Legendary Scores Rights to ‘Prince of Cats’ Graphic Novel

Legendary Entertainment has placed the winning bid for feature adaptation rights to Ron Wimberly’s graphic novel Prince of Cats (2012, Vertigo; re-released in 2016 through Image Comics) that blends Shakespearean plots, hip-hop culture and comic-book storytelling punch. The studio will be developing the film as a vehicle for actor-rapper Lakeith Stanfield of Sorry to Bother You, Get Out and Selma.

Prince of Cats is described on the Image site as “the B side to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, played at an eighties block party in an NY where underground sword dueling blossomed alongside hip-hop, punk, disco, and no wave. It’s the story of the minor players with Tybalt at the center.”

Selwyn Sefyu Hinds, exec producer of Hip Hop vs. America 1 & 2 and Beyond Beef: Jay-Z & Nas is attached to handle the adaptation. He most recently adapted Nnedi Okorafo’s sci-fi fantasy novel Who Fears Death for and HBO drama exec produced by George R.R. Martin, and William & Ellen Craft’s Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom, for Zendaya.

Janet and Kate Zucker of Zucker Productions are producing. Jon Silk brought the project ot Legendary, and will oversee with Ali Mendes.

Wimberly is an artist and storyteller who has designed several graphic novels as well as shorter works for DC/Vertigo, Nike, Marvel Hill and Wang, and Dark Horse. He published a collection of quotes from famous figures with portraits and illustrations, Black History in Its Own Words, through Image last year. He is also an accomplished cartoonist, as exemplified by his Lighten Up piece for The Nib.

[Source: Deadline]

Animation Magazine

Legendary Scores Rights to ‘Prince of Cats’ Graphic Novel

Legendary Entertainment has placed the winning bid for feature adaptation rights to Ron Wimberly’s graphic novel Prince of Cats (2012, Vertigo; re-released in 2016 through Image Comics) that blends Shakespearean plots, hip-hop culture and comic-book storytelling punch. The studio will be developing the film as a vehicle for actor-rapper Lakeith Stanfield of Sorry to Bother You, Get Out and Selma.

Prince of Cats is described on the Image site as “the B side to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, played at an eighties block party in an NY where underground sword dueling blossomed alongside hip-hop, punk, disco, and no wave. It’s the story of the minor players with Tybalt at the center.”

Selwyn Sefyu Hinds, exec producer of Hip Hop vs. America 1 & 2 and Beyond Beef: Jay-Z & Nas is attached to handle the adaptation. He most recently adapted Nnedi Okorafo’s sci-fi fantasy novel Who Fears Death for and HBO drama exec produced by George R.R. Martin, and William & Ellen Craft’s Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom, for Zendaya.

Janet and Kate Zucker of Zucker Productions are producing. Jon Silk brought the project ot Legendary, and will oversee with Ali Mendes.

Wimberly is an artist and storyteller who has designed several graphic novels as well as shorter works for DC/Vertigo, Nike, Marvel Hill and Wang, and Dark Horse. He published a collection of quotes from famous figures with portraits and illustrations, Black History in Its Own Words, through Image last year. He is also an accomplished cartoonist, as exemplified by his Lighten Up piece for The Nib.

[Source: Deadline]

Animation Magazine

First Look: ‘Over the Garden Wall: Distillatoria’ Graphic Novel from BOOM!

Comics house BOOM! Studios, in partnership with Cartoon Network, has revealed a sneak preview at all-new original graphic novel Over the Garden Wall: Distillatoria, inspired by the Emmy Award-winning animated mini-series created by Patrick McHale. Eisner Award-winning writer Jonathan Case (Dear Creature) and Eisner Award-winning artist Jim Campbell (Over the Garden Wall) have crafted a brand-new story to win over long-time fans and new readers alike in November 2018:

While exploring the Unknown, Greg and Wirt suddenly find themselves back home — only it looks like they brought Beatrice back with them?! Now, it’s up to them to help Beatrice return safely to the Unknown before anyone realizes she can talk. But it looks like something sinister might be happening in the shadows and everything might not be as it seems. It’s a mad dash filled with friendship, love, Sara, and learning that home might be a lot further away than you think.

