2009 ASCO Annual Meeting Highlights: Ovarian Cancer & Select General Issues

The 2009 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting was held in Orlando, Florida from May 29 through June 2, 2009.  We provide below select highlights from the 2009 ASCO Annual Meeting that relate to ovarian cancer and other general issues.

The 2009 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting was held in Orlando, Florida from May 29 through June 2, 2009.  We provide below select highlights from the 2009 ASCO Annual Meeting that relate to ovarian cancer and other general issues. Learn more about How to Read a Medical Abstract in a Research Study.

Development Time of Cancer Clinical Trials Linked to Accrual Goals.

Physicians Need to Address Prescription Costs With Patients Who Participate In Clinical Trials.

Availability of Experimental Therapy Outside of Randomized Clinical Trials In Oncology.

ASCO Fertility Preservation Guidelines For Cancer Patients Not Widely Followed By Oncologists.

Ginger (Zindol®) Quells Cancer Patients’ Chemotherapy-Related Nausea.

Early Treatment of Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Based Upon Rising CA-125 Levels Does Not Increase Survival.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Should Be Taken Into Account When Assessing A Cancer Patient’s Vitamin D Status.

Extreme Drug Resistance (EDR) Assay Results Do Not Independently Predict Or Alter The Outcomes of Patients With Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Who Are Treated With Optimal Cytoreductive Surgery Followed By Platinum & Taxane Combination Chemotherapy in Either a Primary or Recurrent Setting.

Systematic Review Of Past Study Results For Use of Cytoreductive Surgery Combined With Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC).

Preliminary Results From Phase II Study of Oxaliplatin+Docetaxel+Bevacizumab As First Line Treatment of Advanced Ovarian Cancer Show 62% Overall Response Rate & 70% One-Year Progression Free Survival.

Combined Weekly Docetaxel + Gemcitabine In Relapsed Ovarian Cancer & Peritoneal Cancer Produces 59% Overall Response Rate.

A Phase II Trial of Irinotecan & Oral Etoposide Chemotherapy in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Patients Produces 47% Overall Response Rate & 81% Clinical Benefit Rate.

Weekly Bevacizumab & Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin Produce 55% Clinical Benefit Rate In Progressing/Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Patients.

Phase II Study of Belotecan (CKD-602)+ Carboplatin Demonstrates 53% Overall Response Rate in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Patients.

Single Agent Voreloxin Produces 11% Overall Response Rate & 52% Disease Control Rate in Phase II Study Involving Women with Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Cancer.

A Phase II Study of Patupilone In Patients With Platinum Refractory/Resistant Ovarian, Primary Fallopian, or Peritoneal Cancer Produces 48% Clinical Benefit Rate.

Trabectedin (Yondelis®) + Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin (PLD) Produces Better Response Than PLD Alone.

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Finds Anti-VEGF Therapy Is Highly Effective In Patients With Ovarian Granulosa Cell Tumors.

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Finds That Increased Angiogenesis Is A Significant Predictor Of Poor Clinical Outcome In Patients With Sex-Cord Stromal Tumors; Suggests Anti-Angiogenesis Therapy is Warranted For This Subtype of Ovarian Cancer.

ZYBRESTAT™ (Combretastatin A-4 phosphate) Produces 32% Confirmed Partial Response Rate (RR) in Evaluable Patients With Platinum Resistant Ovarian Cancer (25% RR if total enrolled patients used as denominator).

ASSIST-5 Trial of TELCYTA® + Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin Produces 12% Response Rate (With One Complete Response) in Patients With Platinum Refractory and Resistant Ovarian Cancer.

Two Studies Provide Contradictory Data for Use of Carboplatin + Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin in Ovarian Cancer

OGX-427 Treatment Demonstrates Safety, Evidence of Declines in Circulating Tumor Cells and Reductions in Tumor Markers in a Phase I Cancer Trial, Including 60% Response Rate (Based Upon Declining CA125) For Ovarian Cancer Patients.

Maintenance BIBF 1120 Could Delay Disease Progression in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer.

Oral PARP Inhibitor Olaparib (AZD2281) Effective Against BRCA-Deficient Advanced Ovarian Cancer.

Carfilzomib (PX-171-007) Produces Stable Disease For 4+ Months In One Ovarian Cancer Patient Who Failed Under Four Previous Treatment Lines – Phase II Solid Tumor Trial.

