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Research highlights from ASCO’s 2018 Annual Meeting

Earlier this month, the annual meeting for the American Society of Clinical Oncology was held in Chicago. Here, key research developments in every area of cancer care are shared with oncology professionals from around the world. We’ve compiled the top breast cancer highlights to come out of this year’s ASCO 2018 conference:

  1. 70% of women with early stage HR+, HER2- breast cancer do not need to have chemotherapy.
    This new study found that women with this form of breast cancer can effectively be treated with hormone therapy alone after surgery as opposed to hormone therapy in combination with chemotherapy. Researchers found that, women who scored in an intermediate range on the Oncotype DX test do not see an increased risk of recurrence when they skip chemotherapy.
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  2. For women with ER+ breast cancer that have a PIK3CA mutation, taselisib in combination with fulvestrant shows longer progression free survival than with fulvestrant alone.
    The study showed that taselisib, a PI3K inhibitor, adds a modest 2-month benefit when it’s combined with fulvestrant, an endocrine therapy. The average progression free survival for patients with the combination was 7.4 months while it was 5.4 months for patients on the single therapy.
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  3. Ribociclib in combination with fulvestrant showed better progression free survival than fulvestrant alone.
    The MONALEESA-3 study found that for postmenopausal women with HR+, HER2- advanced breast cancer, the average progression free survival on ribociclib with fulvestrant reduced the risk of disease progression by 41 percent. These new results found to benefit patients in the first-line and second-line settings.
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  4. Early data for AKT inhibitor shows positive improvement of overall survival in locally advanced or metastatic triple negative breast cancer.
    Combining an AKT inhibitor, ipatasertib, with paclitaxel showed an average overall survival of 23.1 months compared to 18.4 months in patients with placebo.  In this ongoing phase II study, with final results due in 2019, these initial findings support the continuation of trials in the phase III setting.
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  5. Breast cancer patients who have had a secondary primary cancer show higher rates of inherited mutations other than BRCA.
    Women with multiple primary cancers who did not have the BRCA mutations were tested for 15 other genetic mutations. The study found that 8 percent had other mutations while only 4 percent of patients with a single breast cancer diagnosis had mutations other than BRCA.
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Photo by Becky Phan on Unsplash