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...
Frank A. Sinicrope, MD, Professor of Medicine and Oncology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, told The ASCO Post that the regimen of irinotecan/cetuximab (Erbitux)/vemurafenib (Zelboraf) could be an important approach to treating this challenging tumor subtype.
On January 19, 2017, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf, MD, issued the following statement:
Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is establishing the Oncology Center of Excellence and appointing Richard Pazdur, MD, as its Director. This...!-->!-->!-->!-->
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 survived far longer than expected for a...!-->!-->
Gastric cancer can apparently be added to the growing list of malignancies for which drugs targeting the programmed cell death protein 1 (PD‑1) receptor are effective, according to the results of the phase III ONO-4538 investigation conducted in Asia and presented at the 2017...!-->!-->
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 said.
Dr. Lenz cautioned: ...!-->!-->
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...
Melinda L. Telli, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, commented on this topic for The ASCO Post. She said the results of the two studies reinforce what has been emerging about the prognostic impact of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes....!-->!-->
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...
A randomized phase II study in women with metastatic breast cancer who have mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 evaluated the addition of the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor veliparib to combination chemotherapy. The trial did not meet its primary endpoint.1 Hyo Sook Han, MD,...!-->!-->
Moderator of the press conference on this study, Virginia Kaklamani, MD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, agreed that an improvement in response is important. “If you are a patient with symptoms, such as a cough from lung metastases, and I give you a...!-->!-->
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...
Amber Orman, MD, of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Breast Section, at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, who was not involved in this study, said: “This study provides guidance when deciding how best to integrate postmastectomy reconstruction and radiation therapy. This...!-->!-->
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...
Stephen Ansell, MD, PhD, Chair of the Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Group, said the “exciting results” of these studies indicated that “we have come a long way in Hodgkin lymphoma.”
“It’s been very gratifying to see that the excellent initial trial results with the anti–programmed cell death ...!-->!-->
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 marginal zone lymphoma....!-->!-->
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,...
Steven D. Gore, MD, Director of Hematologic Malignancies at Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, applauded Dr. Stein for “accruing a terrible patient population, mutation-wise” and called the preliminary findings for the benefit of enasidenib in patients with ASXL1...!-->!-->
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 2016;...
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...
Durvalumab was active and led to long-lasting response in a cohort of heavily pretreated patients with epidermal growth factor receptor/anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EGFR/ALK) wild-type locally advanced and metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), particularly among patients...!-->!-->
“This drug [durvalumab] clearly shows activity in the third-line and beyond setting, and the higher the programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, the higher the response rate,” noted Michael Boyer, MBBS, PhD, Chief Clinical Officer and Conjoint Chair of Medical Oncology...!-->!-->
Compared to chemotherapy, the use of first-line ceritinib (Zykadia) resulted in a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in median progression-free survival, with an estimated 45% reduction in disease progression risk, as well as significant improvements in...!-->!-->
“There has undoubtedly been extremely rapid progress made in establishing effective therapies for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients in less than a decade,” said Fiona Blackhall, PhD, FRCP, Chair of Thoracic Oncology and medical...!-->!-->
The field of prostate cancer is being energized by discoveries in genetics, novel imaging techniques, and the potential of checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of prostate cancer. Not all of these advances are currently clinically actionable, but all have the potential to change...!-->!-->
In a study reported in Science Translational Medicine, Florian Scherer, MD, David M. Kurtz, MD (Conquer Cancer Foundation Young Investigator), Aaron M. Newman, PhD, and colleagues from Stanford University found that analysis of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) permits identification of...!-->!-->
Technologic advances for detecting and analyzing cell-free circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) from peripheral blood offer a precision method for monitoring diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Although most patients with DLBCL are cured with initial therapy, those who are not cured have a...!-->!-->!-->!-->
In the phase III TELESTAR trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Matthew H. Kulke, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and colleagues, telotristat ethyl, an investigational tryptophan hydroxylase inhibitor, significantly reduced the frequency of bowel movements in...!-->!-->
The multihumoral manifestations of neuroendocrine tumors include diarrhea, cutaneous flushing, wheezing, and right-sided valvular heart disease.1 Serotonin, a biogenic amine and product of tryptophan metabolism,2 mediates several of these symptoms.3,4 Diarrhea is a cardinal and often...!-->!-->!-->!-->
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, ...
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 University of Texas 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 currently serves as Klotz...!-->!-->
Study Title: Qigong Mind-Body Exercise for Persistent Post-Surgical Pain in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study
Study Type: Phase I/interventional/single-group assignment
Study Sponsor and Collaborators: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Spaulding...
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 ...
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 twinge of pain on my left side when I hoisted a bucket of baseballs over my left shoulder after participating in a baseball tournament in the spring of 2011,...!-->!-->
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 ...
Justin F. Klamerus, MD, MMM, has been appointed President of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Hospital, the clinical operation of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. The appointment was effective as of January 2017.
Dr. Klamerus will report directly to Gerold Bepler, MD, 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 with two other scientists, ...!-->!-->
Peter Nowell, MD, was a pathologist at the University of Pennsylvania studying leukemia cells under a microscope when he happened to wash his slides with tap water instead of laboratory solution. Viewing the newly cleaned slides under a microscope, he saw that the water had caused...!-->!-->
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 13 at the age of 90.
In the 1960s, oncology was not a word that ...!-->!-->