Terri Pollack Offers Perspective on 2023 ASCO GI Cancers Symposium


In this episode of "The Vitals," Terri Pollack, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC, underscores potentially practice-changing data which were presented during the 2023 GI Cancers Symposium.

Data presented during the 2023 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium have accentuated the amount of ongoing research across many of these hard-to-treat gastrointestinal malignancies, according to Terri Pollack, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC. Specifically, data surrounding the utility of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) should be exciting for RNs and nurse practitioners alike, as it allows providers and patients to visualize if a treatment is working long before a traditional test would show.

Pollack is a nurse practitioner with the Gastrointestinal Cancer Site Disease Group in the Department of Medical Oncology at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. For this episode of The Vitals, she discusses key data presented during the GI Cancers Symposium. Besides promising data with ctDNA, she also discusses data from the phase 3 SUNLIGHT trial (NCT04737187), which showed that adding bevacizumab (Avastin) to trifluridine/tipiracil (Lonsurf) improved overall survival in patients with refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) and the phase 3 BREAKWATER study (NCT04607421), which is assessing encorafenib (Braftovi) plus cetuximab (Erbitux) along with chemotherapy for patients with BRAF V600E–mutant mCRC.

“Great things are coming,” she told Oncology Nursing News®.

Episode Notes:

“For those individuals and their families that understand what we've explained about [ctDNA]; it's really exciting” Time stamp TS 5:54

“From a clinical perspective, we can utilize the data from the ctDNA results to sort of overshadow a scan that we might not see anything yet. It’s just this other tool in the toolbox. I feel like it's maybe going to be like a power drill instead of a little screwdriver.” TS 6:54

“Three point three months in median overall survival really can mean a lot to an individual challenged with this type of cancer and their family.” TS 10:51

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  • Alvarez J, Cercek A, Mohan N, et al. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) for response assessment in patients with anal cancer treated with definitive chemoradiation. J Clin Oncol. 2023;41(suppl 4):1. doi:10.1200/JCO.2023.41.4_suppl.1
  • Tabernero J, Prager GW, Fakih M, et al. Trifluridine/tipiracil plus bevacizumab for third-line treatment of refractory metastatic colorectal cancer: the phase 3 randomized SUNLIGHT study. J Clin Oncol. 2023;41(suppl 4):4. doi:10.1200/JCO.2023.41.4_suppl.4
  • Kopetz S, Yoshino T, Kim T, et al. BREAKWATER safety lead-in (SLI): encorafenib (E) + cetuximab (C) + chemotherapy for BRAFV600E metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). J Clin Oncol. 2023;41(suppl 4):119. doi:10.1200/JCO.2023.41.4_suppl.119
  • FDA approves encorafenib in combination with cetuximab for metastatic colorectal cancer with a BRAF V600E mutation. FDA. Updated April 9, 2020. Accessed February 23, 2023. bit.ly/3KysLlt
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