Research Summaries

New Targeted Drug Slows Growth and Spread of Metastatic Breast Cancer

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 30, 2015

A large phase III study has found that a new targeted therapy, called palbociclib (Ibrance), delayed the growth and spread of advanced hormone receptor-positive breast cancer by roughly five months when combined with the standard hormonal therapy fulvestrant (Faslodex). This combination could become a new treatment option for women with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Eribulin Helps People with Two Rare Types of Soft-Tissue Sarcoma Live Longer

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 30, 2015

Approximately 12,000 people will be diagnosed with a soft-tissue sarcoma in the United States this year. Currently, there are few treatment options available, especially for tumors that grow or spread to other parts of the body during treatment. However, recent research has shown that the chemotherapy eribulin (Halaven) may be a promising new treatment option for people with two types of rare soft-tissue sarcomas: leiomyosarcoma and adipocytic sarcoma, which is also called liposarcoma.

Daratumumab May Be an Effective Treatment for Multiple Myeloma

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 30, 2015

According to a recent small study, the drug daratumumab may work well as a treatment for multiple myeloma after other treatments have not worked. About 26,000 Americans are diagnosed with multiple myeloma every year. Despite recent advances, treatments usually stop working to control the cancer’s growth.

Daratumumab is a type of targeted therapy. Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival.

Anastrazole Helps Reduce Breast Cancer Risk after DCIS for Postmenopausal Women

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 30, 2015

A large clinical trial suggests that anastrazole (Arimidex) may be a new option for preventing breast cancer after treatment for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). DCIS is a non-invasive type of breast cancer. DCIS can usually be eliminated with a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy. However, women with DCIS are at increased risk for developing invasive breast cancer in the same or opposite breast.

Some People with Melanoma May Not Need Extensive Lymph Node Surgery

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 30, 2015

According to the results of a recent study, people who have surgery to remove lymph nodes near a melanoma tumor live the same amount of time as those who are watched closely for signs of cancer. Lymph nodes are tiny, bean-shaped organs that fight infection. During melanoma surgery, doctors look for cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes. If melanoma is found in these lymph nodes, there is a higher risk of the cancer coming back after treatment.

Adding Chemotherapy Improves Survival for Men with High-Risk, Localized Prostate Cancer

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 30, 2015

A recent study shows that adding docetaxel (Docefrez, Taxotere) chemotherapy to the standard treatment of hormone therapy and radiation therapy helps men with high-risk, localized prostate cancer live longer. Having a high-risk, localized prostate cancer means that the tumor has grown throughout the prostate gland, the tumor has a high grade or Gleason score, and the man has a high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. The Gleason score is based on how much the tumor looks like healthy tissue when viewed under a microscope.

Obinutuzumab Controls Growth of Slow-Growing Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 30, 2015

In an ongoing study, researchers found that adding a new targeted therapy to chemotherapy controls non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) growth for more than twice as long as only chemotherapy. The patients who participated in this study had indolent, or slow-growing, NHL. The standard first treatment for this common type of NHL is a combination of bendamustine (Treanda) and rituximab (Rituxan). For most patients, rituximab eventually stops working to control NHL growth.

New Treatment, Pacritinib, Helps Ease Myelofibrosis Symptoms

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 30, 2015

A recent study showed that the drug pacritinib works better for myelofibrosis than current treatments. Myelofibrosis is a rare blood cancer that develops when the bone marrow is unable to make enough blood cells. As a result, the spleen takes over the role of making blood cells but becomes quite enlarged. Patients also often experience tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath, fever, and weight loss because of an enlarged spleen. In addition, myelofibrosis turns into acute leukemia in about a third of patients with this disease.

Adding Ibrutinib to Standard Treatment Lowers the Risk of Dying from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 30, 2015

In a large, ongoing study, researchers found that a combination of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) and standard treatment slows the growth of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and lowers patients’ risk of dying from the disease. The standard treatment for CLL is usually a combination of bendamustine (Treanda) and rituximab (Rituxan), a regimen called BR.

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