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, 2 editors discuss a range of research presented in head and neck cancer and melanoma.
Emerging research in head and neck cancer
Dr. Ezra Cohen, the 2020 Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Head and Neck Cancer, discusses several studies exploring different treatment options for head and neck cancer. The first is a comparison between 2 different treatment regimens for a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy after surgery. [2:43] Next, he discusses 2 studies that looked at different types of targeted therapy. The first of these explored a drug called axitinib (Inlyta) for the treatment of adenoid cystic carcinoma, which is a type of cancer that often begins in the head and neck. [4:13] The next was an early study of a drug called tipifarnib that targets mutations in the HRAS gene for several cancers, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. [5:42] Finally, he discusses 3 studies that explored new immunotherapy treatment combinations for head and neck cancer. [6:34]
New research in melanoma
Dr. Ryan Sullivan, the 2020 Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Melanoma, discusses several studies across the field of melanoma. First, he discusses a study called OpACIN-neo that looked at the effect of providing a combination of the drugs ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) before surgery, called neoadjuvant therapy. [10:58] Next, he discusses the follow-up data from 2 studies that looked at the effects of giving treatment after surgery, called adjuvant therapy. The first is the study KEYNOTE-054, which looked at the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) [13:51], and the second is a study called COMBI-d, which looked at the combination of 2 targeted therapies, dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist). [15:07]
Next, he discusses several studies that explored whether it is better to give patients with advanced melanoma ipilimumab alone or if it is better to combine it with immunotherapy that blocks the PD-1 protein. [16:31] Finally, he discusses a study of a type of therapy that is created using a patient’s own T cells. [21:20]
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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