In the annual Research Round Up podcast series, Cancer.Net Associate Editors answer the question, “What was the most exciting or practice-changing research in your field presented at the ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program?” In this episode, 3 editors discuss research into new treatment options for breast cancer and sarcoma, as well as new research in palliative or supportive care. Supportive care focuses on managing the symptoms and side effects of cancer and its treatment. It also includes support to help reduce the financial, emotional, and social effects of cancer.
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Treatment advances in breast cancer
Dr. Norah Lynn Henry, the 2020 Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Breast Cancer, discusses 3 clinical trials that looked at different treatment options for metastatic breast cancer. The first looked at whether surgery and radiation therapy is helpful for people who are newly diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, which means it has spread to other parts of the body. [3:34] Next, she discusses a study called KEYNOTE-355 that looked at whether the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) could be effective in treating a type of breast cancer known as triple-negative metastatic breast cancer. [5:02] Finally, she discusses a study called HER2CLIMB that looked at a new drug called tucatinib (Tukysa) and whether it’s effective in treating metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer, including when it has spread to the brain. [6:15]
New research in sarcoma
Dr. Vicki Keedy, the 2020 Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Sarcoma, discusses an international study that compared 2 different standard treatment regimens for chemotherapy used to treat Ewing sarcoma, a type of cancer that most commonly affects children and young adults. [10:31] Next, she discusses early research across many different types of sarcoma that looked at whether immunotherapy might be an effective treatment. [13:00]
Improving palliative and supportive care
Dr. Kavitha Ramchandran, the 2020 Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Palliative Care, discusses several aspects of research in palliative and supportive care presented at ASCO20. First, she discusses new research that looked at ways to better manage fatigue and nausea, which are common side effects of cancer treatment. [16:42] Next, she discusses 2 studies that looked at ways to better support patients with specific needs, the first regarding the level of symptoms they are experiencing and the second on a tool called geriatric assessment. [19:51] Finally, she discusses the difference between specialist palliative care and primary palliative care [23:43], as well as new research that showed people with cancer lived longer and had better quality of life when palliative care was integrated into their cancer care plan earlier. [24:50]
Disclosure information for this podcast’s speakers can be found in their individual biographies, which are linked to in the paragraphs above.
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