“The world of Over the Garden Wall is rich and filled with so many mysteries that we’ll never be able to uncover them all — but Jonathan and Jim are doing their best to attempt it,” said Whitney Leopard, Editor, BOOM! Studios. “Over the Garden Wall: Distillatoria follows Greg, Wirt and Beatrice on an all-new adventure that only gets even more exciting with each turn of the page. We’re thrilled to have a chance to continue to work with these amazing characters, and this book will just remind you why you fell in love with them in the first place.”

Distillatoria is the latest release announced for BOOM!’s critically acclaimed KaBOOM! Imprint, which publishes popular licensed series such as Adventure Time and Steven Universe (Cartoon Network), Peanuts (DHX Media) and Garfield, as well as originals such as Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes and Selina Espiritu, and The Deep by Tom Taylor and James Brouwer. Print copies will go on sale November 21 at local comic book shops, and on Nov. 28 at book stores and the BOOM! webstore. Digital copies will be available from comiXology, iBooks, Google Play and the BOOM! Studios app.

Animation Magazine

Natalie Nourigat’s Animation Job Quest Inspires Graphic Novel from BOOM!

Photo from natalienourigat.com

Photo from natalienourigat.com

A new, terribly relatable original graphic novel about one woman’s quest to fulfill her animation career dreams will be hitting shelves in December, when BOOM! Studios releases I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation from cartoonist Natalie Nourigat. The illustrated tale is both an autobiography of the artist’s ambitious move to the entertainment mecca, and a how-to for aspiring animators on surviving the ups and downs, served with humor and encouragement.

I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation is a first-person account of how I landed my first animation storyboarding job and survived my first year in Los Angeles, along with all the things I wish I had known while I was trying to break in,” said Nourigat. “I set out to make a friendly, practical guidebook relaying what I have learned thus-far so that other people can be empowered with more concrete information about salaries, career paths, studio cultures, how to meet other artists, what to put in a storyboard portfolio, and much more. I’m thrilled to release this story as a graphic novel with the potential to reach readers considering big career moves of their own, and hope it’ll help make those decisions easier.”

“As someone who spent her entire youth and the timid beginnings of her adult life staring hard at the animation industry with yearning in my heart, I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation would have blown my mind with joy as a young creative,” commented Shannon Watters, Editor, BOOM! Studios. “Tally’s part memoir, part how-to would have been one of my favorite books, and I know that the unique blend of concrete advice, humor and personal experience will make it a must-have for anyone who has ever dreamed of a career in animation.”

I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation will be available in print at local comic-book shops and bookstores, as well as digital books available from major online marketplaces including ComiXology, iBooks, Google Books and the BOOM! Studios App.

This is the latest title from the acclaimed BOOM! Box imprint, which issues popular original series such as  Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson; Giant Days by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Max Sarin; The Backstagers by James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh; SLAM! by Pamela Ribon, Veronica Fish & Mar Julia; Fence by C.S. Pacat and Johanna The Mad; and Goldie Vance by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams.

Natalie “Tally” Nourigat is a writer and cartoonist from Portland, OR and storyboard artist for Walt Disney Animation Studios. She is also the creator of Oregon Book Award finalist Between Gears and has illustrated works such as the Eisner-nominated The Thrilling Adventure Hour, GLAAD Media Award-nominated HUSBANDS, and A Boy & A Girl.

Follow BOOM! for updates on I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation and other titles at www.boom-studios.com and @boomstudios. Keep up with Nourigat at natalienourigat.com.

I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation

I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation

Animation Magazine

Netflix Snaps Up Graphic Novel Adaptation ‘Umbrella Academy’

The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy

A new 10-episode live-action series inspired by the Eisner Award-winning The Umbrella Academy comics and graphic novels is coming to Netflix worldwide in 2018. Created and written by Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, the story follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes. The widely praised series is published by Dark Horse Comics.

“I am thrilled that The Umbrella Academy has found a home at Netflix. I couldn’t think of a better place for the vision Gabriel Bá and myself had when creating the comic, and cannot wait for people to experience that world as a live action show,” said Gerard Way.

