Personalized Medicine Coalition Applauds Data Presentations at IASLC/ESMO Second European Lung Cancer Conference
Washington, DC - April 30, 2010 — The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) applauds the substantial number of new studies focusing on targeted approaches to the treatment of lung cancer presented at the second joint European Lung Cancer Conference of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Geneva.
“The number of studies at this year’s European Lung Cancer Conference suggests notable progress in personalized medicine as well as the understanding and treatment of lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.,” said Edward Abrahams, president of PMC. “We hope that applying the principles of personalized medicine to lung cancer, as these studies do, will help us better attack this deadly disease.”
The PMC believes that personalized approaches to diseases such as lung cancer offer the best means of understanding, diagnosing, treating and ultimately curing some of the most challenging health conditions.
“Personalized approaches could be pivotal in the understanding and treatment of lung cancer,” explained Dr. Paul Bunn, executive director of IASLC. “There is a new level of sophistication and clinical value for biomarker testing in a treatment setting. We are also identifying new molecular characterizations that may present us with new pathways for targeted therapies.” In recent years, several targeted therapies have been introduced for the treatment of advanced lung cancer, including gefitinib, erlotinib and bevacizumab. Patients receive varying degrees of therapeutic benefit from these targeted therapies, and it is believed that some of the varying benefit can be attributed to differences in molecular characteristics. This year’s European Lung Cancer Conference featured findings from studies exploring these molecular differences, including:
- Proteomic Serum Testing and Erlotinib Treatment: Outcome data from a phase III clinical trial analyzed using a proteomic stratification test was presented to illustrate how the test (VeriStrat), classifies non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who are likely to have good or poor survival outcomes following treatment with EGFR-TKIs, such as erlotinib. Data was presented by David Carbone, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, on April 30.
- EGFR Mutations and Gefitinib Treatment: Oral treatment with the targeted drug gefitinib was superior with regard to progression-free survival compared to treatment with up to six cycles of first-line chemotherapy in patients with advanced NSCLC who have mutations in their tumors that activate an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Data was presented by Robert Pirker, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Austria, on April 30.
- VEGF and Angiogenesis-inhibitors: A study analyzing the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) genes in lung cancers will show that these expressions could soon help identify groups of patients who are likely to benefit most from treatment with angiogenesisinhibitor drugs. Dr. Eloisa Jantus from the General University Hospital of Valencia, Spain, presented the data on April 29.
- CXCR4 Over-expression and Disease Progression: Lung cancer patients whose tumors over-express a cell surface molecule called CXCR4 do significantly worse than those who do not. Researchers believe that the molecule could be a new target for personalized cancer therapy. Dr. Gwyn Bebb and colleagues from the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, Canada presented the data on April 29.
“With a better understanding of the molecular underpinnings of the disease, physicians will have an improved ability to pair the right drug with the right patient,” added Abrahams. The 2nd European Lung Cancer Conference is taking place in Geneva, Switzerland from April 28 through May 1. For more information, about these and other presentations on personalized medicine, please visit http://www.esmo.org/events/lung-2010-iaslc/program.html.
Acting Communications Director
Personalized Medicine Coalition
About the Personalized Medicine Coalition
The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), representing a broad spectrum of academic, industrial, patient, provider, and payer communities, seeks to advance the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts and products for the benefit of patients. For more information on the Personalized Medicine Coalition, please visit www.PersonalizedMedicineCoalition.org.
About the European Society for Medical Oncology
The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) is the leading European professional organization committed to advancing the specialty of medical oncology and promoting a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment and care.
ESMO’s mission is to advance cancer care and cure through fostering and disseminating good science that leads to better medicine and determines best practice. In this way ESMO fulfils its goal to support oncology professionals in providing people with cancer with the most effective treatments available and the highquality care they deserve.
The ESMO community is a powerful alliance of more than 6,000 committed oncology professionals from over 100 countries. As a trusted organization with 35 years of experience and over 500 expert officers, ESMO serves its members and the oncology community through: a brand of excellence in postgraduate oncology education and training; leadership in transforming evidencebased research into standards of cancer care in Europe; dedicated efforts to foster a more favorable environment for scientific research; innovative international platforms to share expertise, best practices and disseminate the most uptodate scientific research to as wide an audience as possible.
ESMO’s scientific journal, Annals of Oncology, ranks among the top clinical oncology journals worldwide. ESMO events are the meeting place in Europe for medical oncologists to update their knowledge, to network and to exchange ideas. To find out more about the Society, please visit www.esmo.org
About the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
Founded in 1972, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is an international organization of 2,000 lung cancer specialists, spanning 53 countries. IASLC members work towards developing and promoting the study of etiology, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and all other aspects of lung cancer. IASLC's mission is to enhance the understanding and education of lung cancer to scientists, members of the medical community and the public. IASLC publishes the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, a prized resource for medical specialists and scientists who focus on the detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.
To find out more about IASLC please visit www.iaslc.org