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hematologic malignancies

Novel Agent Appears Active in Advanced or Aggressive Systemic Mastocytosis

THE INVESTIGATIONAL agent BLU-285 (avapritinib) has shown significant activity in patients with advanced or aggressive forms of systemic mastocytosis, a rare blood disorder that originates in mast cells, according to the findings of a phase I trial reported at the 2017 American Society of...

hematologic malignancies

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Dan Vogl, MD

SESSION MODERATOR Dan Vogl, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, told The ASCO Post that the results with 11-1F4 were “very impressive” adding “everyone is excited” about the investigational amyloid-targeting monoclonal antibodies.  “These drugs don’t ...

hematologic malignancies

Amyloid-Targeting Antibody Elicits Organ Responses in Patients With Amyloidosis

IN PREVIOUSLY treated patients with amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis, the chimeric fibril-reactive monoclonal antibody 11-1F4 (CAEL-101) produced organ responses in about two-thirds of patients in a phase Ia/b trial reported at the 2017 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting &...

hematologic malignancies

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Dan Vogl, MD

MYELOMA SPECIALIST Dan Vogl, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, told The ASCO Post that the potential use of daratumumab (Darzalex) in amyloid light-chain amyloidosis is “exciting.” The drug could answer an unmet need in relapsed disease and become ...

hematologic malignancies

Daratumumab Shows Efficacy in Amyloid Light-Chain Amyloidosis

DARATUMUMAB (DARZALEX) may be an effective treatment for systemic amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis, according to phase II studies reported at the 2017 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition.1,2 While the cohorts were small and the arms uncontrolled, the findings...

multiple myeloma

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Ken Shain, MD

KEN SHAIN, MD, Assistant Member of the Department of Malignant Hematology and Tumor Biology, Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, and Scientific Director of the Moffitt Myeloma Working Group, moderated the session where the study was presented and offered comments to The ASCO Post. “Professor...

multiple myeloma

For Patients Treated for Myeloma, Antibiotic Prophylaxis May Reduce Infections and Deaths

IN PATIENTS undergoing treatment of multiple myeloma, the prophylactic use of levofloxacin significantly reduced febrile episodes and deaths, without increasing healthcare-associated infections or carriage of key nosocomial pathogens, in a large multicenter study from the United Kingdom.1 The...

gastrointestinal cancer

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Stephen Leong, MD

STEPHEN LEONG, MD, of the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center, Aurora, discussed the RAINFALL findings at the symposium, commenting, “The study did meet its primary endpoint of progression-free survival; however, it was disappointing not to see a benefit in overall survival or...

gastrointestinal cancer

Ramucirumab/Chemotherapy in Gastric Cancer: ‘Positive’ Trial but Insufficient Benefit

BASED ON EFFICACY seen in the second-line setting for the treatment of metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, ramucirumab (Cyramza) was evaluated as first-line therapy in the international phase III RAINFALL trial. Although the study met its primary endpoint, with a 25%...

colorectal cancer

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Zsofia Kinga Stadler, MD

DISCUSSANT ZSOFIA KINGA STADLER, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, found the nivolumab (Opdivo)/ipilimumab (Yervoy) combination results very encouraging but was also impressed with the monotherapy arm. Both approaches are significant advances in treatment, she said.  “The treatment of ...

colorectal cancer

Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab Improves Outcomes in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

IN THE FIRST REPORT of the full cohort of CheckMate-142, nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) led to a 1-year overall survival rate of 85% in previously treated patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have DNA mismatch repair–deficient (dMMR) or microsatellite instability–high...

2018 GI CANCERS SYMPOSIUM: Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab Yields Survival Benefit in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) led to a 1-year overall survival rate of 85% in previously treated metastatic colorectal cancer patients with DNA mismatch repair–deficient (dMMR) or microsatellite instability–high (MSI-H) tumors. These data were presented in the first report ...

2018 GI CANCERS SYMPOSIUM: First-Line Ramucirumab in Gastric Cancer Improves Progression-Free but Not Overall Survival

The monoclonal antibody ramucirumab (Cyramza) was evaluated as first-line therapy for the treatment of metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma in the international phase III RAINFALL trial. Charles Fuchs, MD, of Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut, presented findings...

