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Tanya Dorff, MD, Joins City of Hope Department of Medical Oncology

Tanya Dorff, MD, has joined City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center as Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology, heading the genitourinary cancers program.  Dr. Dorff’s area of expertise is in prostate cancer, but she also has experience in other genitourinary tumor...

Benjamin Djulbegovic, MD, PhD, Named Director of New City of Hope Research Program

Benjamin Djulbegovic, MD, PhD, Professor and Director of Research in City of Hope’s Department of Supportive Care Medicine, has been named Director of Evidence-Based Medicine and Comparative Effectiveness Research (CEBR), a new program at City of Hope designed to improve patient outcomes by fully...

solid tumors
skin cancer

FDA Approves Encorafenib and Binimetinib in Combination for Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma With BRAF Mutations

On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the combination of the BRAF inhibitor encorafenib (Braftovi) and the MEK inhibitor binimetinib (Mektovi) in patients with advanced BRAF V600–mutant melanoma, as detected by an FDA-approved test.1 Dual targeting of the MAPK...

A Conversation With the Author: Mark Scholz, MD

To dig a bit deeper into some of the issues touched upon in the new book, The Key to Prostate Cancer: 30 Experts Explain 15 Stages of Prostate Cancer, The ASCO Post recently spoke with the author, Mark Scholz, MD. Dr. Scholz is a medical oncologist who exclusively treats men with prostate cancer....

solid tumors
prostate cancer

A Medical Oncologist Urges Men to Keep Their Prostates

With the development of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in the early 1990s, the urology community advocated for population screening of all men of a certain age, igniting a heated argument about the test’s clinical value vs potential harms that has not abated to this day. Moreover, from...

STAG2 Genetic Test Could Reduce Overtreatment in Some Patients With Bladder Cancer

A new genetic test in bladder cancer could be key to reducing the cost of care while avoiding overtreatment in some patients, according to research published by Waldman et al in Clinical Cancer Research. Deciding whether to treat bladder cancer aggressively can be difficult—predictive...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Expensive Cancer Drugs Don’t Work if Patients Can’t Afford Them

Eight years ago, I was having a series of colds I couldn’t shake and pain that radiated throughout my back. Still, my symptoms weren’t concerning until, on Halloween morning in 2010, I stepped out of bed and fell to the floor in excruciating pain, unable to move. A visit to the emergency room and a ...

FDA Grants Priority Review for Glasdegib in Patients With Previously Untreated AML

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently accepted a new drug application and granted Priority Review designation for glasdegib, an investigational oral smoothened inhibitor being evaluated for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in...

Three Cancer Researchers Share Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science

The 2018 Tang prize in Biopharmaceutical Science is being shared by three cancer researchers, including targeted cancer therapy researcher John Mendelsohn, MD, former President of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Tony Hunter, PhD, Professor of Biology at the Salk Institute; and ...

Marc E. Lippman, MD, MACP, FRCP, Returns to Georgetown’s Cancer Center

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center announces the return of physician-scientist Marc E. Lippman, MD, MACP, FRCP, as Professor of Oncology and Medicine at the Georgetown University Medical Center. From 1988 to 2001, Dr. Lippman served as Director of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive...

Steven T. Rosen, MD, Inducted Into AIMBE College of Fellows

City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Provost and Chief Scientific Officer, Steven T. Rosen, MD, has been inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Dr. Rosen was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers in recognition of...

Christine M. Eischen, PhD, Receives Professorship in Cancer Research at Thomas Jefferson

Christine M. Eischen, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Cancer Biology at Thomas Jefferson University and co-leader of the Molecular Biology & Genetics Program at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, was recently invested as the inaugural Herbert A. Rosenthal, MD ’56 Professor in ...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Raising Awareness of the Financial Impact of Cancer on Young Adult Survivors

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, Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical...

issues in oncology

Ensuring High-Quality Oncology Care for Patients With Intellectual Disabilities

Despite significant gains in improved access to public places, transportation, and job opportunities for people with disabilities since the enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990, the long history of discrimination in the social and medical treatment of people with disabilities is ...

IMpassion130: Atezolizumab Plus Nab-Paclitaxel in Metastatic or Locally Advanced Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

The phase III IMpassion130 study has met its co-primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS). Results demonstrated that the combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) as first-line treatment significantly reduced the risk of disease worsening or death in patients...

Percutaneous Ablation vs Nephrectomy in T1a Kidney Cancer

Many cases of early-stage kidney cancer can be treated with a relatively new, nonsurgical procedure used to destroy tumors, a new study by Talenfeld et al in Annals of Internal Medicine suggests. The procedure, called percutaneous ablation, involves the insertion of a needle through the skin into...

FDA Accepts sBLA for Pembrolizumab as Adjuvant Therapy in Advanced Melanoma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for standard review a new supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for pembrolizumab (Keytruda) as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of patients with resected, high-risk stage III melanoma. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act, or...

FDA Accepts sNDA for Ibrutinib Plus Rituximab in Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for Priority Review a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for ibrutinib (Imbruvica) in combination with rituximab (Rituxan) as a new treatment option for Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. If approved, the sNDA would expand the...

IMpower133: Atezolizumab in Combination With Chemotherapy in Previously Untreated, Extensive-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer

The phase III IMpower133 study recently met its coprimary endpoints of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) at its first interim analysis. The study demonstrated that first-line treatment with the combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus chemotherapy (carboplatin and...

Educational Interventions Decrease Sunburns Among Operators of Heavy Equipment

The implementation of educational interventions among heavy equipment operators, or operating engineers, in Michigan significantly increased the use of sunscreen and decreased the number of sunburns, reported Duffy et al in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. “The rates of...

FDA Accepts sBLA for First-Line Nivolumab Plus Low-Dose Ipilimumab in NSCLC With Tumor Mutational Burden ≥ 10 mut/mb

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently accepted a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for nivolumab (Opdivo) plus low-dose ipilimumab (Yervoy) for the first-line treatment of advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients with a tumor mutational burden...

Colon Cancer Surgery and Resource Availability at Hospitals on Weekends and Holidays

The likelihood of severe complications after emergency colon cancer surgery is significantly higher over the weekend, according to a study published by Huijts et al in JNCCN – Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The research was led by Perla Marang-van de Mheen, PhD, of the...

FDA Takes Steps to Foster Greater Efficiency in Biosimilar Development by Reconsidering Draft Guidance on Evaluating Analytical Studies

“Biosimilars foster competition and can lower the cost of biologic treatments for patients, yet the market for these products is not advancing as quickly as I hoped. I believe that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can do more to support the development of biosimilars, as well as...

IASLC Issues Statement Paper on Liquid Biopsy for Lung Cancer

The lungs can be a difficult organ to biopsy with a needle, so the promise of identifying lung cancer through a blood-based biopsy has lung cancer experts and patients optimistic. Knowing how and when to use a liquid biopsy is critically important and led global experts at the International...

colorectal cancer
survivorship

Dietary Insulin Load and Risk of Disease Recurrence in Stage III Colon Cancer

New research led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators suggests that patients treated for nonmetastatic colon cancer may sharply reduce the risk that the disease will return by following a diet low in carbohydrates and other foods that raise insulin levels. In a study published by...

FDA Restricts Use of Pembrolizumab or Atezolizumab to Treat Urothelial Cancer Due to Efficacy Concerns in Some Patients

As of June 20, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has restricted the use of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq) for patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who are not eligible for cisplatin-containing therapy. The restriction results from a...

FDA Approves Encorafenib and Binimetinib in Combination for Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma With BRAF Mutations

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved encorafenib (Braftovi) and binimetinib (Mektovi) in combination for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with a BRAF V600E or V600K mutation, as detected by an FDA-approved test. Approval was based on the randomized,...

FDA Accepts Supplementary PMA for Review of BRACAnalysis CDx as a Companion Diagnostic to Talazoparib in Metastatic Breast Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently accepted a supplementary premarket approval (PMA) application for BRACAnalysis CDx to be used as a companion diagnostic with the poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor talazoparib. The new drug application (NDA) for...

JAK Inhibitor Treatment for Myelofibrosis May Be Associated With Development of Aggressive Lymphomas

Austrian researchers have discovered that a small number of patients taking targeted drugs known as Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors to treat myelofibrosis may develop aggressive lymphomas. They also speculate that screening for a preexisting B-cell clone before starting therapy may help prevent this...

In Continued Effort to Address Physician Burnout, AMA Adopts Policy to Improve Physician Access to Mental Health Care

With growing concern among the medical community and the public regarding physician and medical student depression, burnout, and suicide, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted policy during its Annual Meeting that continues its efforts aimed at improving physician access to mental health...

FDA Expands Approval of Pembrolizumab for First-Line Treatment of NSCLC

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted accelerated approval to the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for use in combination with chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). KEYNOTE-021 This...

Inside Story on the Genesis of Teen Cancer America

THANK YOU for publishing the excellent article “We Need to Fill the Gap Between Pediatric and Adult Oncology Care” by Sarah Stream (as told to Jo Cavallo) in the March 25, 2018, issue of The ASCO Post. Sarah’s story and her connection to Teen Cancer America actually go much deeper than she reported ...

gynecologic cancers

FDA Approves Bevacizumab in Combination With Chemotherapy for Ovarian Cancer

ON JUNE 13, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved bevacizumab (Avastin) for the treatment of patients with epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel, followed by single-agent bevacizumab, for stage III or IV...

gynecologic cancers
lymphoma

Pembrolizumab Receives FDA Approval for Relapsed or Refractory Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma, Advanced Cervical Cancer

THE U.S. FOOD and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with refractory primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma or who have relapsed after two or more prior lines of therapy on June 13, 2018. The newest ...

lymphoma

I’m Proud to Have Contributed to the FDA Approval of CAR T-Cell Therapy

When I was diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in 2013, I used to joke that if I had to get cancer, this wasn’t a bad one to have. At just 32, I was otherwise healthy, and my prognosis for a cure was good, according to my oncologist. So I felt confident that once I underwent...

