Lenalidomide (Revlimid), a cornerstone of therapy for multiple myeloma in the modern era, is making headway as maintenance therapy in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Separate phase III studies presented at the 2016 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition showed...
These results are interesting, important, and relevant for maintenance post chemotherapy, but if we are not using chemotherapy, they may not be relevant.— Richard Furman, MD
“These results are interesting, important, and relevant for maintenance post chemotherapy, but...!-->!-->
In 2016, the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a number of new molecular entities, indications, and tests. The most notable were drug approvals in disease areas such as non–small cell lung cancer, myeloma, head and neck cancer, and...
We know from chaos theory that even if you had a perfect model of the world, you’d need infinite precision in order to predict future events.
—Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The term “precision oncology” is used to describe diverse strategies in cancer medicine ranging from the use of targeted therapies...
Osimertinib is now the new standard of care for patients with EGFR T790M–positive NSCLC following disease progression after first-line EGFR tyrosine kinase therapy. These results underscore the need for us to look for the T790M mutation in patients [for whom first-line therapy...!-->!-->
Clearly this is a positive study, and the median progression-free survival and hazard ratio are amazing. It makes me think osimertinib is like a time machine that takes the patient back to the first line.— Tetsuya Mitsudomi, MD
“Osimertinib (Tagrisso) has good...!-->!-->
The antibody-drug conjugate sacituzumab govitecan (IMMU-132) produced high objective response rates, many of them quite durable, in a multicenter study of heavily pretreated patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1
I think we will see improvements with these drugs and hope that antibody-drug conjugates will be the future of chemotherapy.— Howard A. “Skip” Burris, MD
Howard A. “Skip” Burris, MD, President of Clinical Operations and Chief Medical Officer at Sarah Cannon Research...!-->!-->
PERTAIN met its primary progression-free survival objective, showing that pertuzumab plus trastuzumab plus an aromatase inhibitor was superior to trastuzumab plus aromatase inhibitor.— Grazia Arpino, MD, PhD
In the phase II PERTAIN study of locally advanced or...!-->!-->
Presentation of the PERTAIN study data by lead author Grazia Arpino, MD, PhD, was met with high interest at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Steven Vogl, MD
Steven Vogl, MD, of the Bronx, New York, commented, “This is a very complicated study for me, but it seems that at...!-->!-->
The availability of scalp-cooling devices will offer a new option, backed by evidence, for our patients who are concerned about hair loss during adjuvant therapy for early-stage breast cancer. Each oncology practice and cancer center will have to determine how this system will...!-->!-->
At the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, a group of breast cancer experts made a case for using the 21-gene Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score Assay in node-positive patients, despite ASCO’s latest recommendations to restrict it to node-negative estrogen receptor–positive patients.
Addition of the oral bisphosphonate ibandronate to endocrine therapy did not significantly improve disease-free survival in patients with early breast cancer, according to the first results from the Dutch TEAM IIb trial presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1
We can present [findings about bisphosphonates] to our patients as a two-for-one benefit—protecting their bone strength and possibly improving their long-term survival.— Sara Hurvitz, MD
Sara Hurvitz, MD, Director of the Breast Oncology Program at the University of...!-->!-->
The high response rates among this patient population, who would otherwise remain untreated, is a promising starting point for the paradigm shift toward early therapeutic intervention in patients with high-risk smoldering myeloma.— Irene Ghobrial, MD
This may be another step forward utilizing very effective treatment for high-risk multiple myeloma to prevent end-organ damage and control the disease long term.— Philip McCarthy, MD
The ASCO Post asked Philip McCarthy, MD, Professor of Oncology and Internal...!-->!-->
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy continues to have impressive showings in patients with aggressive hematologic malignancies and no other good treatment options. Interim results of the pivotal phase II ZUMA-1 trial, the first multicenter trial of the experimental CAR T-cell therapy...
The hypothesis is that we can use an antibody-drug conjugate to target the tumor cells to increase cytotoxicity and antigen release and then use an immune-modulating agent to activate cells of the microenvironment.— Catherine S. Diefenbach, MD
Response rates of 90% to...!-->!-->
Anas Younes, MD
Anas Younes, MD, Chief of the Lymphoma Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, commented on the brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris)/nivolumab (Opdivo) combination studies, noting that complete response rates of 60% are “impressive.”
