As nearly 40,000 oncology professionals from around the world gather in Chicago for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to learn about the latest in clinical cancer research -- from new treatment options and advances in precision medicine to insight for improving access to care -- ASCO welcomes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) announcement that it is advancing new policies to make the drug review and approval process more modern, more scientifically rigorous, and more efficient.
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 – In a prospective clinical trial of 100 men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, the response to the hormone treatment abiraterone (Zytiga®) was greater and longer lasting in black men than in white men. Black men were more likely to have a decline in prostate-serum antigen (PSA) -- a sign of prostate cancer response -- and had a 5-month longer median time to PSA worsening than white men (16.6 vs. 11.5 months).
CHICAGO – An analysis of pooled data from nine randomized phase III trials of more than 8,000 men with advanced prostate cancer who received chemotherapy shows chances of survival are as good for black men as white men. The median survival was the same in black men and white men overall (21 months), but black men had a 19% lower risk for death than white men when researchers adjusted for various important risk factors that affect survival.
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.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – In a federally funded, randomized phase III clinical trial performed by the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), 90% of children and young adults with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) or T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LL) were alive four years after starting treatment regimens on this trial, and 84% were cancer free. These are the highest survival rates for these T-cell malignancies reported to date, according to the authors.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An analysis of 1,800 lung cancer screening sites nationwide found that only 1.9% of more than 7 million current and former heavy smokers were screened for lung cancer in 2016, despite United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and ASCO screening recommendations. This study, the first assessment of lung cancer screening rates since those recommendations were issued in 2013, will be presented at the upcoming 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federally funded, randomized clinical trial of 357 people receiving radiation for head and neck cancer, using mobile and sensor technology to remotely monitor patient symptoms, resulted in less severe symptoms related to both the cancer and its treatment (both general and cancer-related).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-supported randomized clinical trial of cancer survivors showed that eight weeks of either acupuncture or cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) decreased the severity of insomnia among cancer survivors, though improvements were greatest among patients receiving cognitive behavioral therapy. The study will be presented at the upcoming 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An economic model comparing different types of genetic testing in metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) found that using next-generation sequencing (NGS) to test for all known lung cancer-related gene changes at the time of diagnosis was more cost-effective and faster than testing one or a limited number of genes at a time.