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New Data on Improving Access to Cancer Care, Advances in Precision Medicine Highlighted at 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting


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As this special edition of The ASCO Post goes to press, more than 32,000 cancer experts from around the world have convened in Chicago to share the latest clinical cancer research impacting patient care at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Advances in targeted therapies for pancreatic, prostate, and pediatric cancers, as well as new approaches to overcoming limited access to cancer care, are among the topics being highlighted in ASCO’s official Press Program.

The 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting, is taking place now (May 31–June 4) at McCormick Place in Chicago. The theme of this year’s conference is Caring for Every Patient, Learning From Every Patient.

More than 2,400 abstracts were accepted for presentation at the Annual Meeting, and more than 3,200 additional abstracts were accepted for online publication. The vast majority of these abstracts may be viewed on abstracts. asco.org. Late-Breaking Abstracts (LBAs), including Plenary abstracts, are being released on site throughout the Annual Meeting.

Premeeting News

In an embargoed press briefing for journalists on May 15, researchers highlighted several significant abstracts ahead of their live presentation at the ASCO Annual Meeting.

  • Nearly 20-year data from the Women’s Health Initiative trial of dietary modification assessing the impact of a balanced, low-fat diet on the risk of death due to breast cancer among postmenopausal women (Abstract 520)
  • A randomized, phase III clinical trial assessing a palliative chemotherapy regimen for older and frail people with gastroesophageal cancer who are unable to tolerate standard chemotherapy (Abstract 4006)
  • A phase I/IB study evaluating the targeted therapy entrectinib in pediatric patients with solid tumors including central nervous system cancers that harbor specific gene mutations (Abstract 10009)
  • A study looking at the frequency of targetable molecular alterations in pediatric cancers among patients enrolled in the phase II NCI-Children’s Oncology Group Pediatric Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (NCI-COG Pediatric MATCH) clinical trial (Abstract 10011)
  • A phase II/III randomized trial comparing lenalidomide to observation in people who were asymptomatic but at high-risk of progressing to multiple myeloma (Abstract 8001) .

For coverage of more reports from the ASCO Annual Meeting, visit The ASCO Post online at ASCOPost.com where interviews with experts can be viewed in The ASCO Post Newsreels program.

Important Research at the ASCO Annual Meeting

Among the wealth of important abstracts being presented in Chicago, a selected group was chosen for presentation to the media during ASCO’s “News of the Day” press briefings. Some of these abstracts are listed here. Look for comprehensive coverage of all of these abstracts and much more in coming issues of The ASCO Post.

‘News of the Day’ at ASCO

  • An analysis of electronic health records looking at the relationship between the Affordable Care Act–related Medicaid expansion and racial disparities in receiving timely cancer treatment. (Abstract LBA1, Plenary)
  • A randomized, phase III trial evaluating the impact of adding enzalutamide to standard initial treatment for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (Abstract LBA2, Plenary)
  • A randomized, phase III trial exploring maintenance therapy with the PARP inhibitor olaparib among people with pancreatic cancer who had an inherited BRCA gene mutation (Abstract LBA4, Plenary)
  • An analysis looking at whether private insurance and regional income impacts survival for people with multiple myeloma (Abstract LBA107)
  • A study looking at the potential impact of new strategies to expand patient eligibility for clinical trials for advanced non–small cell lung cancer (Abstract LBA108)
  • A randomized, phase III trial comparing ribociclib with a placebo in women with HR-positive/ HER2-positive advanced breast cancer (Abstract LBA1008)
  • A randomized, phase III trial comparing laparoscopic surgery to open surgery in people whose colorectal cancer had metastasized to the liver (Abstract LBA3516)
  • A phase III trial evaluating pembrolizumab with or without chemotherapy versus chemotherapy for advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancers (Abstract LBA4007)
  • A single-arm, phase II clinical trial exploring enfortumab vedotin monotherapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic forms of urothelial cancer (Abstract LBA4505)
  • An analysis of the National Cancer Database looking at the correlation between the Affordable Care Act and early-stage ovarian cancer diagnoses and time to treatment (Abstract LBA5563)
  • Five-year survival data from the KEYNOTE-001 trial looking at the safety and effectiveness of pembrolizumab in metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (Abstract LBA9015)
  • A survey of gynecologic oncologists examining sexual harassment and gender bias. (Abstract LBA10502).

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