From Universal Cable Productions and Dark Horse Entertainment, the series will revolve around seven superhero siblings — Spaceboy, The Kraken, The Rumor, The Séance, Number Five, The Horror, and The White Violin — as they work together to unravel the mysterious death of their adoptive father, The Monocle, while their divergent personalities and abilities threaten to pull them apart. The distinct appearances and widely varying powers of the Umbrella Academy team alone guarantee that this series will be a VFX-packed visual playground.

“What drew us to The Umbrella Academy is that it’s wholly unique, visual and stylized,” said Cindy Holland, VP, Original Content for Netflix. “These aren’t the usual superheroes, and this series will embrace the singular tone of the graphic novels — dark yet humorous, supernatural yet grounded in reality. We’re excited to see this world and introduce these unforgettable heroes to Netflix members around the globe.”

The Umbrella Academy is being produced by Universal Cable Productions. Steve Blackman (Fargo, Altered Carbon) will serve as executive producer and showrunner, with additional executive producers Bluegrass Television and Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg from Dark Horse Entertainment. Gerard Way will serve as co-executive producer. The pilot script was adapted from the comics by Jeremy Slater (The Exorcist).

The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy

Animation Magazine

Novel Brain Cancer Treatment Taps Into Sound Waves

Experimental device seems to help more chemotherapy reach tumors, researchers report

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, June 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Brain cancer patients might benefit from an implantable ultrasound device that appears to enhance chemotherapy treatment, a small study says.

Researchers from the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris and other French institutions tested the experimental device on 15 patients with recurrent glioblastoma, a particularly deadly brain cancer. When the so-called SonoCloud was activated, sound waves opened the blood-brain barrier, letting in more chemotherapy, they said.

“The walls of the blood vessels in the brain are very difficult to cross for certain molecules,” said Frederic Sottilini, CEO of Paris-based CarThera, the company developing SonoCloud.

While this blood-brain barrier protects the brain from toxins, “it means a challenge for treating brain diseases and disorders, as 99 percent of potential therapeutic drugs are blocked by it,” he said.

“Scientists have been researching ways to bypass this barrier for over 50 years,” Sottilini said.

A U.S. cancer specialist said this experimental technique could prove to be an important achievement.

“This is significant,” said Dr. Ekokobe Fonkem, a neuro-oncologist at Baylor Scott and White’s Vasicek Cancer Treatment Center, in Temple, Texas. “One of the reasons glioblastoma, which is one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer, is very difficult to treat is because the blood-brain barrier prevents medications from getting across.”

It’s possible that this ultrasound approach could pave the way for more effective treatments, Fonkem said. “There are some medications that have potential but can’t cross the blood-brain barrier,” he noted.

But Fonkem said larger trials are needed before this device can be used in cancer treatment. “We have to see if there is any clinical benefit,” he said. “They have to show it works without increasing side effects.”

One concern, he added, is that by breaching the blood-brain barrier, you may open the door to brain infections.

“They have to make sure there is no room for bacteria to get into the brain and cause meningitis, which can be fatal,” Fonkem said.

Sottilini explained how the ultrasound device works: It’s implanted in the skull, over the area of the tumor. When activated, sound waves cause tiny beads — called microbubbles — to vibrate, temporarily opening the blood-brain barrier. This permits more of the chemo drug to reach the tumor, he said.

WebMD Health

Singer Morrissey’s debut novel wins ‘Bad Sex’ prize

British pop singer Morrissey’s debut novel, “List of the Lost”, won the award for the worst sex scene of the year on Tuesday for a passage in which two characters roll together into “one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation”.

Morrissey, one-time lead singer of The Smiths, was picked for the dubious distinction of winning the tongue-in-cheek Bad Sex in Fiction Award by Britain’s Literary Review magazine for his Penguin Classic book about four Boston relay runners who are cursed by an old man.

