06/10/2010 06:46 PM Posted by:

Some Studies Presented At ASCO Meeting May Be More Significant Than They Appear.

The AP (6/10, Marchione) reports that "some of the victories reported" at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting "this week against breast and prostate cancer, leukemia, and the deadly skin cancer called melanoma may be larger than they appear. These trends offer reason for optimism." The AP points out, however, that "one issue is not improving: cost."

Bevacizumab May Improve Some Outcomes In Advanced Gastric Cancers.

MedPage Today (6/9, Phend) reported that "bevacizumab (Avastin) may improve some outcomes in advanced gastric cancers, but it did not benefit overall survival, according to a major international clinical trial reported" at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. Researchers found, "in the phase III AVAGAST clinical trial, conducted among more than 770 patients," that "adding the monoclonal antibody bevacizumab to standard chemotherapy tended to be associated with a 13% reduction in risk of death from any cause, but the two-month survival advantage was not significant compared with chemotherapy alone." But, "bevacizumab produced significant benefits in progression-free survival and response rates," the researchers reported.

Erlotinib May Prolong Survival In Older Women With Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

MedPage Today (6/9, Smith) reported that "the targeted agent erlotinib (Tarceva) prolonged survival by 26% in older women with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, but did not benefit men with the disease," according to research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. Investigators found, "in the randomized clinical trial, conducted among 670 patients (median age 77)," that "erlotinib also markedly extended the time before relapse in women." However, "men in the study saw no benefit either in overall survival or progression-free survival."

Research Confirms Cabazitaxel Benefits Certain Prostate Cancer Patients.

MedPage Today (6/9, Susman) reported that "final results of the TROPIC study confirmed that the investigational taxane cabazitaxel extends survival among castration-resistant prostate cancer patients whose cancers progressed despite treatment with docetaxel, researchers reported" at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. The investigators found, in "the multinational phase III study, conducted among 755 men," that "mortality risk was reduced by 28% with cabazitaxel compared with mitoxantrone (Novantrone) therapy." One of the researchers said, "Cabazitaxel is the first treatment to show a survival benefit to patients with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer after failure of docetaxel (Taxotere)-based therapy."

Zibotentan May Be Safe For Patients With Resistant Prostate Cancer.

MedPage Today (6/9, Susman) reported that "the investigational endothelin A receptor antagonist zibotentan appears to be safe when coupled with docetaxel (Taxotere) in a small study of men with castration-resistant prostate cancer and may produce a response in some patients," according to research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. Investigators found, "in a safety and efficacy trial of 31 men with metastatic disease," that "two of nine evaluable patients treated with a combination of zibotentan and docetaxel achieved a partial response; one of six evaluable patients receiving placebo plus docetaxel achieved a partial response." But, "the difference between the two groups was not statistically significant."

Olaparib May Help Restore Sensitivity To Chemotherapy In Some Patients With Ovarian Cancer.

MedPage Today (6/9, Bankhead) reported that "chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer in genetically vulnerable women appears to regain its sensitivity after treatment with the PARP inhibitor olaparib, data from a small clinical study showed." Researchers at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting reported that, "among a group of 26 ovarian cancer patients who had become resistant to a taxane or carboplatin drug, more than half responded again to the chemotherapy after progression on olaparib. The responses occurred independently of the cancer's response to olaparib."

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