Results of two pivotal breast cancer trials reported at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting confirmed the practice-changing findings that resulted from earlier findings.
The phase III PALOMA-2 trial confirmed results from the smaller, open-label phase II PALOMA-1 trial that led to the U.S. Food ...
We must do everything possible to rapidly adapt our national and global systems of evidence generation to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by technologic advances.— Robert M. Califf, MD, MACC
In February, after serving for a year as the U.S. Food and Drug ...!-->!-->
Blase N. Polite, MD, MPP
On March 11, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule in the Federal Register to test a change in reimbursement for Part B drugs.1 The first phase involves changing the 6% add-on to the average sales price (ASP) used to...!-->!-->
Nivolumab plus ipilimumab continue to demonstrate superior clinical activity vs ipilimumab monotherapy, with greater efficacy than with either drug alone, regardless of PD-L1 expression or BRAF mutation status.— Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD
Two studies presented at the 2016...!-->!-->
What we did not learn from these trials is whether ipilimumab is of benefit after failure on pembrolizumab or nivolumab.— Marc S. Ernstoff, MD
The field of studies of combination immunotherapies is exploding, and “the future looks bright, with currently 71 trials of...!-->!-->
We observed an 8-month increase in median overall survival with pertuzumab, to 36.1 months. Statistical significance for overall survival cannot be claimed due to the hierarchical testing. However, the magnitude of benefit is in keeping with prior experience of pertuzumab in...!-->!-->
Sunil Verma, MD
Sunil Verma, MD, Professor and Head of the Department of Oncology and Medical Director of the Tom Baker Cancer Centre of the University of Calgary in Canada, was the study’s formal discussant. He cited several limitations of the study: It was an open-label study, was...!-->!-->
Women with stage II–IV low-grade serous carcinoma who received hormonal maintenance therapy following primary treatment had a significantly better outcome, compared with women who underwent surveillance.— David Marc Gershenson, MD
In patients with low-grade serous...!-->!-->
The data are in favor of these very interesting results, and if confirmed by a prospective clinical trial, they may be able to change routine practice in the future.— Isabelle Ray-Coquard, MD, PhD
Isabelle Ray-Coquard, MD, PhD, of the Centre Leon Berard, Claude Bernard, ...!-->!-->
Web-based applications have invaded mainstream culture and grabbed the attention of multitudes of people around the world. According to a study presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting, an app may also contribute to extending the lives of people with cancer and, at the same time, reduce...
This is a tremendous advance. If we had a drug that could achieve these results we would rush to use it.— Patricia A. Ganz, MD
“This is a tremendous advance. If we had a drug that could achieve these results we would rush to use it. This is also personalized medicine...!-->!-->
Here are several abstracts selected from the proceedings of the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting, focusing on clinical trials on therapeutics in different types of leukemia, multiple myeloma, follicular lymphoma, and central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma. For full details of these study abstracts, visit...
Haakon Ragde, MD
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has selected Haakon Ragde, MD, as its 2016 Honorary Member, the highest honor ASTRO confers on distinguished cancer researchers, scientists, and leaders in disciplines other than radiation oncology, radiobiology, or...!-->!-->
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that it has selected nearly 200 physician group practices and 17 health insurance companies to participate in a care delivery model that supports and encourages higher quality and more coordinated cancer care. The Medicare arm of...
At the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting, researchers reported encouraging results for several new drugs and treatment strategies for breast cancer. The ASCO Post brings you brief summaries of a select few.
The cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (CDK4/6) inhibitor abemaciclib produced responses ...
At the American Medical Association’s (AMA) annual House of Delegates meeting, delegates approved four resolutions submitted by ASCO, demonstrating the entire medical community’s commitment to key cancer care priorities. These resolutions have been incorporated into the AMA’s policy system and will ...
By including a planned gift to the Conquer Cancer Foundation in your estate plans, you can help make a dramatic difference for cancer patients years—even decades—into the future.
