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Folakemi Odedina, PhD, Awarded Fellowship for Oncology Clinical Trials in Africa

FOLAKEMI ODEDINA, PhD, Professor of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, has been awarded a 2018 Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship to help expand oncology clinical trials in Africa.  Dr. Odedina will travel to South Africa to collaborate...

Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, Appointed Director of Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai

DAN THEODORESCU, MD, PhD, has been named Director of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai, a position he will assume starting July 1, 2018.  Dr. Theodorescu, a translational cancer researcher and expert in bladder cancer, will direct the oncology enterprise at...

solid tumors
prostate cancer

Prostate Cancer Therapy in Evolution: Time to Rethink and Redirect?

The ASCO updated guidelines on the treatment of metastatic non-castrate prostate cancer penned by Morris and his colleagues1 provide valuable information annotated to the strengths of evidence in recently reported prostate cancer studies. CHAARTED, GETUG-AFU 15, LATITUDE, and STAMPEDE have...

DNA Test Identifies Men With Sixfold Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer

A major new study of more than 140,000 men has identified 63 new genetic variations in the DNA code that increase the risk of prostate cancer. These findings were published by Schumacher et al in Nature Genetics. Researchers devised a new test combining these single-letter genetic variants with...

Parents See Cancer Prevention Potential as Best Reason for HPV Vaccination

Parents of adolescents believed that the potential to prevent certain types of cancer is the best reason for their children to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, whereas other reasons health-care providers often give were far less persuasive. Findings from this study were published by...

Journal of Oncology Practice Launches New Blog to Facilitate Discussions on Care Delivery Topics

The Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) has launched a new care delivery blog, JOP DAiS (Discussion & Analysis in Short), to serve as a forum for commentary and analysis on issues affecting the mechanisms of oncology care delivery. This new platform will be a way to collaborate, debate, and...

11 New Institutions Join AACR Project GENIE Consortium

The number of institutions participating in the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) initiative, AACR Project Genomics Evidence Neoplasia Information Exchange (GENIE), has increased by 11 participants. The 11 new institutions of the AACR Project GENIE consortium and their related cancer...

solid tumors
gastrointestinal cancer

Optimizing Biologics in Metastatic Colon Cancer

Biologics are credited with increasing median overall survival in colorectal cancer to approximately 30 months. Their optimal use was discussed by Axel Grothey, MD, Professor of Oncology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, in an article he coauthored for the Journal of Oncology Practice 1...

solid tumors
head and neck cancer

Esomeprazole With Aspirin in Patients With Barrett’s Esophagus

An updated analysis of a randomized phase III trial showed that taking a high dose of esomeprazole with low-dose aspirin for at least 7 years may moderately reduce the risk of developing high-grade dysplasia or esophageal cancer and may delay death from any cause in people with Barrett’s esophagus. ...

solid tumors
breast cancer

Richard J. Bleicher, MD, FACS, Appointed Vice Chair of SSO’s Breast Fellowship Program Directors Committee

Richard J. Bleicher, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has been appointed Vice Chair of the Breast Fellowship Program Directors Committee of the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO). In his new leadership role within SSO, Dr. Bleicher will be involved in the breast ...

Expert Point of View: Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, FASCO, Adam D. Cohen, MD, Craig Hofmeister, MD, MPH, and Bruce Cheson, MD

Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, FASCO, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, noted that the iNNOVATE trial is the first randomized comparison of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) plus rituximab (Rituxan) vs “a very active control—rituximab—to which 50% of patients responded.” The study showed that “the...

EHA 2018: Tazemetostat in Relapsed or Refractory Follicular Lymphoma

Positive interim data were recently presented from an ongoing phase II study of tazemetostat—a potent, selective, orally available EZH2 inhibitor—as a monotherapy for patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma. The data, presented by Salles et al at the 23rd Annual...

solid tumors
skin cancer

The Raven

The call from the dermatologist came at noon on Good Friday, just after my wife left with our two young daughters for a week on her family’s tree farm in Northern Michigan. I was on call for the hospital inpatient leukemia service, so I could not join them. When the dermatologist solemnly began,...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia

Minimal Residual Disease Testing in AML: Still a Shifting Target

Testing for minimal residual disease (MRD) has become an established part of the management of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the technology still warrants validation. To address issues and set new standards, the European LeukemiaNet Working Party recently ...

