical cancer and bile-duct cancer. And we'll see a host of data on the Bayer/Onyx Pharmaceuticals treatment Nexavar. Then there are the trials that seem designed to cement an existing therapy's efficacy against cancers it's already approved to treat. A new trial of Genentech's Avastin, for instance, could help tout the med for breast cancer use.

- read the Motley Fool story
- check out the article in the Wall Street Journal
- see Genentech's release on Avastin in HER2-negative breast cancer