American Society of Clinical Oncology, June 1-5

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The 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

The annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology was held from June 1 to 5 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.

In one study, Nathan A. Pennell, M.D., Ph.D., of the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues found that next generation sequencing (NGS) was significantly less expensive for upfront lung cancer molecular testing compared to three strategies that evaluated other single tests for individual genes.

"Everyone with lung cancer, at least adenocarcinoma of the lung, the most common form of lung cancer, needs to have standard molecular testing before initiating treatment. It is well accepted that every patient at time of diagnosis with advanced lung cancer should have molecular testing done. However, every year there is a new molecular test that needs to be run," Pennell said. "Therefore, we evaluated strategies for doing this type of testing to determine what approach had the lowest overall cost, provided the most information, and helped guide treatment most effectively. We tested four strategies for doing testing, including upfront NGS testing and three strategies that evaluated other single tests for individual genes."

The researchers found that NGS was significantly less expensive, especially in the Medicare population, which saved between $1.3 to $2.1 million dollars compared to the other strategies. The investigators also found that turnaround time for testing results was less and the ability of patients to have their genetic alteration identified increased, which provided access to life extending drugs that other single tests missed because all the testing couldn't be completed.

"I believe that most practitioners, oncologists, and pathologists should consider NGS as upfront standard of care for lung cancer pathology screening. It provides the fastest turnaround time, is the least costly, and provides the necessary information to make comprehensive medical decisions that can extend the life of patients," Pennell concluded. "The issue is that there is a lag in acceptance from a payer perspective. We hope our study will push payers to understand that NGS is much more comprehensive and less costly to the health care system. Hospitals and pathology labs using other strategies should move toward NGS testing as well."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract No. 9031

In another study, Jun J. Mao, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in cancer survivors with insomnia.

"We found a clinically meaningful reduction in insomnia score that was durable for both acupuncture and CBT without additional treatment for three months," Mao said.

When the investigators stratified patients by insomnia severity, they found that patients with mild insomnia responded better to CBT rather than acupuncture. However, patients with moderate-to-severe insomnia appeared to respond well to both acupuncture and CBT.

"For patients with mild insomnia, I would recommend CBT rather than acupuncture, based on the results of this study. However, for patients with more moderate-to-severe insomnia, both acupuncture and/or CBT may be beneficial and the decision to use one over the other would be based on patient preference and availability of a therapist," Mao said. "It is important for physicians to understand that insomnia is a common symptom among cancer survivors and there are effective non-drug-based therapies that can provide durable responses and not only improve a patient's sleep quality but also improve their quality of life."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract No. 10001

Susan K. Peterson, M.D., of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of using a mobile technology platform (CYCORE) on a daily basis to monitor symptoms and other related effects of radiation treatment tied to head and neck cancer, including dehydration.

According to Peterson, CYCORE uses mobile technology sensors and has the ability to transfer data from patients to clinicians using a web-based interface. The investigators evaluated outcomes associated with this mobile technology platform versus regular weekly visits. They found that, compared to patients who continued with weekly visits, those who engaged with the mobile technology platform had lower severity of adverse events and improved outcomes at the end of treatment and six months after treatment was stopped.

"Sensor and mobile technology can enable monitoring of patients' symptoms and related outcomes during critical periods of outpatient cancer treatment, can provide timely information to facilitate rapid clinical decision making about care, and may ultimately result in better quality of life and health outcomes," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract No. 6063

ASCO: Undertreatment Seen for Women With Head & Neck Cancer

THURSDAY, June 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Females with head and neck cancer (HNC) are less likely to receive intensive chemotherapy and radiation, and have an increased relative risk for death from HNC versus other causes, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology, held from June 1 to 5 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Overall Survival Up for African-American Men With mCRPC

THURSDAY, June 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Overall survival is increased for African-American men with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) versus Caucasian men treated with docetaxel/prednisone (DP) or a DP-containing regimen, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology, held from June 1 to 5 in Chicago.

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ASCO: New Assays May Detect Early Lung Cancer in Blood

WEDNESDAY, June 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Three assays may detect early lung cancer in blood samples using genome sequencing, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 1 to 5 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Ovarian Suppression + Tamoxifen Ups Breast CA Survival

TUESDAY, June 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of ovarian suppression to tamoxifen is associated with increased survival versus tamoxifen alone among premenopausal women with breast cancer, according to a study published online June 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 1 to 5 in Chicago.

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ASCO: mFOLFIRINOX Improves Survival in Pancreatic Cancer

MONDAY, June 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The oxaliplatin, leucovorin, irinotecan, and 5-fluorouracil (mFOLFIRINOX) regimen is associated with longer median disease-free and overall survival in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; and, receiving chemotherapy before surgery is associated with better disease-free survival, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 1 to 5 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Endocrine Tx Noninferior for HR+, HER2− Breast Cancer

MONDAY, June 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For women with hormone-receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative, axillary node-negative breast cancer with a midrange 21-gene recurrence score, adjuvant endocrine therapy is noninferior to chemoendocrine therapy, according to a study published online June 3 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 1 to 5 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Sunitinib Alone Noninferior in Metastatic Renal Cell Cancer

MONDAY, June 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma classified as having intermediate or poor prognostic risk, sunitinib alone is noninferior to nephrectomy and sunitinib, according to a study published online June 3 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 1 to 5 in Chicago.

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ASCO: mCRC Costs Up in Western Washington vs. British Columbia

MONDAY, June 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Costs of treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) are significantly higher in Western Washington State (WW) than in British Columbia (BC), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), held from June 1 to 5 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Pembrolizumab Superior for Initial Tx of Advanced NSCLC

MONDAY, June 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)-expressing locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), pembrolizumab is associated with better overall survival than chemotherapy, regardless of the PD-L1 tumor proportion score (TPS), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 1 to 5 in Chicago.

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ASCO: Few Eligible Smokers Had CT Screen for Lung CA in 2016

THURSDAY, May 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In 2016, only 1.9 percent of the 7.6 million eligible smokers were screened for lung cancer, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 1 to 5 in Chicago.

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