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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, initial treatment with the drug cetuximab (Erbitux) plus the chemotherapy regimen FOLFIRI lengthens the lives of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer when compared with bevacizumab (Avastin) plus FOLFIRI. The chemotherapy regimen FOLFIRI includes the drugs leucovorin (Wellcovorin), fluorouracil (5-FU, Adrucil), and irinotecan (Camptosar).
A study on the drug imatinib (Gleevec) for patients with high-risk gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) showed that three years of treatment after surgery helped patients live longer and avoid recurrences (cancer that comes back after treatment). Imatinib is a type of targeted therapy, a treatment that targets the cancer's specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. Specifically, it targets gene mutations (changes) that contribute to cancer growth for about 90% of people with GIST. The current standard treatment for GIST that can be surgically removed is one year of imatinib after surgery.
New research shows advances in the treatment of colorectal, anal, pancreatic, gastric, and rectal cancer.
Researchers found that most patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (cancer that has spread outside of the colon or rectum) do not need surgery to remove the primary tumor unless it is causing problems. Removing the primary tumor when a person is diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer was once the standard treatment and is still common. Surgery has been used to prevent the tumor from blocking the intestines, creating a hole in the wall of the intestine, or causing bleeding. Chemotherapy is an effective treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer because it can often shrink both the primary tumor and the cancer that has spread to other areas.
Treatment with the drugs cisplatin (Platinol) and gemcitabine (Gemzar) increased survival and slowed cancer growth for people with biliary tract cancers (gallbladder and bile duct cancers) that could not be removed with surgery. Patients who received these two drugs were 32% less likely to die from the disease and 30% less likely to have the cancer grow than the patients who received only gemcitabine.
Researchers have developed and verified the first test that can predict the risk of recurrence (return of the cancer after treatment) for patients with stage II colon cancer. The test, called the Oncotype DX colon assay, evaluates several genes to learn whether a patient could be helped with chemotherapy after surgery. Another version of the Oncotype DX test is used to predict the risk of recurrence for women with breast cancer.