Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease May Be Risk Factor for Liver Cancer

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a common disease, and with the incidence of liver cancer rising across the country, little has been understood about the link between it and hepatocellular carcinoma. To establish a better understanding of the link between hepatocellular carcinoma risk and...

Tumor Mutation Burden and Prognosis in Resected NSCLC

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Devarakonda et al found that high nonsynonymous tumor mutation burden was associated with improved outcomes in patients undergoing resection for non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Study Details The study (Lung Adjuvant Cisplatin...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

Adding First-Line Pertuzumab to Trastuzumab Plus Aromatase Inhibitor in Advanced Breast Cancer

In the phase II PERTAIN trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Rimawi et al found that adding pertuzumab to trastuzumab plus an aromatase inhibitor improved progression-free survival in patients with advanced HER2-positive, hormone receptor–positive breast cancer. Study Details ...

cns cancers
skin cancer
immunotherapy

Immunotherapy Combination in Melanoma Brain Metastases

In the phase II CheckMate 204 study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Tawbi et al found that combined nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) produced a high rate of intracranial clinical benefit in patients with melanoma brain metastases. Study Details The study included 94...

Quality Improvement Initiative for Documenting Goals of Care for Patients With Advanced Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Karim et al found that a quality improvement initiative at a single cancer center improved documentation of goals-of-care discussions and referral to palliative care for patients with advanced cancer. Study Details In the study,...

Hypofractionated Dose-Escalated IMRT vs Conventionally Fractionated IMRT in Localized Prostate Cancer

In a long-term follow-up of a phase III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Hoffman et al found that dose-escalated moderately hypofractionated intensity-modulated radiation therapy (HIMRT) improved disease control and reduced treatment duration vs conventionally fractionated IMRT...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Medical Groups Release Letter on Proposed Changes to Medicare Physician Payment Rule

The American Medical Association and about 150 medical groups sent the following letter to Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), regarding the administration’s proposals included in the 2019 Medicare physician payment rule. The full text of...

FDA Approves cobas EGFR Mutation Test v2 as Companion Diagnostic With Gefitinib in First-Line Treatment of NSCLC

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the cobas EGFR Mutation Test v2 as a companion diagnostic test with gefitinib (Iressa) for the first-line treatment of patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A companion diagnostic test provides information that is...

gastroesophageal cancer
immunotherapy

Immunotherapy in Advanced Esophagogastric Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Janjigian et al, the phase I/II CheckMate-032 study has shown activity of nivolumab (Opdivo) and nivolumab plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) in advanced esophagogastric cancer. In the esophagogastric cohort of the multicohort study, 160 patients (who...

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement on Screening for Cervical Cancer

As reported in JAMA, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has updated its 2012 recommendations on screening for cervical cancer. Key Recommendations The key USPSTF recommendations on screening are as follows: The USPSTF recommends screening for cervical cancer every 3 years with...

gynecologic cancer
head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

HPV Vaccine Completion Up 5% From 2016 to 2017

The number of adolescents who are up to date on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination—meaning they started and completed the HPV vaccine series—increased 5 percentage points from 2016 to 2017, according to results from a national survey published by Walker et al in Morbidity and...

multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

FDA Accepts sBLA for Elotuzumab Plus Pomalidomide and Low-Dose Dexamethasone in Patients With Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently accepted a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for elotuzumab (Empliciti) in combination with pomalidomide (Pomalyst) and low-dose dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who...

prostate cancer
cost of care

ICER Report on Clinical Benefits and Value of Different Antiandrogen Therapies for Men With Nonmetastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has released an evidence report assessing the comparative clinical effectiveness and value of antiandrogen therapies for the treatment of nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The report focuses on three antiandrogen...

ctDNA and Treatment Outcome in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Kurtz et al found that baseline circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and molecular response to treatment were independent predictors of treatment outcome in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Study Details The association of ctDNA with treatment...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

Baseline Steroids and Efficacy of PD-1/PD-L1 Inhibitors in NSCLC

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Arbour et al found that baseline treatment with corticosteroids was associated with poorer efficacy of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) or programmed death cell ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors in patients with non–small cell lung...

Oncology Organizations Remember Senator John McCain

United States Senator from Arizona John McCain passed away on August 25 of the brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Numerous medical societies issued statements in light of his death, reprinted below. ASCO  ASCO President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, issued the following...

leukemia
lymphoma
immunotherapy

CAR T-Cell Therapy in Europe: Differing Decisions on Approval of Two Agents

The European Commission (EC) recently approved the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) in the European Union (EU) for the treatment of pediatric and young adult patients up to 25 years of age with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that is...

lymphoma
immunotherapy

FDA Approves Ibrutinib Plus Rituximab for Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved ibrutinib (Imbruvica) plus rituximab (Rituxan) for the treatment of adult patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM). With this approval, the ibrutinib prescribing information now includes combination use with rituximab,...