“It seems that in the...!-->!-->
The objective response rate of 65% observed in this very advanced, heavily pretreated, mostly dual-refractory patient population is exceptional. Nelfinavir plus bortezomib/dexamethasone has the potential to become a fully generic, affordable, active therapy option for proteasome...!-->!-->
It is critical that we talk about these issues and break through potential preconceptions and move beyond them, so we make sure that they don’t hinder patients from moving forward with their cancer therapy and their survivorship goals.— Jacqueline Jeruss, MD, PhD
Ensuring that people with cancer understand how cancer treatment could affect their fertility and what options are available for preserving fertility were widely recognized as top priorities by attendees of the 2016 Oncofertility Conference in Chicago. As detailed at the conference, means of...
Robert Wenham, MD, MS, FACOG, FACS
Moffitt Cancer Center has appointed Robert Wenham, MD, MS, FACOG, FACS, as the new Gynecologic Oncology Program Chair. Dr. Wenham has served as the Interim Chair over the past several months. He was recruited to Moffitt in 2004, after completing his...!-->!-->
Erik P. Sulman, MD, PhD
Susan M. Chang, MD
As reported by Erik P. Sulman, MD, PhD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center, and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, ASCO has endorsed the 2016 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) evidence-based guideline on radiation...!-->!-->!-->!-->
It is a positive trend to see two major medical societies come together on such important guidelines and align their approaches to improving the outcome of patients with this difficult malignancy.— William J. Curran, Jr, MD
An ASCO Special Article in the Journal of...!-->!-->
Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD
The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research announced the appointment of Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, as its Scientific Director. A hematologic oncologist and renowned researcher, Dr. Dang joins Ludwig from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine’s Abramson...!-->!-->
Stanton L. Gerson, MD
Stanton L. Gerson, MD, became the new President of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) during the Association’s 2016 Annual Meeting in Chicago, held October 23–25.
Dr. Gerson is the Asa and Patricia Shiverick–Jane Shiverick (Tripp) Professor of...!-->!-->
Among patients with platinum-refractory, recurrent squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck, treatment with nivolumab resulted in longer overall survival than treatment with standard, single-agent therapy.— Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD, and colleagues
In the phase III...!-->!-->
Given that up to three-quarters of our patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck present with locally advanced disease that can potentially be cured, this may be the place in which immunotherapy makes its greatest mark yet.— Lori J. Wirth, MD
Stuart M. Lichtman, MD
Geriatrics for the Oncologist is guest edited by Stuart M. Lichtman, MD, and developed in collaboration with the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG). Dr. Lichtman is an Attending Physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Commack,...
With a median follow-up of more than 6 years after treatment discontinuation, the STIM1 study demonstrates that [imatinib] can safely be discontinued in patients with a sustained deep molecular response with no late molecular recurrence.— Gabriel Etienne, MD, PhD, and colleagues
We could say that next to being able to give tyrosine kinase inhibitors to patients with CML to improve their life expectancy, the best thing we can do now is to take them away…sometimes.— Jorge Cortes, MD
Sir Donald Munger: “You have been on holiday, I understand....!-->!-->
UMass Memorial Medical Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have notified the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission that UMass Memorial Medical Center intends to become the first academic medical center to join the Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative. The agreement, for adult medical oncology ...
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD
Pediatric oncologist Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, has been awarded a top prize in the field of cancer immunology. The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) announced that Dr. Sondel has received the group’s top...!-->!-->
For the first time, we have almost complete understanding of the genetic changes that drive cancer, and we have begun to understand the role that epigenetic changes play in cancer progression….— Myles Brown, MD
The field of epigenetics emerged in the 1990s and has been...!-->!-->
Diane M. Simeone, MD
New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center has announced that surgeon and scientist Diane M. Simeone, MD, will join its Perlmutter Cancer Center on March 1, 2017, to serve as Associate Director for Translational Research and to lead its newly established...!-->!-->
Among patients with platinum-sensitive, recurrent ovarian cancer, the median duration of progression-free survival was significantly longer among those receiving niraparib than among those receiving placebo, regardless of the presence or absence of [germline] BRCA mutations or...!-->!-->
Niraparib is clearly an active and tolerable PARP inhibitor in treating ovarian cancer based on the NOVA data. The impending FDA approval as well as the precise FDA-labeled indication are eagerly anticipated.— Bradley J. Monk, MD, FACS, FACOG
The first phase III trial...!-->!-->
On December 16, a set of joint guidelines developed by ASCO, the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP), and the College of American Pathologists (CAP) on standardizing the interpretation and reporting of sequence variants in cancer was published online, ahead of the January print issue of The...
Vamsidhar Velcheti, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
Specialty: Lung cancer, immunotherapy
What if more patients with lung cancer could benefit from immunotherapy? Although progress in this area of research is exciting, unfortunately, a vast majority ...!-->!-->
Each year on February 4, people around the world come together to celebrate World Cancer Day. Founded in 2008 by the Union for International Cancer Control, World Cancer Day strives to raise awareness of and education about cancer as well as to encourage governments and individuals to take action....
Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD
Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, a long-time member and volunteer, has been elected to serve as President of ASCO for the term beginning in June 2018. She will take office as President-Elect during the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago in June 2017. Additionally, three new ...!-->!-->
ASCO submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the agency’s final rule detailing the Quality Payment Program, which, under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), changes the way physicians are reimbursed for services provided under Medicare...
ASCO has launched a new journal dedicated to precision oncology, JCO Precision Oncology (JCO PO). JCO PO features original clinical research, scientific reviews, and editorials on genomics.
James M. Ford, MD, the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, said JCO PO offers precision oncologists a place to ...
JCO Clinical Care Informatics (JCO CCI) will be the first ASCO journal devoted to applications of biomedical informatics to cancer care.
Debra Patt, MD, MPH, MBA, the Editor-in-Chief of JCO CCI, understands how important biomedical informatics research is to the oncology field. Dr. Patt...
The 2017 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium was held from January 19–21. Direct your patients to www.cancer.net/blog to read about the recent findings in esophageal and colorectal cancers.
In addition, the Cancer Survivorship Symposium is being held from January 27–28. Visit the Cancer.Net...
The landscape of oncology is rapidly changing. And many ASCO initiatives are helping practices take the necessary steps to prepare for the challenges ahead.— Tracey F. Weisberg, MD
ASCO’s State Affiliate Council serves as an advisory group to ASCO’s Board of Directors...!-->!-->
Jie Deng, PhD, RN
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Assistant Professor Jie Deng, PhD, RN, has been awarded a $789,000 research scholar grant by the American Cancer Society to develop and test a self-care program for head and neck cancer survivors diagnosed with secondary...!-->!-->
Although a microaggression may seem innocuous, its effects can be cumulative, impacting the mental and physical health of underrepresented physicians. It also may exacerbate inequities in health care for patients in general and for minority patients in particular.!-->!-->—...
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is pleased to announce that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded the organization a 5-year, $1.125 million grant to continue providing clinical fellow and junior faculty clinical researchers the opportunity to learn the essentials of...
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 follicular lymphoma. For full details of these study abstracts, visit
These data are promising, as they suggest that ibrutinib may offer a new approach for managing this common posttransplant complication.— David Miklos, MD, PhD
Currently, there is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved therapy for chronic graft-vs-host...!-->!-->
Many transplanters will now offer ibrutinib to their patients because this agent is available, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for other closely related indications, and also serves an important unmet medical need.— Kanti R. Rai, MD
Kanti R. Rai, MD,...!-->!-->
A visual skin examination performed by a dermatologist who can make an accurate assessment of a suspicious skin lesion and determine whether it warrants a biopsy is critical for the early detection of cancer and for saving lives.— Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, FAAD, FACP
Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Cancer Institute has earned a Planetree Designation, a hallmark of exceptional patient-centered care. The Planetree Designation is a key award that recognizes excellence in person-centeredness across the continuum of care and is based on evidence and standards...
The idea of becoming a physician satisfied my love for science and my desire to provide service to people in need.— Jennifer Lycette, MD
Born and reared in Anchorage, a city located in Southcentral Alaska, farther north than St. Petersburg, Russia, Jennifer Lycette, MD, ...!-->!-->
Pamela Laszewski, RN, OCN
Pamela Laszewski, RN, OCN, Clinical Leader of Radiation at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, will receive the notable 2017 Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Excellence in Radiation Therapy Nursing Award during the Annual ONS Congress May 4–7, 2017, in...!-->!-->
Joan Font-Burgada, PhD
Joan Font-Burgada, PhD, has joined Fox Chase Cancer Center as Assistant Professor in the Cancer Biology Program. A researcher who focuses on liver cancer and regenerative medicine, Dr. Font-Burgada is a current recipient of the prestigious National Cancer Institute...!-->!-->
There are millions of cancer survivors who would benefit from telemedicine, and policymakers will listen to them.— Ray Dorsey, MD
Telehealth is the delivery of health care remotely via telecommunication tools. Its aim is to increase access to care, especially for...!-->!-->
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN) has published the NCCN Guidelines for Patients® and NCCN Quick Guide™ sheets for Brain Cancer–Gliomas, the first in a series of patient education resources focused on brain cancer. Published by NCCN through the support of the NCCN Foundation and in...
In October 2015, ASCO launched the Health Policy Fellowship program to help the next generation of oncologists with an interest in health policy to develop the skills and experience necessary to achieve their goals and shape cancer care policy in an increasingly complicated and diverse care...
ASCO has released the “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...
