Advances in Breast, Colorectal, and Prostate Cancer Treatment From the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting

June 1, 2014
· Amber Bauer, ASCO staff

Today, results from four large clinical trials were presented during the plenary session of ASCO’s Annual Meeting, which features the most important cancer research with the greatest potential to change the way patients are treated. These studies shared major advances in breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer treatment.

"Today’s results answer critical questions faced by people with cancer and their doctors every day,” said Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, President of ASCO and Chief of the Breast Cancer Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY. “There is no doubt that patients will live longer and better because of these studies.”

In this podcast, Dr. Hudis helps put these findings into context and explains what this news means for patients.

Highlights from these studies include:

Exemestane Plus Ovarian Function Suppression May be a More Effective Alternative for Premenopausal Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer. The researchers found that for premenopausal women treatment with exemestane (Aromasin) was more effective at preventing hormone-sensitive breast cancer from returning after surgery than tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Soltamox) when each drug was paired with ovarian function suppression.

Adding Docetaxel to Hormone Therapy Lengthens the Lives of Men with Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer. Results from this study suggest that adding chemotherapy with the drug docetaxel (Docefrez, Taxotere) to standard hormone therapy lengthens the lives of men newly diagnosed with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. Overall, the researchers found that the men who initially received hormone therapy and docetaxel lived about 14 months longer than those who initially received only hormone therapy.

Chemotherapy Plus Either Bevacizumab or Cetuximab Are Equally Effective for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer. This large, ongoing study indicates that two common treatment regimens approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are equally effective for colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. These results offer both doctors and people with cancer new reassurance as they make important treatment decisions.

Adding Lapatinib to Trastuzumab Does Not Lengthen the Lives of Women with Early-Stage, HER2-Positive Breast Cancer. According to these results, combining lapatinib (Tykerb) and trastuzumab (Herceptin) with chemotherapy after surgery is not more effective than using only trastuzumab with chemotherapy for the treatment of early-stage, human epidermal receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer.