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hematologic malignancies

‘Non-Engineered’ T-Cell Therapy Produces Durable Responses in Hematologic Malignancies

Adoptive T-cell therapy using “non-engineered” T cells has been showing activity in hematologic malignancies, according to a presentation by Ann M. Leen, PhD, at the 2017 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium.1 Dr. Leen is an immunologist and works at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy,...

gynecologic cancers

Expert Point of View: Eloise Chapman-Davis, MD

Eloise Chapman-Davis, MD, a gynecologic oncologist at New York-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, commented on the SOLO2 trial results for The ASCO Post. “SOLO2 is the third randomized trial to evaluate the use of maintenance therapy in a selected subgroup of ovarian cancer patients with...

gynecologic cancers

Olaparib Maintenance Prolongs Progression-Free Survival in Ovarian Cancer

Maintenance therapy with the tablet formulation of olaparib (Lynparza) significantly prolonged progression-free survival in patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer and mutations in BRCA1/2 in the phase III SOLO2 trial, presented at the 2017 Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO)...

Anne Friedman Glauber, Cofounder of Online Pancreatic Cancer Forum, Dies at Age 63

Anne Friedman Glauber, 63, co-founder of Let’s Win, an online community for persons affected by pancreatic cancer, recently passed away at her home in New York City, after a courageous battle with the disease. Ms. Glauber’s dedication to the organization (www.letswinpc.org) helped countless...

lymphoma

The Art of Medicine in the World of Evidence-Based Medicine

Christian Taverna, MD, a lymphoma specialist at the Hospital Münsterlingen in Switzerland, commented on this patient series for The ASCO Post. He noted that the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK) tried to address the question of the optimal duration of rituximab (Rituxan) maintenance...

lymphoma

For One Hematologist, No Disease Progressions in Follicular Lymphoma With Rituximab Maintenance

Patients with follicular lymphoma are clearly living longer without disease progression, but what clinician has had no patients progress? Michael Auerbach, MD, a hematologist/oncologist in private practice in Baltimore and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University, may have these...

lung cancer

Expert Point of View: Heather L. McArthur, MD, MPH

Discussant Heather L. McArthur, MD, MPH, Medical Director of Breast Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, called the plinabulin findings “provocative,” especially considering the substantial impact on durability of response. Specifically with the addition of plinabulin to docetaxel, ...

lung cancer

Plinabulin Improves Survival in Subset of Patients With Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

The investigational small-molecule plinabulin yielded some interesting benefits when added to docetaxel in previously treated patients with stage III/IV non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), in a phase II study.1 Although the benefit of the doublet was modest in the overall study population, the...

gynecologic cancers

Expert Point of View: Heather L. McArthur, MD, MPH

Study discussant Heather L. McArthur, MD, MPH, Medical Director of Breast Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, noted that human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has been shown to prevent HPV-related malignancies and eradicate high-grade, HPV16-positive premalignant lesions....

gynecologic cancers

Early-Phase Study of HPV Type 16–Directed Vaccine Combined With Chemotherapy in Advanced Cervical Cancer

When combined with chemotherapy, a vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 potentiated T-cell responsiveness and improved clinical outcomes in patients with advanced cervical cancer enrolled in the phase I/II CervISA study.1 The findings were reported at the 2017 ASCO-SITC Clinical...

solid tumors

Expert Point of View: Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD

Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD, of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, discussed the study by Cristescu et al at the 2017 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium. He noted that data from many sources have shown that point mutation burden correlates with response rate to checkpoint blockade....

solid tumors

KEYNOTE Trial Data Suggest Features Predicting Response to Pembrolizumab

A high mutational load and the presence of a T-cell–“inflamed” environment may independently predict for treatment response to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and progression-free survival, according to a study presented by Tanguy Seiwert, MD, of the University of Chicago, at the 2017 ASCO-SITC Clinical...

colorectal cancer

Expert Point of View: Manish A. Shah, MD

Manish A. Shah, MD, Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology at NewYorkPresbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, commented that “the benefit seen in patients who regularly exercise is equal to or better than the benefit seen with some chemotherapy drugs,” although he cautioned that exercise in this...

colorectal cancer

Moderate Activity May Improve Overall and Progression-Free Survival in Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Patients with metastatic colon cancer who exercise may live longer, according to an analysis of the CALGB/SWOG 80405 trial presented at the 2017 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.1 According to the authors, this is the first study to demonstrate an association between physical activity and...

gastroesophageal cancer

Expert Point of View: Nancy Baxter, MD, PhD & Steven H. Lin, MD, PhD

“CALGB 80803 really helps move the field forward,” said press briefing moderator and ASCO spokesperson Nancy Baxter, MD, PhD, a surgeon from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. “PET [positron-emission tomography] scans may prove to be a valuable tool to help oncologists fine-tune...

gastroesophageal cancer

Early PET Imaging May Guide Treatment Decisions in Esophageal Cancer

In patients with resectable esophageal or gastroesophageal junction cancer, positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging was used to assess response to induction chemotherapy. PET nonresponders were identified after the first few cycles and were switched to an alternate regimen. This strategy greatly ...

