Endometrial, lung, and survivorship studies headline Dana-Farber research at AACR Annual Meeting 2024

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Numerous studies conducted by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute show promising results for patients with endometrial, lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. The results of these studies, along with dozens of others led by Dana-Farber faculty, will be presented at this year's American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting on April 5-10, 2024, in San Diego, Calif.

The institute's leading experts and researchers will present findings across a spectrum of diseases, underscoring their dedication to driving innovation, improving patient outcomes, and changing lives everywhere.

Rebecca Porter, MD, PhD, a medical oncologist in the Gynecological Oncology Program of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers, will present "A phase 2, two-stage study of mirvetuximab soravtansine (IMGN853) in combination with pembrolizumab in patients with microsatellite stable (MSS) recurrent or persistent endometrial cancer" in Session Clinical Trials Plenary Session CT008 on Sunday, April 7, 2024, 7:30-7:45 p.m. ET/4:30-4:45 p.m. PT. Full press release available here.

Other notable research from Dana-Farber includes:

Blood test may identify patients with non-small cell lung cancer subtype who can benefit from combination therapy

Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD, senior vice president for Translational Medicine, will present an update to his practice-changing FLAURA2 clinical trial published last year, revealing that patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) marked by a mutation in the EGFR gene fared significantly better when treated with the drug osimertinib plus platinum-based chemotherapy than with osimertinib alone. This follow-up analysis of trial data shows that patients whose blood tested positive prior to therapy for tumor cell DNA (ctDNA) with an EGFR mutation stood to gain the most from osimertinib plus chemotherapy. Patients who had EGFR-mutant ctDNA in their blood prior to therapy had a higher degree of clinical benefit when treated with osimertinib and platinum-based chemotherapy compared to those treated with osimertinib alone. Jänne will present "FLAURA2: exploratory analysis of baseline (BL) and on-treatment plasma EGFRm dynamics in patients (pts) with EGFRm advanced NSCLC treated with first-line (1L) osimertinib (osi) ± platinum-pemetrexed" in the Clinical Trials Plenary Session CT017 on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, 1:45-2:00 p.m. ET/10:45-11:00 a.m. PT.

Exercise program can improve heart function in cancer survivors

Cami Christopher, MPH, a research scientist in the Department of Medical Oncology, Population Sciences, will present findings suggesting that a moderate to vigorous aerobic and resistance exercise program can improve a key aspect of heart function in survivors of breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. Cancer survivors are at increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and heart failure due to the damaging effects of some cancer therapies. In this study, 90 survivors of breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer who were overweight and had completed chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy received either a circuit, interval-based exercise program or standard post-treatment care. Investigators found that, over a four-month period, vascular function improved significantly in the exercise group compared to the standard-care group. Christopher will present "Effects of a circuit, interval-based exercise program on vascular function among cancer survivors" in the Clinical Research, Prevention/Early Detection/Interception, Survivorship Poster Session (Presentation 6290; Poster Board 1) on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, 4:30-8:00 p.m. ET/1:30-5:00 p.m. PT.

Study provides first large-scale look at genetic architecture of prostate cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa

Timothy Rebbeck, PhD, the Vincent L. Gregory Professor of Cancer Prevention, led the first large-scale genomic analysis of prostate cancer in sub-Saharan Africa which revealed that the genetic architecture of the disease – its basic underpinnings in abnormalities in DNA – is unique to Africa and varies across the continent. All lab work and participant accrual for the study were conducted on the continent, a landmark in the effort to build cancer research capacity in Africa. Researchers examined the evolutionary history of regions of the genome associated with prostate cancer, developed a new method of gauging prostate cancer risk, and inferred ancestry-related genetic architectures in 3,393 men with prostate cancer and 3,509 men without the disease in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda. They identified 15 abnormalities at three locations on the genome that were broadly linked to prostate cancer, including four that had not previously been identified. Rebbeck will present "Genetic architecture, evolutionary genomics, and genomic risk of prostate cancer in sub-Saharan Africa" in the Prevention/Early Detection/Interception, Population Sciences Poster Session (Presentation 774; Poster Board 1) on Sunday, April 7, 2024, 4:30-8:00 p.m. ET/1:30-5:00 p.m. PT.

View the full list of Dana-Farber-led research at AACR.

In addition, the AACR will recognize Rebbeck, Christopher D.M. Fletcher, MD, FRCPath, David S. Pellman, MD, and Gordon J. Freeman, PhD, with 2024 Scientific Achievement Awards during the Annual Meeting. In December 2023, Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD, FAACR, received the 2023 AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

For all AACR-related media inquiries, contact Ellen Berlin, Senior Director, External Communications at ellen_berlin@dfci.harvard.edu or 617-750-8884. Follow the meeting live on X using the hashtag #AACR2024 and follow Dana-Farber News on X at @DanaFarberNews.

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute featured research at AACR Annual Meeting 2024