Wrapping Up the ASCO Annual Meeting

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It's been two weeks since my last post, but I have a good excuse for that: Last week, I was heavily immersed in the virtual oncology-information explosion that is the ASCO annual meeting.

From June 1 to June 5, I was fortunate enough to be in Chicago covering this veritable gold mine of oncology developments, replete with the latest and greatest information for our branch of medicine. The conference attendee list topped over 13,000 cancer researchers, physicians, and other oncology-associated professionals, who came from around the globe to present and learn.

Prior to the start of the conference, the editors of ChemotherapyAdvisor worked diligently to preselect abstracts that would be representative of late-phase clinical development (late-Phase 2 and Phase 3), as well as any groundbreaking preclinical, practice-focused, and regulatory information being presented at the conference. Based on these criteria, we preselected more than 60 abstracts for coverage.

As with most conferences, the first day of ASCO 2012 had the fewest oral presentations and posters. Of course, ChemotherapyAdvisor coverage of this first day was representative, based on our preselection criteria. In our coverage that first day, we reported that topotecan plus carboplatin failed to improve progression-free survival and overall survival in relapsed ovarian cancer ) and, on the CNS cancer front, we reported that nimotuzumab does not improve survival among newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients when added to standard temozolomide chemoradiotherapy.

The results of these two studies illustrate the various meanings of “treatment failure” in a clinical trial, as well as the various reasons for treatment discontinuation in a clinical trial.

June 2 brought a deluge of oncology information, the largest amount ever reported on in a single day on ChemotherapyAdvisor.com. The flood gates opened at 8 a.m. CT, with coverage of a preponderance of poster sessions with an initial focus on clinical trials in the treatment of breast cancer (e.g. everolimus or trastuzumab in HER2-positive breast cancer), followed by a series of studies on the use of axitinib in renal cell carcinoma.

Also in this Day 2 morning poster session was a poster of a trial-in-progress presented by world-renowned expert in head and neck cancer Barbara Burtness, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center. The abstract, entitled “The LUX head and neck 2: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase III study of afatinib as adjuvant therapy after chemoradiation in primarily unresected, clinically high-risk, head and neck cancer patients” was not covered as a news story because the trial is still in progress and the results of the study were not presented at the conference. However, Dr. Burtness discussed the trial in an exclusive video interview with ChemotherapyAdvisor.

We wrapped up our daily coverage with an afternoon poster session teeming with studies in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). One study, in particular, was presented by internationally renowned NSCLC expert Dr. Mark Socinski of University of Pittsburgh. The abstract, entitled “Weekly nab-paclitaxel in combination with carboplatin as first-line therapy in elderly patients (pts) with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)”, was part of our news coverage of ASCO 2012 and Dr. Socinski provided an in-depth analysis of the trial, as well as related studies in NSCLC, in an exclusive video interview.

On our third day of coverage, we sampled nearly every cancer type, from prostate and ovarian cancers to head and neck cancer and everything in between. Presentations comprised studies of novel therapies, open-label use of existing therapies, antibody-based therapies, traditional chemotherapy, and more. For prostate cancer, there has been a surge in the development of new therapies in the last decade, especially in the area of androgen deprivation therapy. This form of prostate cancer therapy was highlighted in a presentation entitled “Intermittent (IAD) versus continuous androgen deprivation (CAD) in hormone sensitive metastatic prostate cancer (HSM1PC) patients (pts): Results of S9346 (INT-0162), an international phase III trial,” which was presented by Dr. Maha Hussain. In addition to being part of our news coverage, the results of this trial, as well as others in prostate cancer, were discussed in an in-depth video interview with internationally renowned prostate cancer expert Dr. Neal Shore.

Coverage of the rest of the conference can be found on our Conference Coverage page. Check it out!

Also, please stay tuned to our website for more in-depth coverage of ASCO 2012 presentations, which will be coming in the next month in the form of tumor-specific articles containing analysis and perspectives from our advisory board.

Readers: We'd love to hear from you in the comments section below! If you have a case study or a more extended response to this subject, click here to submit an item for us to publish

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