“The judges were swayed by an ecstatic scene involving Ezra, one of the athletes, and his plucky girlfriend, Eliza,” the judges said, citing a description of the two “screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation …”

The review, which announced the prize at a ceremony in London, said the singer, whose full name is Steven Patrick Morrissey, “was unable to attend due to touring commitments and was unavailable for comment”.

Morrissey, who is a leader in the indie pop movement, was chosen from a seven-book shortlist that included Erica Jong’s “Fear of Dying” and “The Wire” screenwriter George Pelecanos’s “The Martini Shot”.

The prize, whose stated purpose is “to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them”, was established in 1993. In the past it has gone to such literary lions as Ben Okri, Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe.

The late American novelist John Updike is the only person to date to have won a Lifetime Achievement Award for passages of bad sex writing.

(Reporting by Michael Roddy; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Singer Morrissey’s debut novel wins ‘Bad Sex’ prize

British pop singer Morrissey’s debut novel, “List of the Lost”, won the award for the worst sex scene of the year on Tuesday for a passage in which two characters roll together into “one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation”.

Morrissey, one-time lead singer of The Smiths, was picked for the dubious distinction of winning the tongue-in-cheek Bad Sex in Fiction Award by Britain’s Literary Review magazine for his Penguin Classic book about four Boston relay runners who are cursed by an old man.

“The judges were swayed by an ecstatic scene involving Ezra, one of the athletes, and his plucky girlfriend, Eliza,” the judges said, citing a description of the two “screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation …”

The review, which announced the prize at a ceremony in London, said the singer, whose full name is Steven Patrick Morrissey, “was unable to attend due to touring commitments and was unavailable for comment”.

Morrissey, who is a leader in the indie pop movement, was chosen from a seven-book shortlist that included Erica Jong’s “Fear of Dying” and “The Wire” screenwriter George Pelecanos’s “The Martini Shot”.

The prize, whose stated purpose is “to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them”, was established in 1993. In the past it has gone to such literary lions as Ben Okri, Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe.

The late American novelist John Updike is the only person to date to have won a Lifetime Achievement Award for passages of bad sex writing.

(Reporting by Michael Roddy; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)


Reuters: Oddly Enough

Batman: Arkham Knight Gets “Serious Edition” With Free Graphic Novel

WB Games will offer a special collector’s edition of Batman: Arkham Knight, it was revealed today.

The Amazon listing for Arkham Knight shows two separate editions: the standard game and something called the Comic Bundle. Clicking on this reveals the image below for what is actually called the Serious Edition.

This $ 70 bundle consists of the game itself, an in-game skin (“Batman First Appearance”), and an exclusive, 25th anniversary version of an acclaimed Batman graphic novel first published in 1989, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. What isn’t included is the extensive amount of DLC included in the game’s $ 40 season pass that sparked somewhat of a backlash from fans.

WB Games has yet to officially announce this version, but based on the Amazon listing, it will only be available for Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game. Arkham Knight is due out on PC alongside both consoles on June 23.

We’ve contacted WB for more information and will report back with anything we learn.

GameSpot

The Deepest Cut (MacKinnon Curse novel Book 1) (Kindle Edition) newly tagged “music”

The Deepest Cut (MacKinnon Curse novel Book 1)

The Deepest Cut (MacKinnon Curse novel Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
By J.A. Templeton

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music: Newly tagged products at Amazon.com

Utah author says Christian romance novel plagiarized, sullied by sex

(Reuters) – A Utah author has sued another writer for allegedly copying her Christian romance novel, adding “graphic sex scenes,” and then selling the story, court records showed.

Established Christian novelist Rachel Ann Nunes said in a suit filed in a federal Utah court late last month that her book, “A Bid for Love,” was plagiarized by Tiffanie Rushton’s “eerily similar” story, “The Auction Deal”, court records show.

Nunes’ book, described as a love story about two art collectors who meet at an auction for an Indian Buddha statue, was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office in 1998 under the title “Love to the Highest Bidder,” according to the suit. It remains in print.

Nunes said in the complaint that she was shocked to learn about Rushton’s story, copies of which were sold after it was published online earlier this year under Rushton’s pen name of Sam Taylor Mullens, according to the suit.

