2013 ASCO Annual Meeting


Study Questions Routine Use of Imaging after Treatment for Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma 

Most relapses following treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma are detected by abnormalities on physical exam, lab tests, and symptoms—not by routine imaging, according to a study presented at th...

hematologic malignancies

Potent Activity Shown for First-in-class PI3K-delta Inhibitor in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia 

Heavily pretreated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) responded robustly to the first-in-class small-molecule inhibitor idelalisib (formerly GS1101), in a phase I dose-finding study repo...

Solid Tumors

Impressive Results Shown for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Anti-PD1 and Anti-PD-L1 Antibodies 

Antibody-mediated blockade of the programmed death 1 protein (PD-1) and its ligand (PD-L1) resulted in potent and durable tumor regression and prolonged stabilization of disease in patients with advan...

Lung Cancer

'Less Is More' with Regard to Adjuvant Radiation in Stage III Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Standard-dose conformal radiotherapy (60 Gy) is more effective and safer than high-dose radiotherapy (74 Gy) in patients with locally advanced stage III non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) undergoing c...

gynecologic cancers

Pazopanib Maintenance Therapy Extends Progression‑free Survival in Patients with Ovarian Cancer 

Maintenance therapy with the targeted therapy pazopanib (Votrient) extended progression-free survival in women with ovarian cancer who were disease-free following initial treatment with surgery and ch...

breast cancer

Axillary Radiotherapy: New Standard of Care in Node-positive Breast Cancer? 

Radiotherapy to the axilla may replace axillary lymph node dissection for local tumor control in selected patients with sentinel node–positive breast cancer, sparing many patients lymphedema, accordin...

Breast Cancer

Study Confirms 10 Years of Adjuvant Tamoxifen Is Superior to 5 Years 

The landmark aTTom study showed that 10 years of adjuvant tamoxifen is superior to 5 years of tamoxifen in reducing the risk of breast cancer recurrence or death but that the full survival benefits of...

skin cancer

MEK Inhibitor Improves Outcomes in Metastatic Uveal Melanoma 

For the first time, a drug has proven effective in the treatment of uveal (ocular) melanoma that has metastasized, according to a randomized multicenter phase II study presented at the 2013 ASCO Annua...

Thyroid Cancer

Sorafenib Halts Disease Progression in Metastatic Differentiated Thyroid Cancer  

For the first time in decades, a drug has halted disease progression in treatment-resistant differentiated thyroid cancer, according to the results of a phase III study presented at the 2013 ASCO Annu...

Gynecologic Cancers
Global Cancer Care

Simple Rapid Vinegar Test Cuts Cervical Cancer Death Rates by One-third in Rural India 

In the era of personalized medicine for cancer care, it was both surprising and encouraging to hear about a simple low-tech intervention delivered by women in the community that cut the rate of death ...

Gynecologic Cancers

Practice-changing Study Shows Survival Benefit for Antiangiogenesis in Advanced Cervical Cancer 

The addition of bevacizumab (Avastin) to chemotherapy prolongs overall survival in women with metastatic cervical cancer compared with chemotherapy alone, according to the results of a randomized phas...

Skin Cancer

GM-CSF Boosts Survival Benefit of Ipilimumab in Metastatic Melanoma 

For metastatic melanoma, the activity of ipilimumab can be boosted by the addition of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF, Leukine), according to a phase II study that found the c...

skin cancer

'Spectacular' Results with Immunotherapies in Melanoma Galvanize the Oncology Community 

In the News focuses on media reports that your patients may have questions about at their next visit. This continuing column will provide summaries of articles in the popular press that may prompt suc...

