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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...

gastrointestinal cancer

Expert Point of View: Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD

Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD, of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, said the results of the ONO-4538 trial were impressive in light of this challenging patient population. “You see a significant benefit in a highly refractory gastric cancer population,” he said. Dr. Lenz cautioned:...

gastrointestinal cancer

Nivolumab, as Salvage, Improves Overall Survival in Gastric Cancer

Gastric cancer can apparently be added to the growing list of malignancies for which drugs targeting the programmed cell death protein 1 (PD‑1) receptor are effective, according to the results of the phase III ONO-4538 investigation conducted in Asia and presented at the 2017 Gastrointestinal...

colorectal cancer

Expert Point of View: Frank A. Sinicrope, MD

Frank A. Sinicrope, MD, Professor of Medicine and Oncology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, told The ASCO Post that the regimen of irinotecan/cetuximab (Erbitux)/­vemurafenib (Zelboraf) could be an important approach to treating this challenging tumor subtype. “BRAF-mutated tumors have a...

colorectal cancer

Dual Inhibition Proves Effective for BRAF-Mutated Colorectal Tumors

In patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have mutations in BRAF V600, the addition of the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib (Zelboraf) to cetuximab ­(Erbitux) and irinotecan significantly improved progression-free survival, results of the phase II Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) 1406 trial have...

multiple myeloma

Antiretroviral Agent Makes Strong Showing in Refractory Multiple Myeloma

An antiretroviral drug that is used for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) demonstrated strong activity when combined with bortezomib (Velcade) in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma in a small multicenter phase II study presented at the 2016 American Society of Hematology (ASH)...

lymphoma

Expert Point of View: Anas Younes, MD

Anas Younes, MD, Chief of the Lymphoma Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, commented on the brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris)/nivolumab (Opdivo) combination studies, noting that complete response rates of 60% are “impressive.” “It seems that in the pretransplant setting, the...

lymphoma

Brentuximab Vedotin Plus Nivolumab Highly Active in Relapsed Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma

Response rates of 90% to 100% were achieved in early studies evaluating the combination of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) and nivolumab (Opdivo) in relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma. The findings were presented at the 2016 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting &...

multiple myeloma

Expert Point of View: Philip ­McCarthy, MD

The ASCO Post asked Philip ­McCarthy, MD, Professor of Oncology and Internal Medicine at Roswell Park Cancer, Buffalo, and Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Center there, to comment on these study findings. He first addressed the need to study earlier intervention for smoldering ...

multiple myeloma

High Response Rates to Triplet Therapy in Smoldering Myeloma

High-risk patients with smoldering multiple myeloma responded to a regimen of elotuzumab (Empliciti), lenalidomide (Revlimid), and dexamethasone, in a multicenter phase II study led by Irene Ghobrial, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston.1 “The high response rates among this patient...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Sara Hurvitz, MD; Mothaffar Rimawi, MD; and Carlos L. Arteaga, MD

Sara Hurvitz, MD, Director of the Breast Oncology Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, commented that in the United States, a bone mineral density test can help identify candidates for bone-modifying agents. “We look at women who are going on...

breast cancer

Ibandronate Fails to Improve Disease-Free Survival in Early Breast Cancer Patients—but With Favorable Trends

Addition of the oral bisphosphonate ibandronate to endocrine therapy did not significantly improve disease-free survival in patients with early breast cancer, according to the first results from the Dutch TEAM IIb trial presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1 The results were...

breast cancer

Breast Cancer Experts Question New Recommendations for 21-Gene Recurrence Score Assay

At the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, a group of breast cancer experts made a case for using the 21-gene Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score Assay in node-positive patients, despite ASCO’s latest recommendations to restrict it to node-negative estrogen receptor–positive patients. The...

breast cancer

Selected Abstracts From the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

Each year, The ASCO Post asks Jame Abraham, MD, Director of the Breast Oncology Program at Taussig Cancer Institute and Co-Director of the Cleveland Clinic Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program, to give his picks for the most important research presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium....