Colorectal Cancer Alliance Announces Available Research Funding

THE COLORECTAL CANCER Alliance has announced up to $775,000 in available funding for up to five grants supporting research in young-onset colorectal cancer, rectal cancer, and colorectal cancer prevention. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is committed to investing $10 million in research by 2021,...

Jens Hillengass, MD, Named Chief of Myeloma at Roswell Park

JENS HILLENGASS, MD, has been announced as the new Chief of Myeloma of the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. As part of his new role, Dr. Hillengass will continue his research on hematologic diseases, including multiple myeloma and its precursor diseases.  A scientist with more than 15...

WHO Names St. Jude Its First Collaborating Center for Childhood Cancer

THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) has designated St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as the first WHO Collaborating Center for Childhood Cancer. With this collaboration, both organizations aim to expand efforts to develop strategies to strengthen the global resources, organization, and planning ...

Researchers at Baylor Awarded Multiple Grants to Study Treatment Resistance in Breast Cancer

TO BETTER UNDERSTAND the causes of resistance to treatment in estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer, the Department of Defense has awarded researchers at Baylor College of Medicine multiple grants to study gene anomalies in estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer that are associated with...

lung cancer

Disparities Found in Lung Cancer Care, Survival in United States vs England

DESPITE STEADY declines in death rates in recent years, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in wealthy countries. In a study published by Anita Andreano, MD, of the University of Milan-Ciocco, and colleagues in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology,1 Yale researchers collaborated with ...

FDA Grants Priority Review to Expanded Use of Gardasil 9 in Women and Men Aged 27 to 45 for the Prevention of Certain HPV-Related Cancers and Diseases

On June 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted for review a new supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for recombinant human papillomavirus (HPV) 9-valent vaccine (Gardasil  9). The application is seeking approval for an expanded age...

Statement From FDA Commissioner on Agency Efforts to Advance the Patient Voice in Medical Product Development and Regulatory Decision-Making

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, recently issued the following statement: Over the past decade, advances in our understanding of the basic biology of serious and life-threatening diseases has led to the development and FDA approval of targeted treatments for ...

colorectal cancer
cost of care

AMA Plans Advocacy Outreach to Expand Colorectal Screening

Building on the efficacy of colorectal cancer screening, the American Medical Association (AMA) endorsed a plan at its Annual Meeting to work with physicians and payers to make the screening more available and affordable. Challenges with insurance coverage remain a barrier to colorectal cancer...

Harvard Business School Launches Initiative to Accelerate Precision Medicine in Oncology

THE HARVARD BUSINESS School Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator, a multidisciplinary initiative with aims to advance precision medicine, focuses on four workstreams: Direct to Patient, Data & Analytics, Clinical Trials, as well as Venture and Investment. It was recently announced that under...

Richard D. Schulick, MD, MBA, Named Director of University of Colorado Cancer Center

RICHARD D. SCHULICK, MD, MBA, a cancer surgeon and administrative leader, has been named Director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, a consortium of three universities and three academic teaching hospitals. The University of Colorado Cancer Center is the hub of cancer research in the...

Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, Receives American College of Surgeons Jacobson Innovation Award

THE 2018 JACOBSON INNOVATION AWARD of the American College of Surgeons was recently presented to Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, Chief of the Surgery Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as well as Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and at the...

palliative care

How Learning What’s on Your Patient’s Bucket List May Improve Care

It may sound too good to be true, but asking patients a simple question about what is on their bucket list can actually spark a dialogue about how best to make their cancer care and survivorship fit into their life plans, as well as be an effective way to identify their end-of-life care goals,...

ESMO Prioritizes Cancer Care at 71st World Health Assembly

AT THE 71ST World Health Assembly in Geneva, the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) delivered two statements positioning cancer as a priority on the global agenda of the World Health Organization (WHO). Presenting its recommendations for action to the international community, ESMO...

issues in oncology
palliative care

Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking Is Legal—and Ethical—for Terminally Ill Patients Looking to Hasten Death

Terminally ill patients with cancer will sometimes ask their clinicians for help with assisted or hastened death.1 Although palliative care and hospice care can usually address the concerns of most patients, some have physical or existential suffering that is refractory to comfort and supportive...

leukemia

Patients With AML Have Reduced Risk of Early Mortality at NCI-Designated Cancer Centers

RESEARCHERS AT the University of California (UC), Davis, have shown that patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who received their care at a National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer center in California had a dramatically reduced risk of early mortality. Using data from the California Cancer...

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