Dr. O'Dwyer and Dr. Schnall
From the Co-Chairs, February 2022
February 24, 2022
Doctor patient talking
Trial Spotlight: Nadine Tung on the EA1181/CompassHER2 pCR Trial for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
April 15, 2022
Dr. O'Dwyer and Dr. Schnall
From the Co-Chairs, February 2022
February 24, 2022
Doctor patient talking
Trial Spotlight: Nadine Tung on the EA1181/CompassHER2 pCR Trial for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
April 15, 2022

2022 Voting NCORPs Announced

At the April 14 meeting of the Principal Investigator Committee, Group Co-Chairs Drs. Peter O’Dwyer and Mitchell Schnall announced 14 NCI Community Oncology Research Programs (NCORPs) on the committee as Standing Main Members with voting privileges for 2022. The following NCORPs,  shown with the name of their voting principal investigator (PI), met the eligibility through ECOG-ACRIN’s annual merit-based institutional evaluation process:

  • Aurora NCORP, Thomas J. Saphner, MD
  • Cancer Research Consortium of West Michigan NCORP, Kathleen J. Yost
  • Carle Cancer Center NCORP, Kendrith M. Rowland, MD
  • Delaware/Christiana Care NCORP, Gregory A. Masters, MD
  • Essentia Health NCORP, Bret Friday, MD
  • Geisinger Cancer Institute NCORP, Joseph J. L. Vadakara, MD
  • Georgia NCORP, Howard A. Zaren, MD, FACS
  • Gulf South Minority Underserved NCORP, Augusto C. Ochoa, MD
  • Heartland Cancer Research NCORP, Bryan A. Faller, MD
  • Metro Minnesota Community Oncology Research Consortium NCORP, David M. King, MD
  • Michigan Cancer Research Consortium NCORP, Tareq Al baghdadi, MD
  • Montefiore Minority Underserved NCORP, Balazs Halmos, MD, MS
  • Pacific Cancer Research Consortium NCORP, Charles W. Drescher, MD
  • Wisconsin NCORP, Kurt R. Oettel, MD

Reminder: Register for the Spring 2022 Group Meeting

There is still time to register for the ECOG-ACRIN Spring 2022 Group Meeting, taking place in person at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago from Wednesday, May 4 – Friday, May 6. View the schedule on the Group Meeting website and then register for the meeting. Select sessions will also be available virtually (marked with a “V” on the schedule). Please note that virtual participation will be limited to the Q&A/chat panel.

Did You Know?

Many active clinical trials in ECOG-ACRIN’s portfolio have a CIRB-approved Study Summary for Patients. This two-sided handout featuring the basics of the trial can be used as a resource for both patients and clinical research staff when discussing the trial with potential participants. Also available for some trials is a CIRB-approved companion Patient-Directed Communications Plan, which provides patient-friendly language, images, and sample social media posts for use by participating sites and patient advocates to promote awareness and recruitment to the trial. See below for a list of currently available materials (click on the trial ID to access the resources). Unless noted, these trials have both resources.

Breast Cancer

  • EA1183 / FEATURE (advanced, with bone or mostly bone disease) Patient summary only

Gastrointestinal Cancers

  • EA2176 (anal cancer - has spread to other parts of the body)
  • EA2192 / APOLLO (pancreatic cancer - has been surgically removed and has a BRCA1, BRCA2, or PALB2 mutation)
  • EA2201 (rectal cancer - locally advanced and MSI-H or dMMR type)

Genitourinary Cancers

Head and Neck Cancers

  • EA3161 (HPV-related throat cancer) Patient summary only
  • EA3191 (squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck that has come back after initial therapy)


Melanoma (Skin Cancer)

  • EA6191 / BAMM2 (advanced, BRAF V600E or BRAF V600K type, and elevated LDH)

