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ASCO 2019, the summit of oncology in ten keys

Chicago (IL), .- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today finishes its annual meeting held, as every year, at the McCormick Convention Center in Chicago with a view to new treatments more accurate and effective against cancer.

This 55th edition concludes after five days of intense meetings, presentations, debates and analysis with more than 30,000 experts from around the world.

These are the keys to the global oncology summit:
1.- Customized precision medicine with target therapies and immunotherapy is the most effective way to fight cancer.

2.- One of the outstanding advances: The irruption of personalized therapy, with the inhibitor olaparib, in pancreatic cancer. Patients with the BRCA gene mutation benefit, 7% of cases. A lethal tumor that until now only had chemotherapy for the treatment of advanced cases.

3.- The life expectancy of patients with advanced lung cancer treated with immunotherapy is counted for years and not for months. Five-year survival data were presented for the first time with the monoclonal antibody pembrolizumab.

4.- The new drugs tend to be directed against genetic targets independently of the organ where the tumor originates. There are different cancers that share the same mutations, they are called agnostic tumors.

  1. An example of these tumors: A small group of children and adolescents with cancers of poor prognosis to be recurrent or refractory (that do not respond to treatment), some of the central nervous system, have responded to targeted therapy entrectinib. This inhibitor attacks a very rare gene fusion that these children carry. This opens a way of treatment.

6.- In breast cancer, the study of young women with advanced or metastatic breast cancer, especially aggressive, stands out. A target therapy, ribociclib, combined with another hormone has demonstrated for the first time in these cases a survival rate of 70% in patients with the most common subtype, that of hormonal receptors.

7.- Triple negative breast cancer, the least frequent but the most aggressive because it lacks biomarkers to direct innovative treatments, is in the focus of atezolizumab immunotherapy since some patients are responding to this therapeutic strategy that stimulates immune system against cancer.

8.- The immunotherapy pembrolizumab could become an alternative to chemotherapy in gastric cancers, which would contribute less toxicity and better quality of life to the patient.

9.- This year the ASCO meeting has shown a more social bias: studies presented in the plenary session highlight the benefits of the health reform of former President Barack Obama in 2010, the so-called “Obamacare”, and that the current president Donald Trump He has promised to dismantle.

The registries demonstrate, among other aspects, that racial inequalities in access to cancer care have been reduced and that early diagnoses of ovarian tumors have increased.

10.- The president of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), Josep Tabernero, stressed in Chicago the need to move forward so that access to medicines is increasingly widespread. Proposed reimbursement programs based on the effectiveness of the drug or related to the economic situation of each country (EFEUSA)

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