Other sessions from the GU Oncology Symposium on Thursday

While the late morning and afternoon oral presentations on Thursday at the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium were by no means boring, neither could any of them have been described as exactly “practice changing”. We have provided a summary below with links to relevant abstracts.

In General Session 2 there were four presentations in total:

While the future potential of immunotherapy in the management of prostate cancer is certainly exciting, it seems as though have a long way to go before we understand how to apply it in ways that will have really significant clinical benefit for a significant percentage of patients.

Oral Abstract Session A, which was focused on prostate cancer, occurred in the early afternoon, and included the following series of presentations:

  • Dr. Sophie Fosså of Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway, presented 10- and 15-year prostate cancer-specific survival data from patients with non-metastatic, high-risk prostate cancer randomized to either continuous (life-long) androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or radiotherapy + ADT in the Scandinavian Prostate Cancer Group VII trial, confirming that local radiotherapy + ADT in such patients more than halved the 10- and 15-year prostate cancer-specific mortality and substantially decreased overall mortality.
  • Dr. Abdenour Nabid of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, reported long-term quality of life data from a randomized, double-blind, Phase III Canadian trial of radiation therapy plus either 36 or 18 months of ADT in men with high-risk, localized prostate cancer. The researchers concluded that reducing the duration of ADT from 36 to 18 months improves quality of life while having no negative impact on patient survival.
  • Dr. Sten Nilsson of Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, gave us data from a 1.5-year post-treatment follow-up from the ALSYMPCA trial of radium-223 dichloride in men with metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) — in whom metastases were limited to bone. This study was focused on the longer-term safety of radium-223, and appeared to confirm that the only significantly elevated risk for a serious side effect was a small increase in risk for anemia, although there were rare occurrences of other predictable side effects such a leukopenia and thrombocytopenia.
  • Dr. Robert Dreicer of the Cleveland Clinic presented data from the randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled Phase III trial of orteronel (TAK-700) + prednisone in men with mCRPC who had progressed during or following docetaxel-based therapy. We already know that this trial did not show a survival benefit, but that the developer continues to investigate the potential of orteronel in the management of advanced forms of prostate cancer.
  • Dr. Christos Mikropoulos of the Institute for Cancer Research, Sutton, England, reported initial results from the screening round of the IMPACT study designed to detect clinically significant prostate cancer in carriers of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. The early results from this study (a) appear to support the use of targeted PSA screening based on BRCA genotype; (b) show that this form of screening in this subset of men yields a high proportion of aggressive disease; and (c) show that the majority of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers diagnosed with prostate cancer at biopsy had developed clinically significant disease (requiring radical treatment) at time of diagnosis.

Since this was the 10th anniversary of the first of this series of conferences, the next afternoon session provided us with a 10-year review of advances in our understanding of the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer from the perspectives of three highly regarded specialists: a radiation oncologist (Dr. Deborah Kuban of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center), a urologic oncologist (Dr. Peter Scardino of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center), and a medical oncologist (Dr. Maha Hussain of the University of Michigan). All three were predictably positive about the progress that has been made over the past decade and the hope that we can make at least as much if not more progress over the next one.

The formal presentations on prostate cancer concluded with a short “tumor board” series of case presentations and discussions.

We had hoped that the full data from the CHAARTED trial were going to be presented at this meeting, but apparently this will be one of the featured presentations at the annual meeting of ASCO in Chicago, later this year. Regular readers will remember media reports that this study has shown a clear survival benefit for selected patients newly diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer who are treated with both ADT and docetaxel-based chemotherapy as opposed to ADT alone, but we are still awaiting the full details from this study.

As stated in an earlier report from the meeting, over the next week or so we will be going through the entire list of meeting abstracts to ferret out any other particularly interesting data for our readers. In the meantime, those who wish to look through the material for themselves can gain access to the abstracts by simply clicking here.

3 Responses

  1. Thank you, Sitemaster, for keeping us informed. There is much that has been accomplished; there is much to still be accomplished; and at my age of 81 I may not be able to experience it all, but I see a big light at the other end of the tunnel for those for those unfortunate men who will follow in our journey.

  2. On June 10 I heard and saw a doctor talking about a new drug for cancer including prostate cancer saying no side effects after being tested for 2 years. I believe it was called d 220. I’m wondering if you could respond to this TV announcement on the news. I missed writing down the exact name of the drug.

  3. Dear Harry:

    I have been unable to specifically identify the drug you are referring to, and I would also note that I have never heard of any pharmaceutical that has “no side effects”. Even mild, over-the-counter drugs like Maalox and Mylanta have some side effects in some people. Almost all drugs used in the treatment of cancer have the potential for serious side effects in some patients. However, …

    It is possible that you are referring to information about a drug actually known as NX-1207 from a company called Nymox Pharmaceutical Corp. This drug has been in trials for some time in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and early stage prostate cancer. There has been a lot of media hype about this drug (see for example this press release issued by the company in April). The problem is that, last November, intraprostatic injections of NX-1207 failed to show any significant clinical effectiveness compared to injections of a saline solution (as a placebo) in two large, randomized, Phase III clinical trials in the treatment of BPH (see here for more information).

    If this is indeed the drug you are referring to, it is also not the case that it “has no side effects”. The company has claimed that “NX-1207 treatment has been shown to have no significant adverse effect post-treatment on sexual function or testosterone levels.” However, this claim is still to be substantiated by actual published data from clinical trials.

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