With just one small change to your will or trust, your planned gift of any size will deliver a big impact, and:
To me, a good mentor is one who is accepted by their students, who likes being with the students, and who works hard to find opportunities for them. There is nothing so gratifying as to witness the success of those you mentor.— Sarah S. Donaldson, MD, FASCO
ASCO recently collaborated with the Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC) to provide a 3-day International Palliative Care Workshop in Kazakhstan for health-care professionals, advocates, and volunteers in the former capital of Almaty. Dilyara Kaidarova, MD, PhD, Director of the Almaty Oncology...
The ASCO Answers: Caregiving guide is designed to help family caregivers better understand their role on the cancer care team. While there is no one way to be a caregiver, people caring for someone with cancer can use this guide to understand how to meet the needs of their loved ones and work...
The success of using social media to push forward causes for social good was a driving factor in the launch this past October of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project (MBC project), which aims to accelerate the understanding of what makes patients with metastatic breast cancer genetically unique....
A nationwide project is enlisting patients with breast cancer to share their tumor samples and clinical information. Launched in October 2015, the Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Project has enrolled more than 2,000 patients from all 50 states and is yielding information that will be shared with...
Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) has been a leader in the push for better and faster cancer drug development. Now it is tackling the use of real-world evidence in clinical trials. This is the report of a meeting on the subject that took place on June 16 in Washington, DC.1
Hope S. Rugo, MD
As reported by Hope S. Rugo, MD, of the University of California San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, ASCO has released a clinical practice guideline on endocrine therapy for hormone receptor–positive metastatic...!-->!-->
Endocrine therapy has been a mainstay of breast cancer treatment for over a century, and the prospects are bright that understanding the molecular pathways driving disease progression and resistance to endocrine agents will lead to the rational development of additional agents to...!-->!-->
Multidisciplinary collaboration to formulate treatment and care plans and disease management should be the standard of care.— Alok A. Khorana, MD
As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Alok A. Khorana, MD, of Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues, ASCO has...!-->!-->
There is a common theme in all the guidelines. The goal is high-quality and cost-effective care. Clinical trials are always the ‘standard of care’ and should be offered in all stages.— Ramesh K. Ramanathan, MD
The 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed with pancreatic...!-->!-->
Patients should have full assessment of symptom burden, psychological status, and social supports as early as possible—preferably at the first visit. In most cases, this will indicate a need for a formal palliative care consult and services.!-->!-->— Edward P. Balaban, DO, FASCO, ...
Every patient should be offered information about clinical trials, which include therapeutic trials in all lines of treatment as well as palliative care, biorepository/biomarker, and observational studies.— Davendra P.S. Sohal, MD, MPH
As reported in the Journal of...!-->!-->
Greta Massetti, PhD
The National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences took up the issue of lung cancer screening at its mid-June workshop. Greta Massetti, PhD, Associate Director for Science, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and...!-->!-->
Low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening for lung cancer in high-risk groups is moving into the clinic in the wake of its approval by the U.S. Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services. That does not mean, however, the discussion is over. As low-dose CT moves from research to everyday...
Our faculty and staff work together every day to improve the understanding and treatment of cancer and to reduce its burden on patients and families.— Beverly Mitchell, MD
The Stanford Cancer Institute has been designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National...!-->!-->
Fentanyl (Lazanda) nasal spray, a schedule II narcotic, is now available at a 300-µg dose to treat breakthrough cancer pain, offering physicians another titration option for dosing flexibility. The new strength can help physicians more easily and accurately target the appropriate dose for patients, ...
A therapeutic modality of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been extensively investigated in Western medical settings. Its clinical use is increasingly common for the management of pain and other conditions. In the oncology setting, research demonstrates that acupuncture can...
ASCO voiced its strong opposition to the proposed Medicare Part B demonstration project in comments submitted on June 28 for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing, “Examining the Proposed Medicare Part B Drug Demonstration.” ASCO underscored the urgent need to advance a fairer and more...
The big advantage of simulation learning is that it accelerates the learning curve for trainees and exposes them to uncommon medical situations within a safe environment.— Rodrigo B. Cavalcanti, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Simulation-based education in medicine programs implemented...!-->!-->
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announced the appointment of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to its Board of Trustees. He is among five new board members at Fred Hutch, a Seattle-based pioneer in advancing groundbreaking research to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer and...!-->!-->
Palliative Medicine and Supportive Oncology 2016
August 3-6 • Cleveland, Ohio
For more information:
In support of the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative, on July 6, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two draft guidances. When finalized, they will provide a flexible and streamlined approach to the oversight of tests that detect medically important differences in a person’s...
