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health-care policy
lung cancer

Shared Decision-Making and Use of Low-Dose CT Screening for Lung Cancer

In a study reported in a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine, Goodwin et al found that only a small proportion of Medicare enrollees undergoing low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening for lung cancer had a prescreening shared decision-making session, which is mandated by the Centers for...

MRI Background Parenchymal Enhancement and Risk of Breast Cancer

In a population-based study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Arasu and colleagues found that increased breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) background parenchymal enhancement was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, with risk being independent of breast density. The...

solid tumors
immunotherapy

Overall Survival in Men and Women Receiving Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Advanced Cancers

In a systematic review and meta-analysis reported in JAMA Oncology, Wallis et al found no difference in overall survival benefit in women vs men receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment for advanced solid tumors. The authors noted that a prior analysis had suggested men derived a greater...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Over 40 Medical Organizations Call for an End to the Government Shutdown

Forty-six medical advocacy organization and professional societies have called on President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to end the government shutdown and, in...

23andMe Receives FDA Clearance for Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Test on a Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Syndrome

On January 22, 23andMe received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for a genetic health risk report on MUTYH-associated polyposis, a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome. The clearance follows the FDA’s authorization for 23andMe’s BRCA1/BRCA2 (Selected Variants)...

Personalized Treatment May Extend Life Expectancy for Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease and Small Renal Tumors

Personalized treatment plans may extend life expectancy for patients with early-stage kidney cancer who also have risk factors for worsening kidney disease, according to a new study published by Kang et al in Radiology. Kidney tumors are often discovered at an early stage and are frequently...

Newly Defined Subtypes of B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Investigators have identified multiple new subtypes of the most common childhood cancer, B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)—research that has the potential to improve the diagnosis and treatment of high-risk patients. Researchers used integrated genomic analysis, including...

kidney cancer
immunotherapy

Patient-Reported Outcomes With Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab vs Sunitinib in Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Cella et al, patient-reported outcomes were better with nivolumab plus ipilimumab vs sunitinib in the phase III CheckMate 214 trial among patients with intermediate- or poor-risk advanced renal cell carcinoma. The ongoing trial showed significantly improved...

Oncologist Survey on Knowledge About LGBTQ Patients With Cancer

In a national survey of oncologists reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Schabath et al found that whereas oncologists tended to have limited knowledge regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) patient health and cancer needs, they indicated high interest ...

Survival With Combined Modality Therapy vs Chemotherapy Alone in Early-Stage Pediatric Hodgkin Lymphoma

In an observational cohort study reported in JAMA Oncology, Jhawar et al found that combined modality therapy (CMT) with chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy was associated with a survival advantage vs chemotherapy alone in early-stage pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma. The authors noted that use of...

2019 GI Cancers Symposium: Rectal Cancer Treated With Total Neoadjuvant Therapy Plus Short-Course Radiation vs Concurrent Chemoradiation

The delivery of all radiotherapy and chemotherapy neoadjuvantly—also known as total neoadjuvant therapy—has improved complete response and downstaging rates compared to treatment after surgery in patients with rectal cancer. In a study presented by Chapman et al at the 2019...

2019 GI Cancers Symposium: Is Adjuvant HIPEC Effective in Reducing the Risk of Peritoneal Metastases in Patients With Colon Cancer?

Patients with advanced or perforated colon cancer may be at elevated risk of peritoneal metastases. Since many patients with peritoneal metastases are diagnosed at a late stage, researchers sought to study the effectiveness of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) in the adjuvant...

solid tumors
immunotherapy

2019 GI Cancers Symposium: Pembrolizumab in Pretreated, Advanced Neuroendocrine Tumors

Findings from the phase I KEYNOTE-028 trial, which studied pembrolizumab in a number of solid tumors, showed activity of the immunotherapy in some patients with heavily pretreated neuroendocrine tumors. Now, a phase II basket trial—KEYNOTE-158—is studying the efficacy and safety of...