EHA 2018: Ruxolitinib Reduces Risk of Thrombosis, Death in Patients With Polycythemia Vera

A new comparison study showed that among polycythemia vera patients who were resistant or intolerant to hydroxyurea, those treated with ruxolitinib (Jakavi) had a significantly reduced risk of thrombosis and death compared to those who received best available therapy. The study findings are based...

EHA 2018: Single-Agent Quizartinib vs Chemotherapy in Relapsed or Refractory AML

Results from the phase III QuANTUM-R study of single-agent quizartinib in relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) were presented by Cortes et al at the 23rd Annual Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA) (Abstract LB2600). Study Findings QuANTUM-R study results showed...

EHA 2018: Undetectable MRD Rates With Venetoclax Plus Rituximab in Relapsed or Refractory CLL

Investigational data from a new analysis of undetectable minimal residual disease (MRD) rates from the phase III MURANO trial of venetoclax (Venclexta, a first-in-class oral B-cell lymphoma 2 [BCL2] inhibitor) in combination with rituximab (Rituxan) in patients with relapsed or refractory chronic...

Expert Point of View: Colin D. Weekes, MD, PhD and Andrew Epstein, MD

Colin D. Weekes, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, called the results of the PRODIGE trial “practice-changing.” Dr. Weekes was the invited discussant of the study and was interviewed by The ASCO Post. “The magnitude of effect is beyond what we have ever seen in...

solid tumors
pancreatic cancer

Adjuvant Modified FOLFIRINOX Yields Unprecedented Survival in Pancreatic Cancer

Adjuvant treatment with modified FOLFIRINOX resulted in the longest overall survival yet reported for patients with resected pancreatic cancer, according to the results of the phase III Unicancer GI PRODIGE 24/CCTG PA.6 trial, presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting.1 With adjuvant modified...

EHA 2018: Tisagenlecleucel Demonstrates More Than 1-Year Durability of Response in Adults With Relapsed or Refractory DLBCL

Fourteen-month results from the JULIET clinical trial showed ongoing durable responses are achievable with tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) when administered to adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). This updated analysis was presented by Borchmann et al at ...

EHA 2018: Elotuzumab Plus Pomalidomide and Low-Dose Dexamethasone vs Pomalidomide/Dexamethasone Alone in Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma

The ELOQUENT-3 trial, an international phase II study evaluating the addition of elotuzumab (Empliciti) to pomalidomide (Pomalyst) and low-dose dexamethasone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, achieved its primary endpoint, showing a statistically significant and clinically...

EHA 2018: Obinutuzumab or Rituximab Plus Chlorambucil in CLL

Data from the final analysis of the CLL11 study evaluating obinutuzumab (Gazyva)-based treatment in previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) was presented by Goede et al during the Presidential Symposium at the 23rd Annual Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA)...

EHA 2018: Alvocidib in Patients With Relapsed or Refractory MCL-1–Dependent AML

Preliminary data from Zella 201—an ongoing phase II study evaluating the efficacy and safety of alvocidib, a potent cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) inhibitor, in combination with cytarabine and mitoxantrone in patients with relapsed or refractory MCL-1–dependent acute myeloid leukemia...

breast cancer
solid tumors

FDA Clears Expanded Indication of Scalp-Cooling System

Paxman’s advanced scalp-cooling system has now been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use during treatment of patients with solid tumors. The system is now indicated to reduce the likelihood of chemotherapy-induced alopecia in cancer patients with solid tumors such as...

palliative care
issues in oncology

AMA Rejects Recommendation to Reaffirm Opposition to Medical Aid in Dying

On June 11, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates voted 56% to 44% to reject a report by its Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) that recommended the AMA maintain its Code of Medical Ethics’ opposition to medical aid in dying. Instead, the House of Delegates...

head and neck cancer
survivorship

Male Thyroid Cancer Survivors Face 50% Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Than Women

Male thyroid cancer survivors have a nearly 50% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than women within 5 years of cancer diagnosis, according to a new study published by Park et al in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. More than 62,000 new cases of thyroid cancer...

