ASCO President Recaps Top Stories From Meeting

Dr. Michael P. Link, ASCO President, from Stanford University School of Medicine, on the top stories from the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting.

ASCO President Michael P. Link, MD, professor of pediatric hematology/oncology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and director of the Bass Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at the Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, discusses the top stories from the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting.

Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) was shown to extend progression-free survival (PFS) in women with HER2-positive metastatic or locally advanced breast cancer by 3.2 months. Link says the development of any agent for women with refractory breast cancer is good news, but he says this development is important because it is another class of agents that joins antibodies with cytotoxic treatments. This allows for the opportunity of a targeted therapy that will minimize the collateral damage to other cells.

The agents olanzapine and duloxetine were found to be beneficial in the management of treatment-related side effects that can diminish the quality of life for patients. Olanzapine is useful in the management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), while duloxetine reduced pain caused by chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) in 59% of patients in a clinical study.

In a phase I study, the use of the oral agent crizotinib to target the anapestic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene was shown to slow or eliminate signs of of tumor growth in pediatric patients with aggressive forms of neuroblastoma, anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), and inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs). Link says this research is exciting because it allows oncologists to learn how the targets that new agents are being developed for are operative in different tumor types that are not necessarily related.

Link concludes by saying that drugs are developed for one indication and are found to be beneficial for multiple uses. He says this gives hope that such developments will be the new paradigm for the future.


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