2021 ASCO Reporter

BRCA2 Carrier Vets Do Better With PARP Inhibitor Prostate Cancer Therapy

DURHAM, NC — While the effects of BRCA2 mutation are well known related to breast cancer risk in women, men also face heightened risk of cancer, including prostate cancer. In a recent study, researchers sought to evaluate real-world treatment outcomes among veterans prescribed PARP inhibitors for prostate cancer and to compare outcomes between patients with BRCA2 gene variants and those with variants in other homologous DNA repair genes.

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Add-on to Chemoradiotherapy Doubles NSCLC Survival for Some Veterans

ANN ARBOR, MI – Median overall survival doubled for veterans with stage III non-small cell lung cancer who received chemoradiotherapy plus durvalumab, as compared to those receiving chemoradiotherapy alone, according to a new study. The authors note that the current standard of care for patients with unresectable stage III NSCLC is concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by durvalumab maintenance, but veterans were not included in the trial establishing that protocol.

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Will There A New Standard for Care for Some Thyroid Cancers?

PHILADELPHIA — Cabozantinib might become a new standard of care in patients with previously treated differentiated thyroid cancer, according to a new study. Researchers evaluated the efficacy and safety of cabozantinib vs. placebo in radioiodine I-refractory thyroid cancer patients who had progressed during or after prior VEGFR-targeted therapy.

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Male Veterans With Breast Cancer Fare Worse Than Females

ALBANY, NY – While survival rates for breast cancer generally have improved over the last decades, that is not true for at least one cohort of patients: men. In fact, increased mortality has been documented for male veterans with breast cancer, even after adjusting for age and other clinical factors. VA researchers tried to determine why.

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Are Racial Disparities Behind More Secondary Primary Malignancies in MM?

HOUSTON – In the last 10 years, overall survival in symptomatic multiple myeloma has significantly improved because of the use of novel therapies.One result has been an increase in the incidence of second primary malignancies in patients with MM. While more frequent SPMs are related to several factors, researchers qusiton whether racial disparities could be contributing to the issue.

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Fertility Can Be Affected by Colorectal Cancer in Younger Patients

NEW YORK — Although colorectal cancer is most frequently diagnosed among Americans 65 to 74 years old, about 10.5% of new colorectal cancer cases occur in those younger than 50 years. Incidence of colorectal cancer in adults aged 40 to 49 years has increased by almost 15% from 2000-2002 to 2014-2016. Yet, according to a study involving VA researchers, too few of the younger patients receive fertility counseling after treatment.

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Common Drugs Show Promise of Enhancing Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

ATLANTA – With more cancer patients using immune checkpoint inhibitors drug-drug interactions are of increasing interest. Researchers are finding that some concomitant medications appear to affect outcomes from immunotherapy. The focus was on two drug classes: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications and azole derivatives.

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COVID-19 Hypoxia More Common With Poorly Controlled Malignancies

HERSHEY, PA – As has been made clear so far in the pandemic, COVID-19 can range in severity from an asymptomatic viral infection to life-threatening cases of pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ damage and sepsis. Because of their often immunocompromised status, cancer patients are at an increased risk of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. A study team including Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences sought to determine why that is so.

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Malnutrition Increases Post-Op Complications in VA Colorectal Cancer Patients

ANN ARBOR, MI – Up to 80% of advanced cancer patients are suffering from malnutrition, although its presence and effects generally are determined by tumor type and stage, according to the National Cancer Institute. Inadequate nutrition also has negative surgical and oncologic impacts, which is why researchers sought to determine the effect of pre-op weight and albumin on postoperative complications in veterans with colorectal cancer at a tertiary care VA hospital.

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Predicting Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Benefit for RCC Patients

ATLANTA – Prognostic scores offer some benefit in determining how patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma will respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors, according to a recent study. Especially valuable was the modified Glasgow prognostic score (mGPS), which incorporates albumin and C-reactive protein and reflects systemic inflammation.

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Autoimmune Patients Fare As Well As Others with PDAC Treatment

MILWAUKEE, WI – The risk of a range of malignancies is increased by chronic inflammation from underlying autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, immunosuppression from treatment often further raises the risk. A new study points out that pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma appears to be more prevalent with autoimmune disease, but adds some good news: With appropriate therapy, those patients have excellent outcomes. The authors suggest that routine screening might be advisable.

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Pandemic Had Dramatic Effect on Care for Prostate Cancer Patients

SAN FRANCISCO – Access to care for men with prostate cancer declined sharply during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what that means for their prognosis has yet to be determined. A study including VA researchers determined that overall visits a day to clinicians plummeted at one point by 58% in 2020, compared to 2019.

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