hepatobiliary cancer

Expert Point of View: Milind Javle, MD

Milind Javle, MD, Professor of Gastrointestinal Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, discussed the findings from the CheckMate 040 trial presented at the 2017 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. There is a strong rationale for investigating immunotherapy in liver ...

hepatobiliary cancer

Nivolumab Shows Benefit in Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

In patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, treatment with nivolumab (Opdivo) resulted in responses and long-term survival in patients who were either previously treated or naive to sorafenib (Nexavar), CheckMate 040 has shown.1 Altogether 19% of patients responded to the antibody...

hematologic malignancies

Expert Point of View: Partow Kebriaei, MD

Partow Kebriaei, MD, Professor in the Department of Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, commented on the findings presented by Marty et al for The ASCO Post. “In this multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled study, the use of...

hematologic malignancies

New Antiviral Agent May Prevent Posttransplant Cytomegalovirus Infections

Patients receiving the antiviral letermovir (MK-8228, AIC246), as compared to placebo, were almost twice as likely to avoid infection with cytomegalovirus or fail for other reasons in a randomized phase III international trial presented at the 2017 BMT Tandem Meetings, the joint meeting of the...

issues in oncology
skin cancer

Progress Being Made in Understanding Immunotherapy Resistance

A key challenge in advancing immunotherapies is to understand mechanisms of response and resistance. Emerging research in this area—including evidence that early on-treatment biopsies can predict response—was discussed at the 2017 ASCO-SITC (Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer) Clinical...

colorectal cancer

Novel Immunotherapeutic Vaccine Studied in Colorectal Cancer

Patients with advanced colorectal cancer mounted a robust response to an experimental vaccine and low-dose cyclophosphamide, and strong responses were associated with improvements in survival in a phase I/II clinical trial of modified vaccinia virus Ankara–5T4 (TroVax).1 Martin Scurr, PhD, of...

lung cancer

Expert Point of View: Ann W. Silk, MD

Ann W. Silk, MD, of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, presented the day’s highlights and commented that the study by Hellmann et al shows the utility, and, in fact, the necessity, of developing a new means of estimating outcomes for patients treated with immunotherapies....

lung cancer

Pembrolizumab Affords Long-Term Survival to One-Fourth of Selected Patients With NSCLC, Alternative Statistical Model Suggests

Statistical modeling of long-term survival from the KEYNOTE trials of the programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1)–inhibitor pembrolizumab ­(Keytruda) estimates that one-quarter of appropriately selected patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may attain long-term survival.1 “In...

cns cancers

Low-Grade Gliomas: Understanding the New Treatment Paradigm

Diffuse infiltrating low-grade gliomas include oligodendrogliomas and astrocytomas and account for about 5% of all primary brain tumors. Treatment strategies for these low-grade gliomas in adults have recently changed, as detailed in a recent review in the Journal of Oncology Practice.1 The...

head and neck cancer

Expert Point of View: Cornelius J.M. Melief, MD, PhD

Cornelius J.M. Melief, MD, PhD, Emeritus Professor at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and Chief Scientific Officer at ISA Pharmaceuticals, noted that toll-like receptors (TLRs) are useful in promoting immune activation in a variety of leukocytes and that the signaling pathways...

head and neck cancer

Novel Immunotherapy Added to Standard Care Did Not Meet Endpoint in Patients With Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In the phase II Active8 trial, a novel immunotherapy agent, motolimod, failed to improve outcomes over chemotherapy plus cetuximab (Erbitux) in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. In a post hoc analysis, however, patients with injection-site...

issues in oncology

Scientists Tackle Next Set of Immunotherapy Challenges

Cancer immunotherapy is about to get much more complicated. Just as oncologists are becoming familiar with checkpoint inhibitors and their growing indications, they will eventually be challenged with using them in novel combinations and in new tumor types. This will be the fruit that comes from...

multiple myeloma

Expert Point of View: Edward A. Stadtmauer, MD

In a lecture at the 2016 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, Edward A. Stadtmauer, MD, Chief of the Hematologic Malignancies Section at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, summarized the advances in chimeric antigen receptor...

multiple myeloma

CAR T-Cell Therapy Emerging in Multiple Myeloma

For patients with multiple myeloma, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is gaining ground in pilot studies. At the 2016 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, researchers presented their latest findings for this innovative therapy, which has proven...

pancreatic cancer

Expert Point of View: Allyson J. Ocean, MD

Allyson J. Ocean, MD, a pancreatic cancer specialist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, commented on these study findings. “While I applaud the authors for the data presented, the...

pancreatic cancer

Update on Overall Survival for Newly Diagnosed Patients With Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

Although “treatment advances” and “precision medicine” are today’s buzz words in oncology, they don’t apply equally to all malignancies. For instance, median overall survival for newly diagnosed patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer has not improved much over the past 20 years, according to...

