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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 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.
According to a recent study, women survivors of childhood cancers who received low doses of radiation therapy aimed at the chest had a high risk of developing breast cancer at a young age. An increased risk of breast cancer is a known long-term side effect or late effect of moderate to high-dose radiation therapy to the chest. That is why the current screening recommendations for childhood cancer survivors recommend annual breast cancer screening for women who received moderate to high doses (20 or more Gray or Gy, a measure of the radiation dose) of radiation therapy to the chest. This study shows that even childhood cancer survivors who received lower doses of radiation therapy have a higher risk of breast cancer, and they may need to follow similar breast cancer screening recommendations.
In an early study with the targeted therapy drug crizotinib (Xalkori), researchers found that it stopped the growth of neuroblastoma, anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), and inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMT), and in some instances, removed all signs of the cancer.
A recent study showed that children with high-risk neuroblastoma who received the drugs busulphan (Busulfex, Mitosan, Myleran) and melphalan (Alkeran) lived longer than children who received the drugs carboplatin (Paraplat, Paraplatin), etoposide (Toposar, VePesid), and melphalan, a regimen called CEM. High-risk means that the neuroblastoma is likely to worsen or recur (come back after treatment). These combinations of drugs are given in high doses to kill cancer cells in the bone marrow (spongy, red tissue inside of bones).
A new study shows that using high-dose methotrexate (multiple brand names) for children and young adults with a type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) called high risk B-precursor ALL reduces the risk of recurrence when compared with the standard methotrexate regimen. Recurrence is when the ALL comes back after treatment.
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.
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.
Adding a cancer treatment vaccine to the standard treatment improved survival for children with neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that starts in the nerve cells of infants and young children and is difficult to treat. This type of cancer vaccine is also called immunotherapy because it helps the body's immune system fight cancer.
Researchers from the Children's Oncology Group (COG) looked at whether giving chemotherapy to patients with Ewing's sarcoma every 2 weeks instead of every 3 weeks was more effective. The current standard treatment for patients with Ewing's sarcoma that has not spread past the bone or nearby tissues is chemotherapy every 3 weeks with a combination of drugs, as well as surgery and/or radiation therapy.
In an analysis of data from the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Study (CCSS), researchers compared the development of heart disease in 14,358 childhood cancer survivors with 3,899 of their siblings. The survivors were originally diagnosed between 1970 and 1986. The CCSS is the largest study of childhood cancer survivors and has provided the greatest amount of data on the long-term side effects of cancer treatment.