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kidney cancer

Study Finds Cabozantinib of Clinical Benefit vs Sunitinib in Advanced Kidney Cancer

A randomized phase II clinical trial evaluating cabozantinib (Cabometyx) compared with standard-of-care sunitinib (Sutent) as first-line therapy for patients with advanced kidney cancer has found the experimental drug reduced the rate of disease progression or death by 34% compared with sunitinib....

breast cancer

Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer Is Like Walking a Tightrope

I’ve always had fibrocystic breasts and was steadfast in performing monthly breast self-exams, so I could become familiar with the terrain of my breasts and spot any subtle changes. So, in November 2002, when I felt something in my left breast that seemed different from my usual lumps, I made a...

issues in oncology

Forging Collaboration Between Children’s and Adult Oncology Groups in Designing Trials for Adolescents and Young Adults

Nonrhabdomyosarcoma soft-tissue sarcomas account for about 5% of all childhood malignancies and are also diagnosed in adolescents and young adults, as well as in older adults, and can require different approaches to treatment based on a patient’s age and stage of disease. These sarcomas comprise...

survivorship

Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancers Report Long-Term Health Issues

Although progress in treatment and supportive care for children with cancer has resulted in improved survival of these patients, some survivors experience ongoing medical conditions from their cancer or its treatment, including poor general health, poor mental health, functional impairment,...

health-care policy

How ASCO Is Preparing Members for MACRA

On October 14, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its final policy on what physicians need to do to begin implementing the Quality Payment Program outlined in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 ­(MACRA). The Quality Payment Program is a...

breast cancer

Genetic Testing May Be Beneficial in Identifying Patients With Breast Cancer at High Risk for Venous Thromboembolism

Venous thromboembolism is a serious—and sometimes fatal—complication of cancer and chemotherapy treatment. Since breast cancer is one of the most common cancers, it accounts for a large number of cancer-related cases of venous thromboembolism. Routine thromboprophylaxis, however, is not ...

issues in oncology

Proportion of Cancer Deaths From Smoking Varies Across States and Is Highest in the South

Although smoking prevalence in the U.S. has declined by more than half since 1965, nearly 40 million adults still smoke cigarettes, resulting in about 167,133 cancer deaths in 2014, according to a study by the American Cancer Society. The study investigated cancer deaths among adults 35 and older...

multiple myeloma

My Catch-22 Predicament

In the spring of 2011, I was feeling so fatigued I needed to rest after walking just a few steps to the kitchen and not doing anything more strenuous than making a cup of coffee. Fortunately, I have a wonderful primary care physician who takes me seriously when I have a complaint about my health,...

The Medicinal Power of Minerals

In September, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, opened the Minerals in Medicine exhibition at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The exhibition, which includes more than 40 minerals and metals...

genomics/genetics

Using Pharmacogenetics to Predict Cancer Prognosis, Response to Treatment, and Toxicity

Although clinical trials are helpful in determining the effectiveness of a specific drug across a patient population, they are not as reliable at pinpointing how well a particular patient will respond to the drug or dosing regimen or how the drug may impact the patient’s quality of life from...

skin cancer

Investigational Immunotherapy Appears Safe and Somewhat Active in Advanced Melanoma

The investigational immunotherapeutic IMC-20D7S was found to be well tolerated and somewhat active in patients with advanced melanoma, including one complete response, according to the results of a phase I/Ib trial reported by Khalil et al in Clinical Cancer Research.  IMD-20D7S is a...

lymphoma

Study Finds Increased Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in HIV-Infected Patients

In the HIV-negative population, there is growing evidence suggesting that chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are both associated with the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), although the mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear. The incidence rate of NHL ...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

The Medical Profession Has to Become Culturally Sensitive to the Needs of LGBT Cancer Survivors

Despite my breast cancer diagnosis 4 years ago, I feel really lucky. My cancer was detected relatively early, stage IIB, during a routine mammogram screening—a test that many of my lesbian friends skip because they don’t want to deal with a medical system steeped in a heterosexual culture that is...

genomics/genetics

Using Watson to Analyze Genomic Data to Personalize Treatment for Patients With Cancer

Three years ago, IBM’s Watson supercomputer was best known for defeating two former champions on the TV game show Jeopardy! Today, it is grabbing headlines for becoming an important assistant in cancer care. Able to read and understand millions of pages of text within seconds, Watson caught the...

issues in oncology
health-care policy
survivorship

Why Curing Cancer Will Take Decades

This past summer, Eric S. Lander, PhD, President of the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, raised a few eyebrows at the Aspen Ideas Festival when he...

palliative care

Bridging the Gap in Oncology Care

The third annual Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium, held on September 9–10, 2016, in San Francisco, California, brought together more than 650 attendees from multiple countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and China. It featured over 250 study...

issues in oncology
health-care policy

AACR’s Cancer Progress Report Hails Research Advances and Details Challenges Ahead

Although research advances in more effective therapies and diagnostics and improved screening technology over the past 2 decades have led to a 23% reduction in the cancer death rate in the United States, saving nearly 2 million lives,1 cancer remains the second leading cause of death after heart...

