ASCO 2017: Pre-Conference Insights


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The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Conference is just around the corner! It will occur on June 2-6, 2017! To get a head start and know what new research we can expect to see, Fight CRC asked Dr. Dusty Deming (a CRC survivor and researcher from the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center who's on our Medical Advisory Board) for his opinion on this year's hot topics for colorectal cancer. We’ve detailed his suggestions below which represent a brief overview of some of the research that will be discussed this year. It by no means covers the vast amount of science that will be presented! It’s important to mention there are many sessions dedicated to colorectal cancer research and patient care this year! We're excited!
To get real-time updates from ASCO on June 2-6, watch for posts on Twitter with the hashtag #ASCO17. And, be sure to tune in to our post-ASCO June Webinar that will discuss the latest research!

2017 ASCO’s 4 Hot Topics for CRC

1. Adjuvant Therapy

Adjuvant therapy is given after the primary treatment, whereas neoadjuvant therapy is given before the primary treatment. Recommendations for adjuvant therapy have typically hovered around six months, however at ASCO this year, there will be discussions around whether or not three months versus six months of adjuvant therapy for colorectal cancer patients is enough.

Learn more about current colorectal cancer treatments.

2. Right-Sided vs Left-Sided Tumors

Multiple new findings and an updated analyses will be presented from CALGB80405 (Alliance), a study identifying factors in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) that are dependent on the primary tumor side (right versus left).

Over the past few years, researchers have had more of a focus on right versus left sided tumors and the findings will reveal even more information, with the goal of better understanding colorectal cancers and how to best treat them.

3. Immunotherapy for CRC

New immunotherapy for colorectal cancer will be a prominent area for presentations this year. There will be updates on phase 1a and 1b studies of the novel (new) carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) T-cell bispecific (CEA CD3 TCB) antibody as a single agent and in combination with atezolizumab (a immunotherapy treatment currently in clinical trials targeting PD-L1 in solid tumors). Phase 1 trials are immensely important to the research process because the results offer information about preliminary efficacy and safety in patients with cancer, and in this case, metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Fight CRC has been actively involved in immunotherapy work through the Immunotherapy Work Group (which consists of over 20 experts in the field) to synthesize research efforts and fund research aimed at improving the effectiveness of immunotherapies for colorectal cancer. In partnership with Cancer Research Institute, we will fund future CRC immunotherapy research.

4. DNA (ctDNA)

Multiple studies about circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) will be presented at ASCO this year.

ctDNA is DNA that has been shed from tumor cells and released into the circulatory system. While it is most often collected in blood, it can also be detected in urine, stool, cerebrospinal fluid and saliva.

The process of collecting ctDNA is called liquid biopsy. Liquid biopsies are different than standard biopsies because they are able to collect tumor DNA by a simple blood draw rather than collecting a sample directly from the tumor itself.

Many studies now incorporate ctDNA to study biomarkers, and a handful of these studies will be discussed at ASCO. Some of the topic areas that will be covered include how ctDNA can guide to adjuvant chemotherapy decision making, ctDNA’s ability to predict disease recurrence among patients post-liver hepatectomy, and more.

Young Investigators

In addition to these exciting research topic areas, Luis Diaz, an advisory member of the Immunotherapy Workgroup, has advised we stay on the lookout for what young researchers are investigating. We are eager to see what the next generation of cancer researchers will be presenting on this year! Check back with us in a few weeks to register for our Post-ASCO Webinar where Dr. Deming will dive into these topics and recap the research that is moving colorectal cancer care and treatment forward, in addition to discussing the implications this research could have on patients and survivors.

Stay Informed!

Make sure you get the latest news about colorectal cancer research. Sign up for emails, join the Patient Resources Facebook Group and follow Fight CRC on Twitter. 2017 ASCO Twitter Promo

Funding Disclosure

Fight Colorectal Cancer has received funding from Genentech (producers of atezolizumab) - a drug mentioned in this article - as well as other producers presenting during ASCO 2017. Funding has come in the form of unrestricted educational grants. We maintain ultimate authority over website content and the content written in this article.