Meeting News Coverage

Eight important updates from the AACR Annual Meeting

The American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, held April 16-20 in New Orleans, featured the theme “Delivering Cures Through Cancer Science.”

The program included more than 6,000 research papers that highlighted clinical advances related to every aspect of cancer.

HemOnc Today provides an overview of six major developments from the meeting that may be relevant to your practice.

  • Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading the national cancer moonshot initiative, spoke to meeting attendees on April 20. A redesign of the cancer research enterprise is necessary to help accelerate advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, Biden said. Read more
  • Neoadjuvant treatment with ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla, Genentech) and pertuzumab (Perjeta, Genentech) appeared more beneficial than standard of care — paclitaxel plus trastuzumab (Herceptin, Genentech) — for women with HER-2–positive invasive breast cancer, according to results of the I-SPY 2 trial. Read more
  • A genomic test called MammaPrint (Agendia) can help predict which patients with early-stage breast cancer will derive the most benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy, according to the initial results of the randomized phase 3 MINDACT trial. Read more
  • First-line systemic therapy with the anti–PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) induced a high response rate in patients with advanced Merkel cell carcinoma. Researchers reported a median PFS of 9 months, compared with a historical median PFS of 3 months for chemotherapy-treated patients. Read more
  • The addition of nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb) to ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol-Myers Squibb) conferred a statistically significant PFS benefit among treatment-naive patients with BRAF wild-type melanoma, according to updated results of the CheckMate 069 study. Researchers also reported a higher 2-year OS rate among BRAF wild-type patients assigned the combination. Read more
  • More than one-third of patients with heavily pretreated melanoma who received subsequent nivolumab therapy remained alive at 5 years. That is twice the historical 5-year survival rate for patients with metastatic melanoma. Read more
  • Filip Janku, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discussed how liquid biopsies can help detect underlying genomic alterations, monitor patients’ response to therapies and enhance understanding of therapy resistance. However, they likely will remain complimentary to tissue biopsies. Watch video
  • Treatment with nivolumab improved OS in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck refractory to platinum-based therapy. The agent demonstrated efficacy regardless of patients’ PD-L1 or HPV status. Read more

The American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, held April 16-20 in New Orleans, featured the theme “Delivering Cures Through Cancer Science.”

The program included more than 6,000 research papers that highlighted clinical advances related to every aspect of cancer.

HemOnc Today provides an overview of six major developments from the meeting that may be relevant to your practice.

  • Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading the national cancer moonshot initiative, spoke to meeting attendees on April 20. A redesign of the cancer research enterprise is necessary to help accelerate advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, Biden said. Read more
  • Neoadjuvant treatment with ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla, Genentech) and pertuzumab (Perjeta, Genentech) appeared more beneficial than standard of care — paclitaxel plus trastuzumab (Herceptin, Genentech) — for women with HER-2–positive invasive breast cancer, according to results of the I-SPY 2 trial. Read more
  • A genomic test called MammaPrint (Agendia) can help predict which patients with early-stage breast cancer will derive the most benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy, according to the initial results of the randomized phase 3 MINDACT trial. Read more
  • First-line systemic therapy with the anti–PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) induced a high response rate in patients with advanced Merkel cell carcinoma. Researchers reported a median PFS of 9 months, compared with a historical median PFS of 3 months for chemotherapy-treated patients. Read more
  • The addition of nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb) to ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol-Myers Squibb) conferred a statistically significant PFS benefit among treatment-naive patients with BRAF wild-type melanoma, according to updated results of the CheckMate 069 study. Researchers also reported a higher 2-year OS rate among BRAF wild-type patients assigned the combination. Read more
  • More than one-third of patients with heavily pretreated melanoma who received subsequent nivolumab therapy remained alive at 5 years. That is twice the historical 5-year survival rate for patients with metastatic melanoma. Read more
  • Filip Janku, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discussed how liquid biopsies can help detect underlying genomic alterations, monitor patients’ response to therapies and enhance understanding of therapy resistance. However, they likely will remain complimentary to tissue biopsies. Watch video
  • Treatment with nivolumab improved OS in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck refractory to platinum-based therapy. The agent demonstrated efficacy regardless of patients’ PD-L1 or HPV status. Read more

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