“In converting Ms. Nunes’s work into “The Auction Deal,” (Rushton) added several graphic sex scenes and other adult content to what was originally a Christian novel,” the suit said.

No attorney was listed for Rushton in court records, and she could not be immediately reached for comment.

When Nunes contacted Rushton about the story, Rushton said the book was developed in a writing group and that she wouldn’t pursue publication, according to court documents.

Rushton later emailed a reader of her book saying that her true name could not be revealed as the story’s sex scenes could get her in trouble with her family and her Mormon Church congregation, the suit said.

Nunes alleged in the complaint that Rushton also made slanderous comments about her across several social media sites under various aliases to discredit her work.

Nunes is suing Rushton for plagiarism, defamation, and harassment among other charges, and is seeking at least $ 150,000 in damages.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Catherine Evans)


Reuters: Oddly Enough

Novel Ebola Vaccine Shows Potential in Monkey Trial

SUNDAY Sept. 7, 2014, 2014 — An experimental Ebola vaccine has shown promise in a trial involving monkeys.

Based on the results of that trial, a two-shot version of the vaccine — which includes a “primer” that jumpstarts the immune system before the Ebola vaccine is given — is now being tested for the first time in humans, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“This is the animal study version of that vaccine,” Fauci said of the monkey trial. “This vaccine looked very good in animal studies. It protected monkeys from a lethal challenge of Ebola.”

Fauci said the human trial is being done to find out if the vaccine is safe and if the people who get the vaccine create antibodies to the virus.

Two women were given the experimental vaccine last week as the U.S. National Institutes of Health launched a much-anticipated trial to combat the often-lethal Ebola virus that has plagued four West African nations. The women, ages 39 and 27, were the first people to receive the vaccine. The human trial will eventually include 20 men and women ages 18 to 50. No one will be infected with the disease. The vaccine was developed by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and drug maker GlaxoSmithKline.

Fauci, describing the human trial, said: “This will take us, at the minimum, to the end of the year. And if it is safe and does have a response that you would predict would be protective, then you would move on to the next phase to study it over a year to find out what the right dose is, what the response is and the long-term safety.”

But given the current outbreak plaguing West Africa that has sickened more than 3,000 people and killed more than 1,900, the process may be speeded up, Fauci said. “Once safety is established, one would likely do a clinical trial to determine if it works and is protective,” he said.

The people most likely to be given the vaccine would be those at the highest risk in West Africa, Fauci said, “the health care workers who put themselves in harm’s way when they take care of people.”

Fauci cautioned, however, that this or any other vaccine won’t control the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

“We are in the very early stages of intervention with vaccines and drugs. The mainstay of controlling this epidemic is to intensify infection control,” he stressed.

Although this is the first vaccine to reach human trials, Fauci said human testing of other vaccines will start in about a month.

The report on the monkey trial was published online Sept. 7 in the journal Nature Medicine.

In the trial, a team led by Nancy Sullivan, chief of the biodefense research section at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, kick-started the monkeys’ immune systems by first giving them an injection of a virus to which the animals had already been exposed and then giving them the Ebola virus. This two-shot approach provided immunity for up to 10 months, the researchers said.

The researchers also tried a single-shot version of the vaccine, but found that it only worked for about five weeks.

Thomas Geisbert, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, said that eventually having a single-shot vaccine is important.

The successful approach used in the monkey trial, where the immune system was “primed” to better respond to Ebola is interesting, he said. However, it is doubtful that that approach would work in an Ebola outbreak, he said.

“In an outbreak, you would not have time to prime and boost,” Geisbert said. “You really need a fast-acting single-injection vaccine that you can give to health care workers and first responders right before you send them into the hot zone,” he said.

Once a vaccine is available, not everyone in areas where Ebola is endemic should be vaccinated, Fauci said.

“If you are in a region where there is a high risk for an outbreak, you would start with the first responders and emergency room personnel. If the outbreak persists, you might consider vaccinating a larger number of people,” he explained.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, an associate at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Biosecurity, called the experimental vaccine “promising.”

