ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, Jan. 19-21, 2012

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The American Society of Clinical Oncology's Ninth Annual Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium

The American Society of Clinical Oncology's ninth annual Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium was held from Jan. 19 to 21 in San Francisco and attracted approximately 3,000 participants from around the world, including gastrointestinal oncology specialists as well as clinical practitioners and other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in the diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal cancers, including cancers of the colon, rectum, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, small intestine, anus, and other digestive organs.

In the phase III RADIANT-2 study, James C. Yao, M.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues identified prognostic factors that may be used to determine which patients with rare neuroendocrine tumors require treatment with everolimus and which patients may not need treatment immediately.

"In a reanalysis of results that were published in The Lancet in December 2011, we aimed to evaluate prognostic factors for rare neuroendocrine tumors that increase the risk of tumor progression and require active treatment," Yao said. "In this reanalysis, we adjusted for imbalances in randomization and found, with multivariate analysis, that the most significant prognostic factors included Chromogranin A, performance status, bone metastasis, and lung as primary site."

After adjusting for this imbalance in randomization, the investigators found a 38 percent reduction in risk of disease progression -- an improvement from the 23 percent reduction in risk of disease progression prior to adjusting for this imbalance.

"Further confirmation of the efficacy of everolimus in neuroendocrine tumors arising outside the pancreas needs to be completed. We will be initiating another phase III study to further evaluate these results," Yao added.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with Novartis, Ipsen, Pfizer, Genentech, and Endo Pharmaceuticals.

Abstract No. 157

In another study, Tanios S. Bekaii-Saab, M.D., of The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, and colleagues evaluated how clinical practitioners used bevacizumab in first- and second-line treatment of colorectal cancer. More specifically, the investigators aimed to evaluate whether there were any differences between using second-line irinotecan- or oxaliplatin-based regimens after first-line treatment with a bevacizumab-containing regimen.

"We found no difference in how well patients did in terms of survival between those who received second-line treatment with an irinotecan-based regimen versus those who received an oxaliplatin-based regimen," Bekaii-Saab said.

The investigators also evaluated the difference in post-progression overall survival in patients who also continued on bevacizumab and those who did not.

"We found that patients who also continued on bevacizumab did much better in terms of survival as compared to those who did not [continue on bevacizumab]. These results are very similar to other studies evaluating the continuation of bevacizumab from first-line to second-line treatment," Bekaii-Saab said. "While the results of this study are very interesting and promising, I caution clinical practitioners before incorporating this continuation regimen into clinical practice, as the results need to be further confirmed in randomized clinical trials, which should be released sometime in 2012."

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Genentech/Roche.

Abstract No. 535

In the phase III AVAGAST study, Manish A. Shah, M.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, and colleagues found that survival outcomes and therapeutic response for patients with gastric cancer vary depending on histologic subtype and regional differences.

The investigators found that patients with type 3 gastric cancer had a better prognosis than patients with type 2 gastric cancer. In addition, outcomes were improved in non-Asian patients with type 2 and 3 gastric cancer who received bevacizumab.

"These data suggest that gastric cancer subtypes may be important predictors of patient outcome and warrant further prospective evaluation," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with Genentech/Roche, Chugai Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, and Taiho Pharmaceuticals.

Abstract No. 5

ASCO: PAM4-Antigen Detects Early Pancreatic Cancer

THURSDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The PAM4-antigen immunoassay detects approximately two-thirds of patients with stage 1 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC); and use of spatial-domain low-coherence quantitative phase microscopy (SL-QPM) accurately distinguishes non-dysplastic intestinal metaplasia (IM) from high-grade dysplasia (HGD) or esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) in patients with Barrett's esophagus, according to two studies presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, held from Jan. 19 to 21 in San Francisco.

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ASCO: Regorafenib Improves Survival in Metastatic CRC

THURSDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with metastatic colorectal cancer that has progressed after standard therapies, treatment with regorafenib significantly improves overall survival and progression-free survival compared with placebo, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, held from Jan. 19 to 21 in San Francisco.

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