Colorectal Cancer

Best First-line Treatment for Advanced Colorectal Cancer Remains Unclear 

In patients with advanced colorectal cancer, it remains unclear which biologic agent added to standard chemotherapy is best, even after a head-to-head comparison of two commonly used agents. In the ph...

prostate cancer

Two New Genetic Tests Offer Progress in Personalized Medicine for Newly Diagnosed Prostate Cancer 

At least 12 different genetic tests for prostate cancer are under development. The two tests currently available are Oncotype DX (Genomic Health, Redwood City, California) and Prolaris (Myriad Genetic...

breast cancer

Benefit for Dual HER2 Targeting in Neoadjuvant Breast Cancer Regimen Restricted to Subset of Patients 

As a neoadjuvant regimen for HER2-positive early breast cancer, the use of two HER2-directed agents was no more effective than trastuzumab (Herceptin) alone in producing pathologic complete responses,...

gynecologic cancers
skin cancer

ASCO Impact Report Indicates Strong Interest in New Treatments for Melanoma and Cervical Cancer 

New treatments for melanoma and cervical cancer were cited as the most important subjects of new clinical information presented at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meerting, according to the second annual ASCO Im...

breast cancer

Search for Biomarkers of mTOR Inhibitor Benefit in Breast Cancer Fails to Pan Out 

The search for a biomarker of benefit from mTOR inhibitors in breast cancer fell flat in an exploratory genetic analysis of the ­BOLERO-2 trial, presented at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting by Gabriel N....

issues in oncology

ASCO Will Change with the Times 

At the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting, The ASCO Post caught up with new President Clifford A. Hudis, MD, Chief of the Breast Cancer Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, for ...


Idelalisib, Obinutuzumab Show Encouraging Results in CLL Studies 

A trio of presentations at the ASCO Annual Meeting focused on two promising investigational drugs for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). These two drugs—idelalisib and obinutuzumab—j...

lung cancer

First Positive Trial of Heat Shock Protein 90 Inhibitor in Lung Cancer That Has Progressed after First-line Therapy 

The investigational heat shock protein (Hsp)90 inhibitor ganetespib plus docetaxel extended overall survival compared with docetaxel alone as second-line therapy in patients with advanced non–small ce...

lung cancer

Second-generation ALK Inhibitor Breakthrough Drug Promising in Early Study for Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer 

Encouraging results were seen in a preliminary study of a second-generation ALK inhibitor in advanced ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The drug—dubbed LDK378—achieved tumor shrinkage i...

CNS Cancers

Bevacizumab in Glioblastoma: Another Perspective 

Given the results of the AVAglio trial, we feel that a more balanced discussion about the role of bevacizumab (Avastin) in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma is in order. The accompanying arti...

cns cancers

Studies Explore Role of Bevacizumab in Combination Therapies for Glioblastoma

At the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting, studies evaluating the addition of bevacizumab (Avastin) to standard therapy in newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme patients did not meet their primary endpoints. ...

Breast Cancer
Skin Cancer
Multiple Myeloma
Supportive Care
Gastroesophageal Cancer

New Research Presented in Breast, Gastric, Esophageal Cancers, Melanoma, and Multiple Myeloma, plus Supportive Care 

Attendees at the ASCO Annual Meeting are faced with a major challenge of trying to attend as many important sessions as they can over a 4-day period. Our challenge is to feature the major news in The ...

solid tumors

Surveillance Sufficient Follow-up for Most Patients with Stage I Seminoma  

Surveillance appears to be sufficient for men with stage I seminoma treated with orchiectomy, sparing patients from side effects of adjuvant radiation or chemotherapy. In a long-term study presented a...

issues in oncology

Genomic Heterogeneity Can Lead to the Selection of 'Incorrect' Targeted Inhibitors 

Genomic heterogeneity within tumors and among lesions varies widely, and “discordance among lesions could lead to the selection of the ‘incorrect’ targeted inhibitor,” according to David B. Solit, MD,...

breast cancer

Head-to-Head Matchup Shows Adjuvant Taxane Schedules Equally Effective  

In the treatment of early breast cancer, outcomes are equivalent whether paclitaxel is delivered weekly or every 2 weeks, though the weekly schedule may be better tolerated, according to the results o...

Kidney Cancer

First-line Sunitinib Followed by Everolimus Remains Standard Sequence in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma 

With the approval of a number of different drugs for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma, a major issue is how to sequence these drugs to optimize outcome. A large, randomized phase II st...

solid tumors

Dose-dense Chemotherapy Improves Outcomes in Poor-prognosis Germ Cell Tumors 

For poor-prognosis patients with germ-cell tumors, dose intensification of chemotherapy based on slow decline of tumor markers can increase progression-free survival, according to the first randomized...

