Research Summaries

Using the drop-down menu below, read about highlighted scientific news for patients from ASCO's Annual Meetings, Symposia, and medical journals for the past three years. 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.

This includes ASCO’s Journal of Clinical Oncology and its scientific meetings, including the ASCO Annual Meeting, a five-day meeting held each May/June. To read the Annual Meeting summaries compiled into a yearly newsletter, you can also review Research Round Up: News for Patients from the ASCO Annual Meeting. Don’t forget to check out audio podcasts and videos about this news, as well. And a list of upcoming Symposia can be found here. And, in addition to the highlighted studies below, thousands of scientific abstracts are released each year at different ASCO meetings. To search the entire collection of meeting abstracts, visit ASCO's website.

June 29, 2015

A prospective study of more than 100,000 Americans suggests that consuming citrus fruit, specifically whole grapefruit and orange juice, frequently may increase one’s chance of developing melanoma. However, experts stress more research is needed and caution against making any dietary changes based on this study at this time.

November 10, 2014

According to an analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, patients and survivors who smoked prior to their cancer diagnosis had an up to five times higher risk of developing a second primary cancer than patients who never smoked.

October 6, 2014

One in three patients with cancer experiences anxiety or other mental health challenges, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This is the largest and most comprehensive study to date assessing the mental and emotional health of patients with cancer using a standardized, diagnostic face-to-face interview.

September 15, 2014

New findings from a large group of patients from the national Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial show that men who have a specific form of baldness – at both the front and crown of the head – at the age of 45 have a 40% increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer (usually indicates a faster growing tumor resulting in poorer prognosis, relative to “non-aggressive” prostate cancer) later in life, compared to men with no baldness at that age. However, the researchers did not find a link between any type of baldness and risk of non-aggressive prostate cancer.

February 24, 2014

A large, long-term study showed for the first time that women with BRCA1 mutations should undergo preventive surgical removal of the ovaries (prophylactic oophorectomy) by age 35 to achieve the greatest reduction in ovarian cancer risk. Researchers showed that waiting until a later age to have the surgery was associated with a significantly higher ovarian cancer risk. In addition, the investigators reported for the first time that prophylactic oophorectomy reduces the overall risk of death by 77 percent among women with either a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

October 21, 2013

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.

September 23, 2013

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.

April 22, 2013

New findings from a retrospective study suggest that targeted anti-HER2 therapy may slow disease progression in patients with advanced lung cancer who carry a specific alteration in HER2—a protein that controls cancer growth and spread, found on some cancer cells, such as breast, ovarian, and lung cancer cells.

April 8, 2013

New findings from a clinical trial in patients with colorectal cancer and inoperable metastases in the liver (cancer that has spread from the colon or rectum to the liver) suggest that combination treatment with standard therapy and targeted drug cetuximab (Erbitux) caused significant shrinkage of metastases, making successful surgery feasible.

March 25, 2013

Analysis of data collected in a large, population-based study in Shanghai, China, showed women who consumed higher amounts of soy food in the years leading up to their diagnosis of lung cancer lived longer. These results offer the first scientific evidence that consuming soy food before cancer diagnosis may be associated with significantly improved survival in patients with lung cancer.