As in every year for more than half a century, the leading experts on cancer treatment will convene in Chicago in early June to discuss the latest clinical advances in oncology.
Gustave Roussy will certainly be alongside the principal contributors to this Congress. Apart from being able to exchange information and views with their peers from around the world with the mutual benefits deriving from that, Gustave Roussy specialists will be delivering 59 presentations, chosen by the Scientific Committee of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO): 10 oral communications of which 4 will be presented by doctors from the Institute; 8 poster-discussions, 7 of them presented by Gustave Roussy researchers; and 31 posters mounted by Institute doctor-researchers.
Professor Karim Fizazi, Head of the Institute's Department of Medical Oncology, will be prominent amongst the speakers at the Plenary Session, the highlight of the Congress, when work which will define new standards for oncology in the future is presented.
Gustave Roussy will be contributing in a wide variety of fields. Immunotherapy is one in which Gustave Roussy has been active for a long time and work will be presented on advances in efficacy, on previously untapped disease areas, with new patients (Paediatrics) and from long-term studies. The institute will also be describing innovative targeted therapies which have not previously been reported. In addition it will unveil diagnostic and prognostic tools to optimize patient management and will share valuable information derived from studies of several large patient cohorts with implications for the long-term outlook for patients and ex-patients.
1/ Under the spotlight
The Plenary Session of the ASCO Congress is an international show-case reserved for the most innovative work with results that promise to revolutionise the treatment of groups of patients or to give birth to a new generation of drugs.
This year, of the four studies selected by the ASCO Scientific Committee for presentation during this session, Gustave Roussy has contributed to two. Their findings will not be disclosed until the day before the oral presentation or even until the morning of it, but an outline of the subjects is given below:
- Prostate cancer: a trial which will revolutionise the standard treatment
- Breast cancer: initial promising results with olaparib
2/ Immunotherapy: the field of possibilities is still widening
Gustave Roussy is among the world leaders in immunotherapy. Currently, more than 70 therapeutic trials investigating novel immunotherapies are made available for Gustave Roussy patients.
This new therapeutic strategy does not involve attacking the cancer cells directly but seeks to stimulate the patient’s own natural defence mechanisms so that these can themselves fight the disease.
Pembrolizumab is one of the new agents and is yielding convincing results in various types of cancer. It will be the subject of a number of communications at the Congress.
- Metastatic melanoma: PD1-blocking immunotherapy has shown long-term efficacy even after cessation of treatment
- Gynaecological cancers: a new 2nd line treatment
- Paediatrics: pembrolizumab shows activity against several resistant cancers
- Antibiotics and immunotherapy don't get on well together
3/ Molecular medicine: Innovative targeted therapies
The new anti-cancer treatments no longer act blindly but target a single protein, an enzyme or a mechanism specific to the cells of a given type of cancer in an individual patient. They can, therefore, be more effective and carry fewer risks and undesirable effects for patients. Genomic advances also help in selecting patients so that these drugs are offered only to those who will benefit from them, thus sparing the others from exposure to ineffective treatments. Gustave Roussy is one of the world leaders in this personalised molecular medicine.
- Lung cancer: a new agent with a dual effect in treatment of tumours with a poor prognosis
- Adenoid cystic carcinoma: a new treatment for this rare cancer?
4/ Diagnosis and prognosis: new tools for personalised medicine
To offer the best possible treatment, doctors and researchers are always trying to develop and perfect their methods in order to have a precise diagnosis and to predict the course of the disease and the effectiveness of this or that treatment. These aspects are more than ever necessary today when personalised treatments are proliferating, these latter being more effective when they are administered to the right patient at the right time.
In parallel with their work on new therapies, the Gustave Roussy teams are, therefore, striving to develop new diagnostic approaches and new, more effective, more precise tools for disease assessment, which, hopefully, will be less onerous for the patient.
- Risk of relapse: a new predictive test in kidney cancer
- Prostate cancer: new predictive biomarker for response to treatment