In the annual Research Round Up series, Cancer.Net Associate Editors answer the question, “What was the most exciting or practice-changing research in your field presented at the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting?” In this episode, 2 experts discuss new research from the meeting on brain tumors and gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.

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New research in brain tumors

Dr. Glenn Lesser, the 2021 Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Central Nervous System Tumors, discusses the results from 2 studies about brain tumors. First, he discusses the phase 2 Alliance A071601 clinical trial, which was evaluating whether treating people with newly diagnosed papillary craniopharyngioma with a BRAF V600E genetic mutation using the targeted therapy drugs vemurafenib (Zelboraf) and cobimetinib (Cotellic) helped shrink their tumors. [3:18] Next, Dr. Lesser discusses the long-term results from the phase 2 GEINO 14-01 clinical trial, which was studying whether prolonging treatment with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide (Temodar) for people with newly diagnosed glioblastoma helped them live longer. [8:40]

Advances in treating esophageal and colorectal cancers

Dr. Jeffrey Meyerhardt

Dr. Jeffrey Meyerhardt, the 2021 Cancer.Net Associate Editor for GI Cancers, discusses the results from 3 studies in this field, including 1 about esophageal cancer and 2 about colorectal cancer. The first study, the phase 3 CheckMate 648 clinical trial, compared 3 treatments for people with advanced, recurrent, or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma to see which helped them live longer and slow the cancer’s growth: the immunotherapy nivolumab (Opdivo) with chemotherapy, nivolumab with another immunotherapy called ipilimumab (Yervoy), or chemotherapy alone. [15:31] The next study discussed, the phase 2 DESTINY-CRC01 clinical trial, studied whether the targeted therapy drug trastuzumab deruxtecan (Enhertu) helped shrink the tumors of people with HER2-expressing metastatic colorectal cancer. [17:06] Finally, Dr. Meyerhardt discusses the FOCUS4-N clinical trial, which was seeing whether maintenance chemotherapy helped people with metastatic colorectal cancer live longer compared with active monitoring, which is closely watching a person’s disease for signs of growth before giving more treatment. [19:17]

Disclosure information for this podcast’s speakers can be found in their individual biographies, which are linked to in the paragraphs above. 

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