August 2013 Vol 6, No 6 Special Issue

Chicago, IL—Previous trials of maintenance therapy for patients with ovarian cancer have failed to show improved survival. A study presented at ASCO 2013 is the first successful phase 3 trial in this setting, showing that the targeted therapy pazopanib (Votrient) extended progression-free survival (PFS) by a median of 5.6 months in women with ovarian cancer. Women who were enrolled in the trial were free of the disease after the initial treatment with surgery and chemotherapy.

Chicago, IL—The management of patients with prostate cancer will be advanced by 2 new genetic tests—Oncotype DX prostate cancer test and Prolaris. Both tests generate a score that can be used to analyze biopsy specimens of men with low-risk prostate cancer (ie, Gleason score ≤6) to determine if they are truly “low risk” and appropriate for watchful waiting, or if they harbor higher-risk genes and need immediate treatment.

Chicago, IL—The use of molecular profiling to guide treatment decisions is envisioned as a critical new strategy in cancer therapy, but for patients to reap the benefits of personalized medicine, sweeping reforms are needed in how genetic information is analyzed and acted upon, said Richard L. Schilsky, MD, Chief Medical Officer, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and Chief of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center, IL.

Chicago, IL—For years, the cancer research community has pushed for the use of surrogate end points in clinical trials as a means of hastening the drug approval process. These efforts will soon bear fruit, with the anticipated release by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of its final guidance to drug manufacturers for accelerated drug approval for neoadjuvant breast cancer therapies. At ASCO 2013, the speakers discussed the potential implications for researchers, providers, and patients.

Chicago, IL—In an interim analysis of a single-arm phase 2 study, the BRAF kinase inhibitor dabrafenib (Tafinlar), which was recently approved for the treatment of melanoma, has demonstrated very good efficacy in the treatment of stage IV non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with the BRAF V600E mutation in patients whose disease  progressed after chemotherapy, reported David Planchard, MD, PhD, of the Department of Medical Oncology, Institut Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif Cedex, France, at ASCO 2013.

Chicago, IL—Data presented at ASCO 2013 from the phase 3 clinical trial, known as LUX-Lung 6, show that Asian patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or ErbB1 mutation–positive advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were treated with first-line afatinib (Gilo­trif) had a doubling in progression-free survival (PFS) compared with treatment with standard chemotherapy with gemcitabine and cisplatin.

Chicago, IL—Advances in the treatment of non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to date have focused on mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene, sensitivity to various oncologic agents, the effects of chemotherapy versus single drug on quality of life, and oncologic drug development, said Paul A. Bunn, Jr, MD, James Dudley Chair in Cancer Research, University of Colorado Denver, at ASCO 2013.

Chicago, IL—Updated data confirm that 10 years of adjuvant tamoxifen is superior to 5 years in reducing the rates of late recurrence and death in women with estrogen receptor (ER)-­positive breast cancer, reported Richard G. Gray, MA, MSc, Professor of Medical Statistics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Chicago, IL—A lack of awareness of active surveillance prevents more men with early-stage prostate cancer from choosing this option, according to a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which showed that African-American men are more influenced by convenience than Caucasian men in their choice of treatment. Spouses and significant others are also influential in the decision, and they tend to be less enthusiastic about active surveillance than the men who have prostate cancer.

Chicago, IL—Results of a new subgroup analysis of the ALSYMPCA study that were presented at ASCO 2013 showed that radium Ra-223 dichloride (Xofigo) significantly prolongs overall survival (OS) and has a highly favorable safety profile in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), regardless of whether they had previously received docetaxel therapy.

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