UCSF Cancer Researchers Present New Advances at ASCO 2020

Latest Findings Are Being Delivered Virtually to a Global Audience

By Elizabeth Fernandez

Cancer specialists from UC San Francisco will present new research findings, ranging from clinical trial results in breast, liver and prostate cancer to the changing demographics of colorectal cancer, at the annual scientific program of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s largest clinical cancer research meeting.

The program is convening under a virtual format from Friday, May 29 through Sunday, May 31, with the theme, “Unite and Conquer: Accelerating Progress Together.” The full schedule and livestream links can be found online.

“Cancer isn’t taking a break during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s important that our work continues, regardless of whether we meet in Chicago or virtually,” said Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS, president of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. “While it’s unfortunate that cancer scientists, clinicians, advocates and others can’t gather in person at this year’s ASCO annual meeting, the work presented will contribute to important discussions about how we care for patients.”

The following presentations highlight top findings from UCSF:

Colorectal cancer: Mary Kathryn Abel will present findings on the changing demographics of colorectal cancer among nearly 1.9 million people, examining differences in age, race, region and tumor location. The results suggest that colon cancer is increasing in young patients, particularly among those 40-49, as well as in African American patients. Prior U.S. research has shown increased colorectal cancer among younger people, but few studies have evaluated health disparities in this population, especially in a large, national patient population. Co-authors include Katherine Van Loon, MD, MPH. View abstract: https://meetinglibrary.asco.org/record/188877/abstract.

Breast cancer: Hope S. Rugo, MD, will present data about a combination therapy with immunotherapy and chemotherapy for first-line treatment in a form of locally recurrent, inoperable or metastatic breast cancer. View abstract: https://meetinglibrary.asco.org/record/191763/abstract.

Liver cancer: R. Kate Kelley, MD, will present findings on a Phase 2 study testing safety, efficacy and tolerability of tremelimumab added to durvalumab in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, a challenging form of cancer where patients have few treatment options. View abstract: https://meetinglibrary.asco.org/record/185471/abstract.

Prostate cancer: Eric Jay Small, MD, is presenting findings of a new subset of advanced prostate cancer. The research was conducted by the West Coast Prostate Cancer Dream Team, which is sponsored by the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer. View abstract: https://meetinglibrary.asco.org/record/187324/abstract.

The annual Chicago gathering normally draws upwards of 30,000 oncology professionals from around the world to learn the latest findings on more than two dozen cancers from breast and hematologic malignancies, to gynecologic and genitourinary cancers.

Altogether, the ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program will feature 250 oral abstract presentations and 2,500 poster presentations centering on new research and discoveries, which will help shape clinical practices and research directions.

UCSF Health is recognized worldwide for its innovative patient care, reflecting the latest medical knowledge, advanced technologies and pioneering research. It includes the flagship UCSF Medical Center, which is ranked among the top 10 hospitals nationwide, as well as UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, with campuses in San Francisco and Oakland, Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics, UCSF Benioff Children’s Physicians and the UCSF Faculty Practice. These hospitals serve as the academic medical center of the University of California, San Francisco, which is world-renowned for its graduate-level health sciences education and biomedical research. UCSF Health has affiliations with hospitals and health organizations throughout the Bay Area.