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 was held May 31-June 4, with research news released starting May 15. The 2014 event will be held May 30-June 3.
To read these summaries categorized into a yearly newsletter, you can also review Research Round Up: 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.
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.
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 found that a vaccine called BiovaxID delayed the return of a type of B-cell lymphoma, called follicular lymphoma, by about 14 months for patients whose lymphoma was in remission (the temporary or permanent absence of disease) after treatment with prednisone (multiple brand names), doxorubicin (Adriamycin), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Clafen, Neosar), and etoposide (VePesid, Toposar) - a combination called PACE. The BiovaxID vaccine is made for each patient using proteins that are found on the person's lymphoma cells. It is made from the cells collected during removal of the lymph nodes (tiny, bean-shaped organs that help fight infection). These cells are then processed to create antibodies, which are substances made by the body to help fight infection. These antibodies are designed to kill the patient's own lymphoma cells and are returned to the patient in the form of a vaccine.
A new study showed that patients who received moisturizers, sunscreen, topical steroids, and antibiotics before treatment with panitumumab (Vectibix) were less likely to have a rash from treatment than patients who did not receive the skin treatments until the rash developed. About 90% of people taking panitumumab and 75% of those taking a related drug called cetuximab (Erbitux) develop this rash.
In two separate studies, researchers found that two new drugs belonging to a group of drugs called PARP inhibitors may help treat some types of breast cancer. PARP inhibitors stop cancer cells from repairing damage from chemotherapy, which may make cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapy.
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.
Researchers found that patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors had no or low levels of a protein called MSH2, benefitted more from chemotherapy after surgery than patients with high levels of MSH2. Cancer cells use the MSH2 protein to repair damage from chemotherapy with cisplatin (Platinol). Patients with low MSH2 levels who received chemotherapy with cisplatin lived about 16 months longer than those who did not receive chemotherapy. Patients with high MSH2 levels who received chemotherapy lived for about 9 months less than those who did not receive chemotherapy. This study also showed that measuring MSH2 levels and levels of another protein called ERCC1 was better able to predict which patients would benefit from chemotherapy after surgery. ERCC1 is a previously identified protein that also repairs damage to tumor cells. Patients with low levels of both proteins who received chemotherapy lived 26 months longer than those who did not receive chemotherapy.
New studies on breast cancer recurrence look at radiation therapy techniques, drugs that may interfere with tamoxifen (Nolvadex), and the removal of lymph nodes (tiny, bean-shaped organs that help fight infection).
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.
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.