American Association for Cancer Research, April 16-20

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The American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research was held from April 16 to 20 in New Orleans and attracted approximately 18,000 participants from around the world, including scientists, cancer survivors, clinicians, allied health professionals, and industry professionals. The conference highlighted recent advances in the treatment, management, and prevention of cancer.

As part of the phase II, I-SPY2 TRIAL, Angela DeMichele, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues aimed to identify drugs that look promising for the treatment of early-stage breast cancer. The investigators evaluated the efficacy and safety of these agents in the neoadjuvant setting in both patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive and -negative breast cancer.

"In this particular part of the trial, we evaluated HER2-positive breast cancer patients. We assessed the efficacy and safety of the combination of trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla) and pertuzumab (Perjeta) versus standard chemotherapy with paclitaxel plus trastuzumab. Patients on both arms then received doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide followed by surgery," DeMichele said. "We found that 30 percent more patients who received T-DM1 plus pertuzumab got to pathological complete response at time of surgery versus standard chemotherapy. In addition, these patients experienced less toxicity as compared to those who received standard chemotherapy, including less hair loss and neuropathy."

Additional studies are underway, including the KRISTINE clinical trial, evaluating this combination in the neoadjuvant setting in a phase III randomized trial.

DeMichele disclosed financial ties to Pfizer, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Calithera, Incyte, and Genentech.

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During another presentation, Alexander Drilon, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, presented data that combined the results from two phase I trials, providing an update on the efficacy and safety of entrectinib for patients with several different types of cancer.

"Overall, entrectinib was safe and well tolerated in 119 patients, and the most common adverse events included tiredness, a change in taste, and paresthesia. These were mostly grade 1 and 2 and resolved with dose interruption or dose modification," Drilon said. "More importantly, we found that entrectinib showed signs of substantial clinical activity in a subset of patients."

Specifically, 25 of 119 patients with NTRK, ROS1, or ALK rearrangements who had not been treated previously with targeted therapy had the most meaningful responses.

"Responses to entrectinib were observed in 100, 86, and 57 percent of NTRK-, ROS1-, and ALK-rearranged tumors, respectively. The fact that five patients with different cancer types that harbored an NTRK fusion responded to therapy represents perhaps the most significant finding in this data set. These responses were both rapid and durable," Drilon said. "It is important that practicing clinicians test for these targets, as they are clinically actionable across a variety of tumor types in both adults and pediatric patients. Entrectinib will continue to be available to patients on an ongoing phase II trial called STARTRK-2."

The study was funded by Ignyta, the manufacturer of entrectinib, and Dr. Drilon disclosed financial relationship with Ignyta.

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Gary Zirpoli, Ph.D., of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., and colleagues found that the use of multivitamins prior to diagnosis of breast cancer may aid in lowering the risk of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) in those treated with taxane-based chemotherapy.

As part of the National Cancer Institute intergroup cooperative group trial, the investigators evaluated data from 1,125 breast cancer patients collected prior to diagnosis of breast cancer and after treatment. The investigators found that patients who used multivitamins on a regular basis prior to diagnosis were significantly less likely to experience CIPN compared to those who did not use multivitamins regularly. The investigators also found that patients who used multivitamins during treatment were also less likely to experience CIPN; however, these findings were not statistically significant. In addition, the investigators found that individual dietary supplements did not impact symptoms tied to CIPN.

"Although additional studies are needed to understand the relationship between supplement use and CIPN, our results do provide some clues as to actions that patients can take to prevent the development of neuropathy," Zirpoli said in a statement.

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AACR: Study Ties Oral Bacteria to Pancreatic Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- There may be a link between certain oral bacteria and a heightened risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 16 to 20 in New Orleans.

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AACR: Cologuard Can Detect CRC in Previously Unscreened Patients

WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A recently approved, stool-based colorectal cancer test (Cologuard) may be effective for certain patients, according to a small study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), held from April 16 to 20 in New Orleans.

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AACR: Pembrolizumab Effective Against Merkel-Cell Carcinoma

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Pembrolizumab (Keytruda), a programmed death 1 inhibitor, may help patients with Merkel-cell carcinoma, according to a preliminary study published online April 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 16 to 20 in New Orleans.

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AACR: Many Breast Cancer Patients May Not Need Chemo

MONDAY, April 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Many breast cancer patients receive chemotherapy they don't need, according to the results of a long-awaited clinical trial presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 16 to 20 in New Orleans.

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AACR: Nivolumab Appears to Up Survival in Advanced Melanoma

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of advanced melanoma patients were still alive five years after starting therapy with nivolumab (Opdivo), according to the results of a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 16 to 20 in New Orleans.

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AACR: SPF 30 Delays Melanoma in Preclinical Model

MONDAY, April 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Applying 30 SPF sunscreen to mice before they were exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation delayed the development of melanoma, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), held from April 16 to 20 in New Orleans.

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AACR: Regular Pre-Diagnosis Exercise Ups Prostate CA Survival

MONDAY, April 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A moderate or intense exercise regimen may improve a man's odds of surviving prostate cancer, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), held from April 16 to 20 in New Orleans.

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