Peter Mac is presenting research that is changing cancer clinical practice at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.

ASCO attracts over 34,000 health professionals each year and 29 research projects conducted at Peter Mac are being presented at this prestigious conference.

A simple blood test saving colon cancer patients from chemotherapy

A new blood test that looks for circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA – genetic material from cancer cells that has leaked into the blood) in colon cancer patients post-surgery is being used to determine who will need chemotherapy.

Associate Professor Jeanne Tie, lower gastrointestinal medical oncology and trials lead presented the results of the DYNAMIC trial which showed a simple blood test could spare colon cancer patients from chemotherapy.

The DYNAMIC trial tested if a person could be spared chemotherapy if ctDNA was not present in a colon cancer patient’s blood test four to seven weeks after surgery.

The results indicated that ctDNA is very effective at guiding whether ongoing chemotherapy is necessary post colon cancer surgery and can potentially spare many patients from unnecessary treatment.

New treatment for lymphoma patients

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients have new hope with a treatment called glofitimab producing remarkable results in patients that have been treated with an average of three prior therapies.

Associate Professor Michael Dickinson, Lead of the Aggressive Lymphoma Disease Group within Clinical Haematology, presented the positive results and said: "I'm encouraged by these data as they signify new hope for these patients who otherwise have limited effective treatment options and have faced disappointment from not responding to multiple rounds of treatments.

"These glofitamab data suggest that patients may be able to achieve durable responses with a set course of treatment that they don’t have to take continuously until disease progression."

Solid tumours with a DNA fusion achieve good treatment response

Patients with a rare genetic mutation called NRG1 can achieve good results from a new treatment called seribantumab. Usually people that have this genetic mutation do not respond well to conventional treatments so it is exciting to have a new treatment option for them.

Associate Professor Jayesh Desai, Medical Oncologist said: "We've been very pleased to be directly involved with this clinical trial with seribantumab, a novel agent that targets a molecular switch in cancers known as NRG1.

"We have managed to work together collaboratively within Australia through the MoST program to test and identify patients with NRG1 fusions in their cancer, as part of this important international trial."

A biomarker is helping identify people that will respond to adavodertib

A biomarker cyclin E1 protein expression, is effective in identifying patients that may have a higher response rate to treatment with adavosertib.

The trial was the first of its kind to select patients based on the expression of cyclin E1 and was led by medical oncologist Dr George Au-Yeung from the Peter Mac.

Further cancer trial results

Peter Mac researchers also showcased research in the disease areas of breast cancer, sarcoma, melanoma and prostate cancer to name a few.