Outcomes With AHCT Consolidation in Younger Patients With Mantle Cell Lymphoma in the Rituximab Era

In a retrospective study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Gerson et al found evidence that autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT) consolidation after induction chemotherapy was associated with a progression-free survival benefit in patients with mantle cell lymphoma aged...

breast cancer
gastroesophageal cancer
gastrointestinal cancer

FDA Approves Biosimilar Trastuzumab-dttb

On January 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved trastuzumab-dttb (Ontruzant), a biosimilar referencing trastuzumab, across all eligible indications—namely, adjuvant treatment of HER2-overexpressing breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer, and metastatic gastric cancer or...

colorectal cancer
immunotherapy

2019 GI Cancers Symposium: Durvalumab, Tremelimumab, and Best Supportive Care vs Best Supportive Care Alone in Advanced, Refractory Colorectal Cancer

The phase II CCTG CO.26 trial evaluated whether the combination of durvalumab, a programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor, and tremelimumab, an anti–cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) antibody, plus best supportive care improved survival vs best supportive care ...

head and neck cancer
gastrointestinal cancer
immunotherapy

2019 GI Cancers Symposium: Pembrolizumab in Second-Line Therapy for Advanced Esophageal Cancer

Pembrolizumab significantly improved overall survival in the second-line setting of advanced esophageal cancer in patients whose tumors tested positive for programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) with a combined positive score (CPS) of 10 or greater. This was compared to investigator’s choice...

2019 GI Cancers Symposium: Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy vs Upfront Surgery in Resectable Pancreatic Cancer

A phase II/III trial presented by Unno et al at the 2019 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium (Abstract 189) sought to compare neoadjuvant chemotherapy (using gemcitabine and the oral fluoropyrimidine combination of tegafur/gimeracil/oteracil [S-1]) to upfront surgery in patients with histologic ...

hepatobiliary cancer
immunotherapy

2019 GI Cancers Symposium: Nivolumab vs Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab in Resectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Anti–programmed cell death protein 1 and anti–cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated protein 4 antibodies have shown activity in hepatocellular carcinoma. Based on these earlier findings, researchers sought to examine the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of perioperative treatment...

Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium Analysis of Trends in Breast Density Assessment

In a study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Sprague et al found that only small changes in the proportions of women found to have dense breasts on digital mammography have occurred with revisions in Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) density classification...

Analysis of Proportion of Cancer Cases Attributable to Excess Body Weight Across U.S. States

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Islami et al assessed the population attributable fraction (PAF)—the proportion of a given outcome attributable to a given risk factor—of incident cancer cases associated with excess body weight among individual U.S. states during 2011 to 2015. The...

2019 GI Cancers Symposium: Safety, Efficacy of Trifluridine/Tipiracil in Metastatic Gastric Cancer With or Without Gastrectomy

In a poster session earlier today David Ilson, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and colleagues reported on a preplanned subgroup analysis of the double-blind phase III TAGS study looking at the safety and efficacy of the oral agent trifluridine/tipiracil (FTP/TPI) in heavily...

gastroesophageal cancer
gastrointestinal cancer

2019 GI Cancers Symposium: Addition of Andecaliximab to mFOLFOX6 in Treatment-Naive Advanced Gastric or GEJ Adenocarcinoma

A phase I/Ib study found that the addition of andecaliximab, a monoclonal antibody that inhibits matrix metalloproteinase 9, to modified fluorouracil (5-FU), leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (mFOLFOX6) showed activity in gastric and or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) carcinoma. Based on these...

Study Finds World Trade Center Responders May Be at Increased Risk for Head and Neck Cancers

A study by Graber et al in the International Journal of Cancer has found a significant increase in head and neck cancers among workers and volunteers who responded to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC), pointing to newly emerging risks that require ongoing monitoring ...