skin cancer

Ratio of Certain Immune Cells in the Blood to Tumor Burden Correlated With Outcome for Melanoma Patients Treated With Pembrolizumab

Although some patients with melanoma experience durable responses to treatment with the anti–PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) therapy pembrolizumab (Keytruda), the majority of patients do not experience a durable clinical benefit from anti–PD-1 monotherapy, according to a study by ...

kidney cancer
lung cancer
skin cancer

Combining AM0010 and Pembrolizumab Produced Antitumor Activity in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors

A multibasket phase Ib study evaluating the clinical activity, tolerability, and antitumor activity of the cytokine-based immunotherapy AM0010 alone or in combination with the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) has found that in monotherapy, objective responses to AM0010 were ...

colorectal cancer

Does Colonoscopy Screening in Older Adults Prevent Colorectal Cancer?

A large population-based observational study by García-Albéniz et al evaluating the effectiveness and safety of screening colonoscopy for the prevention of colorectal cancer in people aged 70 to 74 and 75 to 79 has found the test reaped only a modest benefit in preventing colorectal...

kidney cancer
breast cancer

I’ve Survived Cancer for Over 71 Years

Even though I was just 3 years old when my symptoms first appeared, the memory is still fresh in my mind to this day, 71 years later. I had just come home from a friend’s birthday party and was sitting on the front patio steps immobilized by severe stomach pain. My parents said I was feeling ill...

Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel Recommends 10 Ways to Speed Cancer Advances

Earlier this month, members of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative’s Blue Ribbon Panel submitted an ambitious list of 10 recommendations on the scientific approaches that are most likely to accelerate progress against cancer to the President’s National Cancer Advisory Board. The panel’s...

issues in oncology

Recognizing the Unique Experiences of Cancer Among Adolescent and Young Adult Survivors

Studies show that adolescent and young adult cancer survivors experience distinct challenges and quality-of-life issues from those experienced by either younger or older adult cancer survivors and that those challenges and issues can persist long after the cancer diagnosis and the end of...

issues in oncology

Breaking the ‘Conspiracy of Silence’

A new study1 showing that just 1 in 20 terminally ill patients with cancer has sufficient understanding about the prognosis or purpose of treatment is highlighting the need for improvements in both the way oncologists communicate prognosis with their patients and in the development of educational...

issues in oncology

Why Patients’ Understanding of Their Prognosis Often Differs From Their Oncologists’

A recent study1 published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (see “Breaking the ‘Conspiracy of Silence’” in this issue of The ASCO Post) found that just 1 in 20 patients with advanced, incurable cancer has sufficient understanding of his or her prognosis or life expectancy. Now, another new study ...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

CDC Finds Cancer Death Rates Among Children and Adolescents Declined by 20%, With Brain Cancer Topping Leukemia as Leading Cause of Death

New findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the cancer death rate for children and adolescents aged 1 to 19 has been steadily declining since the mid-1970s and dropped by 20% from 1999 to 2014, the result of advances in therapy, especially for leukemia. During...

lymphoma
thyroid cancer

I’ve Survived Two Cancers

In 2012, my husband, Robert, and I were looking forward to starting the next phase of our lives and were feeling excited about the future. Although only in our 50s, we had decided to retire early from our full-time careers, move to our cabin in Hayward, Wisconsin, and find less stressful part-time ...

issues in oncology

Mastery Learning: A New Paradigm for Oncology Medical Education?

According to William C. McGaghie, PhD, Professor of Medical Education and Professor of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, the principles of today’s clinical medical education are rooted in a 19th century model that is no longer useful in a...

issues in oncology

Addressing the Significant Disparities and Barriers to Health Care Experienced by LGBT Cancer Survivors

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published its landmark report “The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding,” which recognized the scarcity of research in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and the...

kidney cancer

Is Obesity a Prognostic Factor for Improved Survival in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma?

In a study investigating the clinical and biologic effects of body mass index on treatment outcomes in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, Albiges et al found that obese patients treated with targeted therapy had improved survival and progression-free survival compared with patients with ...

prostate cancer

PSA-Based Computational Model Predicts Time to Relapse After Prostate Cancer Surgery

Approximately one in four patients who undergo radical prostatectomy experience a cancer recurrence. Now a study by Stura et al investigating a prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based computational model that uses four consecutive postsurgical PSA values has found the mathematical model to be highly...

lung cancer

My Oncologists Make Me Feel Safe Even While Living With Terminal Cancer

Looking back, I’m haunted by what might have been if my advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) had been caught in its earliest stage, when perhaps a cure was possible. I certainly presented my physicians with enough clues—shortness of breath, coughing, and some body weakness—to have warranted...

survivorship

Late Cardiac Effects of Cancer Treatment

The combination of more precise diagnostic tools and advances in surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy in the treatment of cancer has led to unprecedented numbers of cancer survivors in the United States—more than 15.5 million, according to the latest figures from the...

issues in oncology
health-care policy

How the Oncology Center of Excellence Plans to Foster Collaboration Among Researchers to Advance Cancer Treatment

On June 29, 2016, Robert M. Califf, MD, MACC, the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced the selection of Richard Pazdur, MD, FACP, as Acting Director of the FDA’s newly created Oncology Center of Excellence. The center was created in response to the overarching...

