The 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology

The annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology was held from Oct. 21 to 24 in San Antonio, Texas, and attracted approximately 11,000 participants from around the world, including physicians, oncology nurses, radiation therapists, biologists, physicists, and other cancer researchers. The conference featured educational courses focused on radiation, surgical, and medical oncology.

In one study, Bhisham Chera, M.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues found that a new liquid biopsy test accurately determined whether patients with HPV-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) were cancer-free after radiation therapy.

“We’ve developed a highly specific, sensitive liquid biopsy blood test for people with HPV-associated OPSCC,” Chera said in the statement. “This blood test had exceptional performance in monitoring patients for cancer recurrence after radiation therapy. If the circulating tumor HPV DNA is undetectable, there is a high likelihood that the patient is in remission and cancer-free.”

The investigators found that the test accurately predicted whether a patient was cancer-free, with a negative predictive value of 100 percent. In addition, it could potentially reduce the need for costly radiological scans during post-treatment surveillance, reserving them for patients with detectable circulating tumor HPV DNA.

“We are showing in this abstract that the blood test performs very well. It detects cancer before the scan detects cancer. Using this test, I can walk into a patient’s room and say, ‘You are more than likely cancer-free at this point,'” Chera said in the statement.

Two investigators disclosed financial relationships with Naveris, a company to which intellectual property related to the new test has been licensed.

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As part of the FAST (FASTer Radiotherapy for breast cancer patients) trial, Murray Brunt, M.D., of University Hospitals of North Midlands and Keele University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues found that women with early-stage breast cancer who received radiation therapy with fewer, higher doses had similarly low rates of late-onset adverse events as women receiving conventional radiation therapy.

“This study says it’s possible to find a regimen that would allow early-stage breast cancer patients to be treated only once a week over five weeks rather than daily over the same time period,” Brunt said in a statement. “Findings should help doctors discuss risks and benefits with their patients for various courses of radiation therapy and inform shared decision-making between physicians and patients.”

The study enrolled 915 women with early-stage invasive breast cancer at 18 centers across the United Kingdom between 2004 and 2007. The investigators randomly assigned women to one of three regimens of whole-breast radiation therapy after breast-conserving surgery: conventional treatment with 50 Gray (Gy) of radiation delivered in 25 daily 2-Gy fractions over five weeks or hypofractionated treatment with one of two doses — 30 Gy delivered in five once-weekly fractions of 6 Gy each or 28.5 Gy delivered in five once-weekly fractions of 5.7 Gy each.

“The profile of adverse effects to normal breast tissue was similar between the 28.5 Gy and 50 Gy groups, but rates were higher after 30 Gy given in five fractions over five weeks,” Brunt said in the statement. “This disparity is rooted in differences between the two regimens in fractionation sensitivity. The sensitivity of 30 Gy delivered in five fractions over five weeks was equivalent to a total radiation dose of 57.3 Gy in 2 Gy fractions, while 28.5 Gy delivered in five fractions over five weeks was roughly the same as 52.5 Gy in 2 Gy fractions.”

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Alan Pollack, M.D., Ph.D., of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami in Florida, and colleagues found that men with prostate cancer progression after prostate removal may benefit from extending radiation therapy to the pelvic lymph nodes along with a short course of hormone therapy.

“We looked specifically at men with prostate cancer who began to show signs that the cancer was not completely eradicated after prostatectomy,” Pollack said in a statement. “Adding hormone therapy and pelvic lymph node treatment substantively increased the proportion of patients who remained free from disease progression, to the point that we could report the data after an early interim analysis. The degree of the effectiveness of the combination is surprising but makes sense when you consider other more contemporary evidence using newer PET scanning methods showing that pelvic lymph node recurrences are more common than previously appreciated.”

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ASTRO: Long-Term Benefit for Stereotactic Radn in Prostate CA

FRIDAY, Oct. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For men with low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer (PCa), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) seems safe and effective in the long term, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, held Oct. 21 to 24 in San Antonio, Texas.

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ASTRO: Oropharynx CA Survival Rates Worse With RT/Cetuximab

FRIDAY, Oct. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For patients with locoregionally advanced human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharynx cancer, radiation/cetuximab results in inferior overall and progression-free survival versus radiation/cisplatin, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, held Oct. 21 to 24 in San Antonio, Texas.

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ASTRO: Stereotactic Ablative RT OK for RCC in Solitary Kidneys

FRIDAY, Oct. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC), stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) seems to be as safe and effective for patients with a solitary kidney as for those with bilateral kidneys, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, held Oct. 21 to 24 in San Antonio, Texas.

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