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prostate cancer

Internationally Renowned Prostate Cancer Expert Gerald E. Hanks, MD, Dies

FROM WILHELM RÖNTGEN’S groundbreaking discovery of x-rays in 1895, the history of radiotherapy has been rich with colorful paradigm-changing researchers and physicians who over the past century have transformed the field into one of the pillars of cancer treatment. One such trailblazer who...

A Neuroscientist Examines Intact Minds Adrift in Damaged Brains and Bodies

Understanding what consciousness is, and why and how it evolved, is perhaps the greatest mystery known to science. With its 100 billion or so neurons and a processing rate of about 4 billion bits per second, the human brain is a miraculously complicated entity, much of which is still under...

Community Oncology Alliance Elects Officers and New Board Members for 2018

THE COMMUNITY ONCOLOGY ALLIANCE (COA) is pleased to announce the election of new members to the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Additionally, the COA Board has launched and nominated participants for a dedicated standing committee on Government Affairs and Policy as well as Payment...


Against All Odds

The days leading up to our daughter Emily’s diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on May 28, 2010, when she was just 5, offered few clues about the terrifying, life-and-death months and years we were about to experience. She was happy and seemingly healthy, literally until the day before...

palliative care

Working Together to Help Pediatric Patients With Cancer Live and Live Well

While many patients with cancer can benefit from palliative care to ease symptoms from the disease or its treatment, for children with cancer, especially critically ill children, palliative care can provide an additional layer of medical and emotional support for both young patients and their...


FDA Approves Arsenic Trioxide With Tretinoin for First-Line Treatment of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia

ON JANUARY 15, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of arsenic trioxide (Trisenox) injection in combination with tretinoin for the treatment of adults with newly diagnosed low-risk acute promyelocytic leukemia whose disease is characterized by the presence of the...

solid tumors
breast cancer

FDA Approves Olaparib for Germline BRCA-Mutated Metastatic Breast Cancer

On January 12, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted regular approval to olaparib (Lynparza), a poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline BRCA-mutated, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer who...

solid tumors
lung cancer

FDA Approves Afatinib for Previously Untreated, Metastatic NSCLC With Other Nonresistant EGFR Mutations

On January 12, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval to afatinib (Gilotrif) for a broadened indication in first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have nonresistant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations ...

2018 GI CANCERS SYMPOSIUM: First-Line Lenvatinib vs Sorafenib in Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma

The results of an analysis of the phase III REFLECT trial of lenvatinib mesylate (Lenvima) vs sorafenib (Nexavar) as first-line treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma based on independent imaging review were presented during the 2018 Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancers Symposium (Abstract...

solid tumors
lung cancer

Durvalumab Takes a Giant Leap Into Stage III NSCLC

Immune checkpoint inhibitors have had a dramatic impact on survival for patients with stage IV non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with whispers that a cure might be achieved in a subset of patients. In typical fashion, active new agents are evaluated in earlier stages of disease. Stage III NSCLC...

Levine Cancer Institute Creates Integrated Department of Supportive Oncology to Be Led by Declan Walsh, MD

Levine Cancer Institute (LCI) has announced a new Department of Supportive Oncology, helmed by palliative medicine pioneer Declan Walsh, MD. Under the leadership of Dr. Walsh, the new department will integrate its services throughout the Institute. The department includes cancer rehabilitation,...

2018 GI CANCERS SYMPOSIUM: Nab-Paclitaxel Plus Gemcitabine in Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

Primary endpoint findings and updated results of secondary endpoints from the phase II LAPACT trial of nanoparticle albumin–bound (nab)-paclitaxel (Abraxane) plus gemcitabine in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer were presented by Hammel et al at the 2018 Gastrointestinal (GI)...

2018 GI CANCERS SYMPOSIUM: Novel Triplet Combination Improves Progression-Free Survival in Patients With BRAF-Mutant Colorectal Cancer

Updated results were recently reported from the 30 patient safety lead-in of the phase III BEACON CRC trial evaluating the triplet combination of encorafenib (a BRAF inhibitor), binimetinib (an MEK inhibitor), and cetuximab (Erbitux, an anti–EGFR antibody) in patients with BRAF-mutant...

Ursula Matulonis, MD, Named Brock-Wilson Family Chair at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Ursula Matulonis, MD, has been named the first incumbent of the Brock-Wilson Family Chair at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Dana-Farber). The newly established Chair was created to advance gynecologic oncology research and support a highly dedicated faculty member at Dana-Farber. Dr. Matulonis is...

Mary Beckerle, PhD, Honored by National Cancer Institute

Mary Beckerle, PhD, Chief Executive -Officer and Director of Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, is this year’s recipient of the Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The prestigious award is named after Alfred G. Knudson, MD, PhD, a...

solid tumors
lung cancer

ASCO Endorsement of ASTRO Guideline on Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for NSCLC Highlights Shared Patient Decision-Making

As reviewed in this issue of The ASCO Post, a recent ASCO panel, chaired by Bryan Schneider, MD, and Brendon Stiles, MD, has provided an endorsement of a recently published guideline on the use of stereotactic body radiotherapy for non–small cell lung cancer.1 The original guideline,2 developed and ...

pancreatic cancer

Ramesh K. Ramanathan, MD, on Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer: Results From a SWOG Study

Ramesh K. Ramanathan, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, discusses early-phase study findings on mFOLFIRINOX (mFFOX) plus pegylated recombinant human hyaluronidase vs mFFOX alone in patients with a good performance status (Abstract 208).

Diary of a Storm

FOR DAYS BEFORE HURRICANE HARVEY was expected to move toward Houston, Texas, on Sunday, August 27, 2017, after pummeling other cities in Texas and Louisiana, the leadership team at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson) in Houston strategized on how to ensure the...


