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ASCO 2015 Highlights

Chicago, IL—According to Leonard B. Saltz, MD, Chief of Gastrointestinal Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY, the cost of new cancer drugs is no longer sustainable. Dr Saltz presented “Perspectives on Value” at the Plenary Session of the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.
Chicago, IL—Lenvatinib (Lenvima) added to everolimus (Afinitor) extended overall survival (OS) significantly compared with everolimus alone in patients with metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (RCC). This phase 2 study also demonstrated improved progression-free survival (PFS) with lenvatinib alone and in combination with everolimus compared with everolimus alone.
Chicago, IL—Precision medicine in oncology is now being studied in clinical trials in oncology. These trials will pair a patient’s tumor molecular profile with drugs that address those tumor variants.
Chicago, IL—In children who are at risk for Wilms tumor, the presence of a rare genetic abnormality identifies children who can have a survival benefit from the augmentation or intensification of therapy. The abnormality—loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on chromosomes 1p and 16q (LOH 1p/16q)—is associated with worse prognosis in children with Wilms tumor.
Combination treatment with nivolumab and ipilimumab doubled progression-free survival in patients with advanced melanoma, according to CheckMate 067 investigators.
Elotzumab’s “double whammy” mechanism of action acts directly on the tumor itself and enhances the activity of natural killer cells to kill the tumor.
Chicago, IL—In patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with liver-dominant metastases who received first-line FOLFOX (leucovorin, fluorouracil [Adrucil], and oxaliplatin [Eloxatin]) with or without bevacizumab (Avastin) plus selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) compared with FOLFOX with or without bevacizumab, progression-free survival (PFS) in the liver was extended by 7.9 months, according to the results of the SIRFLOX trial, which were presented at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting.
Chicago, IL—Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) achieved “remarkable” results in a phase 1 study of previously treated patients with recurrent, squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck, according to presenters at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting.
Chicago, IL—The prevention of common skin cancers and precancers is possible by taking an inexpensive, widely available, oral pill twice daily. The pill—the vitamin B3 supplement called nicotinamide—cut the rate of new squamous-cell and basal-cell skin cancers by 23% compared with placebo after 1 year among patients at high risk for skin cancer. Nicotinamide also reduced the risk for developing actinic keratosis, a common precancer of the skin.
Chicago, IL—Immunotherapy with nivolumab (Opdivo) resulted in durable responses and promising overall survival (OS) in a dose-escalation and expansion trial of patients with advanced liver cancer. The 12-month OS rate exceeded 60% in patients in whom sorafenib (Nexavar) had failed, and responses occurred in patients with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, reported Anthony B. El-Khoueiry, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting.
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