Expert Point of View: Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, PhD

Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, PhD, Director of the Multiple Myeloma Program at the University of Chicago Medical Center, commented on the study for The ASCO Post. “Overall, I was impressed with these results. They make an important contribution to the field. This is an advance in the right direction,”...

hematologic malignancies

Carfilzomib-Based Treatment and Transplant in Smoldering Myeloma

Can aggressive treatment of high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma patients prevent disease worsening? A carfilzomib (Kyprolis)-based regimen and autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) plus maintenance produced encouraging outcomes in the phase II GEM-CESAR study by the Spanish Myeloma Group. The...

Expert Point of View: C. Kent Osborne, MD, FASCO and Lisa Carey, MD

C. Kent Osborne, MD, FASCO, Director of the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, who moderated a press briefing where the results were presented, called the findings “intriguing” but too premature for the clinic. “We don’t know what to do with the data ...

solid tumors
breast cancer

Circulating Tumor Cells May Predict Late Recurrence in Hormone Receptor–Positive Breast Cancer

In patients with early breast cancer, the presence in the blood of circulating tumor cells 5 years after diagnosis increases the risk for recurrence nearly 20-fold, researchers reported at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1 “We found that a single positive circulating tumor cell assay...

Expert Point of View: Steven Vogl, MD and Eric P. Winer, MD, FASCO

Steven Vogl, MD, of Bronx, New York, commented that the results after pathologic complete response [pCR] in the I-SPY 2 study are “extraordinarily good,” and Eric P. Winer, MD, FASCO, Thompson Chair in Breast Cancer Research and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, said the...

solid tumors
breast cancer

Power of Pathologic Complete Response to Neoadjuvant Therapy Demonstrated in I-SPY 2 Trial

  More evidence of the power of pathologic complete response (pCR) now comes from an update of the multicenter, adaptively randomized I-SPY 2 trial. In a study reported at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, pCR predicted for event-free and distant disease–free survival in high-risk...

Expert Point of View: Virginia Kaklamani, MD and Harold Burstein, MD, PhD, FASCO

Press briefing moderator Virginia Kaklamani, MD, Professor of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, along with Harold Burstein, MD, PhD, FASCO, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, commented on the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel ...

solid tumors
breast cancer

NSABP B-47: No Benefit for Adjuvant Trastuzumab in HER2-Low Breast Cancer

  For more than a decade, breast cancer experts have wondered whether women with low levels of HER2 might derive some benefit from trastuzumab (Herceptin), based on signals seen in earlier trastuzumab trials. Most notably, in the landmark National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) ...

Expert Point of View: Laurie Sehn, MD and Kenneth C. Anderson, MD

“We don’t think a lot about cutaneous T-cell lymphoma because it is one of the rare forms of lymphoma that we treat, but it is an extremely debilitating type of lymphoma,” said press briefing moderator Laurie Sehn, MD, Chair of the Lymphoma Tumour Group of the British Columbia Cancer Agency in...

hematologic malignancies
lymphoma

Mogamulizumab in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

The anti-CCR4 monoclonal antibody mogamulizumab may answer an unmet need in providing an effective treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. In the phase III MAVORIC trial reported at the 2017 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, treatment with mogamulizumab was...

Expert Point of View: Howard “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO and Harold Burstein, MD, PhD, FASCO

Howard “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO, Chief Medical Officer and President of Clinical Operations at Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, Nashville, said the antibody-drug conjugates are especially attractive in triple-negative breast cancer. “We know chemotherapy is still effective in a large...

solid tumors
breast cancer

Novel Antibody-Drug Conjugate Active in Refractory Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

In relapsed or refractory triple-negative breast cancer, the antibody-drug conjugate sacituzumab govitecan (IMMU-132) demonstrated significant clinical activity in an open-label study presented at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1 “Metastatic triple-negative breast cancer is an...

