This section contains the latest highlighted research for patients from ASCO medical journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, as well as an archive of research highlights from previous ASCO scientific meetings (2011-2015). For the latest research highlights from more recent ASCO meetings, visit the Cancer.Net Blog or check out Cancer.Net’s audio podcasts and videos for patients.
To search this archive, use the drop-down menu below. You can select a specific year, meeting or publication, 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.
A large study shows that testing for specific genetic changes in tumor cells can tell doctors whether people with metastatic colorectal cancer (colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body) are likely to benefit from combining second-line chemotherapy with a targeted therapy called panitumumab (Vectibix). A second-line treatment is given if the first treatment does not work, starts but then stops working, or causes serious side effects.
A review of the research from the past 30 years on coordinating cancer care found that various methods of coordination reduce hospitalizations and emergency department visits and increase patients’ quality of life and overall satisfaction with their care.
As part of a recent initiative, Mount Sinai Hospital created standardized criteria for identifying patients who are most likely to benefit from a discussion of palliative care options. Palliative care is intended to ease a patient’s symptoms and side effects, as well as support a patient’s physical, emotional, and social needs.
A new joint initiative between Moffitt Cancer Center and QURE Healthcare, LLC, that uses an online training tool for doctors or nurse practitioners may improve patient care by ensuring all patients consistently receive high-value, high-quality cancer care. This online training tool uses virtual patient scenarios (called Clinical Performance and Value CPV® vignettes) to test a doctor’s knowledge and use of clinical cancer care pathways. Clinical cancer care pathways are approaches to cancer care that are based on research and recommendations from professional cancer organizations, as well as other standards for quality care. These pathways begin at diagnosis and provide all the treatment options a patient might need throughout his or her cancer care.
A large, long-term follow-up study showed that people who were overweight or obese years before their pancreatic cancer diagnosis tend to have more advanced stage at diagnosis and shorter survival. Prior research had suggested that having a higher body mass index (BMI) increases one’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer. This is the first prospective study to demonstrate that BMI also affects outcomes after diagnosis.
An analysis of data collected in a large retrospective study showed that married patients tend to live longer after a cancer diagnosis than unmarried patients. Married patients are also more likely to have earlier-stage cancer at diagnosis and more likely to receive appropriate treatments, such as surgery and radiation therapy. The findings also suggest that more effort should be invested in improving social support services for unmarried patients with cancer.
A large-scale survey of Long Island women who were having mammography to screen for breast cancer shows that the majority (more than 90%) either under- or overestimated their risk of developing this disease during their lifetime. Additionally, four out of every 10 women surveyed (40%) said they had never discussed their personal breast cancer risk with a doctor.
A new study has found that using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in addition to mammography, before or immediately after a lumpectomy (surgical removal of the tumor and a small, cancer-free margin of tissue around the tumor) was not linked to a decrease in how often women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast experienced a local recurrence (cancer that comes back in the same area of the breast after treatment) or contralateral breast cancer (a new tumor that develops in the other breast).
A large study found that women who received radiation therapy to treat ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast (DCIS) had no increased risk of developing cardiovascular (heart) disease compared with the general population or patients with DCIS who only had surgery. Previous studies involving patients with breast and other cancers have shown that radiation therapy directed at areas near the heart can increase their long-term risk of developing cardiovascular disease, so these results may help women who are deciding on their treatment plan and may reassure DCIS survivors who received radiation therapy.
Results from a recent study show that directing radiation therapy to the underarm lymph nodes works as well as removing the lymph nodes with surgery and is less likely to cause lymphedema for women with early-stage breast cancer. Lymphedema is the abnormal buildup of fluid (lymph) in the arm, causing swelling that can be painful and limit a person’s movement. It is a common side effect from both surgery and radiation therapy to the underarm lymph nodes.