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Ovarian and prostate cancer trials share results at ESMO 2014

29 September 2014

Yesterday researchers from the ICON6  and STAMPEDE  trials presented results at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress in Madrid.

Dr Dan Stark presented results showing that adding the drug cediranib to standard chemotherapy (which previously reported results from ICON6  have shown improves progression free survival  and overall survival ) does not negatively affect quality of life  for women with ovarian cancer. Researchers had been concerned that the improvements (even though it is oral rather than intravenous) might be at the cost of worsening quality of life. This analysis of the 456 women in ICON6 shows that is not the case.

Dr Chris Parker presented an analysis of the impact of radiotherapy for patients on the control arm of the STAMPEDE trial. Previous trials, including PR07, have shown that adding radiotherapy to hormone therapy improves survival for men with locally-advanced prostate cancer that was not known to have spread elsewhere. There was no clear evidence of whether men whose cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes would also benefit from radiotherapy. The team can explore the impact of radiotherapy because doctors recorded whether they were planning to give radiotherapy to each patient when they joined the trial. The analysis looked at data from 700 men in the trial’s control arm. Outcomes for men who were planned to have radiotherapy were compared to that of men who were not planned for radiotherapy. The team found that the planned use of radiotherapy was associated with improved failure-free survival i.e. it took longer before patients’ disease got worse, on average. This was true for men with node-negative disease, as in the previous trials. It was also true for men whose disease had spread to their nodes. This new finding may increase use of radiotherapy in this latter group. Professor Nick James also presented these at ASTRO, San Francisco, earlier in September.

The trial teams will now write these results up in detail, and we will provide further information once they are published.