In the annual Research Round Up series, members of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) answer the question, “What was the most exciting or practice-changing research in your field presented at the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting?” In this episode, 3 Cancer.Net Associate Editors discuss new research from the meeting presented in head and neck cancer, brain tumors, and health equity.
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New research in locally advanced head and neck cancer
Dr. Cristina Rodriguez, the 2022 Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Head and Neck Cancers, discusses 2 studies in treating locally advanced head and neck cancer. First, she discusses a phase 3 clinical trial that was studying whether the chemotherapy docetaxel (Taxotere) in combination with radiation therapy could be a good alternative to the chemotherapy cisplatin (multiple brand names) with radiation therapy for people with locally advanced head and neck cancer who could not receive cisplatin. [2:58] Next, Dr. Rodriguez discusses the phase 3 ConCERT clinical trial that was evaluating whether giving cisplatin to people with locally advanced head and neck cancer once a week in a lower dose was as effective in treating the cancer as giving cisplatin every 3 weeks in a larger dose. [4:24]
Advances in treating brain tumors
Dr. Glenn Lesser, the 2022 Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Central Nervous System Tumors, discusses 3 studies about the treatment of brain tumors. First, he discusses a phase 2/3 clinical trial that was studying whether a combination of the targeted therapy drugs dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) helped shrink tumors in children with low-grade glioma with a BRAF V600 mutation more effectively than the current standard-of-care chemotherapy. [8:25] Next, Dr. Lesser discusses results from a phase 2/3 clinical trial called ALLIANCE A071102 that was evaluating whether adding the targeted therapy drug veliparib to chemotherapy could help people with newly diagnosed glioblastoma with MGMT promoter methylation live longer following chemoradiation. [13:10] Finally, he discusses a study that was investigating whether giving direct oral anticoagulants to people with glioblastoma who have blood clots reduced the incidence of bleeding into the brain or brain tumor. [16:07]
Studies in improving health equity
Dr. Manali Patel, the 2022 Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Health Equity, describes several studies focused on reducing disparities in cancer care. First, she discusses a study looking at how the Affordable Care Act led to differences in cancer death rates by race and ethnicity after it was enacted in California. [21:17] Next, Dr. Patel discusses a study evaluating the effects of assigning community health advocates to low-income or minority people with cancer to help support better communication and engagement with their care teams. [22:21] Then, she describes a study that assessed whether offering patients a biopsy on the same day they received an abnormal result from a screening mammogram reduced the overall time to getting a biopsy. [23:40] Finally, Dr. Patel talks about a study in which a community clinic partnered with a larger academic cancer center to see if sharing electronic health records and other resources improved access to stem cell transplantation for low-income people with blood cancers being treated at the community clinic. [25:20]
Disclosure information for Dr. Rodriguez, Dr. Lesser, and Dr. Patel can be found in their individual biographies linked to in the paragraphs above.
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