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World Conference on Lung Cancer Monday Press Conference: Clinical Research Results and Gender Differences in Lung Cancer Survival

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TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At today’s press conference at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer’s (IASLC’s) 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC), conference co-president Dr. Andrea Bezjak, M.D., FRCPC, MSc, professor in the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and staff radiation oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, summarized the wide-ranging study topics presented in today’s conference, from significant clinical research findings to gender differences in lung cancer survival.  

IMpower132 study shows atezolizumab in combination with carboplatin and pemetrexed improves survival in Stage IV non-squamous NSCLC
Recent findings from the IMpower132 study, presented by Vassiliki A. Papadimitrakopoulou, M.D., chief of the Section of Thoracic Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, demonstrate that the use of atezolizumab in combination with carboplatin as first-line therapy and pemetrexed as maintenance therapy improves progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with Stage IV non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). 

Though survival data is not yet mature, preliminary results indicate an improvement in overall survival (OS) with the three-drug combination. These results are significant because they indicate that the historically poor median OS of 12 months found with current standard-of-care treatment options can be improved upon.

“The findings from IMpower132 indicate that the addition of atezolizumab to a backbone of carboplatin and pemetrexed chemotherapy provides better clinical efficacy than carboplatin and pemetrexed alone…offering a valuable treatment option that prolongs survival for patients with Stage IV non-squamous NSCLC,” said Dr. Papadimitrakopoulou.

Read the full press release here.

Entrectinib produced a clinically meaningful response in locally advanced or metastatic ROS1 fusion-positive NSCLC
Recent findings demonstrate entrectinib, an oral, potent and selective ROS1/NTRK/ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitor, produced a clinically meaningful and durable systemic response in patients with and without central nervous system (CNS) metastases, according to results presented today by Robert C. Doebele, M.D., Ph.D., of the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Colorado.

The results comprised of an integrated analysis of three studies, ALKA, STARTRK-1 and STARTRK-2, and included 53 patients. The response rate was 77.4 percent, with median duration of response of 24.6 months. The median progression free survival was 26.3 months for patients without CNS metastases and 13.6 months for patients with CNS metastases. Entrectinib was tolerable with a manageable safety profile.

"The data look very exciting. The hope is that entrectinib could replace crizotinib as a first-line therapy against ROS1-positive NSCLC," said Dr. Doebele.

Read the full press release here.

Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, opening plenary speaker at the IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer, examines how serious illness can create important sense of meaning for HCPs, caregivers and patients
The importance of having a professional and personal sense of meaning when dealing with serious illness, such as lung cancer, was the topic of today’s opening Plenary Session, “Patients First.” Speaker Lucy Kalanithi, M.D., offered a unique dual perspective as a physician and a caregiver who lost her young spouse to Stage IV lung cancer.  

“When you are a medical professional who works with an illness as serious as lung cancer, that challenge comes with an inherent opportunity to add value and a sense of meaning not only to your patients’ lives but also to your own,” said Dr. Kalanithi. “This profession is not just a job, it’s a calling.”

Dr. Kalanithi’s debut presentation at the WCLC, When Breath Becomes Air, shares the title of her husband’s number-one New York Times best-selling memoir, for which she wrote the epilogue.

Read the full press release here.

Study shows outdoor air pollution exposure significantly higher in women non-smokers with lung cancer than women smokers with lung cancer
Findings from a recent study, presented by Renelle L. Myers, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, demonstrate that female lung cancer patients who have never smoked have significantly greater exposure rates to outdoor air pollution than female lung cancer patients with a history of smoking.

The results of the study showed median air pollution exposure of never-smoker cancer patients was more than double that of ever-smokers with lung cancer. Interestingly, never-smokers with the highest levels of ambient particulate matter exposure were 74 percent women.

“The results of this study underscore the importance of factoring outdoor air pollution into lung cancer development among women, particularly those who have never smoked,” said Myers. “Although long-term exposure to ambient particulate matter has been associated with an increased risk of developing lung cancer…there is currently no lung cancer screening risk prediction model that includes air pollution as an individual risk factor in its calculation.”

Read the full press release here.

Women with non-small cell lung cancers live longer than men, WCLC study shows
Women diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) live longer than their male counterparts, according to results of a SWOG study presented today by Kathy Albain, M.D., the Huizenga Family Endowed Chair in Oncology Research at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Dr. Albain and her SWOG team studied 981 patients newly diagnosed with Stage I, II, or III NSCLC and grouped them into four cohorts based on sex and smoking history. Regardless of smoking history or any other factor, women in the trial had significantly better overall survival (OS) rates compared to men. The analysis found that female never-smokers and female ever-smokers had significantly better OS compared to male never-smokers and male ever-smokers.

“Women with NSCLC live longer, even when we control for every factor that might influence survival in NSCLC, including tobacco and other exposures, lifestyle factors, disease stage, treatment, tumor biology and hormonal factors,” said Dr. Albain. “Additional study is needed to further investigate favorable survival for women in this population, and our large clinical trials need to be equally balanced for women.”

Read the full press release here.

Smoking cessation services widely accepted during lung cancer screenings
A recent study, presented by William Evans, M.D., FRCPC, professor emeritus, McMaster University Department of Oncology, and Clinical Advisor, Smoking Cessation, Cancer Care Ontario, found that smoking cessation services (SCS) offered at the time of lung cancer screening had a high acceptance rate by current smokers.

Of 808 individuals eligible for lung cancer screening, 63 percent were identified as current smokers. Of screen-eligible current smokers, 89 percent accepted hospital-based cessation counseling, and 88 percent of those who had a baseline low-dose computed tomography (CT) in the reporting period attended a hospital-based counselling session.

“It is important to seize the opportunity to discuss smoking cessation with those attending a screening program,” said Dr. Evans. “The motivation of the individuals coming in for screening, combined with the approaches taken by the nurse navigator, has made the program successful. By taking an empathetic approach, we’ve been able to help current smokers get the resources they need to help with their addiction to nicotine.”

Read the full press release here.

Livestreams of the daily press conferences are available here.

About the WCLC
The World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) is the world’s largest meeting dedicated solely to lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, attracting over 7,000 researchers, physicians and specialists from more than 100 countries. The conference will cover a wide range of disciplines and unveil research studies and clinical trial results. For more information, visit http://wclc2018.iaslc.org/. Follow the conference on social media with: #WCLC2018.

About the IASLC
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated solely to the study of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes more than 7,500 lung cancer specialists across all disciplines in over 100 countries, forming a global network working together to conquer lung and thoracic cancers worldwide. The association also publishes the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the primary educational and informational publication for topics relevant to the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of all thoracic malignancies. Visit www.iaslc.org for more information. You can also follow the IASLC on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Contacts:
Lisa Rivero
Vice President
lrivero@jpa.com| +1 617-657-1305

Becky Bunn, MSc
Public Relations Manager
Becky.Bunn@IASLC.org | +1 720-254-9509 

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