Research presented at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting covered a wide range of cancer types, from prevention through treatment, symptom management, and survivorship. The scientific discoveries from the meeting’s 5,000+ abstracts will have a long-lasting impact on cancer care, but with so much information coming out at once, sifting through it can be hard.
To help, we asked Cancer.Net’s Associate Editors, “What was the most exciting or practice-changing news you heard at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting?” Listen to the podcast below or read on to see the highlights in 4 specific areas of cancer research: brain/central nervous system tumors, childhood cancers, head and neck cancers, and prostate cancer.
This is a prerecorded audio podcast. It can be listened to online or downloaded to your computer. A transcript of this podcast is also available. For more information, visit the Cancer.Net podcast page.
Precision medicine for central nervous system tumors [1:08]
Dr. Susan Marina Chang, Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Central Nervous System Tumors, discusses new classifications for childhood brain tumors and how these classifications can affect diagnosis and treatment. She also discusses new types of treatments for adults for brain tumors and cancer that has spread to the brain.
“In addition to being able to better predict the natural history of these tumors in a much more uniform manner, the molecular and genomic makeup can also inform us on avenues for developing new treatments. More importantly, the hope of identifying groups of patients who may benefit from a targeted approach to care brings us closer to the ideal of precision medicine, that is, the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.”
Childhood cancer treatment and survivorship [7:45]
Dr. Melissa M. Hudson, Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Childhood Cancer, discusses new research in targeted therapy and immunotherapy across a range of cancers that occur in children, including brain tumors and leukemia. She also explains promising research in childhood cancer survivorship.
“Just how impactful late effects research has been was reported in another childhood cancer survivor study that asked over 20,000 survivors treated for childhood cancer from 1970 to 1999 about their current health problems. They reported that the rate of severe, disabling, and life-threatening chronic health problems declined steadily from 1970 to 1990, with less than 10% of survivors treated during the 1990s reporting that they had serious late effects like a second cancer…These results remind us that important progress can be made from research collaborations between clinicians, scientists, childhood cancer patients, and their families.”
Head and neck cancer prevention and treatment [14:00]
Dr. Ezra E.W. Cohen, Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Head and Neck Cancer, discusses a new study that looked at whether vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) helped lower the rate of high-risk oral HPV infections. HPV is a significant risk factor in several types of cancer. He also discussed a study on using chemotherapy after radiation therapy and new research on immunotherapy for head and neck cancer.
“The ASCO meeting was another great success in terms of moving the field forward, this time with respect to trying to prevent the disease with an HPV vaccine, trying to better treat patients who have locally advanced disease, and then ultimately trying to develop new therapies to treat patients.”
Hormone therapy for prostate cancer [20:40]
Dr. Brian I. Rini, Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Genitourinary Cancers, discusses 2 related studies that showed that adding abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) to standard hormone therapy helped men with advanced prostate cancer live longer.
“It's an exciting time for prostate cancer. Hormone therapy has been around for many decades, and that initial approach hadn't changed in many decades, but now in a span of 5 years, we have 2 plenary discussions and 4 or 5 very large studies that have very much changed the standard of care and improved both disease control and survival.”