Adalja said there are many vaccines for Ebola in the works. “Any of these vaccines could change the face of how we deal with Ebola outbreaks in the future,” he said.

But, he added, “the outbreak in West Africa will be stopped using the tried-and-true methods used in the past. It would be a mistake for people to believe that an experimental Ebola vaccine is going to have a meaningful impact on this outbreak.”

U.S. and World Health Organization officials warned last week that the highly virulent disease is spreading faster than health workers in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone can work to contain it. WHO officials said as many as 20,000 people could become infected with the virus, which has a mortality rate that can approach 90 percent in some cases.

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on Ebola.

Posted: September 2014

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VIDEO: Top 10 Time Machines From Pop Culture

Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down the top 10 time machines from pop culture. Special thanks to our YouTube subscriber ‘FryGuy112’ for submitting the idea!

Read more… “VIDEO: Top 10 Time Machines From Pop Culture”

Novel Drug Approach Shows Promise Against Breast Cancer

MONDAY Oct. 1, 2012 — Cancer treatment could one day be more effective and less difficult to endure if an experimental breast cancer therapy that offers high-precision targeting of tumors proves successful.

The new approach uses a unique three-pronged combination of agents that simultaneously attack cancer cells but prevent the release of chemotherapy until the drug reaches its specific target, said the authors of a new study on the technique.

As a result, the treatment attacks cancer with greater power and effectiveness, yet less toxicity, so patients experience fewer side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, hair loss and infections, the study authors said.

The drug therapy, called T-DM1, appears to be effective in prolonging life and reducing tumor growth with less impact on the body’s healthy cells in a significant proportion of women in the late stages of a specific kind of breast cancer known as HER2-positive. It has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

T-DM1 is what’s known as an “antibody-drug conjugate,” designed to deliver potent anti-cancer drugs to tumors while limiting toxicity to healthy cells in the body.

“This is a new model for attacking cancer,” explained study author Dr. Sunil Verma, a medical oncologist at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. “It opens up the doors for antibody-drug conjugates to be used potentially with early-stage breast cancers, lung, colon and colorectal cancers,” he said.

Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in the United States. Up to 20 percent of women with breast cancer have tumors that have high levels of HER2, which is a protein that is involved in cell growth, differentiation and blood vessel formation, Verma said.

The experimental drug is made up of trastuzumab (Herceptin, an existing breast cancer drug) and the cancer-cell-destroying agent emtansine (DM1), plus a substance that prevents the drug from becoming active until it reaches the targeted cancer cells. Trastuzumab delivers DM1 to the tumor where it kills cells overproducing HER2, Verma explained.

By combining these components, T-DM1 targets cancer cells while minimizing harmful side effects, he said.

In the case of HER2-positive cancer, the antibody-drug conjugate includes Herceptin. But with other forms of cancer, the antibody could be different, depending on the genetic composition of the cancer, Verma explained.

The research was published online Oct. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine and was scheduled for presentation Monday at the European Society for Medical Oncology, in Vienna.

In the study, a phase 3 trial, 991 patients with HER2-positive breast cancer were randomly assigned to receive either T-DM1 or standard therapy: the anti-cancer drugs lapatinib (Tykerb) and cepecitabine (Xeloda). All the participants had locally advanced or metastasized breast cancer previously treated with Herceptin and a taxane, a type of drug that blocks cell proliferation by stopping cell division, the study authors said.

Of the participants, 43.6 percent of those on T-DM1 had tumor shrinkage, while 30.8 percent of those on the other medications did. Mean progression-free survival was 9.6 months in the T-DM1 group compared with 6.4 months among those getting standard therapy.

“That’s significant,” said Verma. “And this improvement comes with less toxicity and fewer side effects.”

Dr. Daniel Hayes, clinical director of the breast oncology program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, said the question is whether this three-pronged approach will be effective with other cancers.

“We don’t know yet, but it’s likely,” he said. “But people will definitely benefit from this drug.”

Hayes said that while science has made remarkable progress against breast cancer during the last 30 years, “we still have 30,000 to 40,000 women die of breast cancer every year. We need to do better.”

More information

To learn more about breast cancer, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Posted: October 2012

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