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Recent advances in gastrointestinal oncology - updates and insights from the 2009 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Milind Javle1 and Chung-Tsen Hsueh2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA

2 Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA

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Journal of Hematology & Oncology 2010, 3:11  doi:10.1186/1756-8722-3-11

Published: 23 March 2010

Abstract

We have reviewed the pivotal presentations related to gastrointestinal malignancies from 2009 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology with the theme of "personalizing cancer care". We have discussed the scientific findings and the impact on practice guidelines and ongoing clinical trials. Adding trastuzumab to chemotherapy improved the survival of patients with advanced gastric cancer overexpressing human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. Gemcitabine plus cisplatin has become a new standard for first-line treatment of advanced biliary cancer. Octreotide LAR significantly lengthened median time to tumor progression compared with placebo in patients with metastatic neuroendocrine tumors of the midgut. Addition of oxaliplatin to fluoropyrimidines for preoperative chemoradiotherapy in patients with stage II or III rectal cancer did not improve local tumor response but increased toxicities. Bevacizumab did not provide additional benefit to chemotherapy in adjuvant chemotherapy for stage II or III colon cancer. In patients with resected stage II colon cancer, recurrence score estimated by multigene RT-PCR assay has been shown to provide additional risk stratification. In stage IV colorectal cancer, data have supported the routine use of prophylactic skin treatment in patients receiving antibody against epidermal growth factor receptor, and the use of upfront chemotherapy as initial management in patients with synchronous metastasis without obstruction or bleeding from the primary site.