CHICAGO — New studies highlighting the promise of individualized, precision medicine were released today at a press briefing at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
“These studies demonstrate that we are solidly in the era of precision medicine, in which patients benefit from a growing understanding of cancer’s genetic weak spots,” said news briefing moderator Sylvia Adams, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center. “Today’s findings promise to expand the range of effective, targeted treatments for people with cancer. They also affirm that patients in all settings, from research hospitals to smaller community institutions, can expect to benefit in the years ahead.”
Key study findings include:
- Targeted Drug Afatinib Delays Progression of Advanced Lung Cancers, Particularly Those With Specific Genetic Mutations: Findings from a Phase III trial show that initial single-agent therapy with a new oral drug called afatinib prolongs progression-free survival in patients with advanced lung adenocarcinomas that harbor EGFR mutations, compared with current standard treatment. Afatinib broadly blocks the ErbB family receptors associated with theEGFR pathway; patients with two specific types of EGFR mutations experienced the greatest treatment benefit.
- First of a New Class of Targeted Agents for Advanced Melanoma: A Phase III study finds that the investigationalMEK-targeted drug trametinib extended overall survival for certain patients with advanced melanoma, compared with standard chemotherapy.
- Promising New BRAF-Targeted Drug for Advanced Melanoma: Interim results from a Phase III multicenter clinical trial show that the investigational drug dabrafenib reduced the risk of disease progression by 70 percent compared to standard dacarbazine chemotherapy in patients with previously untreated, advanced melanoma with mutations in the BRAF gene. The new drug also may cause fewer side effects than the current approved targeted therapy.
- First Potential Targeted Treatment Option for GISTs That Progress Despite Other Available Therapies: An international Phase III trial finds that the investigational targeted drug regorafenib significantly delays cancer progression in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) that progress despite standard treatment, including imatinib (Gleevec) and sunitinib (Sutent).
- Routine Molecular Testing of Lung Cancers Is Feasible in Community Settings: A multicenter study in Germany reports that it is feasible to routinely conduct high-quality molecular analysis of non-small cell lung cancers in local community hospitals, suggesting that such molecular testing can be done routinely outside of academic medical centers, helping to guide the use of effective molecularly-targeted treatments for more patients.
- ASCO’s CancerProgress.Net offers a detailed, interactive timeline of advances against 14 of the most common cancers, including progress in melanoma and lung cancer. The site also includes simple, interactive charts on cancer survival, mortality, and incidence, along with historical commentary and other reporting resources.
- Cancer.Net, ASCO’s award-winning patient website, provides comprehensive, oncologist-approved information on more than 120 cancer types, together with expert information on cancer treatments, managing side effects and coping with a cancer diagnosis. This year Cancer.Net celebrates 10 years of helping patients. When the site first launched in 2002, there were detailed sections on 22 different types of cancer. Now, Cancer.Net continues to lead the way in content, design, and interactivity, providing patients, their families and friends with timely and authoritative information.
Click here to view the full release.
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ATTRIBUTION TO THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY ANNUAL MEETING IS REQUESTED IN ALL NEWS COVERAGE.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 30,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer. For ASCO information and resources, visit asco.org/presscenter. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at www.cancer.net.