breast cancer
solid tumors

Breast Density and Risk Factors May Be Useful for Tailoring Breast Cancer Screening for Older Women

A collaborative modeling study evaluating outcomes for various screening intervals for women over the age of 50 based on breast density and risk for breast cancer has found that average-risk women with low breast density undergoing triennial screening and higher-risk women with high breast density...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia

Study Finds Venetoclax Monotherapy Safe and Clinically Active in AML

A phase II study has found venetoclax (Venclexta) to be clinically active in patients with high-risk relapsed/refractory acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) or those unfit for intensive chemotherapy, with an overall response rate of 19% and a tolerable safety profile. The study results, which were...

breast cancer

Study Explores How Breast Cancers Resist Chemotherapy

A laboratory study led by scientists at the National Institutes of Health investigating how BRCA1- and BRCA2-mutant cell breast cancers eventually acquire resistance to DNA-damaging drugs has identified several proteins that promote destabilization of replication forks and contribute to drug...

gynecologic cancers
lymphoma

I’m the Luckiest Person in the World

July 2009 was the start of the worst 5-year period of my life, and I’m just grateful I am still here to tell you about it. I was preparing for brain surgery to remove an acoustic neuroma on the right side of my brain when I noticed a lump on my left thigh. Thinking I had pulled a muscle while...

palliative care

Integrating Early Palliative Medicine Into Oncology Care to Improve Patients’ Quality of Life

At the 2015 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium in Boston, Vicki Jackson, MD, MPH, Chief in the Division of Palliative Care and Geriatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, Co-Director of the Harvard Center for Palliative Care, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School,...

issues in oncology

Educating People About Clinical Trials May Improve Their Likelihood of Participation

The facts are well known: Although clinical trials are regarded as the gold standard to investigate whether a new treatment is safe and effective in patients—and have resulted in advances in cancer cures and increases in cancer survivorship—only 3% to 5% of patients enroll in these studies.1 The...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

Making a Difference in the Lives of Others

Quyen D. Chu, MD, MBA, FACS, this year’s recipient of ASCO’s Humanitarian Award, lives by the axiom that “One person can make a positive difference in the lives of others.” Although the term has become cliché, the experiences in Dr. Chu’s life and oncology career prove just how profound and...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Low Engagement in Internet-Based Research in Underrepresented Population

A large study by Hartz et al examining whether Internet-based research approaches effectively engage participants from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds has found engagement in this type of research to be low among participants without a high school education, those living below the...

issues in oncology

ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research Launch Initiative to Modernize Eligibility Criteria for Clinical Trials

The dismal accrual rates in cancer clinical trials are well known: Just 3% to 5% of adults with cancer enroll in clinical trials.1 The reasons patients are reluctant to participate in clinical trials are equally well known: fear of reduced quality of life, concern about receiving a placebo, and...

skin cancer

Combining Ipilimumab With Radiotherapy or Electrochemotherapy May Prolong Survival in Patients With Advanced Melanoma

The immunotherapy ipilimumab (Yervoy) has revolutionized the treatment of malignant melanoma and resulted in durable responses in 20% to 25% of patients with the cancer. A study by Theurich et al investigating the benefits of combining ipilimumab with local peripheral treatments, such as...

health-care policy

The National Cancer Moonshot Lifts Off

Just 6 months after President Barack Obama announced the establishment of a National Cancer Moonshot Initiative to accelerate the pace of research discoveries, improve patient access and care, and encourage data-sharing, dozens of new initiatives to accomplish those and other goals were rolled out...

survivorship
leukemia
lymphoma

My Commitment to Helping Other Survivors of Childhood Cancers

When I was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) at the age of 2 in 1974, not much was known about the cancer or the side effects of its treatment. Too young to understand what was happening to me, the burden fell to my parents and older sibling to protect and care for me. For more than...

Using Simulation-Based Training to Improve the Procedural Skills of Oncology/Hematology Fellows

Simulation-based education in medicine programs implemented in cancer centers for oncology/hematology fellows recreates real-world patient experiences and provides a safe—and stress-free—learning environment in which trainees can enhance their clinical and procedural skills in a variety of areas....

issues in oncology

Study Finds New Whole-Exome Sequencing Test Accurately Identifies Actionable Mutations

Exome Cancer Test v1.0 (EXaCT-1), a new whole-exome sequencing test developed by the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, detected mutations that guide precision cancer treatment with over 95% accuracy, according to a study by Rennert et al published in Genomic ...

breast cancer
solid tumors

Study Finds Wide Variation in Breast Density Assessments Among Radiologists

A large observational study examining the variation in breast density assessment among radiologists in clinical practice has found a wide variation—from 6.3% to 84.5%—in the percentage of mammograms rated as showing dense breasts, which persisted after adjusting for patient...

breast cancer
issues in oncology
genomics/genetics

Using Social Media to Accelerate Genomic Research

The success of using social media to push forward causes for social good was a driving factor in the launch this past October of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project (MBC project), which aims to accelerate the understanding of what makes patients with metastatic breast cancer genetically unique....

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