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Expert Discusses Recent Endometrial Cancer Research

Angelica Welch
Published: Friday, Jun 23, 2017

Rebecca C. Arend, MD

Rebecca C. Arend, MD

Several abstracts presented at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting shared the latest significant data in endometrial cancer research.

during the meeting, Rebecca C. Arend, MD, assistant professor, UAB School of Medicine, UAB Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, discussed highlights from the ASCO meeting and other key developments in endometrial cancer.

OncLive: What endometrial cancer abstracts drew your attention at this year’s ASCO annual meeting?

Arend: There is an abstract out of my lab, which is basically about molecular profiling of high/intermediate risk endometrial cancer patients who all underwent observation after surgery and looking at those who recurred and did not recur. So, trying to find a molecular signature to tell us who should receive adjuvant treatment in that cohort of patients, which we still don’t really know about.

Then GOG-258 was presented, which had chemotherapy alone, so that had chemotherapy versus chemotherapy plus radiation. And I felt like that took it to another level by saying that you for sure need chemotherapy in stage 3 endometrial cancer patients, but you probably don't also need radiation.

What is the current landscape looking like for patients with endometrial cancer who are MSI-H?

We just saw an approval for all solid MSI-H tumors. So, that is also very exciting because we’ve started about, a year and a half ago, doing a personalized medicine initiative within my division, so we do panel sequencing on recurrent tumors. When we started, it was almost exploratory. Obviously, a lot time, there isn't a targetable mutation, or if there is there is not a drug available or it is too expensive, etc. But now, we know if you have a BRCA somatic mutation then you are available for rucaparib, as well as MSI testing. So now, if you are MSI-H you have a drug available, which is immunotherapy. This is exciting because it is personalized medicine that is not grasping at straws, even though the number of patients that it is going to help is still pretty small.
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