Four breakthroughs in cancer research revealed at ASCO 2023

Antibodies attack cancer cell

Ground-breaking data from several key cancer trials were announced at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.

ADAURA Phase III trial

The trial assessed Tagrisso (osimertinib) as an adjuvant treatment of patients with early-stage (IB, II and IIIA) epidermal growth factor receptor-mutated (EGFRm) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after complete tumour resection with curative intent.

Tagrisso reduced the risk of death by 51% compared to placebo in both the primary analysis population (Stages II-IIIA) and in the overall trial population (Stages IB-IIIA).

An estimated 88% of patients treated with Tagrisso were alive at five years compared to 78% on placebo.

Read more: Lung cancer pill reduced risk of death by more than half

CARTITUDE-4 Phase III trial

The study is evaluating the efficacy and safety of T cell immunotherapy cilta-cel versus standards of care (SOC) in adult patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM).

At 16 months median follow-up with an overall response rate of 85% versus 67% for SOC treatments, a single infusion of cilta-cel significantly prolonged PFS compared to SOC, reducing risk of disease progression or death by 74% in earlier-line multiple myeloma treatment.

Read more: Janssen updates ASCO 2023 on oncology pipeline

NATALEE Phase III trial

Data revealed at ASCO showed that Kisqali (ribociclib) plus endocrine therapy (ET), compared to ET alone, lowered the risk of cancer recurrence by 25.2% in patients with stage II and III hormone receptor-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HR+/HER2-) early breast cancer.

Kisqali data across all secondary efficacy endpoints was also consistent, including distant disease-free survival (DDFS) (26% risk reduction) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) (28% risk reduction), with a trend for improvement in overall survival (OS).

Read more: Drug reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence by 25%

RAMP-201 Phase II trial

The study tested avutometinib alone and in combination with defactinib in 29 patients with advanced low-grade serous ovarian cancer (LGSOC).

Forty-five percent of patients treated with avutometinib in combination with defactinib saw their tumours shrink significantly.

Responses to the drug combination were particularly promising in those with a KRAS mutation, with 60% of patients experiencing significant tumour shrinkage. However, 29% of patients without the mutation also had an encouraging response.

Read more: New drug combination twice as effective for some ovarian cancer patients

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