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health-care policy
immunotherapy

CMS Proposes Medicare Coverage With Evidence Development for CAR T-Cell Therapy

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed coverage of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy under its “coverage with evidence development” paradigm. Currently, there is no national...

head and neck cancer
kidney cancer
immunotherapy

FDA Pipeline: Priority Reviews in Renal Cell Carcinoma and Head and Neck Cancer

Over the past week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted multiple Priority Reviews: Pembrolizumab in Combination With Axitinib as First-Line Treatment for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma Today, the FDA accepted and granted Priority Review for a new supplemental biologics license...

issues in oncology

Involvement of Primary Care Providers in Cancer Treatment Decisions

The idea of team-based cancer care most often focuses on involving primary care physicians in the care of cancer survivors, but research has shown patients are also discussing initial cancer treatment options with their primary care doctors. Now, a new study by Wallner et al in Cancer has...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

System-Based Intervention to Reduce Racial Disparities in Early-Stage Lung Cancer Treatment

Results from a study published by Cykert et al in Cancer Medicine showed that a pragmatic system-based intervention within cancer treatment centers may eliminate existing disparities in treatment and outcomes for black patients with early-stage lung cancer. “These results show ...

immunotherapy

Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, Awarded the 2019 Szent-Györgyi Prize

The 2019 Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research will be awarded to Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, of the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The prize, awarded annually by the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR), recognizes Dr....

breast cancer

Recent Decrease in Deaths Attributable to Breast Cancer in the United States

The latest U.S. estimates indicate that since 1989, hundreds of thousands of women's lives have been saved by mammography and improvements in breast cancer treatment. In a study published by Hendrick et al in Cancer, findings point to progress made in the early detection and management of...

head and neck cancer

Small Study Investigates Rise of Glottic Carcinoma in Young Adults and HPV Infection

An increase in the diagnosis of glottic carcinoma in young adults may be due in part to infection with strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) described finding HPV infection in all tested samples of glottic carcinoma from 10 patients diagnosed ...

kidney cancer
immunotherapy

2019 GU Cancers Symposium: KEYNOTE-426: Pembrolizumab Plus Axitinib vs Sunitinib in Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

Results from the randomized, phase III KEYNOTE-426 clinical trial show that first-line therapy with a combination of pembrolizumab and axitinib extended both overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) for patients with clear cell metastatic renal cell carcinoma compared with the...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

2019 GU Cancers Symposium: Study Evaluates Survival by Race in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

A large, retrospective study analyzing 5 years of data from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) found that African American men with chemotherapy-naive, metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer who were treated with abiraterone acetate or enzalutamide lived 20% longer compared with...

prostate cancer

2019 GU Cancers Symposium: Small Trial of LuPSMA in PSMA-Positive, Metastatic, Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

A single-arm, phase II trial in men with prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-positive, metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer that progressed despite standard therapies found that a majority of men treated with a novel, targeted radiation therapy called lutetium-177 PSMA-617...

multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

FDA Approves Daratumumab Split-Dosing Regimen

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a split-dosing regimen for daratumumab (Darzalex), a CD38-directed antibody, providing health-care professionals and patients with multiple myeloma an option to split the first infusion over 2 consecutive days. The approval is based on...

Leaders of Harborside Medical Education Recognized by the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions

THE PRINCIPALS and staff of Harborside, publisher of The ASCO Post, congratulate Harborside Medical Education (HSME) for staff recognition by the Alliance for Continuing Education (CE) in the Health Professions (the Alliance). Two senior staff were honored during the awards ceremony preceding the...

breast cancer

Breast Cancer Surgical Terminology Should Be Updated to Reflect Modern Medical Practice

BREAST CANCER is a microscopic disease, with most patients presenting with “localized” stage I to III disease, for which they are offered curative-intent surgery often accompanied by radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy. More accurately, we now know that patients with localized...

lymphoma

Living My Best Life

Five years ago, I was living my dream life. I was under contract as a commentator on Fox News, which necessitated commuting weekly from my home in Los Angeles to New York, and was building a new home in Palm Springs with my partner, Matt Lashey. Not only was my career and personal life going well,...

colorectal cancer

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Test on Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Syndrome Receives FDA Clearance

ON JANUARY 22, 2019, 23andMe received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for a genetic health risk report on the hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome MUTYH-associated polyposis. The clearance follows the FDA’s authorization for 23andMe’s BRCA1/BRCA2 (Selected Variants) Genetic...

leukemia
lymphoma

FDA Approves Ibrutinib in Combination With Obinutuzumab in Treatment-Naive CLL/SLL

ON JANUARY 28, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ibrutinib (Imbruvica), a Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in combination with obinutuzumab in treatment-naive patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL). This is the first approval of...

lung cancer

Encourage Lung Cancer Screening to Prevent Early Deaths

Discussions of benefits and harms from screening of high-risk populations for lung cancer have missed the point. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) showed an early and statistically significant major benefit in all-cause mortality from computed tomography (CT) screening.1 Those referred for...

immunotherapy

How Turning ‘Cold’ Tumors Into ‘Hot’ Ones May Improve Response to Immunotherapy

The proliferation of immunotherapeutics in the treatment of cancer over the past decade has revolutionized the way many cancers are treated, especially lung cancer and melanoma, as well as some blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, drastically improving outcomes for many patients with...

