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Breakthrough treatments for cancer patients are presented at ASCO



Thursday 31 May 2012



Clinicians and scientist from The Royal Marsden Hospital and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) will be presenting new pioneering research at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.


Breakthroughs in new treatments for cancer patients will be discussed at the world’s most prestigious five day international cancer conference in Chicago this weekend.


Five clinicians and scientists from The Royal Marsden Hospital and the ICR have been selected to present their work to leading cancer researchers from all over the world at the 2012 annual meeting from June 1 to 5.


Professor Stephen Johnston will discuss new advances in treatments and molecular profiling for breast cancer patients, helping doctors to personalise their care.  In a presentation on Friday June 1 at 2.30pm he will outline the issues that exist over the best choice of endocrine therapy for women following surgery for early stage breast cancer, and how long the treatment should last for.


Professor Paul Workman will discuss his team’s discovery and clinical development of an important new class of drugs called PI3 kinase inhibitors. A high proportion of cancers have abnormalities in the PI3 kinase pathway, and these drugs have the potential to treat a wide range of human cancers. Professor Workman will focus on biomarkers for predicting response to PI3 kinase inhibitors, the optimum selectivity profiles for these drugs, and potential mechanisms of resistance to them. His session is scheduled for Saturday June 2 at 8am.


Professor Johann de Bono will present the latest results of a trial for the advanced prostate cancer drug enzalutamide, formerly known as MDV3100. In a talk on 8.30am on Saturday June 2, he will reveal new data assessing the drug’s impact on patients’ quality of life. In a second presentation on Sunday June 3 at 8am, he will outline how new gene sequencing technology has led to a greater understanding of cancer, and revealed faults that could be targeted by new drugs. Professor de Bono will also discuss how the most effective strategy could lie in combining at least two drugs that target different faults driving patients’ cancers.


Professor Ian Judson will be talking in a session looking at how patients should be treated if there is no “gold standard” therapy that has been proven in clinical trial to benefit them, global variations in standards and problems with access to new drugs. His presentation at 1.15pm on Monday 4 June will focus on the role of the physician in advising bodies such as NICE.


Dr Chris Parker will speak at 10.45am on Tuesday June 5 about updated survival results from Phase III trial of radium-223 in castration-resistant prostate cancer. The drug is being evaluated as a potential new treatment for cancer patients with bone metastases.





Media contact: Catherine O’Mara, Senior Press and PR Officer for The Royal Marsden Hospital on 020 7808 2107 or Jane Bunce, ICR Science Communications Manager, on 020 7153 5106.



Notes to Editors


The Royal Marsden opened its doors in 1851 as the world’s first hospital dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education.


Today, together with its academic partner, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), it is the largest and most comprehensive cancer centre in Europe treating over 44,000 patients every year.  It is a centre of excellence with an international reputation for groundbreaking research and pioneering the very latest in cancer treatments and technologies. The Royal Marsden also provides community services in the London boroughs of Sutton and Merton and in June 2010, along with the ICR, the Trust launched a new academic partnership with Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Middlesex. 


Since 2004, the hospital’s charity, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, has helped raise over £50 million to build theatres, diagnostic centres, and drug development units.


Prince William became President of The Royal Marsden in 2007, following a long royal connection with the hospital.


For more information, visit or contact [name] on [telephone] or [email]


The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) is one of the world’s most influential cancer research institutes.

Scientists and clinicians at the ICR are working every day to make a real impact on cancer patients’ lives. Through its unique partnership with The Royal Marsden Hospital and ‘bench-to-bedside’ approach, the ICR is able to create and deliver results in a way that other institutions cannot. Together the two organisations are rated in the top four cancer centres globally.

The ICR has an outstanding record of achievement dating back more than 100 years. It provided the first convincing evidence that DNA damage is the basic cause of cancer, laying the foundation for the now universally accepted idea that cancer is a genetic disease. Today it leads the world at isolating cancer-related genes and discovering new targeted drugs for personalised cancer treatment.

As a college of the University of London, the ICR provides postgraduate higher education of international distinction. It has charitable status and relies on support from partner organisations, charities and the general public.

The ICR’s mission is to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.

For more information visit

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