Officials from Rutgers Cancer Institute, RWJBH to present at ASCO Annual Meeting next month

Group scheduled to make 16 presentations that examine several types of cancers, as well as racial disparities in cancer risk and patient care

Officials from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health will present data from their cancer clinical research program at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, to be held virtually from June 4-8.

A total of 16 presentations, including 13 abstracts, two educational sessions and one clinical science symposium, have been accepted, highlighting data on numerous types of cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma and breast, lung and kidney cancer.

Dr. Howard Hochster, an associate director for clinical research at Rutgers Cancer Institute and the director of oncology research at RWJBarnabas Health, said cancer research continues to play a dominant role in medicine.

“While COVID-19 was justifiably the dominant medical issue and health topic of the past year, the ravages of cancer continued to impact millions of patients and their families in the U.S. and globally,” he said.

“Inspired and undeterred by the challenges of the pandemic, our team of internationally recognized physicians and translational researchers in the oncology clinical research program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health intensified their efforts and focus on our mission to advance cancer management, care and outcomes, in order to help eradicate the disease.

“We are excited to unveil a dynamic lineup of significant data on a number of key cancers, and new examinations of the impact of racial disparities on cancer risk, survival and care.”

Highlights of the accepted abstracts include the following:

  • Data from a primary analysis of the fixed-duration (FD) cohort of CAPTIVATE, a multicenter phase 2 study of first-line ibrutinib (I) plus venetoclax (V) in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and small lymphocytic lymphoma.

Previously reported results from the minimal residual disease (MRD) cohort found that undetectable MRD was achieved in over two-thirds of patients with 12 cycles of I+V, and 30-month progression-free survival rates were ≥95% irrespective of subsequent randomized treatment. Now, results from the FD cohort will be presented, evaluating fixed-duration treatment with I+V.

  • Data from a phase 2 trial of adjuvant nivolumab in high-risk Stage IIB/IIC melanoma patients.

Patients with Stage IIB and IIC melanoma have a 30-45% chance of recurrence in the first five years after surgery, yet there are no FDA-approved agents that dramatically improve these patients’ chances. This trial seeks to determine if immunotherapy, adjuvant PD-1 inhibition with nivolumab, would improve recurrence-free survival (RFS) at 24 months compared to historical RFS rates.