In this Research Round Up podcast, 2 Cancer.Net Associate Editors talk about new research presented at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting that offers new treatment options for people with diagnoses that were previously considered difficult to treat.
Evolving research in soft-tissue sarcoma
Dr. Vicki Keedy, the Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Sarcoma, discusses 2 studies and what they mean for the overall field of sarcoma research. First, she discusses the ANNOUNCE trial, which showed that adding the targeted therapy drug olaratumab (Lartruvo) to doxorubicin to treat people with soft-tissue sarcoma did not show any benefits over using doxorubicin alone. Olaratumab was previously approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration through the Accelerated Approval Program based on results from an earlier study. Dr. Keedy explains what these new results mean for people with soft-tissue sarcoma who are currently taking olaratumab. [2:00]
Next, she discusses an early study that looked at using a new drug to treat a rare subtype of soft-tissue sarcoma called epithelioid sarcoma. This drug, tazemetostat, works by blocking a specific molecule that leads to tumor growth, which can often be found in epithelioid sarcoma tumors. [4:12]
Treatment advances in melanoma
Dr. Ryan Sullivan, the Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Melanoma, discusses a study called the CheckMate 204 trial, which looked at using the combination of ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) to treat people with melanoma that has spread to the brain. This combination is frequently used to treat melanoma, but cancer that has spread to the brain, also called brain metastases, can be more complicated to treat. [7:03]
He also discusses the 5-year follow-up results of 2 different combinations of drugs called BRAF inhibitors. These targeted therapies block a specific mutation, or genetic change, that is present in the tumors of up to 50% of people with melanoma. [14:54]
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