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issues in oncology

Liquid Biopsies Identify Distinct Genomic Profiles With Potentially Targetable Alterations in Carcinoma of Unknown Primary

Next-generation sequencing of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) identified distinct genomic profiles with potentially targetable alterations in 99.7% of patients with carcinoma of unknown primary (CUP) who have detectable alterations, according to results published by Kato et al in Cancer Research....

solid tumors

Detection of Early-Stage Cancers With Circulating Tumor DNA

In a bid to detect cancers early and in a noninvasive way, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Baltimore, reported they have developed a test that spots tiny amounts of cancer-specific DNA in blood, and have used it to accurately identify more than half of 138 people with...

World Oncology Leaders Reunion

gynecologic cancers

FDA Approves Olaparib Tablets for Maintenance Treatment in Ovarian Cancer

On August 17, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted regular approval to olaparib tablets (Lynparza) for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer, who are in a complete or partial response to...

leukemia

FDA Approves Inotuzumab Ozogamicin for Relapsed or Refractory B-Cell Precursor ALL

On August 17, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved inotuzumab ozogamicin (Besponsa) for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). INO-VATE ALL The approval was based on data from INO-VATE ALL, a randomized (1:1), ...

Reuben Shaw, PhD, Receives NCI Outstanding Investigator Award

Salk Institute for Biological Studies Professor Reuben Shaw, PhD, has received the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Outstanding Investigator Award, which encourages cancer research with breakthrough potential. Dr. Shaw, a member of Salk’s Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory and holder of the...

Look for Opportunities to Lower Barriers to ­Participation of Older Patients in Oncology Clinical Trials

Practicing evidence-based medicine requires evidence, but the evidence for efficacy and safety of new and evolving cancer therapies in older adults is wanting due to their underrepresentation in oncology clinical trials. “It is difficult to practice evidence-based medicine in an older population...

geriatric oncology
issues in oncology

‘Slow, Incremental Changes’ Are Increasing Participation of Older Adults in Clinical Trials

Older adults continue to be proportionally underrepresented in oncology clinical trials, but the participation rate of adults aged 65 and older is increasing by “slow, incremental changes,” Stuart M. Lichtman, MD, noted in an interview with The ASCO Post. Prompting those changes are the rapidly...

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Created at Fox Chase Cancer Center

The Pain & Palliative Care Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center is offering a new Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship in partnership with the Hospice of the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia and Temple University Hospital. The 1-year program is approved by the...

solid tumors
breast cancer

A Personal Tribute to Angela H. Brodie, PhD, a Scientist Who Transformed Breast Cancer Treatment

Angela H. Brodie, PhD, a pioneer in breast cancer research, passed away on June 7, 2017, from complications of Parkinson’s disease and pancreatic cancer. An obituary for Dr. Brodie was published previously in the June 25, 2017, issue of The ASCO Post. Here, Dr. Balkees Abderrahman shares a...

kidney cancer

CheckMate-214: Nivolumab and Ipilimumab in Intermediate- and Poor-Risk Previously Untreated Advanced or Metastatic RCC

On August 15, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company announced topline results from the CheckMate-214 trial investigating nivolumab (Opdivo) in combination with ipilimumab (Yervoy) vs sunitinib (Sutent) in intermediate- and poor-risk patients with previously untreated advanced or metastatic renal cell...

lymphoma

FDA Accepts sBLA and Grants Priority Review for Brentuximab Vedotin in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

On August 16, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) and granted Priority Review for brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). The sBLA and its acceptance is based on data from the phase III...

Recent FDA Actions Include New Drug Approvals in Leukemia, Expanded Approvals in Colorectal Cancer and Graft-vs-Host Disease

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted approval, expanded approval, and breakthrough therapy designation to numerous treatments across a range of tumor types and malignancies. New Drug Approvals Daunorubicin-Cytarabine Combination (Vyxeos): On August 3, the FDA granted...

Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD, Named Director of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD, an expert in immunotherapy and a specialist in head and neck cancer, has been named Director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Hillman Cancer Center. His appointment was effective July 1. Dr. Ferris, a 15-year veteran of the UPMC Hillman Cancer...

Claire Verschraegen, MD, Joins OSUCCC–James

Claire Verschraegen, MD, has been appointed Director of the Division of Medical Oncology and Associate Director of the Translational Research Program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center–Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC–James)....

