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issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Ian Olver, MD, PhD

COMMENTING ON the importance of this topic at a press conference during the 2018 Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC)/International Society of Oral Oncology (ISOO) Annual Meeting, Ian Olver, MD, PhD, Immediate Past President of MASCC and Director of the University of...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Cardiac Issues Related to Checkpoint Inhibitors Still Largely Understudied

IMMUNE CHECKPOINT inhibitors represent a giant step forward in the treatment of many cancers, and as these agents have “come of age” in the past few years, so has the collective understanding of their potential for causing adverse events. Although checkpoint inhibitors are known to be associated...

skin cancer

No Improvement in Survival Reported With Epacadostat Plus Pembrolizumab in Advanced Melanoma

IN PATIENTS with unresectable or metastatic melanoma, adding epacadostat to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) did not result in greater clinical benefit over pembrolizumab alone, according to data from the phase III ECHO-301/KEYNOTE-252 study. These results were originally presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual...

hepatobiliary cancer
lung cancer
bladder cancer

Recent Drug Approvals and Revisions in Prescribing Information

THE U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) issued the following approvals and prescribing information revisions in August 2018. Lenvatinib Approved for Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma THE FDA approved lenvatinib (Lenvima) for the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable...

head and neck cancer

Adding Nimotuzumab to Chemoradiation Improved Survival in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

IN PATIENTS with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, nimotuzumab—a humanized monoclonal antibody against the epidermal growth factor receptor—in combination with cisplatin and radiotherapy was superior to cisplatin and radiotherapy alone in improving progression-free...

hematologic malignancies

FDA Approves First Nonchemotherapy Combination Regimen for Patients With Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia

ON AUGUST 27, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the combination of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) and rituximab (Rituxan) for patients with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia. The recent approval expands the label for ibrutinib in Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia beyond its current...

lymphoma

Clarifying the Complexity of Genomic Testing in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

AS MORE is learned about the genomic landscape in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, clinicians are grappling with how to apply this information in the clinic. At the 2018 Pan Pacific Lymphoma Conference, Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, helped them understand this emerging area.1 Dr. Zelenetz is Professor of...

lymphoma

Relapsed or Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma: Optimizing Salvage Therapy

As novel therapies come on board for treating relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma, the field is advancing toward more personalized therapy. The goal, even in the advanced-disease setting, is to increase the chances of complete response and negative positron-emission tomography (PET), while...

Proteomics May Be Used to Predict Treatment Outcomes in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

In triple-negative breast cancer, researchers have so far been unable to identify markers that can classify patients by prognosis or probability of responding to different treatments. In a study published by Zagorac et al in Nature Communications, researchers from the Spanish National Cancer...

solid tumors
lung cancer

FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to LOXO-292 for Treatment of Lung and Thyroid Cancers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to LOXO-292, a selective RET inhibitor, for: the treatment of patients with metastatic RET fusion–positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who require systemic therapy and have had...

Over 130 Buildings and Landmarks in the United States and Canada to Be Illuminated in Support of Stand Up To Cancer's 6th Live Telecast

More than 130 iconic buildings and landmarks across the United States and Canada will be illuminated in a show of support for the 6th biennial Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) “roadblock” telecast airing in both countries on Friday, September 7 (8:00–9:00 PM ...

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Factors in Endocrine Deficiency in Pediatric and Young Adult Patients Receiving Radiotherapy for Brain Tumors

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vatner et al identified factors associated with an increased risk of endocrine deficiency in pediatric and young adult patients receiving radiation therapy for brain tumors, including hypothalamus and pituitary radiation dose. Study Details ...

sarcoma
immunotherapy

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Patients With HIV-Associated Kaposi Sarcoma

Widespread use of antiretroviral therapy in the treatment of patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has led to a decline in the incidence of HIV-related Kaposi sarcoma, an incurable malignancy associated with HIV. Nevertheless, about 15% of these patients will go on to...

Oncology Organizations Remember Senator John McCain

U.S. Senator from Arizona John McCain passed away on August 25, 2018. The cause of death was glioblastoma multiforme. A number of medical societies issued statements remembering Senator McCain, a few of which are reprinted below. The ASCO Post shares in remembering Senator McCain for his service to ...

prostate cancer

Prostate Cancer Foundation and Movember Foundation Announce 2018 Winners of Challenge Awards

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and the Movember Foundation recently announced four new Movember Foundation–PCF Challenge Award teams at some of the world’s leading academic research institutions will receive a total of $3.5 million to support cross-disciplinary pioneering research toward the...

solid tumors
head and neck cancer

Every Day Is a Bonus

I have always been plagued with nagging headaches, so when they intensified in late 2010, I wasn’t too concerned. But when my eyes began involuntarily moving rapidly back and forth as I was writing Christmas cards, I knew the symptoms were a sign of something serious. A magnetic resonance imaging...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia

