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ASCO 2023: Important updates for lung cancer patients

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ASCO 2023 lung cancer

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) hosts an annual conference where more than 40,000 oncology professionals meet to present and discuss their clinical research. This year, Outcomes4Me had the opportunity to attend this meeting and learn about the latest findings from recent lung cancer research. We’ve compiled some of the ASCO 2023 lung cancer updates here to help keep you informed.

ASCO 2023 Lung Cancer Important Results

Tagrisso improves survival for early, EGFR-mutated NSCLC

AstraZeneca announced the final results from its phase 3 ADAURA trial evaluating the drug Tagrisso in patients with early, EGFR-mutated, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had undergone surgery to remove their main tumor. According to study findings, the therapy significantly improved survival among this patient population. The study showed that Tagrisso cut the risk of death for these patients by 51% compared to patients given standard-of-care chemotherapy plus a placebo.

Keytruda reduces risk of recurrence, progression, or death for NSCLC patients

Findings from Merck’s phase 3 KEYNOTE-671 trial showed that using Keytruda before and after surgery for patients with stage 2 or 3 NSCLC reduced risk of disease recurrence, progression, and death by 42% when compared to the outcomes on chemotherapy alone. Experts expect that Keytruda used before and after surgery and in combination with chemotherapy will become the new standard of care for patients with early NSCLC.

Novocure’s electric fields technology improves survival for metastatic NSCLC patients

In its phase 3 LUNAR clinical trial, Novocure’s Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) technology nearly doubled the survival for platinum-resistant, metastatic NSCLC patients. This technology uses high-frequency electric fields to block cancer cells from dividing and reproducing.

The clinical trial compared patients receiving standard of care treatment (chemotherapy or immunotherapy) to patients treated with standard of care plus TTFields. Researchers found that patients receiving a standard of care checkpoint inhibitor—which is the first line treatment for 70% of advanced NSCLC patients—had a median survival rate of 10.8 months while those who also had TTFields added to this treatment lived 18.5 months on average.

Gotistobart improves responses in advanced, drug-resistant NSCLC patients

The German company BioNTech partnered with OncoC4 to help with the development of the immunotherapy drug Gotistobart after an early-stage trial of the drug showed positive results. Gotistobart was used in patients with advanced or metastatic NSCLC who developed drug resistance to other checkpoint inhibitors. Results from this phase 1/2 trial showed an overall response rate of 29.6% and a disease control rate (also known as a clinical benefit rate) of 70.4%.

Gotistobart was also designed to only target immune cells within the tumor’s microenvironment, sparing the patient’s healthy immune cells, and limiting adverse immune-related effects that are common with most immunotherapies. Only 30% of patients in this trial experienced grade 3 or 4 adverse immune effects, which is lower than those reported for other immunotherapies.

Study shows stopping immunotherapy after two years doesn’t decrease survival

Another ASCO 2023 lung cancer results was presented by researchers at Penn Medicine. Results from their study found no significant difference in survival between patients who stopped immunotherapy at two years and those who continued treatment indefinitely. Based on these findings, experts say it is reasonable for patients to stop immunotherapy after two years if their cancer has not progressed. These findings have the potential to improve the quality of life for patients by reducing the unnecessary side effects of prolonged treatment.

New biomarker test helps detect early NSCLC

UCM Technologies presented a new biomarker test that uses three biomarkers to detect stage 1 and 2 lung cancer with 93% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Earlier detection can improve survival outcomes for lung cancer patients, but traditional diagnostic methods make it difficult to detect at early stages. Researchers hope that this new diagnostic biomarker test will improve early detection, enable comprehensive screening, and help providers make personalized treatment recommendations.

Study reveals disparities in genetic sequencing

A new study from researchers at the Stanford University Cancer Institute revealed disparities in genetic sequencing and how many patients are missing this opportunity to get more personalized treatment options. Genetic testing can help determine which treatments a patient would respond well to, often prolonging survival and improving quality of life. Less-targeted treatments like chemotherapy harm healthy cells and cause adverse side effects, but targeted treatments help reduce side effects by focusing the treatment directly on cancerous cells.

While guidelines recommend that all patients diagnosed with advanced lung cancer should have genetic testing done, this study showed that only 7% of patients that qualify to have their genes sequenced actually do. This is due to a variety of reasons such as the financial cost of testing and lack of education about these resources.

Outcomes4Me became a founding member of CancerX

Last week at ASCO 2023, CancerX announced its more than 90 founding members, including Outcomes4Me. CancerX was announced by President Joe Biden in February 2023 as part of The White House’s reignited national Cancer Moonshot initiative. Led by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CancerX is a National Innovation Accelerator Initiative designed to bring digital solutions to healthcare to improve cancer patient outcomes. We’re excited to be a part of this partnership to support lung cancer patients at ASCO 2023. Click here to learn more about CancerX and our role as a founding member.

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