ASCO Highlights Put Variety in Spotlight

New data on emerging immunotherapies and fresh findings about established agents are likely to dominate clinical and marketplace news from this year's Annual Meeting of the ASCO, according to industry analysts.

New data on emerging immunotherapies and fresh findings about established agents are likely to dominate clinical and marketplace news from this year’s Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), according to industry analysts.

Approximately 30,000 oncology specialists are expected to attend the 49th annual conference, which opened Friday and runs through Tuesday at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.

Kantar Health, which conducts market research and product development for the pharmaceutical industry, has identified approximately 12 abstracts with practice-changing potential that, based on preliminary data, are expected to emerge from the more than 4500 abstracts presented at the meeting. Those abstracts are discussed in the “OBR Conference Preview,” available at the OBR oncology information site ( The abstracts are:

  • Sequencing everolimus (Afinitor) and sunitinib (Sutent) in metastatic renal cell carcinoma; phase II RECORD-3 trial results. Abstract 4504.
  • Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC), an immunotherapyagent, versus granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in unresected late-stage melanoma; phase III OPTiM trial results. Abstract LBA9008.
  • FOLFIRI plus cetuximab (Erbitux) versus FOLFIRI plus bevacizumab (Avastin) as first-line treatment in KRAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC); FIRE-3 trial results. Abstract LBA3506.
  • Bevacizumab in newly diagnosed glioblastoma; progression-free survival and quality-of-life results from the phase III AVAglio trial. Kantar analysts noted that results of the RTOG 0825 study in a similar patient population also are likely to be noteworthy. Abstracts 2005 and 1.
  • Lapatinib (Tykerb) in resectable HER2-positive breast cancer; results of the phase III CALGB 40601 study comparing neoadjuvant paclitaxel plus trastuzumab (Herceptin) with and without lapatinib. Abstracts 500 and 501.
  • Everolimus plus trastuzumab and vinorelbine in trastuzumab-resistant, advanced breast cancer; results of the phase III BOLERO-3 trial. Abstract 505.
  • Bevacizumab plus standard chemotherapy in recurrent, metastatic cervical cancer; results of the GOG240 study. Abstract 3.
  • Sorafenib (Nexavar) in radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer; results of the phase III DECISION trial. Abstract 4.
  • Tamoxifen as adjuvant therapy for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer; results of the aTTom study comparing 10 years versus 5 years of tamoxifen. Abstract 5.
  • Obinutuzumab (GA101) plus chlorambucil in chronic lymphocytic leukemia; stage I results from the CLL11 trial. Abstract 7004.

For the pharmaceutical industry, ASCO marks an important occasion to showcase its research to clinicians and investors alike. Many companies have announced research they intend to spotlight, including:

  • Genentech highlights include the bevacizumab and obinutuzumab abstracts that Kantar Health noted, as well as research into the anti-PDL1 antibody MPDL3280A that was featured in a pre-ASCO presscast (abstract 3000). Early-phase research into emerging antibody-drug conjugates and cell communications also will be offered.
  • Bayer HealthCare will present the sorafenib data that Kantar cited, as well as several studies involving new data on regorafenib (Stivarga) in metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors from the phase III GRID trial (abstract 10551) and in mCRCfrom the CORRECT study (abstracts 3636, 3637).
  • Amgen research emphasis will be on the T-VEC data that Kantar noted, as well as on analyses of the phase III PRIME trial results of panitumumab (Vectibix) in mCRC, including overall survival data (abstract 3620).
  • AstraZeneca will highlight research on olaparib in patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer with BRCA gene mutations (abstract5505) and findings concerning selumetinib in two different melanoma settings (abstracts CRA9003, 9004).
  • Novartis will offer research details about established therapies including everolimus, as Kantar noted, and into emerging compounds, particularly LDK378 in ALK-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (abstract 8010).
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb will emphasize its advancements in immunotherapies, with numerous presentations on ipilimumab (Yervoy), including five-year survival results in metastatic melanoma (abstract 9053), and new findings about nivolumab as monotherapy and in combination with ipilimumab (abstracts 9006, 9012).
  • Janssen Research & Developmentwill showcase additional research on abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) from the COU-AA-301/302 studies in metastatic castration-resistance prostate cancer (abstracts 5014, 5004), and clinical trial updates of studies of ibrutinib in several hematologic malignancies.
  • Eli Lilly and Company will present early-stage research of LY2835219, a CDK4/6 inhibitor in advanced cancers (abstract 2500); LY2157299, a transforming growth factor-beta receptor inhibitor in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (abstract 4118); and LY2875358, a MET antibody in advanced cancers (abstract 8093).

ASCO has posted most of the abstracts on its website at Late-breaking research will be added to the online library after presentation.


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