A large number of University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers were in Chicago June 3-7 to present scientific findings and share their expertise with the more than 38,000 cancer experts attending the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting.
UNC Lineberger made national headlines when a study led by Ronald Chen, MD, MPH, a UNC Lineberger member and associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology, was chosen as one of the abstracts to be presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting press conference on Monday morning.
Chen led an analysis of national health claims data for advanced cancer patients younger than age 65 to see if patients were receiving aggressive care at the end of life. Chen and his collaborators found that nearly two-thirds of patients were admitted to the hospital or had visited an emergency room in the last 30 days of their lives, and a third of patients died in the hospital.
“Overuse of aggressive care at the very end of life for a cancer patient can translate to increased burden on patients and their families,” said study co-author Aaron Falchook, MD, a resident in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology. “If these treatments are making patients sick, and if patients continue to go to the hospital, this can reduce their ability to really spend time with their loved ones at the end of life, and to get the most time out of the life that they do have left.”
UNC Lineberger researchers presented a range of studies at the meeting. A study led by UNC Lineberger researchers Wendy Brewster, MD, PhD, and Temitope O. Keku, PhD, that found bacteria in the female reproductive tract, a region once thought sterile. They found a distinct bacterial profile in women with ovarian cancer.
In another study, Greg Knight, MD, and colleagues measured financial toxicity among cancer patients. They found that nearly one-in-four patients surveyed said they had to pay more for medical care than they could afford.
In a special press briefing, Deborah Mayer, PhD, RN, shared her perspective on how the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative is progressing. Mayer, together with Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, Alumni Distinguished Professor and dean of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a Lineberger member, are members of the Moonshot’s Blue Ribbon Panel, which serves as a national advisory board.
UNC Lineberger researchers also led discussion and education sessions on best practices in cancer care and research.
D. Neil Hayes, MD, MPH, chaired a mini-symposium on next-generation sequencing, while Ethan Basch, MD, MSc, presented on “Integrating patient-reported outcomes into cancer clinical trials and regulatory review.” Carey Anders, MD, delivered commentary in a post-plenary session discussion on breast cancer.
Other UNC Lineberger researchers who presented at the meeting include:
-Tom Stinchcombe presented “A pooled analysis of concurrent chemoradiotherapy for patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer who participated in U.S. cooperative group trials: Comparing the outcomes of elderly to younger patients."
-Stergios Moschos presented “Analysis of the University of North Carolina and Cancer Genome Atlas Project Next Generation Sequencing datasets identifies somatic mutations with prognostic significance in cutaneous melanoma.”
-Aaron Mitchell presented findings from the study “Financial ties to industry among national comprehensive cancer network guideline authors.”
-Aaron Falchook was lead author of the study “Use of support care at end-of-life for patients younger than 65 with incurable cancer.”
-Jared Weiss presented findings from the study “Neoadjuvant carboplatin, nab-paclitaxel and cetuximab prior to standard care of chemoradiotherapy for N2b or unresectabble squamous head and neck cancer.”
-Federico Innocenti presented findings from “A genome-wide association study of progression-free survival in metastatic breast cancer patients treated with letrozole with or without bevacizumab in CALGB 40503.”
-Shlomit Shachar presented findings from “Skeletal muscle area and density as predictors of chemotherapy toxicity and outcomes in metastatic breast cancer.”
-Michael Lee co-authored “Association of primary site and molecular features with progression-free survival and overall survival of metastatic colorectal cancer after anti-epidermal growth factor receptor therapy.”
-Mackenzi Pergolotti was lead author of the study “Improving mental status evaluation in older adults with cancer: The development of the MHI-13.”
-Tomohiro Nishijima was lead author of “Frailty and inflammatory markers in older adults with cancer.”
-Grant Williams was lead author of “Computerized tomography assessed body composition and physical function in older adults with cancer.”
-Joseph Caster was lead author of “Use of a nanotechnology-based system for the prospective characterization of circulating tumor cells in head and neck cancer patients.”
-Tracy Rose co-authored “Patterns of chemotherapy administration in bladder preservation therapy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer.”
-Dario Roque co-authored “Genetic variations in endometrial cancer by histology, stage and BMI.”
For more information about the meeting, click here.