New Research on Brain Tumors, Breast Cancer, & Pancreatic Cancer

Last Updated: May 11, 2018

Dr. Julie Vose discusses new cancer research highlighted at ASCO’s 2016 Annual Meeting, covering studies about using existing treatments in new ways. These studies look at anaplastic glioma, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer. 


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Cancer Research News from the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting: New Approaches with Conventional Therapies, Friday, June 3, 2016

Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO; ASCO President, 2015-2016: At the opening press briefing today there were several studies that were very interesting I'd like to talk about. The first one is a Phase III trial of patients with metastatic breast cancer, and they were randomized to trastuzumab versus a similar agent that's a biosimilar agent, MYL-1401O. Patients in that study were randomized in a one-to-one fashion. The study showed similar efficacy, similar toxicity, and immunogenicity in the study at 24 weeks. I feel this would be very important because if we can use biosimilar agents, potentially they could have a decreased cost and help our patients in a similar fashion, and yet have the same outcome. That would be very helpful to our patients as far as value of care.

The other study I'd like to talk about is a Phase III study that randomized patients with resected pancreatic cancer to receive either adjuvant gemcitabine or adjuvant gemcitabine plus capecitabine. What they found in patients that could be resected was that the patients that received the combination gemcitabine plus capecitabine had an improved potential survival at five years. Median survival was improved by about three months, but more importantly there was a higher percentage of patients that were alive at five years after that treatment.

The third study I'd like to talk about was for patients with anaplastic glioma that did not have the 1p19 deletion. In that study, patients were randomized to receive standard of care resection plus radiation therapy, plus radiaton therapy plus adjuvant temozolomide. In this study, the patients that had the additional adjuvant temozolomide had an improved overall survival following the therapy. And this, although a rare tumor, can really improve the potential survival for those patients in the study.

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