Public Release:  Studies reveal potential new targeted therapies for common, hard-to-treat cancers

ASCO Annual Meeting features key advances in ovarian, lung and thyroid cancers and leukemia

American Society of Clinical Oncology

CHICAGO - Positive results from four clinical trials of investigational targeted drugs for advanced ovarian, lung, and thyroid cancers, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia were highlighted today at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Findings from the mid- and late-stage trials suggest new ways to slow disease progression and improve survival for patients who experience relapses or resistance to available treatments.

"Cancer relapses and treatment resistance have always been among the most daunting challenges in cancer care," said press briefing moderator Gregory Masters, MD, FACP, ASCO Expert and a medical oncologist at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center in Newark, Delaware. "The good news is that genomic medicine is helping to overcome these challenges by revealing new ways to target a cancer cell's inner workings. The research highlighted today could lead to new treatment options for patients who, until now, have had none, or for whom the side effects of current drugs outweigh their limited benefits, as we often see with our older patients with leukemia."

Key studies include:

Second-line treatment with ramucirumab plus standard docetaxel extends survival for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer: This phase III clinical trial marks the first time in a decade that a survival benefit has been achieved in second-line therapy for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer - findings that could impact the care of 60,000 patients each year in the United States.

Ibrutinib is highly active, significantly delaying disease progression and extending survival for patients with resistant or relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia: Early results from the RESONATE study reveal the first oral agent to improve survival for resistant or relapsed CLL. Treatment was well tolerated, affirming ibrutinib as an important new option for this common adult leukemia, especially for elderly patients who are often unable to tolerate traditional chemotherapy.

New targeted drug, lenvatinib, yields high response rates, delays progression in patients with radioiodine-resistant, advanced differentiated thyroid cancer: Nearly two-thirds of patients responded to lenvatinib treatment, which also delayed disease progression by 14.7 months over placebo.

A new targeted drug combination, cediranib plus olaparib, significantly increases progression-free survival in women with recurrent ovarian cancer: A combination of the PARP inhibitor olaparib and the anti-angiogenic drug cediranib delays recurrent ovarian cancer progression by more than eight months compared with olaparib alone. This marks the first time these two types of targeted drugs have ever been combined, and could fill an important gap in treatment of ovarian cancer.

###

Media Resources:

Online Annual Meeting Media Resource Center: Visit http://www.asco.org/AMMRC for press releases, press briefing recordings, the press briefing schedule at-a-glance, embargo policies, high-resolution photos, print-friendly downloads, and the Virtual Press Room, an online repository of corporate and institutional press releases from third-party organizations.

CancerProgress.Net: The home of ASCO's 50th Anniversary and a timeline detailing the progress made against 18 of the most common cancers.

Cancer.Net: ASCO's cancer information website, providing doctor-approved information on more than 120 cancer types.

The Annual Meeting Media Resource Center will be updated frequently leading up to and throughout the Annual Meeting.

ATTRIBUTION TO THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY ANNUAL MEETING IS REQUESTED IN ALL NEWS COVERAGE.

Click here to view the disclosures for the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting News Planning Team.

About ASCO

Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world's leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With nearly 35,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer. For ASCO information and resources, visit http://www.asco.org. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at http://www.cancer.net.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.