Association of Immunologic Markers With Survival in Upfront Resectable Pancreatic Cancer

In a research letter published in JAMA Surgery, Tang et al found that higher levels of intratumoral CD3-positive T cells and postoperative circulating monocyte counts were associated with improved survival in patients with upfront resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The prospective cohort ...

EMBRACA Trial Compares Talazoparib vs Standard Therapy in Advanced Breast Cancer With a Germline BRCA Mutation

As reported in The New England Journal of Medicine by Litton et al, the phase III EMBRACA trial has shown significantly improved progression-free survival with the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor talazoparib vs physician choice of standard single-agent therapy in patients with advanced...

New Software Aims to Predict Patients’ Resistance to Cancer Treatment

New computer software may be used to predict how cancers may respond to a new drug—before it has ever been given to patients. Researchers hope that this new tool could transform the discovery of cancer drugs by predicting how tumors become resistant to treatment before it first becomes...

Early-Life Alcohol Intake May Increase the Odds of High-Grade Prostate Cancer Later in Life

Compared with nondrinkers, men who consumed at least 7 drinks per week during adolescence (ages 15–19) had 3 times the odds of being diagnosed with clinically significant prostate cancer, according to results published by Michael et al in Cancer Prevention Research. “The prostate...

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Memory Issues in Children With Medulloblastoma Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Children with certain types of brain tumors who undergo radiation treatment are less likely to recall the specifics of events they experienced after radiation than to remember pretreatment happenings, according to a Baylor University study comparing them to children with healthy brains. These...

FDA Grants Fast Track Designation to AVB-S6-500 for Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to AVB-S6-500 as a potential treatment for platinum-resistant recurrent ovarian cancer. About AVB-S6-500 AVB-S6-500 is a novel high-affinity, soluble Fc-fusion protein designed to block the activation of the GAS6-AXL...

First Large-Scale Survey of Advanced Practice Providers in Oncology Shows Growing Role for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

Advanced practice providers (APPs) have increasingly become integral members of the oncology care delivery team, according to the first large-scale study of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) in oncology published by Bruinooge et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice....

Dutch Quality-of-Life Study With One- vs Two-Stage Breast Reconstruction in Skin-Sparing Mastectomy

In a Dutch study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Negenborn et al found no differences in quality of life (QOL) between women receiving one-stage implant-based breast reconstruction (IBBR) with an acellular dermal matrix (ADM) vs standard two-stage IBBR. A previously reported safety analysis from...

lymphoma
skin cancer

Mogamulizumab vs Vorinostat in Previously Treated Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

As reported by Kim and colleagues in The Lancet Oncology, the phase III MAVORIC trial showed that the anti-C-C chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4) monoclonal antibody mogamulizumab (Poteligeo) significantly improved progression-free survival vs vorinostat (Zolinza) among patients with previously treated...

2019 Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Prize Is Opening for Applications on October 1, 2018

The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance will open for applications for its 2019 Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research on October 1, 2018. At least 6 New York City area–based scientists will each be awarded $200,000 per year for up to 3...

New ESMO Tumor DNA Scale Helps Match Patients to Optimal Targeted Treatments

A new scale for tumor DNA mutations called ESCAT (European Society for Medical Oncology [ESMO] Scale for Clinical Actionability of Molecular Targets) is aiming to simplify and standardize choices for targeted cancer treatment. Information about the development and use of the scale in practice was...

Outcomes for Rural Patients With Cancer Enrolled in Clinical Trials

The disparity in survival rates between rural and urban patients is reduced when patients in both settings are enrolled in clinical trials, SWOG study results show. The study results were published in JAMA Network Open by a team led by Joseph Unger, PhD, a SWOG biostatistician...

FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation to ASLAN003 in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted ASLAN003 Orphan Drug designation as a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). ASLAN003 is an orally active, potent inhibitor of human dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) that has the potential to be a first-in-class drug in AML. The FDA...

MUC16 Mutation, Tumor Mutation Load, and Prognosis in Gastric Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Li et al found that MUC16 mutation was associated with increased tumor mutation load and improved prognosis in gastric cancer. The study involved analysis of genomic data from 437 gastric cancer samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA; discovery set) and...

Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy in Locally Advanced Esophageal Cancer

In a Chinese phase III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Yang et al found that adding neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy to surgery improved survival in locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus. Study Details In the open-label trial, 451 patients with potentially...

