Five noteworthy studies exploring new approaches in the treatment and management of liver, esophageal, colorectal, and colon cancers will be presented at the 2019 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, taking place January 17-19, 2019 at the Moscone West Building in San Francisco, California.
Advances in medicine and technology are emerging faster than ever before. To harness this momentum, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is convening Breakthrough: A Global Summit for Oncology Innovators – a new meeting focused on the intersection of medicine, scientific discovery, and innovations in technology. The inaugural meeting will take place October 11-13, 2019 at the Centara Grand Hotel CentralWorld in Bangkok, Thailand.
An analysis of nearly 2,800 people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received the immune checkpoint inhibitors nivolumab (Opdivo), pembrolizumab (Keytruda), or atezolizumab (Tecentriq) found that unexpected medical problems, known as adverse events, may be more common than reported in the initial trials that led to the approval of these therapies.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A study of 112 people with metastatic solid tumors found that the use of an artificial intelligence (AI)-based smartphone app reduced both the severity of patients’ reported pain and hospital admissions. After an eight-week period, patients who used the AI-powered app to monitor and address pain experienced a 20% reduction in the severity of pain and had nearly 70% lower risk of pain-related hospital admissions than patients not using the app. These findings will be presented at the upcoming 2018 Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium in San Diego, California.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – New studies released today reveal the financial difficulties that people living with cancer currently face. The research looks at financial distress, also known as “financial toxicity,” among patients with metastatic breast cancer and older patients, as well as conversations about cost of care that women with breast cancer are having with their physicians. Authors will present their findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) upcoming Quality Care Symposium, taking place September 28–29, in at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge in Phoenix.
In the midst of the national opioid epidemic, two new studies explore opioid use in cancer care. The studies compared opioid deaths among cancer patients to the general population and looked at an initiative to reduced opioid use after oncology surgeries.
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 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 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 – 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 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.