ASCO Statement: President’s Budget Will Devastate U.S. Research Enterprise

Excerpt:

“ASCO President Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO, released the following statement today:

” ‘We soundly oppose President Trump’s budget outline, which would cut $6 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Reducing NIH’s funding by nearly 20% will devastate our nation’s already-fragile federal research infrastructure and undercut a longstanding commitment to biomedical science that has fueled advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

” ‘When we are on the cusp of tremendous advances in cancer care, the United States can’t turn back the clock on research that will benefit millions of Americans with life-threatening diseases and their families. Gutting the U.S. research infrastructure won’t make America First, but will decidedly place the United States behind other countries in scientific advances. Failure to nurture the historic U.S. investment in research places health outcomes, scientific leadership, and economic growth at risk.’ ”

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Immunotherapy 2.0 Named Advance of the Year in ASCO’s 12th Annual Cancer Progress Report

Excerpt:

“A growing number of patients with cancer are benefitting from research advances in immunotherapy, leading the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to name immunotherapy as the Society’s advance of the year for a second year in a row. Released today, this year’s report, Clinical Cancer Advances 2017: ASCO’s Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer highlights the expanding role of immunotherapy. Evolving research findings are providing new insights on how to get the optimal results from these relatively new treatments.”

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ASCO Endorses ‘Less Is More’ for LND in Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Experts have again come out in favor of the ‘less-is-more’ approach to breast cancer surgery and have endorsed previous recommendations not to automatically harvest all lymph nodes if cancer is found in a sentinel node, new guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) indicate.

” ‘The standard of care used to be to take all lymph nodes, but the data have been quite compelling over the last few years, and now, it’s generally accepted that a complete lymph node dissection isn’t necessary for all patients,’ lead author Gary Lyman, MD, MPH, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, said in a statement.

” ‘So if a woman has only one or two sentinel lymph nodes that are cancerous, and if the tumor is not too big and not too aggressive, there’s no value in doing a complete lymph node dissection,’ he added.”

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Study Findings Provide Latest Data on Neoadjuvant HER2+ Breast Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“Results from the KRISTINE and NSABP B-41 trials provided the latest data on the use of pertuzumab (Perjeta), trastuzumab (Herceptin), ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla), and lapatinib (Tykerb) for the neoadjuvant treatment of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.

“In a lecture at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting, Stephen K. Chia, MD, an assistant professor in the division of Medical Oncology at the University of British Columbia, highlighted the key findings from these trials and their implications for the treatment of HER2+ breast cancer.”

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Hypofractionation May Be Poised to Become New Standard of Care for Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“There has been an ongoing debate about which type of radiation therapy is preferable in the treatment of localized prostate cancer: hypofractionation (larger fractions given over 4–5 weeks) or conventional radiotherapy (given over 8–9 weeks). A new study presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting may help to resolve that debate.

“The large, randomized trial found that hypofractionation was not inferior to conventional radiation therapy in terms of efficacy or safety in men with localized intermediate-risk prostate cancer. This is the third large, randomized, contemporary study to demonstrate that both techniques have equivalent efficacy and safety.”

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Guidelines Establish Minimum Negative Margins in DCIS

Excerpt:

“Three medical organizations including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) have issued a guideline on margins in breast conserving surgery for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The new recommendations are published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“The panel of experts from ASCO, the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO), and the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) recommend the use of 2-mm margins as a standard in breast conserving surgery for DCIS treated with whole-breast irradiation. Margins of 2 mm are ‘associated with low rates of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence and has the potential to decrease re-excision rates, improve cosmetic outcome, and decrease health care costs,’ wrote Monica Morrow, MD, of the department of surgery at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and coauthors. ‘Clinical judgment should be used in determining the need for further surgery in patients with negative margins less than 2 mm. Margins more widely clear than 2 mm do not further reduce the rates of recurrence of cancer in the breast and their routine use is not supported by evidence.’ ”

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Use of Anthracyclines Plus Taxanes Found to be Beneficial in Early, HER2-Negative Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Treatment with anthracyclines was proven to be beneficial for patients with high-risk, HER2-negative, early-stage breast cancer, according to a joint analysis of the “ABC” trials presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting.

“The analysis, which included more than 4000 patients, demonstrated that docetaxel plus cyclophosphamide (TC) was significantly inferior to various taxane-plus-anthracycline-based (TaxAC) chemotherapy regimens.

“ ‘Statistical noninferiority of the non-anthracycline regimen could not be demonstrated,’ said lead investigator Joanne Lorraine Blum, MD, PhD, medical oncologist with Texas Oncology at the Baylor-Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas. ‘In terms of the study’s primary endpoint, invasive disease-free survival, TC x 6 was significantly inferior to TaxAC.’ ”

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Results of Two Practice-Changing Breast Cancer Trials Upheld

Excerpt:

“Results of two pivotal breast cancer trials reported at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting confirmed the practice-changing findings that resulted from earlier findings.

“The phase III PALOMA-2 trial confirmed results from the smaller, open-label phase II PALOMA-1 trial that led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 inhibitor palbociclib (Ibrance). The drug was approved in combination with letrozole for the first-line treatment of metastatic disease.

“ ‘These data represent the longest front-line improvement in median progression-free survival seen to date in women with advanced estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer,’ said Dennis Slamon, MD, Director of Clinical/Translational Research and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Director of the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program.”

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Novel Combination Study Planned for SCLC

Excerpt:

“A phase I/II study will explore the delta-like protein 3 (DLL3)-targeted antibody-drug conjugate rovalpituzumab tesirine (Rova-T) with the PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo) alone or in combination with the CTLA-4 inhibitor ipilimumab (Yervoy) for patients with relapsed extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

“AbbVie, the developer of rovalpituzumab tesirine, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, the company marketing nivolumab and ipilimumab announced the phase I/II study in a joint press release. As single-agents, rovalpituzumab tesirine and nivolumab have each demonstrated promising early findings for patients with SCLC. Additionally, nivolumab plus ipilimumab sparked promising response rates and overall survival (OS) findings. Data for the 3 agents were recently presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting.”

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