Active Surveillance of Lung Subsolid Nodules May Reduce Unnecessary Surgery and Overtreatment

Subsolid nodules can be considered a biomarker of lung cancer risk, and should be managed with long-term active surveillance. Conservative management of these nodules may reduce unnecessary surgery and overtreatment in patients with multiple comorbidities and aggressive lung cancer arising from...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

Gene-Expression Predictor for Immunotherapy Response in Melanoma

In a new study, researchers developed a gene expression predictor that can indicate whether melanoma in a specific patient is likely to respond to treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Their research was published by Auslander et al in Nature Medicine. “There is a critical need to be...

FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation to CPI-613 for the Treatment of Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug designation to CPI-613 for the treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphoma. CPI-613 is a novel lipoic acid analog with an anticancer activity that inhibits multiple enzyme targets within the tricarboxylic acid cycle. This drug is...

Adding Sorafenib to Topotecan in Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Cancer

In a German phase II trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Chekerov et al found that the addition of sorafenib (Nexavar) to topotecan improved progression-free survival in women with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. Study Details In the multicenter investigator-initiated double-blind trial,...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Induction Chemotherapy Followed by Cetuximab and Radiotherapy vs Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy in Head and Neck Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Geoffrois et al, the European phase III GORTEC (Groupe Oncologie Radiothèrapie Tête et Cou) 2007-02 trial has shown no improvement in progression-free survival with induction chemotherapy followed by cetuximab and radiotherapy (RT) vs...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

FDA Approves Pembrolizumab in Combination With Chemotherapy for First-Line Treatment of Metastatic Nonsquamous NSCLC

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in combination with pemetrexed (Alimta) and platinum as first-line treatment of patients with metastatic, nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations. Pembrolizumab...

bladder cancer
immunotherapy

FDA Updates Prescribing Information for Pembrolizumab and Atezolizumab in Urothelial Carcinoma

On August 16, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the prescribing information for pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq) to require the use of an FDA-approved companion diagnostic test to determine programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) levels in tumor tissue...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Impact of Doctor-Patient Communication on Outcomes in Cancer Survivors

A new study from the American Cancer Society has found that patients with cancer who reported greater satisfaction in the way their provider communicated with them received more efficient care, with fewer office visits and better health outcomes. These findings were published by Rai et al in...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Cetuximab With Radiotherapy Found to Be Inferior to Standard Treatment in HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer

An interim analysis of data from a randomized clinical trial of patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer found that treatment with radiation therapy and cetuximab (Erbitux) is associated with worse overall and progression-free survival compared to the current standard...

Addition of Vincristine and Irinotecan to Vincristine, Dactinomycin, and Cyclophosphamide in Pediatric Intermediate-Risk Rhabdomyosarcoma

In a phase III Children’s Oncology Group study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Hawkins et al found that substituting vincristine and irinotecan (VI) for half of vincristine, dactinomycin, and cyclophosphamide (VAC) courses did not improve event-free survival in pediatric...

cns cancers
immunotherapy

Bevacizumab and Temozolomide in First Recurrence of Glioma Without 1p/19q Codeletion

In a phase II trial funded by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer and reported in The Lancet Oncology, van den Bent et al found no evidence of a survival benefit with the addition of bevacizumab (Avastin) to temozolomide in patients with a first recurrence of World Health ...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

FDA Approves Nivolumab for Certain Patients With Previously Treated Small Cell Lung Cancer

Today, nivolumab (Opdivo) received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients with metastatic small cell lung cancer (SCLC) whose cancer has progressed after platinum-based chemotherapy and at least one other line of therapy. Approval for this indication has been...

breast cancer
gynecologic cancer
issues in oncology

BRCA Testing in Medically Underserved Women in Southeastern United States

Medically underserved women in the Southeast region of the United States diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer may have not received genetic testing that could have helped them and their relatives make important decisions about their health, according to new research from Vanderbilt-Ingram ...

FDA Accepts Biologics License Application, Grants Priority Review for Tagraxofusp in Rare Hematologic Malignancy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for filing a biologics license application (BLA) for tagraxofusp (Elzonris, formerly SL-401) for the treatment of patients with blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN), a rare hematologic malignancy. The FDA also granted Priority ...

cns cancers
survivorship

Functional and Social Independence in Survivors of Pediatric CNS Tumors

In a report from the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Brinkman et al found that 60% of adult survivors of pediatric central nervous system (CNS) tumors do not achieve full functional or social independence in adult life. In the study, functional and...

leukemia
immunotherapy

Bendamustine Followed by Obinutuzumab Plus Venetoclax in Treatment-Naive and Relapsed/Refractory CLL

In a German phase II trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Cramer et al found promising response rates with bendamustine followed by obinutuzumab (Gazyva) plus venetoclax (Venclexta) in both treatment-naive and relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In the trial, patients with an ...

FDA Approves Lenvatinib for Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved lenvatinib capsules (Lenvima) for first-line treatment of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). REFLECT Trial Approval was based on the international, multicenter, randomized, open-label, noninferiority REFLECT trial ...

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