News & Information | START In The News

June 5th, 2011
KSAT 12
By: Jennifer Dodd, KSAT 12 News Reporter

Cancer Conference Yields New Treatments


SAN ANTONIO -- 44,000 cancer specialists from all over the world gathered in Chicago Saturday and Sunday for the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology.The meeting is the largest of its kind in the world.Dr. Anthony Tolcher, clinical director for the START Center for Cancer Care here in San Antonio, said the most significant news to come from the meeting was the announcement of a pill that studies show many Melanoma patients are responding to."It is vastly superior to the old treatments for Melanoma, so this is a game changing breakthrough for Melanoma," Tolcher said.Tolcher said that drug, called Vemurafenib, could be approved in the next few months.He said another significant announcement researchers have found that a new combination of anti-cancer drugs have successfully shrunk tumors in patients with lung cancer, ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer.Tolcher, who was involved in that study, said it uses therapy that targets specific genes."It's going to become very clear that getting the molecular genetics of your cancer worked out is going to make the difference in what cancer is necessary for you in the future," Tolcher said.He said advanced treatments like these will likely one day lead to preventative treatments."You might be able to shut off the cancer before it turns into a tumor," Tolcher said.

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