Leading cancer specialists presented the latest research in the fight against cancer at the ASCO congress held this weekend. One of the best announcements of this congress concerns a very aggressive type of breast cancer. The risk of relapse for women affected by this cancer was halved in the international Olympia trial presented at this congress. Excellent news explained by Suzette Delaloge, oncologist at Gustave Roussy, one of the participating centers.
Hope for some breast cancers
This study involves young patients diagnosed early on, with a small tumor that can be surgically removed, but with cancer cells carrying at least two poor genetic characteristics. For the first time, an innovative so-called “targeted” treatment called olaparib was used at an early stage of the disease.
It attacks, to put it very simply, the maintenance service that allows cancer cells to survive in the body. Without this maintenance, the cells eventually die. This treatment is already used at more advanced stages in other cancers. We hope that it will be very quickly accessible to all the patients concerned.
Another targeted therapy, with a single tablet, shows great promise against certain leukemias. At the heart of the great advances of recent years, there is also immunotherapy.
Treatments are now able to restore all their power to our immune defenses by removing the shields of cancer cells. This year, they achieved additional successes in kidney and lung cancer, for example.
Gain years of life, thanks to the improvement of more conventional strategies
In prostate cancer, new hormonal therapies have been developed. Thanks to one of these molecules added to the normal protocol, a European trial reduced the number of years of tranquility from 2 to 4.5, without relapse in patients whose cancer had already metastasized!
This treatment should be adopted in routine all the more quickly since it already has its Marketing Authorization in other indications and will even soon be generic.
Other strategies mentioned last year are continuing to develop. These are nanoparticles, you know these elements which are 50,000 times the thickness of a hair that are placed in tumors and multiply the effect of radiotherapy. This strategy developed by the Institut Curie has also brought great hope for ENT tumors: in 9 out of 13 patients, the tumor has disappeared!