Meeting Highlights -- Heard in the Halls: Voices From the 2018 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting
Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D.
April 17, 2018

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Dr. Levi Garraway, senior vice president of oncology development and medical affairs at Eli Lilly and Company, discusses some of the research highlights at the 2018 AACR Annual Meeting, particularly those in breast cancer.

 Running time: 3:06

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Levi Garraway: Hi. I’m Levi Garraway. I’m senior vice president of oncology development and medical affairs at Eli Lilly, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this year’s AACR meeting. One of the most interesting things about this meeting has been the inclusion of significantly important clinical trial results at AACR. I think it gives the attendants -- those who are attending the meeting -- the opportunity to see the full logical outcome of some of the exciting work: to see it literally change practice of medicine, which is something that many cancer researchers don’t necessarily get to see. But it’s been an opportunity to see -- to start from such a broad breadth of scientific advances -- examples of therapeutics, many of which grew out of some of the same basic science presentations in years past, to now be changing the lives of patients. And I think a particular example of that we were seeing yesterday in the set of symposia where clinical trial results from new immunotherapy combinations were presented, and there were very interesting data in lung cancer.

But of course, we’re seeing very exciting earlier results with targeted therapies. We saw examples of a melanoma therapy in the adjuvant setting, so you really… they’re our chance to see, now, not just even the earliest clinical trials, but clinical trials that are now really going to have an immediate opportunity to change the lives of patients and have that connect all the way back to even the most fundamental discoveries that, of course, are presented in many areas of cancer at this meeting. So, I think it’s always an exciting meeting. I think this year was particularly nice for those who are attending to see the kind of impact that their work could someday have, and has, really, in many ways on a daily basis.

We were very pleased that the final results of our own clinical trials of a new cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor -- that’s an important part of breast cancer treatment nowadays -- our own results were presented, and we were pleased with the magnitude of benefit, the CDK inhibition, that our CDK inhibitor can provide. We also were pleased with the amount of tumor shrinkage and how the tumor shrinkage seemed to get even better over time, in many cases. So, we’re pleased with that.

The major point there, though, is that breast cancer patients are having new options. All cancer patients are having new options. You look around, we’re clearly making progress. There’s a long way to go. I mean, every single tumor type, certainly solid tumors, we continue to wrestle with patients who can’t be cured. But, I think the advances that we’re seeing, we really are able to push the cancer back, and many patients can live a long time with these cancers and without the cancer progressing. And, certainly in breast cancer, we’re honored to have the opportunity to provide a new therapeutic option for women with breast cancer.

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