The updates from ASCO Annual Meeting is important & useful information for patients with breast cancer and patients with advanced kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma) to consider in discussion with their cancer specialists.
American Society of Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting was held from 1 to 5 June 2018, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL, USA. Many updates in the field of cancer treatment, from diagnosis, testing, to investigations and treatment were discussed with experts in the field.
This year’s theme is expanding the reach of precision medicine. Precision medicine in oncology means selecting appropriate and optimal therapies suitable for the patient based on the patient's genetic profile and/or the tumour characteristics. The TAILORx study was discussed at ASCO 2018 regarding breast cancer treatment. Investigators found that the gene expression assay called Oncotype Dx for breast cancer could help ER-positive, HER2-negative, node-negative breast cancer patients. Patients with a low RS score have a low risk of recurrence and may avoid adjuvant chemotherapy. In the study, those with an RS of 11 to 25, endocrine therapy alone was noninferior to endocrine therapy plus chemotherapy. However, amongst women who are 50 years or younger, they may still derive benefit from chemotherapy if the RS score is 16-25. This should be discussed further with the patient’s treating doctor.
Another important study (CARMENA trial) presented at the meeting was on advanced kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma). For many years, the standard of care for advanced kidney patient involves surgery to remove the kidney followed by systemic treatment. An important drug for advanced kidney cancer is Sunitinib (Sutent). This is an oral targeted therapy medication. The question of cytoreductive nephrectomy (kidney surgery) for intermediate and poor risk kidney cancer patients in the era of targeted therapy was evaluated. The investigators found that Sunitinib alone is not inferior to nephrectomy followed by Sunitinib. This is important information for patients with advanced kidney cancer to consider in discussion with their cancer specialists.
“Expert knowledge means better care for cancer”
Dr Peter Ang
MMed (Int Med)
FAMS (Medical Oncology)