Expert Point of View: Jose Leis, MD, PhD

Jose Leis, MD, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, commented on the promise of checkpoint inhibitors in Richter transformation. “At Mayo, we have treated more than 30 patients with programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) blockade. We do see that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has low expression ...

leukemia

Phase II Studies Evaluate New Approaches in Richter Transformation

Despite advances in treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the 5% to 10% of patients who develop Richter transformation continue to have poor outcomes. For these patients, median progression-free survival is approximately 6 months, and median overall survival is about 8 months. Phase II...

breast cancer

New Data on Prognostic Factors, Disease Detection, Drug Toxicities, and Treatment Adherence Presented at SABCS

The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) offers state-of-the-art information on all aspects of breast cancer biology, diagnosis, and treatment, drawing an international audience of more than 7,500 physicians, researchers, and other health-care professionals from over 90 countries. Through...

neuroendocrine tumors

Expert Point of View: Vincent J. Picozzi, MD

Vincent J. Picozzi, MD, a pancreatic cancer specialist at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, commented on the findings by Chan et al presented at the 2017 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. Dr. Picozzi first acknowledged that there is a strong biologic rationale for evaluating cabozantinib...

neuroendocrine tumors

Cabozantinib Elicits Responses in Neuroendocrine and Carcinoid Tumors

In a phase II study reported at the 2017 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, the tyrosine kinase inhibitor cabozantinib (Cometriq) was evaluated in advanced carcinoid and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Radiographic responses to therapy were observed in both tumor subtypes, and compared to other ...

hepatobiliary cancer

Expert Point of View: Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD

Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, a liver and biliary cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, commented on the study for The ASCO Post. While acknowledging that a single-institution study of 30 patients is naturally “limited in scope,” he said the outcome of the study of...

hepatobiliary cancer

Novel Bridge to Liver Transplant May Improve Upon Standard of Care

For hepatocellular carcinoma patients awaiting a liver transplant, locoregional treatment as a “bridge” is a standard strategy for reducing tumor progression. The most common approach is transarterial chemoembolization, but a study from a large-volume liver transplant center questions whether it...

colorectal cancer

‘Watch-and-Wait’ Strategy Does Not Compromise Survival in Selected Patients With Rectal Cancer

A “watch-and-wait” approach to treating rectal cancer patients with complete responses to chemoradiotherapy resulted in a 3-year survival rate of 91%, which is similar to historic survival rates after surgical resection, according to an analysis of the International Watch & Wait Database.1 For ...

colorectal cancer

Expert Point of View: Frank Sinicrope, MD

Frank Sinicrope, MD, Professor of Medicine and Oncology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, told The ASCO Post that anti–programmed cell death protein 1 (anti–PD-1) agents “have already changed the landscape” of metastatic colorectal cancer. “We are currently treating microsatellite...

colorectal cancer

CheckMate 142 Update: Prolonged Disease Control With Nivolumab in Deficient Mismatch Repair Colorectal Cancer

With 6 additional months of follow-up since the initial presentation of results, in the phase II CheckMate 142 trial, 74% of heavily pretreated patients with metastatic colorectal microsatellite instability–high (MSI-H) cancers are alive after single-agent treatment with nivolumab (Opdivo).1...

myelodysplastic syndromes

Expert Point of View: Steven D. Gore, MD, and Rami Komrokji, MD

Steven D. Gore, MD, Director of Hematologic Malignancies at Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, applauded Dr. Stein for “accruing a terrible patient population, mutation-wise” and called the preliminary findings for the benefit of enasidenib in patients with ASXL1 mutations...

myelodysplastic syndromes

Early Success Reported With Two New Agents for High-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes

At the 2016 American Society for Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, researchers reported early success with two new experimental agents for high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes—enasidenib (also known as AG-221), a potent oral inhibitor of the isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2) enzyme,...

lymphoma

Expert Point of View: Stephen Ansell, MD, PhD

Stephen Ansell, MD, PhD, Chair of the Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Group, said the “exciting results” of these studies indicated that “we have come a long way in Hodgkin lymphoma.” “It’s been very gratifying to see that the excellent initial trial results with the anti–programmed cell death protein 1...

lymphoma

Studies Advance the Use of PD-1 Blockade in Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma

Classical Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the malignancies most susceptible to treatment with monoclonal antibodies targeting the programmed cell death protein (PD-1). Nivolumab (Opdivo) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in patients with relapsed/refractory...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Virginia Kaklamani, MD, and Melinda L. Telli, MD

Moderator of the press conference on this study, Virginia Kaklamani, MD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, agreed that an improvement in response is important. “If you are a patient with symptoms, such as a cough from lung metastases, and I give you a combination...

breast cancer

Veliparib Improves Reponse but Not Progression-Free Survival in BRCA-Mutation Carriers

A randomized phase II study in women with metastatic breast cancer who have mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 evaluated the addition of the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor veliparib to combination chemotherapy. The trial did not meet its primary endpoint.1 Hyo Sook Han, MD, of Moffitt...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Melinda L. Telli, MD

Melinda L. Telli, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, commented on this topic for The ASCO Post. She said the results of the two studies reinforce what has been emerging about the prognostic impact of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. “We have known...

breast cancer

Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes Prognostic in the Metastatic and Neoadjuvant Breast Cancer Settings

Studies presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium added to growing evidence that tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes are important prognostic factors in breast cancer. One investigation evaluated their impact in advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, finding a linear relationship between...

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