Study Finds High Tumor Mutational Load Is a Predictor of Response to Immunotherapy in Some Cancers

Although the emergence of immune checkpoint inhibitors over the last decade has revolutionized the treatment of patients with metastatic cancers, only a minority of patients experience long-lasting benefit from the therapy. A study investigating the association between tumor mutational burden and...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Impact of Survival Predictions on Aggressive End-of-Life Care Among Patients With Metastatic Cancer

In a single-institution study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Sborov et al found that inaccurate prediction of life expectancy can be associated with greater likelihood of aggressive end-of-life care among patients with metastatic cancer receiving palliative radiation therapy. Study...

solid tumors
prostate cancer

Common Markers of Tumor Hypoxia Found Across Cancer Types

Unlike healthy tissues, tumors thrive in low-oxygen environments, often acquiring the ability to resist treatment and spread to other sites in the body. Despite being a well-known cause of therapy resistance and metastasis, the impact of hypoxia on tumor cells is poorly understood. Researchers have ...

Germline DNA Repair Mutations and Outcomes in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

A subset of patients with aggressive prostate cancer are carriers of germline BRCA2 mutations, which are also linked to hereditary breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Study findings also showed family members of patients with prostate cancer who carry BRCA2 and DNA-repair...

Effectiveness of Advanced Practice Providers in Providing Survivorship Care

In a single-center retrospective analysis reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Thom et al found that advanced practice providers—nurse practitioners and physician assistants—were effective in providing survivorship care to adult patients with cancer in accordance with Institute ...

lymphoma
immunotherapy

Is There a Benefit to Adding Rituximab to Methotrexate-Based Chemotherapy in Primary CNS Lymphoma?

In a phase III trial (HOVON 105/ALLG NHL 24) reported in The Lancet Oncology, Bromberg et al found no significant benefit of the addition of rituximab to high-dose methotrexate-based chemotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma. Study Details In the...

pancreatic cancer
immunotherapy

VISTA Checkpoint Implicated in Pancreatic Cancer Immunotherapy Resistance

Researchers have identified a new potential immunotherapy target in pancreatic cancer, which so far has been notoriously resistant to treatment with immune checkpoint blockade drugs effective against a variety of other cancers. A research team from The University of Texas MD Anderson ...

Comorbidities and Cancer Clinical Trial Enrollment

Patients diagnosed with cancer who also have other illnesses or conditions, such as hypertension, asthma, or a prior cancer, are less likely to talk with their health-care provider about a cancer clinical trial, are less likely to be offered to join a clinical trial, and are ultimately less likely...

Hybrid Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy vs Open Esophagectomy in Esophageal Cancer

In a French phase III trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Mariette et al found that a hybrid minimally invasive surgical procedure was associated with reduced postoperative complications vs transthoracic open esophagectomy in patients with resectable cancer of the middle or lower ...

FDA Approves Cabozantinib for Previously Treated Hepatocellular Carcinoma

On January 14, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved cabozantinib (Cabometyx) tablets for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who have been previously treated with sorafenib. The FDA’s approval of cabozantinib was based on results from the phase III CELESTIAL trial....

lymphoma
immunotherapy

Nivolumab in Relapsed or Refractory DLBCL Ineligible for or After Failure of Autologous Transplantation

In a phase II trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ansell et al found that nivolumab was associated with low response rates among patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who were ineligible for or experienced failure of autologous hematopoietic cell ...

Al Identifies Features of Tumor Cells in High-Risk Ovarian Cancer  

Scientists have developed a new test that scans the shapes of tumor cells to select women with especially aggressive ovarian cancer. A team at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, created an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that looks for clusters of cells within tumors with misshapen...

hepatobiliary cancer
issues in oncology

Role of Donor Race in Liver Transplant Outcomes in African American Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Among African American adults undergoing liver transplant to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, patients whose organ donor was also African American lived significantly longer than those with a racially unmatched donor, report authors of a new study using national data. Their findings were published...

