Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, Jan 16-18

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 (Last Updated: 01/23/2014)

The 11th Annual Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium

The American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO ) 11th annual Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium was held from Jan. 16 to 18 in San Francisco and attracted approximately 3,000 participants from around the world, including gastrointestinal oncology specialists and other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in the diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal cancers.

In a phase 3 study, Hansjochen Wilke, M.D., of Kliniken Essen-Mitte in Germany, and colleagues randomized more than 600 patients with metastatic gastric cancer to paclitaxel plus ramucirumab or paclitaxel alone.

"The study met its primary end point of improved overall survival for patients who received a combination of paclitaxel and ramucirumab. The investigators also found a two-month improvement in median overall survival. In addition, the combination had a high response rate of 28 percent," said Smitha Krishnamurthi, M.D., of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland and a member of the ASCO Cancer Communications Committee. "Currently, ramucirumab is under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and there will likely be a decision later in 2014. If approved, this could provide a new treatment option for patients with metastatic gastric cancer."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

Abstract No. LBA7

In a phase 2 study, Robert Fine, M.D., of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues evaluated a chemotherapy combination that included capecitabine and temozolomide, referred to as CAPTEM, in 28 patients with neuroendocrine tumors.

"This is a small, non-randomized study but is of interest because it included 12 patients with carcinoid tumors, which are typically resistant to chemotherapy, and five of those 12 patients had a partial or complete response. Further study of this regimen is needed," said Krishnamurthi.

Abstract No. 179

In a phase 3 study, Carmen Joseph Allegra, M.D., of the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues evaluated whether an oral chemotherapy approach using capecitabine in combination with preoperative radiation was equivalent to preoperative infusional 5-fluorouracil chemotherapy in patients with rectal cancer.

"The investigators found that there was no decrease in survival with the oral chemotherapy approach and no increase in recurrence rates. In addition, the approach was well-tolerated," said Krishnamurthi. "Therefore, using an oral chemotherapy approach, which is easier to administer and doesn't require a port, is another option for patients with rectal cancer."

One author disclosed a financial relationship with Sanofi.

Abstract No. 390

In another phase 3 study, Marc Peeters, M.D., Ph.D., of Antwerp University Hospital in Edegem, Belgium, and colleagues evaluated tumors from patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who were treated with chemotherapy with or without panitumumab, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor. All of the colorectal cancer tumors evaluated in this study had a normal KRAS gene by current testing methods.

"The authors then performed an expanded testing for RAS mutations, looking at additional sites in KRAS and a related gene called NRAS. They found that 18 percent of the patients considered to have a normal KRAS gene by current testing methods actually had a KRAS or NRAS mutation in their tumors with the expanded testing method," said Krishnamurthi. "Importantly, patients whose tumors had these newly identified mutations did not benefit from panitumumab. The data from this study are consistent with multiple other studies that are now reporting results. So this expanded testing for RAS mutations will now be the standard of care to best identify patients who will benefit from anti-EGFR therapy."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

Abstract No. LBA387

ASCO: Combination Vaccine Effective in Pancreatic Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A combination vaccine significantly improves overall survival compared with a single-component vaccine in patients with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, held from Jan. 16 to 18 in San Francisco.

More Information

Specialties Hematology & Oncology
Internal Medicine

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


I wish u knew... the importance of survivorship care
by Timothy J. Hampshire
November 19, 2012

7 Tips for Giving Smart on #givingtuesday
by Christina Bach, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
November 25, 2015