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Steven Vogl, MD

Presentation of the PERTAIN study data by lead author Grazia Arpino, MD, PhD, was met with high interest at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Steven Vogl, MD, of the Bronx, New York, commented, “This is a very complicated study for me, but it seems that at least half your patients got...

breast cancer

Pertuzumab, Trastuzumab, Plus Aromatase Inhibitor Beneficial in Metastatic Breast Cancer

In the phase II PERTAIN study of locally advanced or metastatic hormone receptor–positive, HER2-positive breast cancer patients, the addition of pertuzumab (Perjeta) to a regimen of trastuzumab (Herceptin) and an aromatase inhibitor in the first-line setting significantly improved progression-free ...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Howard A. “Skip” Burris, MD

Howard A. “Skip” Burris, MD, President of Clinical Operations and Chief Medical Officer at Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Nashville, commented on the poster presentation for The ASCO Post. He said the results “fit the whole paradigm” that is desired for triple-negative breast cancer, which is to ...

breast cancer

Novel Antibody-Drug Conjugate Targets Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

The antibody-drug conjugate sacituzumab govitecan (IMMU-132) produced high objective response rates, many of them quite durable, in a multicenter study of heavily pretreated patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1 Trop-2 is ...

breast cancer

Pathologic Complete Response Not Boosted by Addition of Estrogen Deprivation to Chemotherapy and Dual HER2 Blockade

The addition of estrogen deprivation to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and HER2 blockade did not enhance the achievement of pathologic complete responses in women with early-stage breast cancer, according to the results of the NRG Oncology/NSABP B-52 trial reported at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer...

leukemia

Expert Point of View: Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD, MS

Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD, MS, Director of the Leukemia Program at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center in Ohio, commented on vadastuximab talirine in newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). He noted that the drug is similar to gemtuzumab ozogamicin, another antibody-drug conjugate that...

leukemia

Vadastuximab Talirine Shows Early Promise in Newly Diagnosed Acute Myeloid Leukemia

The investigational CD33-directed antibody-drug conjugate vadastuximab talirine yielded high overall and complete response rates when combined with standard “7+3” chemotherapy for patients newly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.1 Results from this phase Ib study were presented at the 2016...

multiple myeloma

Expert Point of View: Sergio A. Giralt, MD

Sergio A. Giralt, MD, Chief of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and the Melvin Berlin Family Chair in Multiple Myeloma, commented on the findings of the StaMINA trial for The ASCO Post. He said the results of the largest randomized U.S....

multiple myeloma

Single Autotransplant Not Enhanced by Additional Interventions in Multiple Myeloma

Additional interventions following upfront autologous stem cell transplant in multiple myeloma did not further improve progression-free or overall survival over transplant alone in a multicenter study presented as a late-breaking abstract at the 2016 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual...

leukemia

Expert Point of View: Stephen P. Hunger, MD

Stephen P. Hunger, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Oncology and Director of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Jeffrey E. Perelman Distinguished Chair in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,...

leukemia

Reduced-Intensity Chemotherapy Leads to More Relapses in Childhood ALL

Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) considered at standard risk for relapse should continue to receive standard-intensity regimens, according to findings from the international randomized AIEOP-BFM ALL 2000 trial.1 A reduced-intensity treatment for children with ALL considered to have ...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Michael Gnant, MD

Michael Gnant, MD, Professor of Surgery at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria and President of the Austrian Breast & Colorectal Cancer Study Group, was the invited discussant of the three studies of extended endocrine therapy. “The trials did not reach the necessary statistical levels ...

breast cancer

Benefit of Extended Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy Not Upheld in Multiple Studies Reported in San Antonio

Extended endocrine therapy with an aromatase inhibitor did not improve disease-free survival in patients with hormone receptor–positive breast cancer enrolled in three studies presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The results stand in contrast to the phase III National Cancer...

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