Catch Up with Highlights from ASCO


Top news of the week from the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Top news of the week from the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Multiple Myeloma

Elotuzumab Combo Delays Myeloma Progression

Adding elotuzumab to lenalidomide and dexamethasone reduced the risk of disease progression by 30% in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, according to interim results from the phase III ELOQUENT-2 trial. At a median follow-up of 2 years, PFS with the elotuzumab regimen was 19.4 months (95% CI, 16.6-22.2) versus 14.9 months (95% CI, 12.1-17.2) with lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone (HR = 0.70; P = .0004). These data will likely be submitted to the FDA. Here's more

Daratumumab Improves OS, ORR in Myeloma

The anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody daratumumab demonstrated a 65% one-year overall survival rate and a 29.2% objective response rate in patients with double refractory heavily pretreated multiple myeloma, according to findings from the ongoing phase II MMY2002 study. After a median follow-up of 9.4 months, the median OS had not been reached. At this analysis, 45.2% of patients remained on therapy. Here's more

Carfilzomib Bests Bortezomib

Progression-free survival was doubled in relapsed myeloma among patients treated with carfilzomib, rather than bortezomib, in combination with dexamethasone, a randomized trial showed. The carfilzomib-based regimen, administered at a higher dose than currently approved, led to a median PFS of 18.7 months versus 9.4 months with the bortezomib-dexamethasone combination. Here's more

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Ibrutinib Plus Bendamustine and Rituximab Improves PFS

Adding ibrutinib to standard bendamustine and rituximab (BR) reduced the risk of disease progression by 80% compared with BR plus placebo in patients with pretreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma, according to results from the phase III HELIOS study. At a median follow-up of 17.2 months, PFS with ibrutinib was not yet reached, as compared with 13.3 months for patients receiving BR alone (HR = 0.203; P <.0001). The PFS benefit held up across subgroups of high-risk patients. Here's more

Obinutuzumab Plus Bendamustine Effective in iNHL

Patients with relapsed indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma experienced a doubling of progression-free survival when treated with a combination of the anti-CD20 agent obinutuzumab and bendamustine compared with bendamustine alone, according to findings of the phase III GADOLIN study. After a median follow-up of nearly 20 months, the median PFS was 14.9 months for patients in the bendamustine-only cohort, whereas for patients in the obinutuzumab combination arm the median PFS had not yet been reached (HR = 0.55; P < .0001). Here's more


Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab Doubles PFS Versus Ipilimumab

Frontline nivolumab as monotherapy and in combination with ipilimumab more than doubled progression-free survival versus ipilimumab alone in patients with advanced melanoma, according to results from the phase III CheckMate-067 trial. The greatest benefit was seen with the combination regimen, which reduced the risk of progression by 58% and 26% (nonsignificant) compared with single-agent ipilimumab and nivolumab, respectively. Here's more

Complete Node Dissection Not Needed in Some Patients

Patients with melanoma who are found to have micrometastases after an initial positive sentinel node biopsy can safely forgo a complete lymph node dissection (CLND), thus avoiding the risk of debilitating adverse events from the surgery. The study found no differences in several key survival outcomes among 483 patients with stage III melanoma and a positive sentinel lymph node biopsy who were randomized to observation only versus CLND. Here's more

Prostate Cancer

Docetaxel Plus ADT Improves OS by 10 Months Over ADT Alone

The addition of docetaxel to standard hormonal therapy significantly improved survival among men with newly diagnosed, hormone-naïve advanced prostate cancer, according to the large STAMPEDE trial. OS was approximately 77 months and 67 months for those receiving docetaxel with androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) and ADT alone, respectively (HR = 0.76; P = .003). Further, adding zoledronic acid to ADT with or without docetaxel did not have an effect on survival. Here's more

Adjuvant ADT, RT, and Chemo Improves Survival in Prostate Cancer

Treatment with an adjuvant combination of docetaxel, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), and radiation therapy (RT) improved 4-year overall survival rates in patients with high-risk localized prostate cancer, when compared with ADT plus RT alone. Results from the phase III trial represent the first to show a benefit for adjuvant therapy in prostate cancer. In the study, the 4-year OS rates were 89% for men who received ADT and RT versus 93% for men treated with ADT, RT, and docetaxel (HR = 0.70; 90% CI, 0.51-0.98; P = .04). Here's more

