The standard first-line therapy for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with mutant EGFR is an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). However, most patients eventually progress despite high rates of response to first-line EGFR-TKI therapy. At the time of progression, more than half of the patients are found to have a point mutation (T790M) in the EGFR-encoding gene, which reduces the efficacy of EGFR-TKIs. Osimertinib (Tagrisso™, AstraZeneca), a third-generation EGFR-TKI, targets both EGFR and T790M resistance mutations and has shown promising efficacy in patients with EGFR T790M-positive NSCLC. At the 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) held recently in Vienna, Austria, Professor Vassiliki Papadimitrakopoulou of the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, US, presented results of the AURA3 trial, which compared the efficacy of osimertinib with standard doublet chemotherapy in patients with EGFR T790M-positive advanced NSCLC. Professor Glenwood Goss of the University of Ottawa, Canada, discussed the efficacy of osimertinib in patients with central nervous system (CNS) metastases, while Professor Yi-Long Wu of the Guangdong General Hospital & Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, China, discussed the use of plasma vs tissue samples for detecting T790M resistance mutations to better target osimertinib therapy.
Breakthrough cancer pain is often challenging to manage because of its rapid onset, increased severity and short duration. At the recent Annual Scientific Meeting of the Hong Kong Pain Society, Dr Ralph McConaghy of the Wesley Hospital Palliative Care Service, Brisbane, Australia, discussed cancer pain management strategies with a focus on the rapid-onset opioid (ROO), fentanyl buccal tablet (Fentora®, Teva/LF Asia), for the relief of breakthrough cancer pain in adult cancer patients on maintenance opioid therapy for chronic cancer pain.
Three investigators from the University of Hong Kong (HKU), one from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and one from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) received the prestigious Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship and Croucher Innovation Awards. The Croucher Foundation is an independent private foundation established in 1979 to promote the standard of natural sciences, technology and medicine in Hong Kong.