Eastern Maine Medical Center Cancer Care, located at the Lafayette Family Cancer Center, is the newest member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative. Participation in the Collaborative reflects a demonstrated commitment to excellence by meeting a wide array of standards and best practices....
The patients in our study endorsed the integrated model of early palliative care and oncology. It simply produces better outcomes.— Camilla Zimmermann, MD, PhD
Although initiation of palliative care from the time of cancer diagnosis produces optimal outcomes for...!-->!-->
On January 9, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved morphine sulfate extended-release tablets with abuse-deterrent properties (Arymo ER), a C-II drug for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative...
Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD
Integrative Oncology is guest edited by Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York.
Technically, vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone, not a vitamin. Increasing evidence indicates that vitamin D exerts...!-->!-->
Title: Don’t Write the Obituary Yet
Author: Susan Evans with Thomas C. Krivak, MD
Publisher: World Association Publishers
Publication date: April 2014
Price: $16.95, paperback, 218 pages
Ovarian cancer, the deadliest of gynecologic cancers, is usually diagnosed after ...!-->!-->
Title: How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS
Author: David France
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publication date: November 2016
Price: $30.00, hardcover, 640 pages
On June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...!-->!-->
In the Clinic provides overviews of novel oncology agents, addressing indications, mechanisms, administration recommendations, safety profiles, and other essential information needed for the appropriate clinical use of these drugs.
On December 19, 2016, rucaparib (Rubraca) was granted...
The following essay by Jeffrey F. Patton, MD, is adapted from The Big Casino: America’s Best Cancer Doctors Share Their Most Powerful Stories, which was coedited by Stan Winokur, MD, and Vincent Coppola and published in May 2014. The book is available on Amazon.com and
The information contained in this Clinical Trials Resource Guide includes actively recruiting clinical studies focused on bladder cancer. These studies are researching surgical techniques, combination chemotherapy, second-line therapies, symptom management techniques, and more. All of the...
The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the “Art of Oncology” as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). For information on how you can submit your own essay for consideration in JCO’s Art of Oncology, visit
Two breast cancer researchers in the Baylor College of Medicine’s Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, part of the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, have been awarded grants from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to support their research in drug efficacy in treating triple-negative breast...
Treating the emotional part of having cancer is just as important as treating the physical part of it. You can’t ignore the human factor of what it means to live with the uncertainty of chronic cancer.— Amanda Blair
I was feeling a bit more tired than usual as the...!-->!-->
Kenneth C. Anderson, MD
Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, an expert in multiple myeloma, will serve as President of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) for a year-long term through December 2017.
Dr. Anderson is Director of the Lebow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics and the Jerome Lipper...!-->!-->
February 1-3 • New York, New York
For more information:
Genitourinary Cancers ...
The text and photograph on this page are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treatment: A Photographic History, by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS. The photo below is from the volume titled “The Radium Era 1916–1945” by...
Treatment with the multikinase inhibitor cabozantinib (Cabometyx) alone or with erlotinib (Tarceva) improved progression-free survival vs erlotinib alone in second- or third-line treatment of advanced nonsquamous epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) wild-type non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC),...
In an exploratory analysis of the REACH trial in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma reported in JAMA Oncology, Andrew X. Zhu, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues found a borderline survival benefit of second-line ramucirumab (Cyramza)...
Mir et al found that regorafenib (Stivarga) was active in patients with advanced nonadipocytic soft-tissue sarcoma previously treated with an anthracycline, according to a French-Austrian phase II trial reported in The Lancet Oncology. Regorafenib, a kinase inhibitor, should be evaluated further in ...
In the phase III PICASSO III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Christopher W. Ryan, MD, of Oregon Health & Science University, and colleagues found that adding palifosfamide to doxorubicin did not prolong progression-free survival among patients with metastatic soft-tissue...
In a matched retrospective analysis reported in The Lancet Oncology, Zhao et al identified and validated a 24-gene predictor of response to postoperative radiotherapy in prostate cancer. Felix Y. Feng, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, is the corresponding author of The Lancet...
The addition of norethandrolone as maintenance therapy improved survival in patients aged ≥ 60 years with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to a French phase III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Pigneux et al.
Norbert Ifrah, MD, of CHU d’Angers, France, is the...
On January 6, Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH), issued the following statement:
Philip E. Bourne, PhD
It is with truly mixed emotions that I announce the departure of Philip E. Bourne, PhD, who will be leaving his post as NIH’s first Associate...!-->!-->
Martin J. Edelman, MD
Martin J. Edelman, MD, an expert in the research and treatment of lung cancer, has joined Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, as Chair of the Department of Hematology/Oncology. He will also serve as Deputy Cancer Center Director for Clinical Research, leading the...!-->!-->