Trials examine impact of TP53 alterations in head and neck cancer
Nabil F. Saba, MD, professor in the department of hematology and medical oncology at Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University, discusses the “interesting” results from several clinical trials presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting that looked at the role of TP53 alterations in head and neck cancer. Both trials involved researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center and included different types of treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation and targeted therapy. The results may have implications for risk-stratifying patients and predicting outcomes in head and neck cancer, according to Saba.
Genomics may ‘change the landscape’ for treatment of many cancers
Petros Grivas, MD, PhD, clinical director of the genitourinary cancers program and associate professor in the department of medicine (division of oncology) at the University of Washington, discusses “a wealth of new data” from ASCO 2019 that highlights the role of genomic medicine in various tumor types, including urothelial cancer. Genomic sequencing and next-generation sequencing have ”transformed the way we think about disease biology and helped identify targets for treatment, as well as prognostic and predictive biomarkers,” according to Grivas.
Different races, ethnicities demonstrate comparable rates of germline mutations in breast cancer
Siddhartha Yadav, MD, FACP, hematology/oncology fellow and assistant professor at Mayo Clinic, discusses the study he and colleagues presented at ASCO 2019 on the racial and ethnic differences in germline genetic testing among patients with breast cancer, which demonstrated a “fairly similar” prevalence of germline mutations across different races or ethnicities. The study “confirms the utility of multigene panel testing in identifying a majority of germline mutations across different races and ethnicities,” according to Yadav.
Questions remain about deintensifying therapy in head and neck cancer
Nabil F. Saba, MD, professor in the department of hematology and medical oncology at Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University, discusses a study that examined the frequency of the PI3 kinase mutation in patients with HPV-related head and neck cancer whose therapy was deintensified. The results raise several concerns, according to Saba, including whether or not deintensification is appropriate for all patients in this setting. The ECOG ACRIN 3161 will help to answer “a lot of these questions,” Saba continued.
Genomic alterations predict response to immunotherapy, other agents
Arielle L. Heeke, MD, a breast medical oncologist at Levine Cancer Institute at Atrium Health, reviews a study she and colleagues conducted that examined whether homologous recombination-deficient breast tumors have genomic alterations that indicate responsiveness to targeted therapies beyond PARP inhibitors. In particular, the researchers found mutations in chromosome remodeling genes, which represent “a newer marker of response to immunotherapy,” according to Heeke, who added that markers of response to immunotherapy represented “the most exciting finding” of the study.
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