Lung Cancer

Nivolumab Improves OS Versus Docetaxel in NSCLC

Nivolumab demonstrated an overall survival benefit versus docetaxel in both nonsquamous and squamous non—small cell lung cancer, according to results from two phase III trials presented at the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting. In the phase III CheckMate-017 trial, there was a 41% OS improvement with nivolumab versus docetaxel in the squamous setting, and in the phase III CheckMate-057 trial, the OS benefit with nivolumab was 27% in patients with nonsquamous NSCLC. Both studies enrolled patients who had progressed following platinum-based doublet chemotherapy. Here's more

Atezolizumab Doubles OS in NSCLC

Treatment with atezolizumab doubled overall survival compared with docetaxel in previously treated patients with PD-L1-positive squamous and non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, according to results from the phase II POPLAR study. In patients with the highest level of PD-L1 expression, the median OS with atezolizumab was not yet reached compared with 11.1 months for docetaxel (HR = 0.46). Here's more

Early-Stage Immuno-Oncology

Potential Genetic Biomarker Identified for PD-1 Inhibition

Treatment with the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab demonstrated high response rates in patients with heavily pretreated colorectal cancer who harbored genetic defects in mismatch repair. Reach more

Pembrolizumab Active in Head and Neck Cancer

The anti-PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab produced broad and durable responses in patients with advanced head and neck cancer. Overall, pembrolizumab produced an overall response rate of 25%, and it proved active in both HPV-positive and HPV-negative patients. Read more

Study Opens Door for Nivolumab in HCC

Nivolumab generated antitumor responses in nearly 20% of patients with advanced HCC in a small study that suggests a promising role for the immunotherapy agent in a malignancy with dismal outcomes. Read more

Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Eribulin Improves OS in Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Treatment with eribulin improved overall survival by 2 months compared with dacarbazine in patients with advanced leiomyosarcoma and adipocytic sarcoma, marking the first time a phase III study has shown a survival advantage for patients with soft tissue sarcoma. The median OS was 13.5 months with eribulin compared with 11.5 months with dacarbazine (HR = 0.768; P = .0169). Median PFS was 2.6 months in both arms of the study (HR = 0.877; P = .229). Here's more

Trabectedin Improves PFS in Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Trabectedin reduced the risk of disease progression by 45% versus dacarbazine in patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma, according to results from the phase III ET743-SAR-3007 trial. The median PFS was 4.2 months with trabectedin versus 1.5 months with dacarbazine (HR = 0.55; P <.0001). Here's more

Breast Cancer

Second-Line Palbociclib Effective With Fulvestrant in MBC

Adding palbociclib to standard fulvestrant more than doubled progression-free survival in pretreated patients with HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, in the phase III PALOMA-3 trial. Median PFS was 9.2 months with the palbociclib combination versus 3.8 months in the placebo arm (HR = 0.422; P <.000001). OS data are not yet mature. Here's more

Tamoxifen Versus Anastrozole in DCIS

The first study to compare the efficacy and safety of tamoxifen versus anastrozole in women treated for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) suggests that anastrozole may be the better choice for preventing the escalation of DCIS into invasive cancer. Ten-year breast cancer—free survival was estimated to be 93.5% with anastrozole versus 89.2% with tamoxifen; however, a subgroup analysis showed that anastrozole was not superior to tamoxifen in women older than 60 years. Here's more

New Research Initiatives

CancerLinQ Demonstrated at ASCO

The CancerLinQ big data system for helping oncologists more clearly understand treatment patterns and options was offered for demonstration in advance of its rollout. CancerLinQ has four chief capabilities: continual performance tracking for comparison with clinical quality measures; trend evaluation based on anonymous patient data; patient cohort identification based on shared characteristics; and individual patient timeline construction based on treatments, side effects, and outcomes. Here's more

TAPUR Study Launches

ASCO has revealed its first clinical trial, known as TAPUR, which will provide patients with limited options an opportunity to receive a potentially beneficial targeted therapy that matches their distinct genetic make-up and is FDA-approved for another type of cancer. The study hopes to simplify patient access to targeted therapies across many tumor types, including advanced solid tumor, multiple myeloma, or non-Hodgkin lymphoma that has a genomic variation known to be a drug target. Here's more

NCI Precision Medicine Trial Ready for Launch

A landmark clinical trial that will channel patients into treatment arms based on molecular abnormalities rather than cancer types aims to test the efficacy of more than 20 drugs simultaneously in an ambitious NCI plan to further propel oncology drug discovery into the precision medicine era. Starting in July, the NCI-MATCH trial will seek to recruit 1000 adults 18 years of age or older with progressive advanced solid tumors and lymphomas that are either refractory to standard therapy or for which there is no standard therapy. Here's more

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