FDA and EMA Accept Regulatory Submissions for Review of Talazoparib for Patients With Germline BRCA-Mutated Metastatic Breast Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently accepted for filing and granted Priority Review designation a new drug application for talazoparib. The submission is based on results from the EMBRACA trial, which evaluated talazoparib vs chemotherapy in patients with germline BRCA-mutated,...

Eating a High-Quality Diet Could Decrease Cancer Survivors’ Risk of Death by 65%

Cancer survivors who consumed a balanced, nutrient-dense diet had a 65% lower risk of dying from cancer than survivors who ate a poor-quality diet, according to findings published by Deshmukh et al in JNCI Cancer Spectrum. The study suggests that more than focusing on any particular food group,...

lung cancer
multiple myeloma

Studies of Daratumumab in Combination With Anti–PD-L1 Agents Stopped

On May 26, Genmab A/S announced that following a planned review, the Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) has recommended that the phase Ib/II study (CALLISTO/LUC2001) of daratumumab (Darzalex) in combination with the anti–programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) antibody atezolizumab (Tecentriq) vs ...

AMA Releases New Physician Guide on Caring for the Caregiver

Every day in their treatment rooms, physicians encounter individuals who are making profound sacrifices to help a loved one who is seriously ill, often at the expense of their own well-being. To help physicians understand the day-to-day challenges and risk of burnout faced by informal caregivers,...

breast cancer
issues in oncology
survivorship

Study Finds Breast Cancer Survivors Are Not Getting Recommended Number of Mammograms Postsurgery

Breast cancer survivors are not getting the recommended level of screening postsurgery, according to a study by Ruddy et al in JNCCN–Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The study was led by Kathryn Ruddy, MD, MPH, Director of Cancer Survivorship for the Department of...

FDA Expands Approval of Pembrolizumab to Include New Lymphoma Indication

Today, 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 those who have relapsed after two or more prior lines of therapy. KEYNOTE-170...

FDA Approves Bevacizumab Plus Chemotherapy in Advanced Ovarian Cancer Following Initial Surgery

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved bevacizumab (Avastin) in combination with chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel) followed by bevacizumab as a single agent for the treatment of women with advanced (stage III or IV) ovarian cancer following initial surgical resection....

Barbara L. McAneny, MD, Inaugurated as 173rd President of the AMA

Barbara L. McAneny, MD, an oncologist from Albuquerque, has been sworn in as the 173rd President of the American Medical Association (AMA). She will focus her tenure on the AMA’s three strategic arcs: attacking the dysfunction in health care by removing obstacles and barriers that interfere...

ESMO Emphasizes Importance of Cancer on the Global Health Agenda at the 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,...

leukemia
lymphoma

iLLUMINATE Trial of Ibrutinib Plus Obinutuzumab for First-Line Therapy of CLL/SLL Meets Primary Endpoint

The phase III iLLUMINATE (PCYC-1130) trial recently met its primary endpoint of improvement in progression-free survival. The study evaluated ibrutinib (Imbruvica) in combination with obinutuzumab (Gazyva) in patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic...

FDA Approves Pembrolizumab for Previously Treated Recurrent or Metastatic PD-L1–Expressing Cervical Cancer

On June 12, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer and disease progression on or after chemotherapy whose tumors express programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) [Combined Positive Score...

Cancer Prevention Report Shows Consensus Among Global Experts on 10 Steps to Reduce Risk

An internationally released comprehensive analysis of research on lifestyle factors and cancer prevention confirms the critical links between cancer diagnoses and diet, physical activity, and weight. Independent experts from across the globe reviewed decades of scientific evidence to develop the...

