CHICAGO – A randomized, phase III trial found that people who received chemotherapy with radiation (chemoradiotherapy) before pancreatic cancer surgery had better disease-free survival than those who started their treatment with surgery, which is the current standard of care. In addition, the two-year survival rate was higher for those who received chemoradiotherapy before surgery (42% vs. 30%). The preliminary findings of this trial show that chemoradiotherapy before surgery may be beneficial for patients with pancreatic cancer.
CHICAGO – In a randomized phase III trial people with surgically removed pancreatic cancer who received mFOLFIRINOX, a chemotherapy regimen containing four different medicines, lived a median of 20 months longer and were cancer-free nine months longer than those who received the current standard of care, gemcitabine (Gemzar®).
CHICAGO – A randomized phase III clinical trial shows that people with advanced colorectal cancer may not need a frequently considered component of treatment – heated chemotherapy delivered to the abdomen during surgery. There was no difference in survival between patients with metastases in the abdomen who received heated chemotherapy during surgery and those who received surgery alone. Long-term side effects were more common with chemotherapy.
CHICAGO – Findings from an updated analysis from a randomized phase III trial show that taking a high dose of the acid-reducing medicine esomeprazole (Nexium®) with low dose aspirin for at least seven years can moderately reduce the risk of developing high grade dysplasia (a pre-cancerous lesion) or esophageal cancer, or delay death from any cause in people with Barrett’s esophagus.
CHICAGO – A federally funded phase III clinical trial shows that most women with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative, axillary node-negative early-stage breast cancer and a mid-range score on a 21-tumor gene expression assay (Oncotype DX® Breast Recurrence Score) do not need chemotherapy after surgery. The study found no improvement in disease-free survival when chemotherapy was added to hormone therapy in this group, which accounts for about two-thirds of women who participated in the trial. The findings will have an immediate impact on clinical practice, sparing thousands of women the side effects of chemotherapy.
CHICAGO – A randomized phase III clinical trial showed that many people with advanced kidney cancer can avoid surgery to remove the kidney (nephrectomy), without compromising survival. The median overall survival for people who received only the targeted therapy sunitinib (Sutent®) was 18.4 months, compared to 13.9 months for those who received surgery followed by sunitinib, the current standard of care.
CHICAGO – A new chemotherapy strategy improves cure rates for children with rhabdomyosarcoma (a rare cancer of the muscle tissue) who are at high risk for cancer recurrence. In a randomized phase III clinical trial, adding six months of low-dose maintenance chemotherapy after initial treatment increased the 5-year overall survival rate from 73.7% to 86.5%. Children with rhabdomyosarcoma who are alive at five years are considered cured, as tumor recurrence is very rare.
CHICAGO – A large, randomized phase III trial shows that the immunotherapy pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) is a more effective initial treatment than chemotherapy (the current standard of care) for the majority of patients with the most common type of lung cancer. People with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a PD-L1 expression of 1% or more who were first treated with immunotherapy pembrolizumab lived a median of 4-8 months longer than those who received chemotherapy. In addition, severe side effects occurred in fewer patients receiving pembrolizumab than chemotherapy (18% vs. 41%).
CHICAGO – In a phase III clinical trial, a new targeted medicine, taselisib, combined with standard hormone therapy fulvestrant (Faslodex®), halted the growth of advanced breast cancer growth by 2 months longer than hormone therapy alone, and decreased the chance of cancer worsening by 30%. Taselisib targets a common genetic abnormality in breast cancer – PIK3CA gene mutation – and is the first and most potent treatment in a relatively new class of PI3K inhibitors, according to the authors.
CHICAGO – A genomic study of more than 15,000 tumor samples shows that people with tumors that have high microsatellite instability (MSI-H) – a genomic marker associated with a large number of genetic mutations in the tumor – are more likely to have Lynch syndrome, a hereditary condition that increases a person’s risk of developing many different types of cancer. Among people with MSI-H tumors, 16% were subsequently found to have Lynch syndrome. Researchers also found that Lynch syndrome is linked to more types of cancer than previously thought.
CHICAGO – An initial report from the large, ongoing Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study provides preliminary evidence that a blood test may be able to detect early-stage lung cancer. This is one of the first studies to explore blood tests analyzing free-floating or cell-free DNA as a tool for early detection of cancer.
CHICAGO – Initial findings from a randomized phase III clinical trial show that patients with advanced squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) benefit more from initial treatment with PD-L1 targeted immunotherapy atezolizumab (Tecentriq®) and chemotherapy than from chemotherapy alone -- 29% had a reduced risk of disease worsening or death compared with those who received chemotherapy alone. At 12 months, cancer had not worsened in twice as many patients who received atezolizumab plus chemotherapy compared to those who only received chemotherapy. This benefit was observed across all PD-L1 expressing sub-groups.
CHICAGO – An analysis of cancer registry data from a California hospital system shows that women with head and neck cancer were less likely to receive intensive chemotherapy (35% vs. 46%) and radiation (60% vs. 70%) compared to men. Controlling for factors such as age and serious medical conditions, a mathematical model also shows that the ratio of cancer to non-cancer mortality was two times higher for women than the ratio for men. When taken collectively, the findings raise the possibility women with head and neck cancer may be undertreated. The authors explain that there are some confounding factors, so further prospective investigation is necessary to fully address this possibility.
CHICAGO – A federally funded randomized study demonstrated that the use of geriatric assessment in routine care of older adults with advanced cancer significantly improved doctor-patient communication about age-related concerns as well as patient satisfaction with the communication.
CHICAGO – An analysis of health claims data from two demographically similar regions on either side of the U.S. and Canada border shows that a common treatment for advanced colorectal cancer costs twice as much in Western Washington State (WW) than in British Columbia (BC) -- $12,345 vs. $6,195 monthly per patient. Despite the higher cost, the patients on the U.S. side of the border are not living longer than those on the Canadian side.