Dana-Farber research highlighted in ASCO 2014 Annual Meeting Plenary Session


Yawkey Center for Cancer Care

Practice-changing clinical research conducted at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology received top billing at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago. Three late-breaking abstracts highlighting research led by Dana-Farber faculty, in collaboration with affiliated cooperative groups, were selected for presentation during the ASCO Plenary Session on Sunday, June 1. This prestigious honor, reserved for abstracts with “the highest scientific merit and greatest impact on cancer research and care,” is awarded to just four out of hundreds of submissions worldwide.

These three plenary presentations featured the results of randomized phase III clinical trials conducted in patients with breast and prostate cancer. Biostatisticians at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute played an integral role in the design and analysis of each trial. The Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology houses the statistical centers for two major cooperative oncology groups affiliated with these trials: the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG), a leading international breast cancer research network, and ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, one of the largest clinical cancer research organizations in the United States.

The IBCSG will presented a joint analysis of the TEXT and SOFT clinical trials comparing the aromatase inhibitor exemestane with tamoxifen in premenopausal women treated with ovarian function suppression for hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer. The study analysis was coordinated at Dana-Farber by Meredith Regan, ScD, IBCSG statistician at Dana-Farber.

ECOG-ACRIN presented findings from the E3805 trial evaluating the survival benefit of adding chemotherapy to initial hormone therapy for patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Dana-Farber researcher Yu-Hui Chen, MS, working under the direction of Robert Gray, PhD, ECOG-ACRIN group statistician at Dana-Farber, conducted the statistical analyses for this trial.

Richard Gelber, PhD, director of IBCSG Statistical Center at Dana-Farber was the lead statistician for the ALTTO trial, the largest phase III randomized trial in HER2-positive breast cancer. ALTTO is coordinated by the Breast International Group (BIG), and explores adjuvant therapies in patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer.

“Our department’s tradition of leadership in the design and implementation of oncology trials stretches back several decades,” said Giovanni Parmigiani, PhD, chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at Dana-Farber. “It is wonderful to see the fruits of our scholarship and innovation have such recognition internationally and such a direct impact on the care of cancer patients.”

For more information about Dana-Farber research being presented at ASCO, visit www.dana-farber.org/asco. 

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