Unraveling the Complexities of Cellular Immunotherapy and Its Potential to Cure Some Cancers

This past fall, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle opened an all-encompassing 9,222-square foot outpatient cellular immunotherapy clinic, specifically designed to serve patients participating in the center’s novel immunotherapy clinical trials, which mainly focus on chimeric...

breast cancer

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Practical Approach, Promising Research

Triple-negative breast cancer has a reputation for being a particularly challenging malignancy, but breast cancer specialist Nancy Davidson, MD, Senior Vice President of the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, put this in perspective in a recent...

lung cancer

ASCO Guideline on Stage IV NSCLC Therapy Updated

An update of the ASCO clinical practice guideline on the systemic treatment of patients with stage IV non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) clarifies the role of immunotherapy in this setting. The update, published by Hanna et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, also provides new...

issues in oncology

Short-Term Risk of Arterial Thromboembolism in Newly Diagnosed Patients With Cancer

Patients newly diagnosed with cancer may have a substantially increased short-term risk of arterial thromboembolism, according to a study published by Navi et al in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Patients with cancer face an increased risk of medical complications. However, the ...

solid tumors
hematologic malignancies

Clonal Hematopoiesis in Patients With Nonhematologic Cancers

In a study of nearly 9,000 people treated for solid tumors, researchers found that radiation treatment and tobacco use were linked to higher rates of blood-based DNA mutations that could lead to a higher risk for blood cancers such as leukemia. The study, published by Coombs et al in...

lung cancer

Lung Cancer Clinical Trial Eligibility Criteria Increase in Number, Complexity

With the advent of molecular targeted therapies and immunotherapy, eligibility criteria have increased in number and complexity for lung cancer clinical trials, according to an analysis published by Garcia et al in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. Despite calls to streamline cancer clinical trial...

cost of care

Out-of-Pocket Costs Remain High, Even for Insured Patients With Cancer

One-third of insured people with cancer end up paying more out-of-pocket than they expected, despite having health insurance coverage, researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute have found. The data showed that costs such as copays and deductibles could lead to financial distress among insured...

colorectal cancer

Imaging and Biomarker Test Could More Accurately Predict Longer-Term Patient Response to Regorafenib in Colorectal Cancer

Administering a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and a blood test to patients with metastatic colorectal cancer may help to select those who would benefit from a targeted cancer treatment, a new study published by Khan et al in Gutreported. Researchers found that after only 2 weeks on the...

gynecologic cancers

Increased Endometrial Cancer Rates Found in Women With Increased Levels of Cadmium

Through a 5-year observational study recently published by McElory et al in PLOS One, researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) found that women with increased levels of cadmium—a metal commonly found in foods such as kidney, liver, and shellfish, as well as tobacco—had an...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

FDA to Expand Public Education Campaign to Focus on Prevention of Youth E-Cigarette Use

On August 8, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it would pursue a strategic, new public health education campaign aimed at discouraging the use of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) by children. The agency plans to expand its “The Real...

gynecologic cancers

New Device to Test for Cervical Cancer May Be Less Painful for Patients, Produce Better Results

When a woman has an abnormal Papanicolaou (Pap) smear, she usually undergoes colposcopy—a procedure physicians use to closely examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva for signs of disease. Typically, a metal instrument is used to obtain a small sampling of cells inside the cervix, which is...

issues in oncology

Identifying Essential Genes for Cancer Immunotherapy

A new study published by Patel et al in Nature identifies genes that are necessary in cancer cells for immunotherapy to work—addressing the problem of why some tumors don’t respond to immunotherapy, or respond initially but then stop as tumor cells develop resistance to...

survivorship
pain management

Higher Opioid Use Among Cancer Survivors

A new study found that opioid prescription use is more common in cancer survivors than in individuals without a history of cancer. This was true even among survivors who were 10 or more years past their cancer diagnosis. Published by Sutradhar et al in Cancer, the findings come at a time of rising...

legislation

Senate Passes the RACE for Children Act

On August 3, the leadership of Kids v Cancer, an advocacy group promoting pediatric cancer research, issued the following statement: Today, the U.S. Senate passed the FDA Reauthorization Act and with it, the RACE for Children Act. Now, new cancer drugs will be developed not only for...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Perioperative Anti-inflammatory, Antistress Drugs May Reduce Postsurgical Metastatic Disease Recurrence

Most cancer-related deaths are the result of postsurgical metastatic recurrence. A new Tel Aviv University (TAU) study published by Shaashua et al in Clinical Cancer Research found a specific drug regimen administered prior to and after surgery significantly reduces the risk of postsurgical cancer...

cns cancers
survivorship

Study Maps Mutation That May Drive Meningioma Development in Childhood Cancer Survivors

Neuroscientists may have uncovered the genetic basis for why many long-term survivors of childhood cancer develop meningiomas, the most common adult brain tumor, decades after their treatment with cranial radiation. The findings, published by Agnihotri et al in Nature Communications, show that...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Cancer at Baseline Screening in Patients With Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

In a new study from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), researchers found a higher-than-expected prevalence of cancer at baseline screening in individuals with Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a rare inherited disorder that leads to a higher risk of developing certain cancers. The research demonstrates...

issues in oncology
symptom management

Patients With Advanced Cancer Presenting to Emergency Departments With Delirium Likely to Die Earlier

According to a new study published by Elsayem et al in The Oncologist, patients with advanced cancer who are diagnosed with delirium when presenting to emergency departments are more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die earlier than patients without delirium. This shows the importance...

leukemia

Blinatumomab in Advanced Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Brighter Therapeutic Outlook

NEW DRUGS that will improve the outcome of adult patients who develop a deadly disease such as acute leukemia are badly needed; combinations of cytotoxic chemotherapeutic drugs may have reached an upper limit of utility. Agents that eradicate leukemia by alternative mechanisms would be of...