V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, DSc, FMedSci, Receives Reynold Spector Award in Clinical Pharmacology

V. CRAIG JORDAN, OBE, PhD, DSc, FMedSci, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will receive the 2019 Reynold Spector Award in Clinical Pharmacology, during the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2019 in...

Julian Schink, MD, Named Chief Medical Officer of CTCA

JULIAN SCHINK, MD, has been appointed Chief Medical Officer of Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). As Chief Medical Officer for the comprehensive cancer care network, Dr. Schink will provide leadership and direction for its enterprise-wide clinical programs and will serve as a liaison...

NCCN Guidelines Exceed 10 Million Downloads in 2018

THE NATIONAL Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) announced that the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) were downloaded more than 10 million times in 2018, marking a 26% increase over downloads in 2017. The NCCN Guidelines provide up-to-date recommendations for...

solid tumors
lymphoma
pancreatic cancer
symptom management

FDA Pipeline: Treatments for Tenosynovial Giant Cell Tumor and Pancreatic Cancer, Plus a Statement on Breast Implant–Associated Lymphoma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted the following designations and applications and also issued a statement: Priority Review for Pexidartinib in Tenosynovial Giant Cell Tumor The FDA has accepted a new drug application (NDA) and granted Priority Review for pexidartinib...

immunotherapy

Immunotherapy in Patients With HIV Infection and Advanced Cancer

A study published by Cook et al in JAMA Oncology focused on whether treatment with checkpoint inhibitors is both safe and effective in patients with advanced cancer who are also human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive. Because checkpoint inhibitors manipulate the immune system, the concern has...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

More Than 60 Leading Health-Care Organizations Call on CMS to Maintain Coverage for Medically Necessary Cancer Testing

Leading health-care companies and organizations representing patients, providers, academic medical centers, laboratories, and diagnostic manufacturers urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to revise its interpretation of the National Coverage Determination (NCD) for...

immunotherapy

Machine Learning Identifies Multiple Underlying Factors Predicting Response to Immunotherapy

A research team is using a branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning to better target immunotherapy to those who will benefit. In a recent study published by Leiserson et al in PLOS One, the team used data from a clinical trial of patients with bladder cancer to...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Site of Care May Affect Racial and Ethnic Minorities’ Access to Palliative Treatment

For patients at the end of life, palliative care can prolong survival and improve the quality of life for patients with a life-threatening illness and for their families—but studies have found that racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive end-of-life palliative care than...

supportive care
symptom management

FDA Approves Caplacizumab-yhdp for Acquired Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved caplacizumab-yhdp (Cablivi) injection, the first therapy specifically indicated, in combination with plasma exchange and immunosuppressive therapy, for the treatment of adult patients with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP), a...

hematologic malignancies
symptom management

Letter to the Editor: Survey on DOACs in Cancer-Related Venous Thromboembolism

This letter is a follow-up to a report published previously in The ASCO Post. Recent trials report comparable or improved efficacy of direct-acting oral coagulants (DOACs) over low–molecular-weight heparins (LMWH) in the treatment of cancer-related VTE (cVTE) at the expense of increased...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

Real-World Treatment Impact of Newer Agents on Survival of Patients With Metastatic Melanoma

The approval of several new agents for metastatic melanoma in the past several years has led to changes in how the disease is treated and managed. Treatments such as the programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) inhibitors pembrolizumab, ipilimumab, and nivolumab; BRAF inhibitors; and MEK inhibitors...

solid tumors

Impact of Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy on Survival for Patients With Advanced Cancers

The first report from a phase II, multicenter clinical trial has found that a newer, more aggressive form of radiation therapy—stereotactic ablative radiation—can extend long-term survival for some patients with stage IV cancers, while maintaining their quality of life. The study was...

skin cancer

HLA Mismatch and Skin Cancer Risk After Organ Transplant

Data on the risk factors for the development of skin cancer after a solid organ transplant are limited. In a retrospective cohort study, researchers sought to determine the relationship between human leukocyte antigen (HLA) mismatch and risk of skin cancer after transplant. Their findings were...

issues in oncology

American Lung Association's State of Tobacco Control Report Released

According to the American Lung Association’s recently released 2019 State of Tobacco Control report, states and the federal government have not taken meaningful action in establishing policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use, the nation's leading cause of preventable death and disease. ...

issues in oncology

Obesity-Related Cancers Rising in Young Adults in the United States

A new study has found rates are increasing for 6 of 12 cancers related to obesity in younger adults in the United States, with steeper increases in progressively younger ages and successively younger generations. The study, published by Sung et al in The Lancet Public Health, also looked at rates...

Expert Point of View: Ravi Vij, MD and Saad Usmani, MD

Ravi Vij, MD, Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, and Saad Usmani, MD, Director of Plasma Cell Disorders at Levine Cancer Institute, Charlotte, North Carolina, spoke to The ASCO Post about the studies presented on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell...