AUA 2018: Finasteride Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer and Is Safe, Long-Term Results Show

Twenty-five years after it opened for enrollment, the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) has delivered a final verdict: finasteride, a common hormone-blocking drug, reduces men's risk of getting prostate cancer without increasing their risk of dying from the disease. Initial study...

Surveillance Intensity Not Associated With Earlier Detection of Recurrence or Improved Survival in Patients With Colorectal Cancer

A national retrospective study led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found no association between intensity of posttreatment surveillance and detection of recurrence or overall survival (OS) in patients with stage I, II, or III colorectal cancer. Published by...

lung cancer
symptom management
cns cancers

Quick Takes From Original Research Presented at the 2018 NCCN Annual Conference

THE QUANTITY of original research presented at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Annual Conference has been growing, and at the 2018 meeting, 121 researchers presented their work. The ASCO Post captured some of the findings for this report.  Blood Markers Correlate With Anti–PD-1...

issues in oncology
geriatric oncology

Expert Point of View: Joshua A. Jones, MD, MA

“AS A SOCIETY, we often think about the value of cancer treatments in terms of survival, but for older patients, we need to look beyond that. Geriatric assessments are clearly an effective tool to help us treat the whole patient. It’s a conversation starter that informs and empowers both patients...

issues in oncology
geriatric oncology

Geriatric Assessment Improves Communication Between Oncologists and Older Patients

A FEDERALLY FUNDED randomized study demonstrated that use of geriatric assessment in the routine care of older adults with advanced cancer significantly improved doctor-patient communication about age-related concerns as well as patient satisfaction with the communication. The study was presented...

lung cancer
cost of care
genomics/genetics

Expert Point of View: Bruce Johnson, MD, FASCO

“PRECISION MEDICINE is driving the most exciting and powerful advances in cancer care today, particularly in lung cancer. It’s encouraging to see that next-generation genetic testing tools can help physicians and their patients get the crucial genomic information needed to make treatment decisions, ...

lung cancer
cost of care
genomics/genetics

Decision-Analytic Model Finds Upfront, Comprehensive Genetic Testing in Advanced Lung Cancer Is Cost-Efficient

AN ECONOMIC model comparing different types of genetic testing in metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) found using next-generation sequencing to test for all known lung cancer–related gene changes at the time of diagnosis was less costly and faster than sequentially testing one or a...

lung cancer

Expert Point of View: Bruce Johnson, MD, FASCO

“THIS STUDY makes a strong case that our country needs an effective public service campaign about encouraging lung cancer screening,” said ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, during a press briefing before the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting. “Public service campaigns from the 1990s encouraged...

lung cancer

Despite USPSTF Recommendations, Majority of Heavy Smokers Not Screened for Lung Cancer

AN ANALYSIS of 1,800 lung cancer screening sites nationwide found that only 1.9% of more than 7 million eligible current and former heavy smokers were screened for lung cancer in 2016, despite U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and ASCO screening recommendations. Results from this...

head and neck cancer

Expert Point of View: Bruce Johnson, MD, FASCO

ASCO PRESIDENT Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, commented on these study findings during the press briefing.  “This study adds to a growing body of knowledge showing the value of integrating patient-reported outcomes into routine oncology practice for symptom monitoring that a wide variety of our...

head and neck cancer

Mobile and Sensor Technology May Lead to Reduced Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancer and Its Treatment

A RANDOMIZED clinical trial evaluating the use of mobile and sensor technology to remotely monitor symptoms in patients receiving radiation therapy for head and neck cancer found that use of this technology reduced the severity of symptoms related to cancer and its treatment compared with usual...

ASCO Applauds NCI Announcement on Increased Funding for National Clinical Trials Network

ON JUNE 2, ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, released the following statement:  Today at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting, National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Norman Sharpless, MD, announced $10 million in new funding for the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). ASCO applauds Dr....

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