Research Round Up Podcasts: Lung Cancer and Melanoma

Research Round Up Podcast Series
September 22, 2016
Claire Smith, ASCO staff

In these final 2 podcasts of our Research Round Up series, Cancer.Net Associate Editors Jyoti Patel, MD, and Ryan Sullivan, MD, reflect on the promise of targeted therapy and immunotherapy in treating lung cancer and melanoma.

Looking for more research from the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting? The Cancer.Net Blog offers many more expert podcasts and posts covering a wide range of research topics and types of cancer.

Advances in targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and personalized treatment for lung cancer share on twitter

In this podcast, Dr. Patel discusses several exciting studies across the field of lung cancer, including:

  • A study about whether blood tests that look for specific genetic markers, or “liquid biopsies,” are as effective as standard biopsies in tracking whether cancer has grown during or after treatment [1:37].

  • A study that explored whether the targeted therapy drug alectinib (Alecensa) could be used as the first treatment for certain patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Alectinib is currently approved to treat people with NSCLC that has a genetic change, or mutation, in the ALK gene and who can no longer take the current standard drug, crizotinib (Xalkori) [3:30].

  • New promising treatment options for small cell lung cancer (SCLC):

    • An early study on a form of targeted therapy (antibody drug conjugate, ADC) that combines an antibody with an anticancer drug to target a specific protein that is frequently found in SCLC [5:39].

    • A new study showing promising results with a combination of 2 immunotherapy drugs, nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) [7:14].

  • A small study that looked at using the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab as the first treatment, before chemotherapy, for people with NSCLC [8:12].

  • Two studies on localized treatment, such as radiation therapy or proton therapy [9:10].

  • A study on a web-based application that allowed patients to track their symptoms online every week. Using the application resulted in fewer unnecessary tests and office visits, and it helped patients live longer [12:03].

Read a full transcript of this podcast.

New advances and long-term results in advanced melanoma share on twitter

Dr. Sullivan discusses 3 studies that showed significant results in the field of melanoma research:

  • About 20% to 30% of people with melanoma have a genetic change within the tumor called NRAS. A phase III clinical trial that compared the targeted therapy binimetinib (MEK162) to chemotherapy for the treatment of melanoma with this mutation showed promising results [1:16].

  • The long-term results of a study about the combination of 2 targeted therapies, dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist), showed that people who took the combination were less likely to have their cancer grow and more likely to live longer than when they receive dabrafenib alone [9:42].

  • A long-term study on pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in the treatment of advanced melanoma showed that 45% of people who received this treatment were still alive after 3 years. And, 97% of the 61 patients who no longer had any signs of cancer and stopped taking the pembrolizumab still had no signs of cancer after 2 years [18:40].        

Read a full transcript of this podcast.

These are prerecorded audio podcasts. They can be listened to online or downloaded to your computer. For more information, visit the Cancer.Net podcast page.

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