Outcomes After Discontinuation of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Therapy in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

In an interim analysis of a European trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Francois-Xavier Mahon, MD, of Institut Bergonié, Bordeaux, and colleagues found that discontinuation of tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) with deep molecular response was...

solid tumors

PDL1 Amplification in Solid Tumors

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Aaron M. Goodman, MD, of the University of California, San Diego Moores Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy, and colleagues found amplification of PDL1 genes in 0.7% of solid tumors, including more than 100 tumor types. Response to checkpoint inhibition was ...

prostate cancer

Treating Nonmetastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: Implications of the PROSPER Trial

A MAN in his early 70s sits in our office. His general health is good, and he is feeling well. Yet he is deeply worried. Four years ago, when his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level rapidly increased after radical prostatectomy and subsequent radiation therapy, he was started on...

skin cancer

Overall Survival Improved With Encorafenib/Binimetinib Combination in BRAF-Mutant Melanoma

IN PATIENTS with advanced BRAF V600–mutant melanoma, combining the BRAF inhibitor encorafenib (Braftovi) with the MEK inhibitor binimetinib (Mektovi) improved overall survival compared to vemurafenib (Zelboraf) or encorafenib as monotherapy, with a favorable toxicity profile, according to updated...

issues in oncology

If It Isn’t Documented, Does It Count?

“The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath.” —William Shakespeare THESE LINES from The Merchant of Venice suggest that mercy should be freely given. However, the metrics of quality is strained, pouring like a thunderous storm obscuring...

solid tumors

Trametinib Treatment for Histiocytic Sarcoma With Activating MAP2K1 Mutation

In a letter to the editor in The New England Journal of Medicine, Mrinal M. Gounder, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and colleagues described the successful treatment of a patient with histiocytic sarcoma and an activating MAP2K1 (MEK1) mutation with the MAPK kinase 1 and...

Prediction of Survival and Disease Control in HPV-Negative Head and Neck Cancer Using Molecular Markers

A new method may predict the course of human papillomavirus (HPV)-negative head and neck cancer after radiochemotherapy. According to findings published by Hess et al in Clinical Cancer Research, five microRNAs (miRNAs) may be able to provide the decisive data. Squamous cell carcinomas of the head ...

hematologic malignancies
lymphoma

A Story of a Mother and Daughter and Cancer

BOOKMARK Title: The Cookie Cure: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of Cookies and CancerAuthors: Susan Stachler With Laura StachlerPublisher: SourcebooksPublication date: February 2018Price: $19.95, paperback, 320 pages Cancer memoirs vary in their voice and message. Some are slapstick humorous attempts to ...

Erratum

In the July 10, 2018, issue of The ASCO Post, the article “KEYNOTE-407: Pembrolizumab Plus Chemotherapy Benefits Response, Survival in Squamous NSCLC” contained an error in the regimen for pembrolizumab (Keytruda). The study regimen, which has been corrected in the online version on ASCOPost.com,...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

NCCN and CAOH Develop Guidelines to Improve Cancer Care in the Caribbean

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is embarking on a new collaboration with the Caribbean Association for Oncology & Hematology (CAOH) to develop a library of NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for the Caribbean. The archipelago that extends from the Bahamas in the north to Trinidad...

FDA Grants Priority Review to sBLA for Pembrolizumab in Merkel Cell Carcinoma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted and granted priority review for a new supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) seeking accelerated approval for pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic...

Genetic Forecasting May Predict Response to Cetuximab in Colorectal Cancer

Blood tests could predict how long it takes until colorectal cancer becomes resistant to treatment based on the same principle used in forecasting the weather, a new study by Khan et al in Cancer Discovery has found. The liquid biopsies could also predict patients that are unlikely to initially...

Comparison of Methotrexate Intensification Regimens in Children and Young Adults With T-Cell ALL

As reported by Winter et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, findings in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) AALL0434 trial indicate improved outcomes with a COG methotrexate intensification regimen vs a high-dose methotrexate intensification regimen in children and young adults with...

Rates of Inherited Breast Cancer in Nigerian Women

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Zheng et al found a high frequency of inherited breast cancer among Nigerian women, with presence of deleterious mutations posing very high risk of disease. As noted by the investigators, “…Among Nigerian women, breast cancer is ...

Protein-Metabolite Panel for Detection of Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Fahrmann et al developed and validated a plasma-derived metabolite panel that distinguished early-stage pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) with high accuracy. Accuracy was further improved with the addition of a previously...

supportive care
integrative oncology

Coriolus versicolor

The ASCO Post’s Integrative Oncology series is intended to facilitate the availability of evidence-based information on integrative and complementary therapies sometimes used by patients with cancer. Ting Bao, MD, DABMA, MS, and Jyothirmai Gubili, MS, present information on the potential...

Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, Named President-Elect of AACI Board of Directors

Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, Enterprise Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC), Jefferson Health, has been elected Vice President/President-Elect of the Association of American Cancer Institutes’ (AACI) Board of Directors, a 2-year term that will begin September 30. Dr. Knudsen, who has...

Kristen Whitaker, MD, Joins Fox Chase Department of Clinical Genetics

Fox Chase Cancer Center has announced the hiring of Kristen Whitaker, MD, as Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Genetics. Dr. Whitaker treats patients with breast cancer and serves as a member of the clinical genetics team. Dr. Whitaker earned her medical degree from Drexel...

E. John Wherry, PhD, Named Chair of Systems Pharmacology at Perelman School of Medicine

E. John Wherry, PhD, has been appointed Chair of the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Wherry is the Richard and Barbara Schiffrin President’s Distinguished Professor in the Department of...

Ronald D. Alvarez, MD, MBA, Elected to ABOG Board of Directors

Ronald D. Alvarez, MD, MBA, has been elected Director-At-Large of the Board of Directors for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), a 6-year position he assumed on July 1. Until recently, he served as the ABOG Division Chair for the Gynecologic Oncology Subspecialty and the ABOG...

breast cancer

Ribociclib in Hormone Receptor–Positive, HER2-Negative Advanced Breast Cancer

In the Clinic provides overviews of novel oncology agents, addressing indications, mechanisms of action, administration recommendations, safety profiles, and other essential information needed for the appropriate clinical use of these drugs. On July 18, 2018, the indication for ribociclib (Kisqali) ...

Cheryl Lyn Walker, PhD, Receives NCI Outstanding Investigator Award

Cheryl Lyn Walker, PhD, Director of the Center for Precision Environmental Health and Professor in the Departments of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Medicine, and Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, has been awarded an Outstanding Investigator Award from the National...

NCCN Publishes New Guidelines for Rare Cancers Associated With Pregnancy

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has released new treatment guidelines for a group of rare cancers that impact women during pregnancy. Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, also known as gestational trophoblastic disease, may occur when tumors develop in the cells that would...

A Daughter Struggles Through Her Father’s Battle With Cancer

BOOKMARK Title: White Hot Grief Parade: A Memoir Author: Alexandra Silber Publisher: Pegasus Books Publication date: July 2018 Price: $25.95, hardcover; 288 pages   The sudden death of a loved one produces a different type of trauma for family and friends than the protracted fading away of cancer. ...

Love in the Time of Cancer

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the Art of Oncology as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. These articles focus on the experience of suffering from cancer or of caring for people diagnosed with cancer, and they include narratives, topical essays,...

gastrointestinal cancer
colorectal cancer

Ipilimumab in Combination With Nivolumab for MSI-H or dMMR Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

On July 10, 2018, ipilimumab (Yervoy) was granted accelerated approval for use in combination with nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of patients at least 12 years of age with microsatellite instability–high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair–deficient (dMMR) metastatic colorectal cancer progressing...

Pediatric Surgeon Andrea Hayes-Jordan, MD, FACS, FAAP, Joins University of North Carolina

Andrea Hayes-Jordan, MD, FACS, FAAP, a pioneering surgeon and researcher, has been named Chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine and Surgeon-in-Chief at the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. She officially joined the UNC School of...

issues in oncology

First Large-Scale Survey of APPs 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. The study was conducted collaboratively by ASCO, the American Academy of ...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

Cancer on the Global Stage: Incidence and Cancer-Related Mortality in Barbados

GUEST EDITOR The ASCO Post is pleased to continue this special feature on the worldwide cancer burden. Each installment focuses on a country from one of the six regions of the world, as defined by the World Health Organization (ie, Africa, the Americas, South-East Asia, Europe, Eastern...

Improving the Lives of Patients With Cancer Is Richard L. Schilsky’s Lifelong Mission

In 2009, as Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FSCT, FASCO, was preparing his Presidential Address for that year’s ASCO Annual Meeting, he came across his 6th grade essay titled “My Ambition,” which foretold with eerie specificity the career path he would follow over the next 6 decades. In the paper,...

solid tumors
lung cancer

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 subsolid nodules may reduce unnecessary surgery and overtreatment in patients with multiple comorbidities and aggressive lung cancer arising from...

issues in oncology

Bringing Together Industry, Academia, and Nonprofits to Advance Breast Cancer Research

In 2016, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) launched the Drug Research Collaborative, a program the foundation developed to bridge the gap between academic investigators and their access to therapies under investigation and to encourage greater academia-driven research in breast cancer....

FDA Accepts sBLA for Dasatinib in Pediatric Patients With Newly Diagnosed Ph-Positive ALL

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently accepted a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for dasatinib in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of pediatric patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia...

Study Examines Link Between Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa

Many patients with the rare skin disease recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB)—commonly called butterfly syndrome—also develop squamous cell carcinoma early in life. Now an international team of scientists led by researchers at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer...

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