American Association for Cancer Research's Annual Meeting, April 14-18, 2007

American Association for Cancer Research's Annual Meeting

The 2007 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) took place April 14-18 in Los Angeles. The mood was upbeat due to declining death rates and the advent of new and effective therapies, said AACR spokesperson William Nelson, M.D, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "This is a great meeting that shows you what the wave of the future is going to be and not the remote future either," he said.

"We have begun to make a serious impact on the cancer death rate, and it's really getting to be fun," Nelson said. "It's always fun to see someone with bad cancer benefit from treatments, but to see it more and more, and to see it more broadly across the field, is extremely exciting."

Many of the treatment advances discussed at the meeting involved personalized medicine.

"We had thought that cancer encompasses 100 or more diseases, and, with all the sophisticated technologies for profiling defective genes, it's looking like 100 diseases is an underestimate," he added.

Better, more precise classification of cancers will allow physicians to predict which patients will respond to which treatments with pinpoint accuracy as well as help streamline the drug research and development process.

"It is becoming increasingly possible to predict whether a cancer patient will respond to a therapy before they get treated," Nelson said. For example, mutations in the KRAS oncogene could predict a lack of response to the drug cetuximab in patients with colorectal cancer, according to research presented at the meeting. "These people are different and can be predicted to respond differently to treatments that are all ready out there," he said.

In terms of drug development, "we can pick the winners from the losers effectively without having heavy financial and patient costs," Nelson said. "This is very exciting, and it's really moving fast," he said.

H. Kim Lyerly, M.D. of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center in Durham, N.C., said that at the head of the list of promising new therapies is Tykerb (lapatinib), which can be used in combination with capecitabine for the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic breast cancer whose tumors overexpress HER2, and the new cervical cancer vaccine that targets human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

An ongoing evaluation of the HPV vaccine found that the vaccine continues to protect against HPV types 16 and 18 at five and a half years into the study and that it offers significant cross-protection for HPV types 45 and 31.

"The five-year effects of the vaccines that prevent cervical cancer show that it is highly effective, and the promise is that you don't need a booster," Lyerly said. "This may suggest lifelong immunity, and you are protected against many types of the virus, so it may be that the early stages of eradicating HPV could really eradicate human cervical cancer."

AACR: Nanoparticle Gene Therapy Studied in Lung Cancer

WEDNESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- A novel intravenous gene therapy administered via a lipid nanoparticle has been tested in patients with stage 4 lung cancer, according to research presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Los Angeles.

Abstract

AACR: Pancreatic Cancer Vaccine Seems Promisng

WEDNESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- A dendritic cell pancreatic cancer vaccine that targets the MUC1 protein appears to be promising, according to a pilot study presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles.

Abstract

AACR: Anti-Inflammatory Agents May Curb Cancer

WEDNESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin and inhaled corticosteroids may help prevent cancer from either developing or spreading to the lungs, according to two studies in humans and animals presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Los Angeles.

Abstract - Bardia
Abstract - Taranova

AACR: After Cervical Cancer, Higher Risk of Second Cancer

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Cervical cancer survivors are at increased risk of developing secondary cancers even 40 years later, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles. The increased risk seems to be related to specific factors, including human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, smoking and irradiation.

Abstract

AACR: Prostate Cancer More Likely to Recur in Blacks

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- In men who undergo surgery for prostate cancer, blacks are more likely than whites to experience disease recurrence, and the racial disparity is widest among those who undergo surgery at high-volume hospitals, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles.

Abstract

AACR: Breast-Feeding Cancer-Protective in Older Mothers

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Breast-feeding protects against hormone receptor-positive and hormone receptor-negative breast cancer in women who give birth, even if they do so at an older age, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles.

Abstract

AACR: Oral Rinse May Detect Head and Neck Cancer

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Early head and neck squamous cell carcinoma could be detected by using an oral rinse and testing for soluble CD44 and CD44 hypermethylation, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles.

Abstract

AACR: Healthy Diet May Lower Risk of Head, Neck Cancer

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- People who eat high amounts of fruits and vegetables may have a reduced risk of developing head and neck cancer compared to those who eat little or no fruit or vegetables, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles.

Abstract

Physician's Briefing