Expert Point of View: Mrinal S. Patnaik, MBBS and David P. Steensma, MD

Mrinal S. Patnaik, MBBS, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Oncology and a consultant in hematology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, commented on the MEDALIST trial for The ASCO Post. “Given its unique mode of action, relative ease of administration, and excellent tolerability,...

lung cancer

Genomic Classification of Lung Cancers Diagnosed in Patients From Appalachian Kentucky

Squamous cell carcinoma of the lung represents approximately one-quarter (26.4%) of all lung cancers diagnosed in Appalachian Kentucky, where death from lung cancer is higher than the national average. Researchers sought to characterize genetic alterations specifically found in lung squamous cell...

pancreatic cancer

Enhancing Patient Outcomes After Whipple Procedure

Pancreaticoduodenectomy, or the Whipple procedure, is one of the most complex abdominal surgeries, and is commonly prescribed as a first line of therapy for cancer located within the pancreatic head. Investigators reported that following a 5-day accelerated recovery pathway after surgery helped to...

breast cancer

Selected Abstracts From the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

Each year, The ASCO Post asks Jame Abraham, MD, FACP, Director of the Breast Oncology Program at Taussig Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, to offer his picks for the most important research presented at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer ...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

World Cancer Day 2019: Emphasis on Early Detection

World Cancer Day 2019—February 4—highlights the need for urgent action to increase early-stage cancer detection, screening, and diagnosis to significantly improve patients’ chances of survival. Taking place with the theme of “I Am and I Will,” World Cancer...

issues in oncology

Essential Elements of an Effective Clinical Trials System: Business and Mission

Clinical trials aimed to improve health and quality of life are the cornerstone of progress in medicine. Support comes from academic medical centers, philanthropy, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), industry, or combinations thereof. Clinical trials need to be hypothesis-driven and address...

lung cancer

Progress With ALK Inhibitors: When Will We Consider ALK-Positive Lung Cancer a ‘Chronic Disease’?

As reported by Solomon et al in The Lancet Oncology1 and reviewed in this issue of The ASCO Post, results from a global phase II study of the third-generation ALK inhibitor lorlatinib showed a high overall response rate and high intracranial response rate for patients with advanced ALK-positive...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

Lung-MAP Precision Medicine Trial Expands

The Lung Cancer Master Protocol (Lung-MAP), the first precision medicine trial in lung cancer supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is undergoing a major expansion to include patients with all non–small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). The trial previously tested treatments for people ...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

How Effective Is Talimogene Laherparepvec Injection in Metastatic Melanoma?

Injection of a genetically modified virus that induces the body’s own immune cells to attack metastatic melanoma effectively treated almost 40% of patients with tumors that could not be surgically removed, according to findings published by Louie et al in the Journal of the American...

lung cancer

FDA Expands Pemetrexed Label With Combination of Pembrolizumab and Platinum Chemotherapy for the First-Line Treatment of Metastatic Nonsquamous NSCLC

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for a new indication for pemetrexed (Alimta) for injection in combination with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and platinum chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic nonsquamous non–small cell...

solid tumors
issues in oncology
legislation

ASCO Clinical Cancer Advances 2019 Names Advance of the Year: Progress in Treating Rare Cancers

Over the past year, major research advances provided new treatment options for patients with rare, difficult-to-treat cancers. In recognition of these achievements, ASCO named “Progress in Treating Rare Cancers” as the Advance of the Year. To continue the forward momentum, ASCO also...

lung cancer
lymphoma
skin cancer

FDA Pipeline: Updates on Treatments in NSCLC and Lymphomas, Plus New Dosimetry Software

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted the following application, designations, and clearance: sBLA for Atezolizumab Plus Chemotherapy for First-Line Treatment of Metastatic, Nonsquamous NSCLC On January 17, the FDA accepted a supplemental biologics license application...

gastroesophageal cancer

Effectiveness of EsophaCap Tool in the Diagnosis of Barrett’s Esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is the only known precursor of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Although endoscopy and biopsy are standard methods for diagnosing Barrett’s esophagus, their high cost and risk limit their use as a screening modality. Researchers sought to develop a screening method based...

breast cancer
cost of care

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Gene-Expression Profiling Assay in Breast Cancer

A new report published by Wang et al in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network found that using Oncotype DX—the most commonly used test for predicting the benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy to reduce the risk of disease recurrence—is not...

issues in oncology
survivorship
cost of care

Cancer Survivors and Medical Financial Hardship

New research indicates that cancer survivors carry greater financial burdens related to medical debt payments and bills compared with individuals without a cancer history, with the greatest hardships in younger survivors. Published by Zheng et al in Cancer, the study also found that among...

leukemia
lymphoma

FDA Approves Ibrutinib in Combination With Obinutuzumab in Treatment-Naive CLL/SLL

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ibrutinib (Imbruvica), a Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in combination with obinutuzumab in treatment-naive patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL). This is the first approval of a...

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