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About The American Society of Clinical Oncology

The American Society of Clinical Oncology is a non-profit organization founded in 1964 with the overarching goals of improving cancer care and prevention. More than 27,000 oncology practitioners belong to ASCO, representing all oncology disciplines and subspecialties. Members include physicians and health-care professionals in all levels of the practice of oncology. To view 2009 ASCO Annual Meeting presentation abstracts, click here.  To view 2009 ASCO Annual Meeting presentation abstracts regarding ovarian cancer, click here.  To view ASCO ovarian cancer information, click here.

About Cancer.Net

Cancer.Net, formerly People Living With Cancer (PLWC), brings the expertise and resources of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the voice of the world’s cancer physicians, to people living with cancer and those who care for and care about them. ASCO is composed of more than 27,000 oncologists globally who are the leaders in advancing cancer care. All the information and content on Cancer.Net was developed and approved by the cancer doctors who are members of ASCO, making Cancer.Net the most up-to-date and trusted resource for cancer information on the Internet. Cancer.Net is made possible by The ASCO Cancer Foundation, which provides support for cutting-edge cancer research, professional education, and patient information.

Cancer.Net provides timely, oncologist-approved information to help patients and families make informed health-care decisions. All content is subject to a formal peer-review process by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, composed of more than 150 medical, surgical, radiation, and pediatric oncologists, oncology nurses, social workers, and patient advocates. In addition, ASCO editorial staff reviews the content for easy readability. Cancer.Net content is reviewed on an annual basis or as needed.

To view Cancer.Net ovarian cancer information, click here.

Learn more about How to Read a Medical Abstract in a Research Study, Cancer.Net.

Let the Sunshine In!

“People with a vitamin D deficiency are as much as twice as likely to die compared to people whose blood contains higher amounts of the so-called sunshine vitamin, Austrian researchers said on Monday. Their study — the latest to suggest a health benefit from the vitamin — showed death rates from any cause as well as from heart-related problems varied greatly depending on vitamin D. ‘This is the first association study that shows vitamin D affects mortality regardless of the reason for death,’ said Harald Dobnig, an internist and endocrinologist at the University of Graz in Austria who led the study. …Many doctors agree that people with low levels of vitamin D cannot make up for it safely by sitting in the sun, but should take supplements. ‘These results should prompt us to perform vitamin D measurements on a more frequent basis especially in populations at risk,’ Dobnig said.”

“People with a vitamin D deficiency are as much as twice as likely to die compared to people whose blood contains higher amounts of the so-called sunshine vitamin, Austrian researchers said on Monday. Their study — the latest to suggest a health benefit from the vitamin — showed death rates from any cause as well as from heart-related problems varied greatly depending on vitamin D. ‘This is the first association study that shows vitamin D affects mortality regardless of the reason for death,’ said Harald Dobnig, an internist and endocrinologist at the University of Graz in Austria who led the study.

The body makes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight, a reason for its nickname as the ‘sunshine vitamin.’ It is added to milk and fatty fish like salmon but many people do not get enough of it. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is considered important for bone health. In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, and it can lead to rickets in children. A number of recent studies have also indicated vitamin D may offer a variety of other health benefits, including protecting against cancer, peripheral artery disease and tuberculosis. Last week, U.S. researchers said vitamin D may extend the lives of people with colon and rectal cancer.

Dobnig and colleagues, who reported their findings in the Archives of Internal Medicine, studied more than 3,200 people with an average age of 62 who were scheduled for a heart exam between 1997 and 2000. During an eight-year follow-up the researchers found that the quarter of volunteers with the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood were at greater risk of dying. ‘Even when accounting for factors such as heart disease, exercise and other conditions, the researchers found that the risk was double for people with between 5 to 10 nanograms per millilitre of vitamin D in their blood,’ Dobnig said. ‘Most doctors believe people should have between 20 to 30 nanograms per millilitre of the vitamin in their blood,’ he added in a telephone interview.

What causes this effect is not clear, but Dobnig pointed to a host of studies suggesting links to high blood pressure, cancer and fractures as places to begin looking. ‘The potential health risk of low levels of vitamin D should also prod physicians to be more aware of the potential problem, especially for the immobile, elderly and others who spend a great amount of time indoors,’ he added. Many doctors agree that people with low levels of vitamin D cannot make up for it safely by sitting in the sun, but should take supplements. ‘These results should prompt us to perform vitamin D measurements on a more frequent basis especially in populations at risk,’ Dobnig said.”

[Quoted Source: Study shows more benefits of sunshine vitamin, by Michael Kahn, Reuters Health On-Line News Release, June 24, 2008 (summarizing the findings of Independent association of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin d levels with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality; Dobnig, H. et. al., Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jun 23;168(12):1340-9.)]

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