Research Results

Breast Cancer – In the latest data from the TAILORx trial for women with early breast cancer, Black race was associated with significantly shorter relapse-free interval and overall survival than white race after adjusting for insurance status, socioeconomic conditions (using the Neighborhood Deprivation Index by Census tract), and clinical factors. Possible explanations are most likely a combination of a higher risk genetic profile (eg, increased germline or somatic mutations) compounded by social, behavioral, and environmental factors. The authors highlight the need for more nuanced socioeconomic models to better understand racial disparities in breast cancer outcomes. Such models should be rooted in ancestry, the body’s stress response, and social determinants of health, both structural and intermediary, and their longitudinal changes. Sadigh G. JAMA Oncol. February 2022

Breast Cancer – Inflammation is a normal physiologic response to injury, including cancer, and plays a key role in cancer progression. Further, systemic inflammation may contribute to distant/metastatic recurrence (in areas of the body away from the breast). Here, researchers evaluated serum samples obtained at diagnosis from women with high-risk stage II-III HER2-negative breast cancer with or without subsequent distant recurrence (from trial E5103). The goal was to determine whether one or more serum cytokine levels at diagnosis or 5 years after diagnosis, when cancer-free, were associated with distant breast cancer recurrence despite surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy (plus hormone therapy if ER-positive disease). The only biomarker associated with a significantly increased distant recurrence risk when adjusted for multiple testing was the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6. Sparano JA. NPJ Breast Cancer. February 2022

LeukemiaTP53 aberrations [del(17p) or TP53 mutation] predict poor survival with chemo-immunotherapy in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Here, researchers evaluated the long-term efficacy and safety of first-line ibrutinib-based therapy in 89 patients with CLL bearing TP53 aberrations in a pooled analysis across four clinical trials (E1912 is one). With a median follow-up of 4 years (up to 8 years), results from this large, pooled, multi-study data set suggest promising long-term outcomes of first-line ibrutinib-based therapy in patients with TP53 aberrations. Allan JN. Br J Haematol. December 2021

Lung Cancer – The randomized phase III trial E1505 found no survival benefit from adding bevacizumab to standard chemotherapy in surgically resected, early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (Wakelee HA. Lancet Oncol. 2017). Here, researchers used the failure pattern data from E1505 to define the cumulative incidence of all-brain recurrences and isolated-brain recurrences as a site of first failure, and the treatment, patient, or histologic variables associated with brain metastases as compared with extracranial recurrences (ECRs). The role of bevacizumab in preventing or delaying brain metastases has been evaluated in patients with metastatic disease, but not earlier stages of lung cancer until this analysis. Varlotto JM. JTO Clin Res Rep. March 2022

NCI-MATCHPIK3CA mutations frequently contribute to oncogenesis in solid tumors. Taselisib, a potent and selective inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-kinase, has demonstrated clinical activity in PIK3CA-mutant breast cancer. Whether PIK3CA mutations predict sensitivity to taselisib in other cancer types is unknown. In this single-arm phase II trial (substudy Arm I of the NCI-MATCH precision medicine cancer trial), taselisib monotherapy had very limited activity in a heterogeneous cohort of heavily pretreated cancer patients with PIK3CA-mutated tumors. The presence of a PIK3CA mutation alone does not appear to be a sufficient predictor of taselisib activity. Krop IE. JCO Precis Oncol. February 2022

Prostate Cancer – Uncertainty regarding the reproducibility of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) hampers the use of quantitative diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in the evaluation of the prostate with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers Alliance (QIBA) profile for quantitative DWI claims a within-subject coefficient of variation (wCV) for prostate lesion ADC of 0.17. Improved understanding of ADC reproducibility would aid the use of quantitative diffusion in prostate MRI evaluation. This prospective study (legacy ACRIN study A6701QIBA) evaluated the repeatability (same-day) and reproducibility (multi-day) of whole-prostate and focal-lesion ADC assessment in multiple institutions. The study met the claim for prostate ADC. Test-retest repeatability and multi-day reproducibility were largely equivalent. Interreader reliability for focal lesion ADC was high across time points. Boss MA. J Magn Reson Imaging. February 2022

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