breast cancer

Ribociclib Doubles Progression-Free Survival in Premenopausal Breast Cancer

PREMENOPAUSAL WOMEN with hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer benefited substantially from the addition of ribociclib (Kisqali) to first-line endocrine therapy plus medical ovarian suppression, according to results from the MONALEESA-7 study.1 At the 2017 San Antonio...

multiple myeloma

Expert Point of View: Keith Stewart, MB, ChB

COMMENTING ON the ALCYONE trial for The ASCO Post, Keith Stewart, MB, ChB, the Carlson and Nelson Endowed Director of the Center for Individualized Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, said, “Daratumumab added to a combination of drugs that we don’t use much anymore in the United...

multiple myeloma

Daratumumab Improves Progression-Free Survival in Front-Line Myeloma Setting

FOR NEWLY DIAGNOSED multiple myeloma patients not eligible for transplant, the addition of the anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody daratumumab (Darzalex) to subcutaneous bortezomib (Velcade), melphalan, and prednisone (VMP) reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 50%, the phase III ALCYONE...

Mary Pazdur Award for Excellence in Advanced Practice in Oncology Announced

The inaugural Mary Pazdur Award for Excellence in Advanced Practice in Oncology was announced at the 2017 JADPRO Live at APSHO (Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology) conference. Jack Gentile, Chairman of Harborside, which sponsors the JADPRO Live at APSHO conference (and...

issues in oncology

Shifting Landscape of Oncology Drug Development and Approvals

Future oncology drug development and approvals will be faster and more efficient as well as take the patient experience more into account, said Richard Pazdur, MD, Director of the Oncology Center of Excellence at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Center was established as part of...

hematologic malignancies

Targeted Therapies Highlighted at This Year’s ASH Annual Meeting

In a webcast press briefing prior to the 2017 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, journalists got a peek at some of the most anticipated abstracts. ASH President Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, Director of the Lebow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics and Jerome Lipper...

Expert Point of View: Eric Van Cutsem, MD, PhD

Invited discussant Eric Van Cutsem, MD, PhD, of the University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium, put the JACOB trial findings in context of what is known for HER2-positive metastatic gastric/gastroesophageal junction cancer, where two targeted agents are approved: trastuzumab (Herceptin) in the first...

solid tumors
gastrointestinal cancer
gastroesophageal cancer

Metastatic Gastric Cancer: Dual HER2-Targeting Study Does Not Meet Primary Endpoint

Dual HER2 targeting in metastatic gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancers did not significantly improve outcomes over trastuzumab (Herceptin) alone—both in combination with chemotherapy—according to the results of the phase III JACOB study reported at the 2017 European Society for Medical...

IDEA Trial: ‘Going Beyond Statistics’ in Stage III Colon Cancer

According to Alberto Sobrero, MD, Head of Medical Oncology at Ospedale San Martino in Genova, Italy, the results of the pivotal IDEA trial, which evaluated the optimal duration of adjuvant chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer, were not clear to clinicians.1 The combined analysis of six...

skin cancer

Melanoma Mutations: What You Need to Know

CLINICIANS ARE now well acquainted with BRAF mutations in advanced melanoma, but there is more to genomics in this disease than identifying BRAF and prescribing a BRAF inhibitor.  At the 2017 Debates and Didactics Conference, held at Sea Island, Georgia, Melinda L. Yushak, MD, MPH, of Emory...

Expert Point of View: Nadia Harbeck, MD, PhD

Invited discussant Nadia Harbeck, MD, PhD, Head of the Breast Center of the University of Munich (LMU), Germany, said the UNICANCER-NeoPAL trial points toward the future of endocrine therapy in early breast cancer—using cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (CDK4/6) inhibitors as a means of “enhancing” this ...

solid tumors
breast cancer

Pathologic Complete Response Rates Not Improved With Neoadjuvant Letrozole/Palbociclib

As neoadjuvant treatment of women with high-risk luminal breast cancer, the combination of letrozole and palbociclib (Ibrance) did not reduce the residual cancer burden or improve the rates of breast-conserving surgery, in the phase II UNICANCER- NeoPAL study presented at the 2017 European Society ...

pancreatic cancer

Resectable Pancreatic Cancer: Neoadjuvant or Adjuvant Therapy?

