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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...

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....

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