In patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have mutations in BRAF V600, the addition of the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib (Zelboraf) to cetuximab (Erbitux) and irinotecan significantly improved progression-free survival, results of the phase II Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) 1406 trial have...
This is a relatively small phase II study, but the data are very provocative and show significant efficacy. I think many oncologists are going to be much in favor of using this regimen in these patients.— Frank A. Sinicrope, MD
Frank A. Sinicrope, MD, Professor of...!-->!-->
Richard Pazdur, MD
This will make oncology the first disease area to have a coordinated clinical review of drugs, biologics, and devices across the agency’s three medical product centers.— Robert Califf, MD (right)
On January 19, 2017, U.S. Food and Drug...!-->!-->!-->!-->
Chandrakanth Are, MBBS, MBA, FRCS, FACS
It was a call from a referring physician who wanted the patient to be transferred to our major academic center. The patient had a history of a lethal malignancy in a very advanced stage. The patient was already outside the bell curve, for she had...!-->!-->
These results indicate that nivolumab could be a new treatment option for patients with heavily pretreated advanced gastric cancer and also provide a strong rationale to explore nivolumab in earlier lines of treatment.— Yoon-Koo Kang, MD
Gastric cancer can...!-->!-->
Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD
Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD, of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, said the results of the ONO-4538 trial were impressive in light of this challenging patient population. “You see a significant benefit in a highly refractory gastric cancer population,” he...!-->!-->
Studies presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium added to growing evidence that tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes are important prognostic factors in breast cancer. One investigation evaluated their impact in advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, finding a linear relationship between...
A high level of evidence supports that [tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes] are prognostic. Some people are suggesting that they can now be incorporated into treatment decision-making, as we do with other routine prognostic factors such as estrogen receptor status and Ki67.!-->!-->—...
A scalp-cooling device was found safe and effective in preventing chemotherapy-induced hair loss in women undergoing adjuvant treatment for breast cancer in an interim analysis of the first prospective, randomized trial of a modern scalp-cooling system. The study was presented at the 2016 San...
The trial did not meet the primary endpoint, but we think the trend toward improved progression-free survival and overall survival is encouraging.— Hyo Sook Han, MD
A randomized phase II study in women with metastatic breast cancer who have mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2...!-->!-->
This is a good combination, based on an improvement in response rate, but we need phase III data to see if it really works or not.— Virginia Kaklamani, MD
Moderator of the press conference on this study, Virginia Kaklamani, MD, of the University of Texas Health Science...!-->!-->
Postmastectomy radiation is becoming more commonly used to treat breast cancer, and at the same time, there is an increasing trend among women to have breast reconstruction. Until now, oncologists have had little evidence on what the best reconstruction options are in women who require radiation...
This study provides guidance when deciding how best to integrate postmastectomy reconstruction and radiation therapy.— Amber Orman, MD
Amber Orman, MD, of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Breast Section, at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, who was not...!-->!-->
Classical Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the malignancies most susceptible to treatment with monoclonal antibodies targeting the programmed cell death protein (PD-1). Nivolumab (Opdivo) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in patients with relapsed/refractory...
There is always concern that there’s a bit of a flash in the pan and that a drug helps but only for a short period. I think these data show that the responses achieved with nivolumab and pembrolizumab are really durable.— Stephen Ansell, MD, PhD
Stephen Ansell, MD, PhD, ...!-->!-->
Syed Abutalib, MD
Here are several abstracts selected from the proceedings of this year’s American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, highlighting newer therapeutics in several different types of non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs), including mantle cell lymphoma and...!-->!-->
At the 2016 American Society for Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, researchers reported early success with two new experimental agents for high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes—enasidenib (also known as AG-221), a potent oral inhibitor of the isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2) enzyme,...
Survival in previously untreated patients seems to be inferior to what we achieved with azacitidine and decitabine in the registration trials. Is this drug [guadecitabine] any different from azacitidine?— Steven D. Gore, MD
Steven D. Gore, MD, Director of Hematologic...!-->!-->
The 2016–2017 ASCO Leadership Development Program recently welcomed 16 new participants to its ranks. The Leadership Development Program is a yearlong program designed to shape future leaders by teaching them valuable leadership skills and providing them with networking and mentorship opportunities ...
On January 11, representatives from ASCO participated in the final event in the Cancer MoonshotSM “Making Health Care Better” series, which focused on community oncology, at the White House.
ASCO community members attending the event, titled “Addressing the Cancer Challenge: Progress in Research,...
Cancer takes away millions of lives every year, and in low- and middle-income countries, the high cancer mortality rate can often be attributed to scarce means and a shortage of trained professionals. Hoping to contribute my best in the fight against this disease, I chose to become an oncologist in ...
If you’ve never given to the Conquer Cancer Foundation (CCF), now’s the time. An anonymous donor has generously offered to match—dollar for dollar—first-time gifts to CCF.
Funds raised through the challenge will be used to support CCF’s vital work, including funding clinical and translational...
The free video-based program, “PReparatory Education About Clinical Trials (PRE-ACT),” helps patients and their caregivers learn about clinical trials and address barriers to participation. Direct your patients to cancer.net/preact to learn more about this online resource. Also, visit
In October 2016, the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO (CCF) hosted its Second Scientific and Career Development Retreat at ASCO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Attendees included Career Development Award (CDA) and Young Investigator Award (YIA) recipients awarded between 2010 and...
ASCO has released “ASCO Principles for Patient-Centered Health-Care Reform,” seven recommendations designed to ensure access to high-quality cancer care amid the changing U.S. health-care delivery landscape. The principles aim to assist the new Congress and Administration, so, as they consider the...
