ASCO 2012

 
 
 

48th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

 

Socioeconomic status affects treatment choices

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 07/07/12

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New research from the Fox Chase Cancer Center suggests that a patient’s socioeconomic status is a better predictor of treatment choice than any other classification, such as age or disease site. The study showed that socioeconomic status can predict whether a patient will favor high-efficacy, low-cost, or low-toxicity treatment. “We found that patients’ socioeconomic status can tell us a lot about what’s important to them when considering treatment options,” said investigator . . . [Read Article]

Brentuximab shows activity in NHLs and other neoplasms

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 06/20/12

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ASCO 2012 Annual Meeting
Credit: ASCO/Scott Morgan

Two studies presented at the ASCO 2012 Annual Meeting suggest that CD30 expression is not exclusive to Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL). And this may have implications for treatment with brentuximab vedotin, a CD30-directed antibody-drug conjugate approved for HL and ALCL. Investigators reported encouraging activity with brentuximab in relapsed/refractory CD30-positive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and potential activity in CD30-positive mast cell leukemia. [Read Article]

Highly resistant CML patients respond to ponatinib

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 06/19/12

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Chronic myeloid leukemia

About one-third of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients treated with imatinib become resistant or intolerant to therapy. And 15% to 20% of them also fail treatment with a second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor. But the novel agent ponatinib may offer an alternative for these patients. Interim results of a phase 2 study showed that ponatinib produced major cytogenetic responses in more than half of CML patients who were resistant to or intolerant of previous therapy. [Read Article]

Early molecular response helps predict when to switch therapy

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 06/18/12

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ASCO 2012 Annual Meeting
Credit: ASCO/Phil McCarten

Molecular and cytogenetic responses of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia being treated with imatinib can help doctors determine if and when to switch therapy. Investigators analyzed data from more than 1000 newly diagnosed imatinib-treated CML patients and correlated their molecular and cytogenetic responses with survival. Lack of an early molecular response identified high-risk patients who could possibly benefit from an early change of therapy. [Read Article]

Many patients not willing to pay for genetic testing

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 06/17/12

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DNA

A study presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting has found that many people with hereditary cancer risk are only willing to have genetic testing performed if their insurance covers the cost. Women and less educated patients faced greater barriers from high copay amounts, according to the investigators. They analyzed patient data from the Gastrointestinal Tumor Risk Assessment Registry to determine predictors of willingness-to-pay for genetic testing. [Read Article]

BTK inhibitor could change treatment paradigm in CLL

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 06/16/12

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Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

The first drug designed to target Bruton’s tyrosine kinase is showing great promise for the treatment of elderly patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to interim results of a phase 1b/2 study. The oral agent has few side effects, a high 1-year progression-free survival, and is potentially a paradigm-shifting approach to CLL in the elderly, say the investigators. The interim results were presented at the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting. [Read Article]

New antibody achieves high CR rate in relapsed/refractory adult ALL

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 06/14/12

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The ASCO 2012 Annual Meeting
Credit: ASCO/Scott Morgan

A new monoclonal antibody, blinatumomab, achieves an “exceptionally high complete remission rate” as a single agent in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to investigators. They reported that about 70% of adult patients with relapsed/refractory B-precursor ALL achieved a hematologic complete remission (CR). Max Topp, MD, of the Wuerzburg University Medical Center in Germany, presented the findings at the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting held in Chicago recently. [Read Article]

Novel agents promising in bortezomib-refractory MM

Mark Fuerst Read Article
Published: 06/13/12

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Multiple myeloma

Two novel agents combined with standard multiple myeloma (MM) therapies show considerable promise in patients refractory to bortezomib. Studies of panobinostat and pomalidomide presented at the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting demonstrated the potential impact of both the histone deactylase (HDAC) inhibitor and the immunomodulatory drug (IMiD) in this group of patients with poor prognosis. [Read Article]

Cardioprotection for childhood survivors of ALL

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 06/12/12

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Photo courtesy of The Children’s
Hospital of Philadelphia

Children who survive cancer often experience life-threatening cardiac problems because of the chemotherapy they received. Now investigators have found that dexrazoxane (DRZ) may protect children from some of the cardiotoxic effects of the doxorubicin in the chemotherapy regimen. Barbara Asselin, MD, of the University of Rochester in New York, presented data on behalf of the Children’s Oncology Group ALL Committee at ASCO as abstract 9504. [Read Article]

Antidepressant helps relieve chemo-induced pain

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 06/09/12

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The ASCO 2012 Annual Meeting
Credit: ASCO/Phil McCarten

The antidepressant duloxetine can relieve chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, new research suggests. The study is the first to show an effective treatment for this condition, noted Ellen Smith, PhD, APRN, of the University of Michigan School of Nursing. Dr Smith presented the trial’s results at the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting as abstract CRA9013. “Duloxetine isn’t perfect and didn’t work for every patient in our study, but it was effective for a majority of people, and . . . [Read Article]

Ginseng boosts energy in cancer patients

Erilyn Riley Read Article
Published: 06/09/12

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Ginseng

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) significantly reduced cancer-related fatigue in patients, according to results of a new study. The pure ginseng takes about 8 weeks to achieve a significant improvement in cancer patients’ general exhaustion. “After 8 weeks, we saw a 20-point improvement in fatigue in cancer patients, measured on a 100-point, standardized fatigue scale,” said Debra L. Barton, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. [Read Article]

Clinical trial participation varies by income level

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 06/08/12

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Lower-income cancer patients are less likely than their higher-earning peers to participate in clinical trials, according to a study presented at the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting. Researchers found that income was independently predictive of trial participation. And it was the only factor to remain predictive in a multivariate model including sex, age, race, and education level. “Although clinical trial enrollment according to age, race, and sex has been frequently studied . . . [Read Article]

High relapse, low survival for AYA leukemia patients

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 06/07/12

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A young adult cancer patient
receiving chemotherapy
Credit: Rhoda Baer

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with high-risk leukemia have poorer outcomes than their pediatric counterparts, researchers reported at the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting. The group compared AYA patients—aged 16 to 30 years—with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) to pediatric patients—aged 1 to 15 years—with the same diagnosis. The older patients had higher rates of relapse and lower rates of survival than the younger patients, regardless of . . . [Read Article]

Industry is increasing its role in cancer research

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 06/06/12

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The 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting
Credit: ASCO/Scott Morgan

The pharmaceutical industry now plays a bigger and more important role in cancer research than it has in the past, according to data presented at the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting. Investigators analyzed abstracts from previous ASCO annual meetings and found that researchers’ financial relationships with industry have increased since 2006. Furthermore, studies with financial ties to industry were deemed more important—by meeting organizers and by the researchers’ peers . . . [Read Article]

A new standard for indolent lymphomas?

HT Staff Read Article
Published: 06/05/12

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Mathias Rummel, MD, PhD
Credit: ASCO/Scott Morgan

Bendamustine plus rituximab (B-R) should replace R-CHOP as first-line treatment for indolent lymphomas, according to a speaker at the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting. Mathias J. Rummel, MD, PhD, of the University Hospital Giessen in Germany, and his colleagues found that B-R more than doubled progression-free survival and significantly reduced overall toxicity when compared to R-CHOP. Dr Rummel noted that R-CHOP is well-established in the treatment of lymphoma and “has an . . . [Read Article]

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