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.

The next ASCO Annual Meeting will be held May 29-June 2, 2015, in Chicago. 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.

May 30, 2014

According to new findings from a phase III clinical trial, women taking zoledronic acid (Zometa) for breast cancer that has spread to the bone, called metastases, can safely scale back to a once-every-three-months schedule after finishing a year of monthly treatments.

May 30, 2014

Results from a recent phase III clinical trial show that women who took goserelin (Zoladex) with chemotherapy for early-stage, hormone receptor-negative breast cancer were 64% less likely to develop premature ovarian failure, also called early menopause, compared with women who received chemotherapy alone. 

May 14, 2014

A recent data analysis showed that obesity increases the risk of death from estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer for women who have not been through menopause. 

May 14, 2014

A new model predicts that nationwide lung cancer screening for people enrolled in Medicare who have a high risk of the disease would double the percentage of early-stage lung cancers diagnosed over five years. In March 2014, the U.S Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that people age 55 to 80 with a high risk of lung cancer due to cigarette smoking receive screening for the disease each year with low dose computed tomography (CT).

May 14, 2014

Early-stage research suggests that a new targeted drug, PLX3397, could become a treatment option for people with a neoplastic joint disorder called pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS). PVNS is a rare joint condition that usually affects the hip or knee, causing tumors to form in these joints that destroy joint tissue and cause severe, life-changing symptoms. PVNS is a type of uncontrollable cell growth, similar to a cancer, but it is not considered a cancer because it usually does not spread to other parts of the body.

May 14, 2014

In a recent phase I clinical trial, about 50% of patients receiving a new targeted therapy for worsening non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) had the cancer shrink. Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. Specifically, this new targeted therapy, AZD9291, targets changes or mutations to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). 

May 14, 2014

According to a large study, men who have rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels after surgery or radiation therapy may be able to safely hold off on receiving hormone therapy until they experience symptoms or other signs that the cancer has returned. 

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.

January 28, 2014

Results from a new study show that the medication enzalutamide (Xtandi) lengthens the lives of men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer by almost a third. Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is cancer that has spread to parts of the body other than the prostate and continues to grow and spread without needing the male sex hormone testosterone. Enzalutamide is a type of hormone therapy called an androgen-receptor blocker or an anti-androgen. For men with prostate cancer, hormone therapy is used to block or lower the levels of hormones called androgens that can be involved in prostate cancer growth.

January 28, 2014

In a new analysis of cancer clinical trials for adults registered on Clinicaltrials.gov, researchers found that about 20% never finish for reasons unrelated to how well the treatment or procedure being studied works or the side effects it causes. Poor accrual was the most common reason for a clinical trial to not finish. Accrual is the term commonly used to describe the process of placing patients in the clinical trial. Basically, poor accrual means that not enough people volunteered for the clinical trial.

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