Objective response rate was higher in patients whose tumors were PD-L1–high (≥ 25% tumor cells). However, the benefit spans all subgroups, and it is independent of the line of treatment.— Marina Garassino, MD
Durvalumab was active and led to long-lasting response in a...!-->!-->
There was quite impressive survival in this third-line or more cohort of patients, with a median survival in the strongest PD-L1–expressing patients that is clearly going to exceed 1 year.— Michael Boyer, MBBS, PhD
“This drug [durvalumab] clearly shows activity in the...!-->!-->
Ceritinib should be considered a first-line therapeutic option in patients with ALK-rearranged advanced NSCLC.— Gilberto de Castro, Jr, MD, PhD
Compared to chemotherapy, the use of first-line ceritinib (Zykadia) resulted in a statistically significant and clinically...!-->!-->
ASCEND-4 challenges the current treatment algorithm of using a next-generation ALK inhibitor for treatment after progression on crizotinib.— Fiona Blackhall, PhD, FRCP
“There has undoubtedly been extremely rapid progress made in establishing effective therapies for...!-->!-->
Prostate-specific membrane antigen scan has the ability to revolutionize the way we treat prostate cancer.— William Dahut, MD
The field of prostate cancer is being energized by discoveries in genetics, novel imaging techniques, and the potential of checkpoint inhibitors ...!-->!-->
We anticipate that ctDNA will have broad utility for dissecting tumor heterogeneity within and between patients with lymphomas and other cancer types, with applications for the identification of adverse risk groups, the discovery of resistance mechanisms to diverse therapies, and...!-->!-->
Although the field of circulating tumor DNA for DLBCL is young and clinical validation is needed, this technology is sure to become part of routine clinical decision-making.— Mark Roschewski, MD, and Wyndham H. Wilson, MD, PhD
Technologic advances for detecting and...!-->!-->!-->!-->
Among patients with carcinoid syndrome not adequately controlled by stable-dose somatostatin analogs, treatment with telotristat ethyl was generally safe and well tolerated and resulted in significant reductions in [bowel movement] frequency and [urinary] 5-HIAA.!-->!-->— Matthew ...
The development of telotristat ethyl for treatment of carcinoid syndrome represents a step in the right direction for improving the quality of life of these patients.— Bhavana Konda, MD, MPH (left), and Manisha H. Shah, MD
The multihumoral manifestations of...!-->!-->!-->!-->
Over the past several years, the introduction of decision-making tools for patients from major cancer organizations, including ASCO and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), has been news, applauded as a step toward more patient-centered care and featured at many meetings. Next steps, ...
Prasenjit Dey, PhD
Cancer cells often delete genes that normally suppress tumor formation. These deletions also may extend to neighboring genes, an event known as “collateral lethality,” which may create new options for the development of therapies for several cancers. Scientists at The...!-->!-->
Richard M. Goldberg, MD
Richard M. Goldberg, MD, an expert in gastrointestinal cancer, has been named the new Director of the West Virginia University Cancer Institute.
Dr. Goldberg will be coming to West Virginia University from The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, where he ...!-->!-->
The information contained in this Clinical Trials Resource Guide includes actively recruiting clinical studies focused on cancer-related pain. These studies are researching pain reduction in patients with breast, prostate, and gynecologic cancers, as well as those with general metastases. The...
ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium
February 23-25 • Orlando, Florida
For more information:
Carolinas HealthCare System has announced a $2 million commitment from the Kerry and Simone Vickar Family Foundation in support of academic and research efforts at the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina. The funds will be designated to establish an endowed chair in their name: The ...
Coping with a life-threatening disease can be daunting, but I don’t let cancer affect my daily life or my plans for the future.— Rich Rubenstein
Like many other patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma, I didn’t know I had the cancer until I broke a bone. I had felt a...!-->!-->
As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Platzbecker et al, the final results of the Italian-German phase III APL0406 trial indicate that the combination of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic trioxide (ATO [Trisenox]) is associated with better outcomes than standard ATRA plus...
In an analysis of a French trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Balsat et al found that postinduction minimal residual disease was predictive of outcome and benefit from allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in patients with NPM1-mutant acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Nicolas...
In the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC) 005 prospective biomarker study, reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Kala Visvanathan, MBBS, MHS, of Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues, a cumulative methylation index was found to be predictive of progression-free...
Although alcohol consumption is associated with increasing the risk of many cancers, including liver, pancreatic, colon, rectal, and breast, the link between alcohol and higher risk of melanoma is equivocal. Now, a large prospective study by Andrew Rivera, MD, of Harvard Medical School, Boston, and ...
I have had the privilege of working with the exceptional team at Karmanos for the past 3 years and have seen firsthand their unprecedented level of compassion, commitment, and expertise when serving our patients.— Justin F. Klamerus, MD, MMM
Justin F. Klamerus, MD, MMM, ...!-->!-->
Oliver Smithies, PhD
The ability to artificially alter DNA opens the door to new scientific understanding and treatments for various diseases. Oliver Smithies, PhD, made the crucial discovery that a disease-causing gene could be modified. For that and other groundbreaking work, he, along...!-->!-->
Serendipity plays a major role in biological progress. That’s why I tell people who are starting in the game to keep at least three or four different lines of investigation going, because the one that pays off is the one you don’t think will.— Peter Nowell, MD
Albert H. Owens, Jr, MD Photo © Johns Hopkins Medicine
Albert H. Owens, Jr, MD, a Johns Hopkins oncologist who played a leadership role in developing oncology as a scientific discipline and clinical specialty—and who also served as President of The Johns Hopkins Hospital—died January ...!-->!-->