Research Summaries

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.

Early Research Shows Potential of Pembrolizumab as Head and Neck Cancer Treatment

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 29, 2015

Results from a phase I clinical trial show that pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is able to shrink head and neck cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or come back after treatment. These findings suggest that immunotherapy may fill a large unmet need for better treatments for recurrent and advanced head and neck cancer.

Nivolumab Shows Promise as a Treatment Option for Advanced Liver Cancer

ASCO Annual Meeting
May 29, 2015

In an early-stage study, nivolumab (Opdivo) has shown encouraging results as a treatment for advanced liver cancer. Liver cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for more than 600,000 deaths each year. People diagnosed with advanced liver cancer especially need new treatment options, as there is currently only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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