David J. Kerr, CBE, MD, DSc, FRCP, FMedSci


May 20, 2013

Gastroesophageal and Pancreatic Cancer

On the noncolorectal cancer side, it looks as if there is quite a buzz of excitement and a number of interesting-looking late-breaking abstracts on gastric, gastroesophageal, and pancreatic cancer that I, for one, will be queuing up to hear .

A nice study will be presented by Dan Van Hoff and colleagues[7] in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer in which they looked at the combination of albumin-bound paclitaxel plus gemcitabine vs gemcitabine alone. This is a large study with 861 patients, all of whom had advanced pancreatic ductile carcinoma. The addition of the albumin-bound paclitaxel appeared to confer a small but clinically significant survival benefit. Therefore, we may be seeing an evolution of a new gold-standard achievement for advanced pancreatic cancer.

Skipping a little to molecular oncology, Gatalica and colleagues[8] will present a nice report of an analysis of the extraordinary database that has been developed, now profiling more than 35,000 cancers. Taking that approach now, looking at the combination of genetics and immunohistochemistry, it may be possible to identify both rare and common genetic variants that have actionable, clinical implications, such that we may be able to match drugs to some of these important pathways.

This will be a reasonably interesting ASCO in terms of gastrointestinal cancers -- both colorectal and noncolorectal -- and interesting steps forward in molecular oncology as there always are. I look forward to seeing you there.

Until next time, thanks for listening.


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