Today’s Latest Oncology News Live from ASCO

ASCO is in full swing this week in Chicago.  Below are today’s top headlines.  Check out even more here.

Radiotherapy Versus Trans-Oral Robotic Surgery for Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The incidence of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) has increased, mainly related to a rise in human papillomavirus infection. Radiation therapy (RT) has historically been the standard treatment. However, trans-oral robotic surgery (TORS), a new surgical approach, has surpassed radiation therapy as the most common U.S. method due to the potential for fewer adverse events (AEs). A study presented at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting compared these treatment options and found that they had similar outcomes.

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A New Standard of Care? Addition of Hormonotherapy to Radiotherapy Improves Survival in Prostate Cancer

Following radical prostatectomy, radiotherapy is the standard salvage treatment. Researchers assessed the impact of adding short-term hormonotherapy to radiotherapy and found that this significantly improved 10-years metastatic free survival (MFS). The results of the randomized, open-label, phase III study were presented at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting.

A total of 743 patients were randomized 1:1 to receive radiotherapy (66 Gy/46 Gy) alone or in combination with goserelin for six months. Patients were stratified based on radiotherapy modality and risk group. Low-risk disease was defined as a Gleason score less than eight, surgical margins prostate-specific antigen doubling time greater than eight months, and no seminal vesicle involvement. Biological relapse was defined according to the American Society for Radiation Oncology consensus.

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Systematic Differences in End-of-Life Care Observed in Centers Serving Minority Patients

High-intensity treatment at end-of-life (EOL) is burdensome and considered low-quality care. Researchers assessed whether minority and white patients receive different quality of EOL care and found that there were systematic differences across U.S. cancer centers.

This retrospective cohort study included Medicare beneficiaries with poor-prognosis cancers who died between April 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016. Researchers attributed patients’ EOL treatment to the cancer center where they received the majority of inpatient services during the last six months of life.

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