NYU Perlmutter Creates New Pancreatic Cancer Center

PERLMUTTER CANCER CENTER at NYU Langone has announced the creation of a multidisciplinary center of excellence to develop innovative approaches to diagnose, treat, and prevent pancreatic cancer. The new Pancreatic Cancer Center brings together laboratory researchers, surgeons, oncologists,...

Sai Yendamuri, MD, FACS, Receives 2017 Brompton Prize

SAI YENDAMURI, MD, FACS, Chair of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, received the prestigious Brompton Prize at a recent international gathering of thoracic surgeons. The award, given by the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons, is for the year’s best thoracic...

thyroid cancer

Are Thyroid Cancer Incidence and Mortality Rates Truly Increasing in the United States?

THYROID CANCER diagnoses are increasing at a rate faster than any other malignancy in the United States. In 2017, there will be 56,870 new cases, accounting for 3.4% of all cancers, and 2,010 people will die of thyroid cancer.1 This represents a more than 200% increase in incidence since the...

Fox Chase Announces New Immunotherapy Trial in Breast Cancer

PATIENTS WITH SOME TYPES of breast cancer will have a new clinical trial option at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Medical oncologists Lori Goldstein, MD, and Elias Obeid, MD, MPH, are opening a phase II immunotherapy clinical trial for newly diagnosed, locally recurrent, or metastatic HER2-overexpressing ...

leukemia

FDA Approves Liposome-Encapsulated Combination of Daunorubicin-Cytarabine for Some Types of Poor-Prognosis AML

On August 3, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted regular approval to a liposome-encapsulated combination of daunorubicin and cytarabine (Vyxeos) for the treatment of adults with newly diagnosed therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or AML with myelodysplasia-related...

hematologic malignancies

ASH Selects 11 Fellows for Research Award in Academic Hematology

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) announced the names of 11 outstanding fellows selected to receive the 2017 ASH Research Training Award for Fellows, a year-long program that aims to encourage careers in academic hematology by providing protected research time during training. Each awardee...

lung cancer

FDA Grants Alectinib Priority Review for Initial Treatment of ALK-Positive Lung Cancer

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted Genentech’s supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) and granted Priority Review for alectinib (Alecensa) as a first-line treatment for people with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive, locally advanced, or metastatic...

lung cancer

Osimertinib Improves Progression-Free Survival for EGFR-Positive NSCLC in the Phase III FLAURA Trial

On July 27, it was announced that the phase III FLAURA trial showed a statistically significant and clinically meaningful progression-free survival benefit with osimertinib (Tagrisso) compared to current first-line standard-of-care treatment (erlotinib [Tarceva] or gefitinib [Iressa]) in previously ...

health-care policy

FDA Announces Comprehensive Regulatory Plan to Shift Trajectory of Tobacco-Related Disease, Death

On July 28, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation that will serve as a multiyear roadmap to better protect children and significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death. The approach places nicotine and the issue of...

Roswell Park Graduate Student Honored by National Cancer Institute

Roswell Park Cancer Institute graduate student Danielle Twum has received the prestigious Emerging Scholars Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), who recognized her among the distinguished alumni of its Continuing Umbrella for Research Excellence (CURE) programs. The CURE programs are...

palliative care

An Expert on End-of-Life Care Shares Her Stories

“In the sufferer let me see only the human being.” So said Maimonides, the medieval Jewish philosopher and physician who espoused treating the patient rather than the illness, a philosophy that modern oncology had to relearn. This brief quote greets readers of a new book called Extreme Measures:...

health-care policy

A Deep and Incisive Look Into the Health-Care System

The seemingly impossible-to-cure maladies of our $3 trillion per year health-care system have been hyperanalyzed, fiercely debated, and voluminously written about by the country’s leading public health experts, opinionated doctors, and policymakers on Capitol Hill. The Affordable Care Act extended ...

A Textbook That Fills a Special Need in Oncology: Uncommon Cancers

A cancer diagnosis provokes a sea of emotions, fear and anxiety over the future foremost. However, being diagnosed with a common cancer such as breast or prostate cancer has a hard-won comfort zone, in that both patients and physicians are armed with a plethora of data and resources on how to treat ...

The X-Ray Era 1901–1915

The text and photograph on this page are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treatment: A Photographic History, by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS, and Elizabeth A. Burns. The photo below is from the volume titled “The X-Ray Era: 1901–1915.” The photograph appears...

issues in oncology
survivorship

How to Help Young Patients Preserve Their Fertility

GUEST EDITOR Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology explores the unique physical, psychosocial, social, emotional, sexual, and financial challenges adolescents and young adults with cancer face. The column is guest edited by Brandon Hayes-Lattin, MD, FACP, Professor of Medicine and Medical Director...

Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium Receives $17 Million NCI Grant

INVESTIGATORS AT Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) have received a $17 million program project grant renewal from the National Cancer Institute to study the effectiveness of different breast cancer screening and surveillance strategies using digital mammography, digital breast...

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