ASCO Annual Meeting

Immunotherapies Take Center Stage in Melanoma

Audrey Andrews

June 2013, Vol 4, No 5 - ASCO Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL—Data continue to build for the application of immunotherapy for patients with metastatic melanoma. At the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), several sessions were devoted to recent advances in melanoma, focusing on new ways to boost the activity of current therapies, introducing a new class of immunotherapy in development, and a new form of immunotherapy—an oncolytic vaccine.

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FDA Expected to Approve Surrogate End Point for Neoadjuvant Breast Cancer Trials

Caroline Helwick

June 2013, Vol 4, No 5 - ASCO Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL—For years, the cancer research community has pushed for the use of surrogate end points in clinical trials as a means of hastening the drug approval process. These efforts will soon bear fruit, with the anticipated release by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of its final guidance to drug manufacturers for accelerated drug approval for neoadjuvant breast cancer therapies. At the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, the speakers discussed the potential implications for researchers, providers, and patients.

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Pazopanib: First Positive Maintenance Trial in Ovarian Cancer

Phoebe Starr

June 2013, Vol 4, No 5 - ASCO Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL—Previous trials of maintenance therapy for patients with ovarian cancer have failed to show improved survival. A study presented at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting is the first successful phase 3 trial in this setting, showing that the targeted therapy pazopanib (Votrient) extended progression-free survival (PFS) by a median of 5.6 months in women with ovarian cancer. Women enrolled in the trial were free of disease after initial treatment with surgery and chemotherapy.

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Variations in Cancer Treatment Raise Average Cost of Care by $25,000 per Patient

Wayne Kuznar

June 2013, Vol 4, No 5 - ASCO Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL—Inappropriate deviation from evidence-based standards of care for cancer raises costs in excess of $25,000 per patient, stated Arlene A. Forastiere, MD, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at eviti, Inc, Philadelphia, PA, in a poster presented at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

In Dr Forastiere’s review of oncology treatment plans for 2544 patients, approximately 25% of the patients had treatment plans that did not conform to evidence-based standards.

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Chemotherapy-Related Toxicity Adds to Economic Burden in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Caroline Helwick

July 2012, Vol 3, No 5 - ASCO Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL—Adverse events (AEs) related to chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer create a substantial economic burden that is primarily explained by increased inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy costs, said lead investigator Sara A. Hurvitz, MD, Director of the Oncology Breast Can cer Program at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA School of Medicine, who presented an economic analysis at the 2012 Ameri can Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.

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Tivozanib Outperforms Sorafenib as First-Line Treatment in Advanced Renal-Cell Carcinoma

Wayne Kuznar

July 2012, Vol 3, No 5 - ASCO Annual Meeting

Tivozanib, a potent investigational tyrosine kinase inhibitor with a long half-life, demonstrated significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) as first-line targeted therapy for metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (RCC), according to results from a phase 3 randomized, open-label trial.

The results suggest that “tivozanib should be considered a first-line treatment option for metastatic RCC,” said Robert Motzer, MD, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and the trial’s lead investigator.

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Endocrine Therapy Substantially Underutilized Among Low-Income Patients with Breast Cancer

Caroline Helwick

July 2012, Vol 3, No 5 - ASCO Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL—Researchers from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill reported at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting that endocrine therapy is substantially underutilized among the low-income breast cancer population.

For women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive or progesterone receptor (PR)-positive disease, endocrine therapy reduces the 5-year recurrence risk by as much as 40%, but this study showed that low income may be an obstacle to receiving this guideline-recommended treatment.

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Cancer Screening Saves Lives, Is Cost-Effective

Wayne Kuznar

July 2012, Vol 3, No 5 - ASCO Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL—Improved cancer screening can save lives, and despite the high cost of implementing such a measure, it was found cost-effective and therefore valuable in a recent analysis using quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), said Michael S. Broder, MD, President of Partnership for Health Analytic Research, LLC (PHAR), CA, and colleagues, at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.

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