Each year, the leading cancer experts – physicians, researchers and others – gather to share information on the latest treatments and research at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
The conference often features new information that could potentially change how cancer care is provided. For example, clinicians discuss new drug combinations, better chemotherapy agents, and the latest trends in cancer medicine.
And this year, as in the past, Jefferson was well represented at the conference earlier this month in Chicago.
Director of the newly established Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities, Edith Mitchell, M.D, FACP, a medical oncologist at Jefferson University Hospitals, was named the 2012 recipient of the ASCO Humanitarian Award. The award is given to someone who personifies the society’s mission and values, and for going above and beyond the call of duty in providing outstanding patient care.
She accepted the award during the meeting’s opening session. “Receiving this award is a great honor, and I thank the Society for the acknowledgement,” said Dr. Mitchell. “I challenge people in the different areas here today to join us to conquer cancer.”
Younger patients with colorectal cancer were more likely to have advanced stage tumors at diagnosis and metastasize much sooner, yet had better than or equal survival to patients 50 and older, Dr. Mitchell and her colleagues, including Scott Goldstein, MD, of the Department of Surgery, found.
“We’re seeing more advanced tumors in the younger population because the cases aren’t being caught early enough,” said Dr. Mitchell.
Early evidence suggests that younger patients are able to tolerate more aggressive cancer therapies because of fewer co-morbidities, said Dr. Goldstein.
Jefferson medical oncologist William Kevin Kelly, DO, director of the Solid Tumor Division in the Department of Medical Oncology, and colleagues from the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology reported on a phase III trial for men with advanced prostate cancer. Dr. Kelly, lead author of the study, reported that men whose cancer had spread to the liver metastases had a shorter overall survival compared to men whose cancer had not metastasized to the liver.
Men who had metastatic castration-refractory prostate cancer without liver metastases lived 8.2 months longer, they found. The team presented their abstract during a poster session focusing on genitourinary cancers.