Prostate Cancer

Shorter Duration of Hormone Therapy Feasible in Localized High-risk Prostate Cancer 

Men with localized high-risk prostate cancer treated with adjuvant radiotherapy had similar overall and disease-free survival when treated with 18 months of androgen deprivation therapy vs 36 months o...

Prostate Cancer

Enzalutamide Monotherapy Highly Active in Patients with Prostate Cancer Who Have Had No Prior Hormone Therapy 

Enzalutamide (Xtandi) monotherapy induced striking declines in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a majority of patients with hormone-naive prostate cancer in a phase II trial, and this oral agent app...

Geriatric Oncology

Top Five Things Oncologists Need to Know about Cancer in Older Adults 

A workforce shortage of geriatricians and other health professionals certified in caring for older patients with cancer is colliding with the aging of the population and the increasing number of olde...

pancreatic cancer

Some Successes, Some Failures Reported in Research and Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer 

The challenge of treating pancreatic cancer inched forward with studies reported at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting, though some important studies proved disappointing. Nab-paclitaxel Improves Overall S...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer

ASCO Studies Support Limited Use of 'Routine' Imaging 

The overuse of imaging in oncology workup and surveillance is a timely concern, as health-care dollars shrink and the risk for second malignancies becomes clearer. At this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting, ...


B-cell Receptor Signaling Inhibitors Moving Forward in Lymphoma 

Though still in early-phase studies, novel B-cell receptor signaling inhibitors look very promising for the treatment of lymphoma, according to reports from the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting. Idelalisib i...

lung cancer

Tecemotide Vaccine Warrants Further Study in Unresectable Stage III Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer 

Results of the START trial suggest that maintenance therapy with the investigational immunotherapy tecemotide (formerly known as L-BLP25) may have a role in the treatment of patients with unresectable...

gynecologic cancers

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Interval Debulking May Be Appropriate for Some Patients With Poor Performance Status Advanced Ovarian Cancer 

Patients with newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer—especially patients with poor performance status—appear to derive benefits from neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery vs primary surgery fo...

gynecologic cancers

Weekly Carboplatin/Paclitaxel Improves Quality of Life, Toxicity vs Every-3-week Regimen in Advanced Ovarian Cancer 

Patients with advanced ovarian cancer have similar survival outcomes thus far with a weekly regimen of carboplatin/paclitaxel vs the standard every-3-week regimen, but the weekly regimen is much bette...

breast cancer

GeparSixto Study Finds Benefit for Neoadjuvant Carboplatin in Triple-negative Breast Cancer 

In patients with triple-negative breast cancer, the addition of carboplatin significantly improved the rate of pathologic complete response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in a study by the German Brea...

colorectal cancer

Maintenance Treatment Delays Progression in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer 

For patients with unresectable metastatic colorectal cancer, maintenance treatment with capecitabine (Xeloda) and bevacizumab (Avastin) significantly delayed disease progression and improved overall s...

gynecologic cancers

Olaparib Shows Robust Progression-Free Survival Benefit in Patients With BRCA Mutations 

Maintenance therapy with olaparib extended progression-free survival and the time to disease progression after a second subsequent therapy in patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed serous ovarian c...

issues in oncology

Access to and Appropriate Use of Oncology Drugs Called Into Question by ASCO Studies 

Studies presented at this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting suggest that despite the wealth of amazing oncolytics on the market, drug shortages persist, drug substitutions are common, off-label use of drugs ...

Colorectal Cancer

Important Findings in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Studies Address Treatment, Management Options

At the Best of ASCO Meeting in Los Angeles, Tony Reid, MD, PhD, Director of the Early Phase Clinical Research Program and Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, San Diego, r...

issues in oncology

Applying Molecular Profiling to Clinical Practice: Promises and Challenges 

A “new kind of pathology,” with anatomy and histology being supplemented by molecular etiology, has been emerging over the past decade and promises better response rates among patients with cancer, as...