News tlong05 | 3 years ago

ASCO 2014 Day 3 Coverage

From May 30 to June 3, more than 30,000 oncologists from across the globe will convene in Chicago, IL for the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) 50th annual meeting. Carolinas HealthCare System will highlight the biggest news stories from each day, along with expert commentary from physicians at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Cancer Institute attending the conference.

Immunotherapy Continues to Show Promise

Immunotherapy has been taking center stage at ASCO, with a wave of encouraging data being presented that signifies advances in treating patients with melanoma, lung, kidney and head and neck cancers. The latest research demonstrates that patients with melanoma who received a combination of two immunotherapy drugs lived an average of more than three years. In another study, about 70 percent of advanced melanoma patients receiving another immunotherapy drug, were still alive after one year of treatment. Until recently, most patients with advanced melanoma could be expected to live for less than a year. "The melanoma stuff is a game-changer," said Derek Raghavan, president of the Levine Cancer Institute. "But as drug companies and researchers seek to build the case beyond initial successes to other tumors, doctors and payers will ask, "Is it a breakthrough and if it is, how big a breakthrough?" he said. "If it's not a big enough breakthrough, is it worth the money?" Read More

New Approach to Treating Prostate Cancer Could Boost Survival

Giving men with advanced prostate cancer chemotherapy early on in their treatment could extend survival, new findings suggest. The results could be "game-changing," for this group of patients, who usually stay away from using chemotherapy, out of fear of the drug’s side effects. Data shows that adding the chemotherapy drug, docetaxel, to standard hormone-depleting therapy, could help patients with metastatic prostate cancer live up to 14 months longer than those who do not get early chemotherapy. Hormone-depleting therapy is the current standard of treatment for prostate cancer, which, although initially effective, has limited success since most patients develop a resistance to the therapy. Chemotherapy is typically started only after the disease progresses. Read More

Determining the Most Effective Treatment for MM patients

Usmani-SaadSaad Usmani, MD, director of the Plasma Cell Disorders Program and Director of Clinical Research in Hematologic Malignanciies at the Institute, presented a poster on the “SWOG 1211 Study for Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma Patients.” This is the only national study endorsed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to establish a guideline for a treatment known as “optimal induction therapy" for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients. Findings from the study could be a breakthrough in identifying the most effective and appropriate treatment therapy for this group of patients. Read More