Response to Induction Chemotherapy and Outcomes With Definitive Chemoradiotherapy or Surgery in Sinonasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma

In a single-center experience reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Amit et al found that among patients with sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma with a favorable response to induction chemotherapy, disease-specific survival was better in those receiving definitive concurrent...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

Updated Survival Analysis of KEYNOTE-024: Pembrolizumab vs Platinum-Based Chemotherapy in Previously Untreated, Advanced NSCLC

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Reck et al, an updated analysis of the phase III KEYNOTE-024 trial indicates continued overall survival benefit of first-line pembrolizumab vs platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a...

colorectal cancer
solid tumors
hematologic malignancies
pancreatic cancer
symptom management

FDA Pipeline: Designations for Treatments of Graft-vs-Host-Disease, Colorectal Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, and More

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued the following new designations and clearances: Fast Track Designation for Itolizumab for the Treatment of Acute Graft-vs-Host Disease The FDA granted Fast Track designation to itolizumab for the treatment of acute graft-vs-host ...

breast cancer
gynecologic cancer
issues in oncology

BRCA Exchange: Resource Aggregates Data on BRCA Variants

A global resource that includes data on thousands of inherited variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes is available to the public. The BRCA Exchange was created through the BRCA Challenge, a long-term demonstration project initiated by the Global Alliance for Genomics and...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

Molecular Profiles of BRAF-Mutant Melanomas and Response to Therapy

A study investigating the clinicopathologic features of BRAF V600E– and V600K–mutant melanomas and whether genotype affects response to immunotherapy found that the mutations not only have different clinical phenotypes, but also different molecular features and different...

Study Identifies Prognostic Biomarker in HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancers

A study investigating how to identify and treat patients with high- and low-risk human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma has demonstrated variations in HPV-related molecules among HPV-positive cases of the disease. Using their findings, the investigators developed a ...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

Patient Navigation Program Reduces Time to Treatment in Patients With Cancer

Global Cancer Institute recently announced the results of its Patient Navigation Program in Mexico City. The average time to referral before the program’s inception was 5 months, but the implementation of patient navigators reduced that average to 7 days. These findings were published by ...

leukemia
myelodysplastic syndromes

Study Finds Elevated Risk of MDS and AML After Chemotherapy for Most Solid Tumors

Findings from a new study by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) show that patients treated with chemotherapy for most solid tumors from 2000 to 2014 experienced an increased risk of therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myeloid leukemia (MDS/AML). The study, which used U.S. ...

Pembrolizumab in Pretreated Advanced Esophageal Adenocarcinoma or Squamous Cell Carcinoma

As reported in JAMA Oncology by Shah et al, the phase II KEYNOTE-180 trial has shown that pembrolizumab produces durable responses in some patients with pretreated locally advanced or metastatic esophageal adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Study Details In the trial, 121 patients with...

issues in oncology
symptom management

Incidence of Acute Kidney Injury in Patients Receiving Systemic Therapy for Cancer

In a Canadian population–based cohort study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Kitchlu et al found that acute kidney injury (AKI) is common in patients receiving systemic therapy for newly diagnosed cancer and has increased in incidence in recent years. Study Details...

Immediate vs Deferred Cytoreductive Nephrectomy in Patients With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Treated With Sunitinib

In a trial with a modified primary endpoint due to slow accrual reported in JAMA Oncology, Bex et al found that deferred cytoreductive nephrectomy after sunitinib did not improve 28-week progression-free rate (PFR) vs immediate nephrectomy followed by sunitinib in patients with metastatic renal...

27% Drop in Overall U.S. Cancer Mortality Rate From 1991 to 2016

A steady 25-year decline has resulted in a 27% drop in the overall cancer death rate in the United States between 1991 and 2016. The data come from “Cancer Statistics, 2019,” the American Cancer Society’s annual report on cancer rates and trends. The report was published in CA: A...

Higher Incidence of Brain and CNS Tumors Among People Living in Appalachia

A recent study published by Ostrom et al in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology showed that compared to the rest of the United States, the Appalachian region has a 5% higher incidence of malignant primary brain tumors and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors, a higher mortality rate due to ...

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