American Society of Clinical Oncology, June 3-7

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The 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

The annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology was held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago and attracted approximately 20,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in oncology. The conference featured the latest advances in clinical cancer research, with presentations focusing on novel targeted therapies as well as improvements in chemotherapy and radiation therapy approaches.

As part of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project, Nikhil Wagle, M.D., of the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., and colleagues launched a direct-to-patient nationwide study to engage patients via social media and advocacy groups and empower them to accelerate research by sharing their clinical information.

"Working with a number of metastatic breast cancer patients, advocates, and advocacy organizations, we developed a website, www.mbcproject.org, where patients can learn about the project and, if they are interested, can click 'Count Me In' and enter their contact information," Wagle said. "In the seven months since we launched, more than 2,000 patients from all 50 states have enrolled in the study. In addition to providing their contact information, 95 percent of these patients have provided detailed information about their cancer, their treatments, and their experiences."

According to Wagle, this database of 2,000 patients has allowed the investigators to identify groups of rare patients who have been particularly challenging to study with traditional approaches, including exceptional responders, patients diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at a very young age, and patients who had metastatic disease at their initial diagnosis.

"Our goal is to generate a shared resource for researchers, as all clinical and genomic data generated in this study will be shared widely," Wagle added. "This is a proof-of-concept study that we hope can serve as a model for patient-driven research in other cancer types."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

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In another study, Charles M. Rudin, M.D., Ph.D., of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues found that a combination approach using antibody drug conjugate rovalpituzumab tesirine (combination of an anti-delta-like protein 3 [DLL3] antibody and pyrrolobenzodiazepine dimer) was effective in patients with recurrent small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). The investigators demonstrated that the treatment approach stopped tumor growth in 89 percent of patients with high levels of DLL3, while reducing tumor size in 39 percent.

"We've seen too few successes in recent years for small-cell lung cancer, which makes these early signs of efficacy all the more encouraging," Rudin said in a statement. "Although these results are preliminary, rovalpituzumab tesirine seems to be the first targeted therapy to show efficacy in small-cell lung cancer, and we may have identified DLL3 as the first predictive biomarker in this disease."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie, which developed rovalpituzumab tesirine.

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In the phase III European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer 4 trial, John P. Neoptolemos, M.D., of the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomized patients with early-stage pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma to either gemcitabine alone or gemcitabine with capecitabine for 24 weeks. The investigators found that the addition of capecitabine to gemcitabine improved survival without any additional adverse effects. Specifically, the combination approach resulted in improvements in overall survival and estimated five-year survival.

"Unfortunately, most patients are not candidates for surgery when they are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer," Neoptolemos said in a statement. "These findings are significant because they show that those patients who can undergo surgery have a fighting chance of surviving this cancer with the combination of two commonly used chemotherapies."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of gemcitabine.

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ASCO: Follow-Up Care Lacking for Black Women With Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Black breast cancer survivors in the United States are less likely than white or Hispanic women to get follow-up genetic screening and surgeries that can help prevent cancer recurrence, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Double ASCT Beneficial in High-Risk Neuroblastoma

TUESDAY, June 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Young children with high-risk neuroblastoma have improved survival when they receive two autologous stem-cell transplants (ASCTs) rather than one, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Aggressive Treatment Common in Terminal CA Patients

TUESDAY, June 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Three-quarters of young or middle-aged Americans with terminal cancer receive aggressive treatment during the last month of their lives, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Adding Daratumumab Early in Myeloma Treatment Efficacious

TUESDAY, June 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Daratumumab (Darzalex), a recently approved immunotherapy drug for multiple myeloma, can provide better benefits if patients receive it earlier in their treatment, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Extension of Aromatase Inhibitor Tx Benefits Breast CA

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For postmenopausal women with breast cancer, extension of treatment with an aromatase inhibitor to 10 years is associated with improved outcomes, according to a study published online June 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

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ASCO: IMAB362 Can Lengthen Lives of Gastric Cancer Patients

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A novel antibody that targets claudin 18.2 is helping some patients with advanced gastric cancer live longer, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

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ASCO: 'Liquid Biopsy' Shows Promise for Tumor Surveillance

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A new blood-based "liquid biopsy" could be a groundbreaking alternative to the traditional biopsy, according to findings presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Immunotherapy Beneficial in Advanced Bladder Cancer

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced bladder cancer may benefit from the anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy atezolizumab (Tecentriq), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Phase I Cancer Drug Trials Benefit From Precision Medicine

FRIDAY, May 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Precision cancer treatment that's guided by genetic clues from the patient's own tumor appears to improve outcomes, even when adopted in the first stages of treatment development, according to findings scheduled to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Pembrolizumab Improves Survival in Melanoma

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Use of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in advanced melanoma is extending survival for many and even curing some, according to findings to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Early Palliative Care Beneficial for Caregivers

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Palliative care that's offered soon after a terminal cancer diagnosis can also help caregivers, according to a study released Wednesday during a media briefing that previewed some of the research to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Side of Colon Tumor Develops on Affects CRC Survival

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Survival odds for colorectal cancer may depend on which side of the colon the primary tumor develops, according to a study released Wednesday during a media briefing that previewed some of the research to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.

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