Both interviews in this episode are with presenters at the 2023 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers symposium. Dr. Myriam Chalabi (Netherlands Cancer Institute) discusses the TARZAN trial, which found that, in patients with rectal cancer, neoadjuvant radiotherapy followed by atezolizumab and bevacizumab resulted in an encouraging complete response rate. The findings of this phase 1 study demonstrate that total mesorectal excision may be prevented in a significant proportion of patients, increasing the chance for organ preservation and reducing the risk for long-term morbidity related to surgery. It is a small but very exciting study!
But first, Dr. Laura Dawson (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada) reviews her phase 3 study of single-dose radiotherapy to manage pain from hepatocellular carcinoma and liver metastases. The results of this trial delivered encouragingly good results, beyond even the palliative endpoint.
1. Dawson LA, et al. Canadian Cancer Trials Group HE.1: A phase III study of palliative radiotherapy for symptomatic hepatocellular carcinoma and liver metastases. LBA492, Rapid Abstract Session B: Cancers of the Pancreas, Small Bowel, and Hepatobiliary Tract, ASCO-GI 2023, San Francisco, CA, USA, 19-21 January.
2. Soliman H, Ringash J, Jiang H, Singh K, Kim J, Dinniwell R, Brade A, Wong R, Brierley J, Cummings B, Zimmermann C, Dawson LA. Phase II trial of palliative radiotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma and liver metastases. J Clin Oncol. 2013 Nov 1;31(31):3980-6.
3. Verschoor YL, et al. Radiotherapy, atezolizumab, and bevacizumab in rectal cancers with the aim of organ preservation: The TARZAN study. Poster Session C: Cancers of the Colon, Rectum, and Anus, Abstract 158, 2023 ASCO GI Cancers Symposium, San Francisco, CA, USA, 19-21 January.
4. Chalabi M. Defying all odds in MMR-deficient rectal cancers. Cancer Cell. 2022 Sep 12;40(9):914-916.
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