© 2005-2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.
Using the drop-down menu below, read about highlighted scientific news from ASCO's Annual Meetings since 2002. You can select a specific year and/or a specific topic, such as a type of cancer. Selecting "All" will take you to a complete list of articles that appear under all categories.
The 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting is set for May 31-June 4, with research news beginning to be released on May 15 at 6pm Eastern. Additional research will be released each day of the meeting.
To read these summaries categorized into a yearly newsletter, you can also review Cancer Advances: News for Patients from the ASCO Annual Meeting.
Don’t forget to check out audio podcasts and videos about this news, as well. And, in addition to the highlighted studies below, thousands of scientific abstracts are released each year at the ASCO Annual Meeting. To search the entire collection of meeting abstracts, visit ASCO's website.
Researchers found that patients with advanced melanoma who received the drug ipilimumab, either with or without a specialized vaccine that stimulates the immune system, lived almost four months longer than patients who did not receive this drug. Ipilimumab is a type of drug called a monoclonal antibody that uses the body's immune system to help fight cancer. In this study, patients received ipilimumab, a specialized vaccine, or a combination of ipilimumab and the vaccine. All of the patients in the study had received previous treatment for melanoma.
In a recent study, researchers discovered that childhood cancer survivors who have one of two specific variations of a gene, called CBR1 and CBR3, were more likely to develop anthracycline-related heart problems than those without the gene. Anthracyclines are a type of drug used to treat many childhood cancers, but one long-term side effect can be future heart problems. The most common heart problem caused by anthracyclines is called cardiomyopathy, which is when the heart cannot easily pump blood.
Recent research shows that some women age 70 or older with early-stage breast cancer may not need radiation therapy after lumpectomy if they receive tamoxifen (Nolvadex). A lumpectomy is the removal of the tumor and a small cancer-free margin of tissue around the tumor.
Researchers have developed a way to screen women who don't have a high risk of ovarian cancer and who have been through menopause. There are currently no screening methods for women who don't have a high risk of ovarian cancer. Women at high risk for ovarian cancer may receive regular screening or reduce their risk of cancer in other ways, such as surgery to remove the ovaries. This new method estimates a woman's risk of ovarian cancer by using her age and the results of a yearly CA-125 blood test. CA-125 is a substance called a tumor marker that is found in higher levels in women with ovarian cancer. In this study, women who had increasing CA-125 levels received transvaginal sonography (TVS), an imaging test that uses sound waves to create a picture of the ovaries and look for any tumors, and were referred to a gynecologic oncologist to decide if surgery was needed. A gynecologic oncologist is a doctor who specializes in treating cancer in a woman's reproductive organs.
In an ongoing study, patients who did not receive the drug lenalidomide (Revlimid) were about twice as likely as the patients who received lenalidomide to have their myeloma return within three years (called a recurrence or relapse). Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside of bones. Plasma cells are a part of the body's immune system and produce antibodies that help the body fight infection.
Cancer survivors who participated in a yoga program slept better, had less fatigue, and were less likely to need medication for sleeping problems and fatigue than survivors who did not participate in yoga. Sleeping problems and fatigue are the most common side effects of cancer treatment. In fact, most patients report that they have sleep problems during treatment, and more than half continue to have problems after treatment ends.
Recent research shows that patients with follicular lymphoma who received the drug rituximab (Rituxan) for two years as maintenance therapy were less likely to have a recurrence (return of cancer after treatment). Maintenance therapy is longer-term treatment given after initial treatment to keep the cancer from returning.
Recent research compared treatments for locally advanced cervical cancer and the effect of different lymph node (tiny, bean-shaped organs that help fight infection) removal techniques for early-stage cervical cancer. Another study looked at when to start treatment for ovarian cancer recurrence. In addition, a national survey provided information about discussing fertility preservation.
A new report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) showed that childhood cancer survivors were almost five times more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than their siblings who did not have cancer as children. However, the risk of PTSD for childhood cancer survivors was low, with 9% experiencing PTSD as adults. PTSD was more common for people who were diagnosed with cancer between ages 15 and 20 and for those who had longer and more intensive chemotherapy or radiation therapy. PTSD was less common for people who had neuroblastoma, which is more common for young children who may not remember treatment. It was also less common for people who had Wilms' tumor, which is often treated with surgery.
A second report from the CCSS found that not enough survivors of childhood cancer receive screening for colon, skin, and breast cancers. Cancer treatment, especially radiation therapy, may increase the risk of a second cancer. Among the childhood cancer survivors with a higher risk of developing a second cancer, almost 12% received a colonoscopy as recommended, about 46% had a mammogram within two years of treatment, and almost 27% had a skin exam. The study also showed that childhood cancer survivors who had a higher risk of a second cancer were more likely to be screened for breast and skin cancer if they were being cared for at a cancer center.