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December 22, 2021
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Trial Results: Journal of Clinical Oncology Publishes Final Results of E3311 Phase II Trial for Head and Neck Cancer
January 26, 2022

News in Brief, January 2022

News in Brief

New Year, New Website

This month, we are excited to introduce the new ECOG-ACRIN.org—a fresh and improved website created to better serve you. Learn the latest news, browse our active clinical trials, access educational resources, and more. Visit ECOG-ACRIN.org now to explore the new site, and spread the word to your colleagues.

Colette Pameijer Becomes Surgery Committee Co-Chair

Colette R. Pameijer, MD is the newly appointed co-chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Surgery Committee, replacing Bruce J. Averbook, MD. Dr. Pameijer is a professor of surgery and division chief of Surgical Oncology at the Penn State Cancer Institute in Hershey, PA, where she also serves on the disease teams for melanoma/skin cancer and sarcoma.

Dr. Pameijer is known for establishing programs for the administration of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) at the Stony Brook University Cancer Center in NY and Penn State Cancer Institute. Since 2017, she has worked with the ECOG-ACRIN Surgery Committee and its chair, Charles A. Staley, MD (Emory University), on developing the evidence base for cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC.

Among her broad research interests, she is currently exploring the development of biomarkers to predict peritoneal recurrence in patients with colon cancer, prehabilitation (exercise before treatment) for patients who are candidates for HIPEC procedures, techniques for sentinel node biopsy, and regional therapies for melanoma. Link to her bio to learn more.

Edith Mitchell Shares the Inspiration for the Health Equity Committee

In a recent interview with OncLive, Edith P. Mitchell, MD (Thomas Jefferson University), shares the inspiration behind the formation of the ECOG-ACRIN Health Equity Committee, which she co-chairs. Dr. Mitchell discusses how the committee is addressing health disparities. She comments on how the pandemic is impacting cancer screening and patient care and what needs to be done to get these efforts back on track.

Ingrid Mayer Discusses Study EA1131 for TNBC and its Immediate Impact on Clinical Practice

The published results of the randomized phase III trial EA1131 “…should discourage the adjuvant use of platinum agents in patients with residual triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy…”, according to study chair Ingrid A. Mayer, MD (Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center). Dr. Mayer discusses the details of the EA1131 trial and ongoing research into more effective therapies for this high-risk population in this expert commentary in The Reading Room, a collaboration between ASCO and MedPage Today (free registration may be required).

Now Accepting Young Investigator Award Nominations

ECOG-ACRIN is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Young Investigator Award through Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time). This professional honor recognizes scientific achievements made by investigators under the age of 46. Members of the ECOG-ACRIN Executive Committee and Principal Investigator Committee are eligible to submit nominations. Learn more

Fellows: Apply for the Paul Carbone, MD Fellowship Award

ECOG-ACRIN is also accepting applications for the 2022 Paul Carbone, MD Fellowship Award through Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time). This research grant aims to develop and promote excellence in clinical trials leading to improvements in cancer care. To be eligible for consideration, a physician should be able to conduct their research project during a fellowship. Learn more

TMIST Update

The study chair for this trial is Etta Pisano, MD (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, and the American College of Radiology). Total accrual to the Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (TMIST) stands at 62,615 participants among 119 participating sites as of January 19, 2022.

“We must continue to invite women to take part in TMIST,” says ECOG-ACRIN group co-chair Mitchell D. Schnall, MD, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). “This trial can help us learn how to improve the process for identifying high-risk patients and utilize both digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis better.”

Important updates and reminders:

  • Congratulations to three sites for beginning enrollment! Kaiser Permanente NCORP opened its first site, Kaiser Permanente-Modesto in Modesto, CA; Sanford NCORP opened its fourth site, Thief River Falls Medical Center in Thief River Falls, MN; and Carle Cancer Center NCORP opened its sixth site, St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, IN.
  • A new quarterly site newsletter is available
  • Financial burden can be a barrier to TMIST participation, especially for women of color, and can be exacerbated by COVID-19. The supplemental trial EAQ201 is now open to assess COVID-19-related financial hardship and distress in women who decline participation in TMIST.
  • A CIRB-approved TMIST video is now available
  • New sites may join this trial! If your site is interested in offering this trial to your constituents, email TMIST@acr.org to discuss the study requirements, reimbursement/payment structure, and how to start the application process.

New Online Tools for Investigators Working with Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs)

The ECOG-ACRIN PRO Working Group Reference Library (beta version) is now live on the ECOG-ACRIN website (members-only section). This online resource offers helpful tools to support measure selection, protocol writing, and disseminate results from studies with PRO endpoints. The PRO Working Group (part of the Cancer Control and Survivorship Committee) invites early feedback as it continues to build the library in preparation for its roll-out at the Spring 2022 Group Meeting.

Please visit the library, browse its resources, and use the feedback link at the bottom of the library homepage to suggest additional resources or features that you would find useful.

To visit the library:

  1. Log in to the member-only section (Clinical and Administrative Resources) of the ECOG-ACRIN website
  2. Click on “User Group/Committee Resources-CRA, Nursing, Cardiotoxicity, Patient Rep, Pharm…” under the Administrative section
  3. Click on “Patient-Reported Outcomes (PRO) Working Group Reference Library” under User Groups

Save the Date: Spring 2022 ECOG-ACRIN Group Meeting

Mark your calendar for the Spring 2022 Group Meeting, Wednesday, May 4 - Friday, May 6, to be held in person at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. Sessions will likely begin early in the morning on Wednesday and end mid-afternoon on Friday (subject to change). We will release additional details when we open registration (likely by early March). Look for an email to all ECOG-ACRIN members when registration is available. Please note: In the event of an in-person meeting, all in-person attendees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Research Results

  • Breast Cancer – In the randomized phase III trial E2108, women presenting with metastatic breast cancer and an intact primary tumor received chemotherapy for 4-8 months. If no disease progression occurred, they were randomly assigned to surgery and radiation (locoregional therapy) or continued chemotherapy. The results show that there was no improvement in overall survival, and a lack of evidence for improved quality of life, from locoregional therapy. E2108 was conducted to resolve conflicting results from recent clinical trials, and its findings led study authors to conclude that locoregional therapy should not be recommended for these patients. Khan SA, J Clin Onc. January 2022
  • Melanoma – The randomized phase III trial E1609 showed an overall survival advantage with adjuvant ipilimumab at 3 mg/kg—but not at 10 mg/kg—versus high-dose interferon alfa-2b in patients with resected high-risk cutaneous melanoma (Tarhini AA. J Clin Oncol, December 2019). A new analysis compared trial participants by either known or unknown primary tumors. Patients with unknown primary tumors had a significantly better prognosis and evidence of significantly enhanced immune activation. The finding supports the designation of unknown primary melanoma as a distinct prognostic marker in high-risk patients. Tarhini AA. J Immunother Cancer. November 2021
  • Melanoma – Another analysis from the randomized phase III trial E1609 (see above) concludes that the female gender was associated with adjuvant immunotherapeutic benefits, and female patients were more likely than males to have evidence of immune activation within the tumor microenvironment and the circulation. The finding supports a potentially important role for female-related factors in the immune response against melanoma. The authors suggest further investigation. Saad M. J Immunother Cancer. November 2021

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