Title: One Doctor: Close Calls, Cold Cases, and the Mysteries of Medicine
Author: Brendan Reilly, MD
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: November 2014
Price: $17.00; paperback, 464 pages
The U.S. health-care system is a $3 trillion behemoth of dizzying complexity....!-->!-->
Title: Reading & Writing Cancer: How Words Heal
Author: Susan Gubar
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication date: May 2016
Price: $26.95; hardcover, 240 pages
Feminist literary scholar Susan Gubar was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in November 2008. ...!-->!-->
Dean Lee, MD, PhD
Dean Lee, MD, PhD, has been named the Director of the Cellular Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy Program for Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Division of Hematology/Oncology/Blood and Marrow Transplant and Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases. Dr. Lee will also...!-->!-->
Rajesh K. Garg, MD, JD
Rajesh K. Garg, MD, JD, is now President and CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America Global, Inc (CTCA). The announcement was made by CTCA earlier this spring. Dr. Garg, who started this new position on June 20, 2016, will also serve as a member of the company’s...!-->!-->
David Bartels, DO
David Bartels, DO, will be joining Summit Cancer Center–Post Falls as a medical oncologist effective August 1, 2016, leaving his current position as a medical oncologist with Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Summit Cancer Centers, associated with the Seattle...!-->!-->
Allen M. Chen, MD
Allen M. Chen, MD, has been appointed the new Joe and Jean Brandmeyer Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He will join the faculty on October 1, 2016.
Dr. Chen will succeed Terry Tsue, MD, the Douglas A. Girod,...!-->!-->
As reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Elli Papaemmanuil, PhD, of the Cancer Genome Project, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and colleagues have identified 11 genomic subgroups in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) associated with distinct diagnostic features and clinical outcomes.
A mindfulness-based stress-reduction program for breast cancer survivors was associated with psychological and physical symptom benefits during and at 6 weeks after intervention, according to a randomized trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Cecile A. Lengacher, RN, PhD, of the...
In a long-term follow-up of a European trial reported by Isabelle Demeestere, MD, PhD, of the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist treatment during chemotherapy in young women with lymphoma was...
Few patients with advanced cancer and a short life expectancy have an accurate understanding of their illness, according to a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Andrew S. Epstein, MD, of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and colleagues.
The study involved 178 ...
The information contained in this Clinical Trials Resource Guide includes actively recruiting clinical studies for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). These studies are examining combination chemotherapies; drug responses in elderly patients; the impact of treatment timing on outcomes;...
To provide insight on myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) for patients and caregivers, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has published the NCCN Guidelines for Patients® and NCCN Quick Guide™ for MDS. These resources are provided through funding from the NCCN Foundation® and, in part,...
ASCO recently released a clinical practice guideline update on ovarian suppression as part of the extant guideline on adjuvant endocrine therapy in hormone receptor–positive breast cancer, and the recommendations were summarized in the June 10, 2016, issue of The ASCO Post. Also in this issue,...
Jeffrey Demanes, MD
Jeffrey Demanes, MD, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center member and Director of the high-dose–rate brachytherapy program at UCLA, has been selected to receive the prestigious Ulrich Henschke Award, in recognition of his...!-->!-->
We need everyone—oncologists, scientists, patient advocates, and survivors—to work together to make sure that all patients, not just the ones who can afford the best care, get the same chance at a long, productive life.— Brett Wilson
When I was diagnosed with acute...!-->!-->
The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation has presented a gift of $1 million to support the Shirley Sadoff Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Research Acceleration Network 2 Grant. The grant will support a large, multicenter phase II clinical trial studying an immunotherapeutic approach in patients with...
Just 6 months after President Barack Obama announced the establishment of a National Cancer Moonshot Initiative to accelerate the pace of research discoveries, improve patient access and care, and encourage data-sharing, dozens of new initiatives to accomplish those and other goals were rolled out...