For potentially curable treatment of resectable pancreatic cancer, adjuvant therapy remains the standard “for now,” but evidence is growing that neoadjuvant therapy may be more beneficial, at least in certain patient subsets, according to Thomas Seufferlein, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine at the...

breast cancer
gynecologic cancers

More Data From ESMO 2017

In GEICAM 2006-10, the addition of fulvestrant at 250 mg/d to anastrozole did not improve 5-year disease-free survival over anastrozole alone (91.0% vs 90.8%).  “Immune induction” with chemotherapy or radiotherapy appeared to enhance response to nivolumab in women with metastatic triple-negative...

breast cancer
gynecologic cancers

International Trials Reveal New Findings in the Management of Breast and Ovarian Cancers

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress, held in Madrid, featured important news including at least seven practice-changing or potentially practice-changing trials, which are covered in recent issues of The ASCO Post. Here we present additional highlights of studies in breast ...

gastrointestinal cancer

Quick Takes on Studies in Noncolorectal Gastrointestinal Cancers

In this roundup, The ASCO Post offers a glance at key findings from studies in noncolorectal gastrointestinal malignancies presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress from investigators around the world. Docetaxel-Based Triplet in Gastric Cancer The superiority of...

gastrointestinal cancer

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Eric Van Cutsem, MD, PhD

Invited discussant Eric Van Cutsem, MD, PhD, of University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium, commented that both ATTRACTION-02 and KEYNOTE-059 suggest that anti-PD [programmed cell death protein] antibodies have activity in advanced gastric cancer, but their findings differed with regard to the impact of ...

gastrointestinal cancer

Anti–PD-1 Agents Gaining Momentum in Gastric Cancer

In updates of two important studies in metastatic gastric cancer reported at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress, nivolumab -(Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) demonstrated activity—but to varying degrees and with some nuances. “Anti-PD [programmed cell death protein]...

lung cancer

In Patients With Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer, Tumor Mutation Load Emerging as Biomarker for Immunotherapy

Tumor mutation burden is emerging as a biomarker for selecting non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients for immunotherapy, according to Naiyer Rizvi, MD, the Price Family Chair of Clinical Translational Medicine, Professor of Medicine, and Director of Thoracic Oncology at Columbia University,...

lung cancer

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Balazs Halmos, MD

The study’s invited discussant, Balazs Halmos, MD, Director of Thoracic Oncology and Clinical Cancer Genomics at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, called tumor mutation burden a “highly promising” biomarker of response to immune checkpoint inhibitors....

lung cancer

Tumor Mutation Burden Shows Promise as a Response Biomarker in Small Cell Lung Cancer

Patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and a high tumor mutation burden had a near doubling in response rate and 1-year overall survival when ipilimumab (Yervoy) was combined with nivolumab (Opdivo), vs nivolumab alone, new findings from CheckMate 032 have shown. Regardless of the treatment...

lung cancer

No Additional Benefit Found for Routine, Early Palliative Care in Mesothelioma

Early routine specialist palliative care for patients recently diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma did not impact quality of life, an international multicenter study has found.1 “Regular early specialist palliative care for patients was not associated with improved quality of life, as...

lung cancer

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Kemp Kernstine, MD, PhD

The study’s invited discussant Kemp Kernstine, MD, PhD, the Robert Tucker Hayes Foundation Distinguished Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, welcomed the findings, but expressed some concerns about the study. To begin, of a database of...

lung cancer

Residual Tumor ‘Uncertain’ Classification Validated in Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

After surgical resection of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), investigators from the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) have validated outcomes for tumors deemed to be of “uncertain” residual tumor status (ie, R[un]). “The residual tumor (R) classification reflects the ...

lung cancer

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Joan H. Schiller, MD

JOAN H. SCHILLER, MD, Deputy Director of Inova Schar Cancer Institute in Fairfax, Virginia, pointed out that no one particular chemotherapy regimen has been shown to improve overall survival vs other standard regimens. “So if we can’t identify one best chemotherapy, what else can we do to make...

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