ASCO 2019 News : Episode 1

OncLive News Network On Location: In Chicago Saturday, June 1


Today- We are on site at McCormick Place in Chicago at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting!

We’ll be recapping some of the top news presented each day during the meeting—and soon we’ll speak with Dr Bradley Monk on data being presented in ovarian cancer, and Dr Robert Ferris on the practice-changing head and neck cancer studies.

Welcome to OncLive News Network! I’m Gina Columbus.

In breast cancer, updated results of the phase III MONALEESA-7 trial demonstrated an improvement in overall survival with the CDK4/6 inhibitor ribociclib combined with endocrine therapy over placebo and endocrine therapy in pre or peri-menopausal women with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer.

The estimated OS rate was 70.2% at 42 months with ribociclib/endocrine therapy compared with 46.0% with endocrine therapy alone. This represented a 29% reduction in the risk of death with the addition of the CDK4/6 inhibitor to endocrine therapy.


Five-year follow-up from the KEYNOTE-001 trial showed that the 5-year overall survival rate of newly diagnosed patients with advanced non—small cell lung cancer who received single-agent pembrolizumab was 23.2%; previously treated patients had an OS rate of 15.5%. These data compared favorably to historical, pre-immunotherapy OS rates of approximately 5%.

The phase Ib KEYNOTE-001 trial was the first study ever to evaluate the PD-1 inhibitor in patients with advanced NSCLC, and these results represent the longest safety and efficacy data presented for patients with NSCLC treated with pembrolizumab.


Also, in gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer, frontline pembrolizumab was found to be noninferior in regard to overall survival versus standard chemotherapy among patients with PD-L1—positive, HER2-negative, advanced disease in the phase III KEYNOTE-062 trial.

There was a clinically meaningful improvement in OS with pembrolizumab among patients with tumors that had high levels of PD-L1 expression. Thirty-nine percent of patients in this subgroup were alive at 2 years versus 22% of those on standard chemotherapy.


Monotherapy with lurbinectedin as a single agent was found to have clinical activity in the second-line setting for patients with resistant and sensitive small cell lung cancer. Moreover, there was also an acceptable and manageable safety profile with the therapy, which is administered once every 3 weeks.

These data could demonstrate a new promising agent for this patient population, which is an unmet clinical need.


In prostate cancer, the addition of apalutamide to androgen deprivation therapy led to an improvement in radiographic progression-free survival and overall survival in patients with metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer in the phase III TITAN trial.

The benefit was observed in patients with high- and low-volume disease and whether or not they had received prior docetaxel treatment. The safety profile was also found to be manageable.


In the double-blind, randomized, phase III EORTC 18071 study, a 6.9-year median follow-up showed that 10 mg/kg of adjuvant ipilimumab was associated with a sustained improvement in relapse-free survival, distant metastasis-free survival, and overall survival in patients with high-risk stage III melanoma.

The CTLA-4 inhibitor has been approved by the FDA in this patient population since 2015.

For a full review of all of these studies, please visit

Here now to expand on a handful of ovarian cancer abstracts is Dr Bradley Monk, professor and director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Creighton University School of Medicine at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Arizona Oncology. Hello, Dr Monk! We are so excited to have you here today.

We have seen a lot of intriguing data in ovarian cancer over the last few years. What are you most excited to see about this year?

There's a late-breaker abstract about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on early-stage diagnosis and treatment for women with ovarian cancer. What can we expect to learn from this study?

We're also going to see results from the SOLO3 trial of single-agent olaparib compared with chemotherapy in patients with germline BRCA-mutant platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer. Can you discuss this?

Niraparib is another PARP inhibitor available in ovarian cancer. Can you discuss the study looking at this agent in combination with bevacizumab in patients with recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer?

Beyond ovarian cancer, what abstracts in other gynecologic malignancies are you excited to see results of?

Great! Thank you so much for your time today, Dr. Monk.

Next, we are here with Dr Robert L. Ferris, who is the director of the University of Pittsburgh Hillman Cancer Center, Hillman Professor of Oncology, associate vice chancellor for Cancer Research, and co-director, Tumor Microenvironment Center Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, of Immunology, and of Radiation Oncology. Welcome Dr. Ferris!

This year, we are seeing overall survival results of pembrolizumab as a single agent and in combination with chemotherapy in recurrent head and neck cancer carcinoma. What is the significance of these data?

You were involved on a study in which safety and disease control were achieved with adding nivolumab to chemoradiotherapy in patients with intermediate or high-risk local-regionally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Please discuss.

What research is being done currently with combining checkpoint inhibitors with some of the other agents we have available for this disease, such as cetuximab?

The PALATINUS trial looked at the CDK4/6 inhibitor palbociclib in combination with cetuximab. What are your thoughts on this poster?

What else can we expect to hear in this paradigm over the next year? What does the future of head and neck cancer treatment look like to you?

That’s all for today. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s OncLive News Network: On Location, where we will sit down with Dr. Shubham Pant of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center on gastrointestinal cancer studies and Dr Scott Tagawa of Weill Cornell Medical School/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital on pivotal prostate cancer abstracts.

And don’t forget! The OncLive Global Expo is taking place October 11th through 13th in Orlando, Florida. Join us for a fully interactive meeting that brings together the most inclusive group of oncology professionals to collaborate on emerging trends and technologies in oncology care and research.

Thank you for watching OncLive News Network! I’m Gina Columbus.

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