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ASCO releases studies from upcoming annual meeting

Alexandria, Va. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today highlighted several studies in a press briefing from among more than 4,000 abstracts publicly posted online at in advance of ASCO's 47th Annual Meeting. An additional 17 plenary, late-breaking and other major studies will be released in on-site press conferences at the Annual Meeting.

The meeting, which is expected to draw approximately 30,000 cancer specialists, will be held June 3-7, 2011, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. The theme of this year's meeting is "Patients. Pathways. Progress."

"This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the National Cancer Act, a law that led to major new investments in cancer research. Every day in our offices, and every year at the ASCO meeting, we see the results of those investments. People with cancer are living longer, with a better quality of life, than ever before," said George W. Sledge Jr, MD, President of ASCO, Ballve-Lantero Professor of Oncology and professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

"With our growing understanding of the nature of cancer development and behavior, cancer is becoming a chronic disease that a growing number of patients can live with for many years," said Dr. Sledge. "The studies released today are the latest examples of progress against the disease, from new personalized treatments, to new approaches to screening and prevention."

Studies highlighted in today's press briefing include:

  • First Large Study of HPV and Pap Co-Testing in Routine Clinical Practice Confirms Many Women Can Safely Extend Testing to Every Three Years; HPV Testing Alone Also Appears to be Superior to Pap Testing Alone: The first large-scale study of both human papillomavirus (HPV) testing and Pap smear for cervical cancer screening in routine clinical practice confirms that women can safely extend their screening intervals from one to three years. The study also found that HPV testing may be more accurate than conventional Pap smear in determining cervical cancer risk.

  • Combined Screening with CA-125 and Transvaginal Ultrasound Does Not Reduce Ovarian Cancer Death Rate, Results in High Number of False Positives: Findings from a large, long-term study the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Screening Trial showed that using a CA-125 blood test and transvaginal ultrasound for early detection of ovarian cancer did not reduce the risk of dying from the disease, and resulted in a large number of false positives and related follow-up procedures.

  • Novel Screening Approach Suggests PSA Levels Among Men Age 44-50 May Predict Long-Term Risk of Metastatic Prostate Cancer or Prostate Cancer-Related Death: A large, population-based study of Swedish men showed that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels at the time of initial screening among men aged 44 to 50 can accurately predict the risk that a man will die of prostate cancer or develop metastatic prostate cancer up to 30 years later, suggesting half of men could undergo just three PSA tests in a lifetime.

  • Genetic Biomarkers Predict Taxane-Induced Neuropathy: This study identified a genetic biomarker for nerve damage caused by paclitaxal, a complication of chemotherapy that can keep patients from functioning normally and interrupt their treatment.

  • Randomized Study Shows that Maintenance Therapy and PARP Inhibitors Could Play Important Roles in Treatment of Relapsed Ovarian Cancer: A Phase II trial showed that the oral drug olaparib, given after chemo, improved progression-free survival in women with the most common type of relapsed ovarian cancer.

  • Novel Multi-targeted Agent Cabozantinib (XL184) Has Significant Effect on Several Advanced Solid Tumors, and Can Shrink or Eliminate Bone Metastases: Cabozantinib demonstrated high rates of disease control in patients with prostate, ovarian and liver cancers. Importantly, it controlled bone metastases in patients with breast and prostate cancers and melanoma.

  • Long-Term Smoking, But Not Moderate Alcohol Use, Linked to Increased Risk of Common Cancers Among Women Already at High Risk of Breast Cancer: A prospective study of more than 13,000 healthy women at high risk of breast cancer reported that the risks of invasive breast, lung and colon cancers were significantly higher in women with long smoking histories, compared to women who did not smoke or had shorter smoking histories. The study did not confirm previous reports of increased risk of cancer among those with moderate alcohol use, though it found that moderate alcohol use was associated with a lower risk of colon cancer. Low physical activity was associated with a significantly higher risk of endometrial cancer.


Contact: Susie Tappouni
American Society of Clinical Oncology

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