A conference hall at last year's ASCO Annual Meeting (photo: ASCO/Todd Buchanan 2016)
The first weekend in June means only one thing for cancer researchers – it’s time for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.
With more than 30,000 attendees, it’s the world’s biggest clinical cancer conference, attracting the best oncologists and scientists in their fields – including many top researchers here at The Institute of Cancer Research, London.
The theme for what is the 53rd ASCO Annual Meeting is Making a difference in cancer care with you – highlighting a need to move to a more personalised way of managing cancer, as well as for new treatment breakthroughs and improvements in survival.
The conference always receives a lot of media attention, and even with a general election around the corner in the UK, this year should be no different – with journalists all desperate to report on the latest advances in treating or preventing a disease that will touch everyone’s lives.
The conference will run from 2-6 June in Chicago, US, and the majority of the abstracts are now online, but there are few late-breaking abstracts that will be released on the morning of the day they will be presented.
Whether you’re attending the meeting in Chicago, or at home following with interest, we’ve highlighted some of the best ICR research being presented, some of which is sure to make a splash.
New ovarian cancer drug
Abstract 2503: Dr Udai Banerji, Deputy Director of the Drug Development Unit at the ICR and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, led a phase I clinical trial of an alpha folate inhibitor – the first of its kind – in ovarian cancer patients. The results will be presented on Saturday 3 June so look out for those.
Abiraterone as first-line treatment
Abstract LBA5003: The results of the STAMPEDE trial will be of particular interest to the ICR. It evaluated use of the targeted drug abiraterone – which we discovered and helped develop – in combination with androgen deprivation therapy as first-line treatment for advanced prostate cancer. The ICR didn’t lead this one, but Professor Johann de Bono and colleagues were heavily involved.
BRCA-targeting drug for breast cancer
Abstract LBA4: Look out for the results of the OlympiAD phase III trial of the PARP inhibitor olaparib in women with BRCA-mutant advanced breast cancer. Science carried out at the ICR underpinned the development of PARP inhibitors, so we’re excited to see if this drug will benefit another group of patients – after already being approved for ovarian cancer, and showing benefit in men with advanced prostate cancer.
Large-scale sarcoma study
Abstract 11004: Professors Ian Judson and Judith Bliss led the largest randomised trial to date of cediranib in patients with alveolar soft part sarcoma (CASPS) at the ICR and The Royal Marsden. The data is presented on Friday 2 June.
Learn more about the ICR research presented at last year's ASCO Annual Meeting
Find out more
ICR highlights presented on Saturday 3 June 1:15-4:15 pm Chicago time
Abstract 1007: Dr Nick Turner, Team Leader in Molecular Oncology at the ICR and Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden, will present data from the phase II trial of the PARP inhibitor talazoparib following platinum or multiple chemotherapies in patients with advanced breast cancer who have inherited BRCA mutations.
Abstract 5004: ICR Team Leader and Royal Marsden Consultant Dr Gert Attard is presenting data from a Phase IV trial involving enzalutamide and abiraterone. The trial evaluated whether patients who had previously been treated with enzalutamide – and whose prostate-specific antigen (PSA) progressed while on enzalutamide – would benefit from continuing enzalutamide in addition to abiraterone acetate plus prednisone, compared to abiraterone acetate plus prednisone alone.
Abstract 2506: More research from the ICR’s and The Royal Marsden’s Drug Development Unit – this time an early-phase basket trial of a new RAS/MEK inhibitor in patients with RAS- or RAF-mutant cancers.
There are also plenty of ICR poster sessions so if you’re going to the conference make sure you check them out!
Follow the conference news
This is just a snapshot of the exciting, upcoming research at this year’s ASCO conference. Keep up to date with conference by following along on social media using the hashtag #ASCO17.
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