33rd ESMO Congress in Stockholm, 12-16 September 2008



    LUGANO, Switzerland, Sept. 5 /CNW/ - The 33rd ESMO Congress in Stockholm,
the premier European congress in Oncology, serves as a meeting place for
medical oncologists, as well as a focal point to exchange ideas with
colleagues from other disciplines.
    The Congress Centre will be the venue for interdisciplinary interaction,
a teaching ground, and a place to discuss critical issues for European
oncology such as cancer research in Europe, the training of young oncologists
and better integration of medical oncology with other specialties and patient
advocacy groups.

    
    Highlights of Congress Program:

    Please respect individual embargo dates/times

    Access to drugs

    European disparities in access to cancer drugs

    (Embargoed until Monday, 15 September 2008, 12:30 CEST)

    New research has highlighted stark disparities in access to the latest
cancer drugs across European Union nations. Dr. Nils Wilking from the
Karolinska Institute in Stockholm gathered data on the sales of newer drugs
per inhabitant of each country provided by pharmaceutical industry consultants
IMS Health. His group's focus was on the uptake of newer 'targeted' drugs over
the past 10 years in 27 countries.

    Lung Cancer

    Significant benefits in non-small-cell lung cancer from customising
    treatment

    (Embargoed until Saturday 13 September 2008, 12:45 CEST)

    Lung cancer patients whose tumours carry specific genetic mutations can
achieve significantly longer survival when treated with targeted therapies
such as erlotinib, Spanish researchers report. Investigators from the Spanish
Lung Cancer Group conducted the largest-ever study to examine the benefits of
customising lung cancer treatment based on mutations in the epidermal growth
factor receptor (EGFR) gene.

    Phase II trial of pazopanib before surgery in early lung cancer

    (Embargoed until Monday, 15 September 2008, 10:45 CEST)

    Pazopanib, a new oral angiogenesis inhibitor, has demonstrated interesting
activity in hard-to-treat non-small-cell lung cancer, US researchers report.
"To my knowledge, no other results on the effect of angiogenesis inhibitors in
early stage operable lung cancer have been published," said Prof. Nasser
Altorki from Weil Medical College of Cornell University in New York. The
results indicate a highly active drug in this setting and further development
in lung cancer is underway to fully understand the value of this drug in this
disease.

    Late-breaking data: Study establishes role for gefitinib in Asian non-
    smokers with lung cancer

    (Embargoed until Monday, 15 September 2008, 15:15 CEST)

    The targeted therapy gefitinib should be considered a first-line therapy
for non-smoking Asian patients with adenocarcinoma of the lung, suggests a
presentation by Prof. Tony Mok from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    Melanoma

    Gene variant increases melanoma risk

    (Embargoed until Monday, 15 September 2008, 15:30 CEST)

    People who carry a particular genetic variant are at significantly
increased risk of developing malignant melanoma, new research shows. Melanomas
are known to be caused by exposure to the ultraviolet light in sunlight, but
the precise mechanisms involved are complex, Portuguese researchers show.

    Late-breaking data: extended, escalated dose chemotherapy shows no
    survival benefit in advanced disease

    (Embargoed until Monday 15 September 2008, 17:00 CEST)

    Prof. Poulam Patel from Nottingham University in the UK reports the final
results from the largest of its kind randomised phase III study in 859
patients with stage IV melanoma. The clinical trial is coordinated by the
EORTC Melanoma Study Group, involving 92 institutions in Europe, the US and
Latin America.

    Breast Cancer

    Adding docetaxel to chemotherapy regimen improves survival in early
    breast cancer

    (Embargoed until Sunday, 14 September 2008, 15:30 CEST)

    For patients with early stage breast cancer that has spread to the lymph
nodes, adding docetaxel into a sequential regimen of epirubicin followed by
cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and fluorouracil (CMF) reduces the risk of
recurrence and death, updated long-term results show. This advantage comes at
the cost of an increased, but manageable, toxicity, Italian researchers
report.

    Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin beneficial in metastatic breast cancer

    (Embargoed until Monday 15 September 2008, 12:30 CEST)

    For women with metastatic breast cancer, treatment with an encapsulated
form of the drug doxorubicin offers a well-tolerated option for maintenance
therapy that delays progression and offers benefits in terms of survival, new
results show presented by Spanish researcher Emilio Alba.

    Gastrointestinal cancer

    Late breaking data: New drug substantially extends survival in
    pancreatic cancer

    (Embargoed until Tuesday, 16 September 2008, 10:00 CEST)

    A new form of chemotherapy that destroys new blood vessels that grow
around tumours has produced excellent results in a phase II trial of patients
with inoperable pancreatic cancer, Prof. Matthias Lohr from the Karolinska
Institute reports.

    Late breaking data: Gene marker indicates doubling of survival time in
    advanced colorectal cancer treated with cetuximab

    (Embargoed until Tuesday, 16 September 2008, 08:30 CEST)

    Genetic testing can identify a group of patients with advanced colorectal
cancer who are likely to survive on average twice as long if treated with the
drug cetuximab, show results presented by Dr. Christos Karapetis from Flinders
University in Australia.

    Ovarian Cancer

    Drug shows promise in ovarian cancer

    (Embargoed until Monday, 15 September 2008, 10:45 CEST)

    An investigational drug that combats ovarian cancer by inhibiting the
formation of new blood vessels has shown promise in a phase II trial,
according to Prof. Michael Friedlander from Australia presenting the results
of an international collaborative trial involving patients with recurrent
ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal carcinoma.

    Late-breaking data: New treatment option for women with recurrent
    ovarian cancer

    (Embargoed until Monday, 15 September 2008, 16:30 CEST)

    Combining the new drug trabectedin with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin
provides clinical benefit to women with relapsed ovarian cancer, according to
new results. The combination, which importantly does not include a platinum
drug, challenges the current standard of treatment for women whose cancer
recurs at least 6 months after first-line treatment, said Associate Professor
Bradley J. Monk from the University of California Irvine Medical Center.

    Supportive care

    Adding iron to darbepoetin therapy helps with chemotherapy-induced
    anaemia

    (Embargoed until Monday, 15 September 2008, 08:45 CEST)

    For patients suffering from chemotherapy-induced anaemia, adding
intravenous iron to treatments with the drug darbepoietin alfa results in
better haematologic response, and a faster improvement in the condition, US
researcher Michael Auerbach reports.

    Patient seminar

    An estimated 25 million people alive today have survived cancer, a number
that is likely to grow substantially in the future thanks in part to improved
treatments such as personalised therapies, leading experts will tell patients
at the 7th ESMO Patient Seminar. Providing appropriate care to these
survivors, many of whom face lingering medical complications and psychological
repercussions, will pose a difficult challenge for healthcare systems around
the world.

    Further late-breaking data available close to the Congress...

    The conference full program is available at
http://www.esmo.org/activities/esmocongress/stockholm08/program_cng/

    Press briefings

    -   Multidisciplinary treatment (Press Breakfast)

    Saturday, 13 September 2008, 9:30-10:30, ESMO Press Room

    -   Improving treatment and access to treatment (Press Conference)

    Saturday, 13 September 2008, 12:45-13:45, Press Conference Room

    -   Gastrointestinal and other cancers (Press Conference)

    Sunday, 14 September 2008, 12:30-13:30, Press Conference Room

    -   Cancers affecting women (Press Conference)

    Monday, 15 September 2008, 12:30-13:30, Press Conference Room

    Please contact the ESMO Communication in order to schedule one-on-one
    interviews with top speakers.
    

    On-site registration will be possible at the Press registration desk
presenting the filled-out Complimentary Media Registration form and your press
card.

    Source: ESMO European Society for Medical Oncology





For further information:

For further information: ESMO Press Room: Vanessa Pavinato, Phone:
+41-91-973-19-07, E-Mail: media@esmo.org

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ESMO EUROPEAN SOCIETY FOR MEDICAL ONCOLOGY

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