In the December 25 issue of The ASCO Post, a photo published for Eduardo Oliveira, PhD, was incorrect. The correct photo is printed here. Dr. Oliveira is Professor of Exercise Physiology and Exercise Cancer Specialist at Mama Help Breast Cancer Support Center at the University of Porto, in Lisbon, ...

Roswell Park Cancer Institute Appoints New Leaders for 2018

AT THE START OF 2018, seven senior employees assumed new roles at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. Five of these program leaders were promoted or reappointed, and two have newly joined the Institute from other centers around the United States.  Meet the Appointees  Charles...


Cancer Statistics, 2018: U.S. Cancer Mortality Continues Decades-Long Drop

THE CANCER death rate dropped 1.7% from 2014 to 2015, continuing a drop that began in 1991 and has reached 26%, resulting in nearly 2.4 million fewer cancer deaths during that time.  The data are reported in “Cancer Statistics, 2018,” the American Cancer Society’s comprehensive annual report on...

Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, Named Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Research

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR CANCER RESEARCH (AACR) is pleased to announce the appointment of Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, as Editor-in-Chief of its Cancer Research journal. Published under different titles in its early years, Cancer Research was the first English-language journal to be published in the ...

Laura Levin, MD, Joins Fox Chase Cancer Center Department of Diagnostic Imaging

FOX CHASE CANCER CENTER is pleased to welcome Board-certified radiologist Laura Levin, MD, as Assistant Professor in the Department of Diagnostic Imaging. Dr. Levin assumed her new position on January 2, 2018.  Dr. Levin comes to Fox Chase Cancer Center from a high-volume private practice in which ...

colorectal cancer

Mark Saunders, MD, PhD, on Colorectal Cancer: Results From the SCOT Trial

Mark Saunders, MD, PhD, of Christie Hospital, discusses study findings on tumor sidedness and the influence of chemotherapy duration on disease-free survival (Abstract 558).

hepatobiliary cancer

Andrew X. Zhu, MD, PhD, on HCC: Results From KEYNOTE-224

Andrew X. Zhu, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses study findings on pembrolizumab in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma previously treated with sorafenib (Abstract 209).

colorectal cancer

Thierry André, MD, and Michael J. Overman, MD, on Colorectal Cancer: Results From Two CheckMate-142 Trials

Thierry André, MD, of Hôpital Saint-Antoine, and Michael J. Overman, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discuss findings from their respective CheckMate-142 studies on nivolumab and ipilimumab in patients with DNA mismatch repair–deficient/microsatellite instability–high...

gastroesophageal cancer

Abraham J. Wu, MD, on Esophageal Cancer: Impact of Lung and Heart Dose on Survival After Radiotherapy

Abraham J. Wu, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses his findings that suggest efforts to reduce lung dose, such as shrinking the treatment volumes or using proton therapy, may improve outcomes in esophageal cancer (Abstract 3).

gastroesophageal cancer
gastrointestinal cancer

Maria Svensson, MD, PhD Candidate, on Esophageal and Gastric Cancers: Significance of PD-1 and PD-L1 Expression

Maria Svensson, MD, PhD Candidate, of Lund University, discusses high expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 in chemotherapy-naive esophageal and gastric adenocarcinomas, the implications for survival, and the link to a deficiency in mismatched repair genes (Abstract 9).

gastroesophageal cancer

Pieter van der Sluis, MD, PhD, on Esophageal Cancer: Results From a Surgical Treatment Trial

Pieter van der Sluis, MD, PhD, of the University Medical Center Utrecht, discusses study findings that compared robot-assisted minimally invasive thoracolaparoscopic esophagectomy vs open transthoracic esophagectomy for resectable esophageal cancer (Abstract 6).

gastroesophageal cancer
gastrointestinal cancer

Manish A. Shah, MD, on Gastric Cancer: Results From the RAINFALL Trial

Manish A. Shah, MD, of Weill Cornell Medicine, discusses phase III study findings on cisplatin plus capecitabine or fluorouracil with or without ramucirumab as first-line therapy in patients with metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (Abstract 5).

gastrointestinal cancer

Florian Lordick, MD, on Gastric Cancer: Final Results From the AIO Trial

Florian Lordick, MD, of the University Medicine Leipzig, discusses study findings on intraperitoneal immunotherapy with the antibody catumaxomab for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis from gastric cancer (Abstract 4).

pancreatic cancer

Steven D. Leach, MD, on Pancreatic Cancer: Keynote Lecture

Steven D. Leach, MD, of Dartmouth University’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center, discusses the personalized approach that GI cancers will require to make rational use of immunotherapy—including a subset of pancreatic cancers, which appear to be highly immunogenic and are associated with long-term...

gastroesophageal cancer

David H. Ilson, MD, PhD, on Improving Esophageal Cancer Outcomes: Future Directions

David H. Ilson, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the merits of preoperative chemotherapy vs chemoradiotherapy, the role of targeted agents, recent results from genomic profiling, and whether PET scans can guide neoadjuvant treatment.

gastroesophageal cancer

Basem Azab, MD, on Esophageal Cancer: Study Survival Results

Basem Azab, MD, of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami, discusses the impact on overall survival when more than 2 months elapse between finishing neoadjuvant therapy and undergoing esophagectomy (Abstract 2).

pancreatic cancer

Kyaw L. Aung, MBBS, PhD, on Pancreatic Cancer: Results From the COMPASS Trial

Kyaw L. Aung, MBBS, PhD, of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, discusses early study findings on genomics-driven precision medicine for advanced pancreatic ductal carcinoma (Abstract 211).

gastrointestinal cancer

Khaldoun Almhanna, MD, MPH, on Gastric Cancer: Results From the CCOG 1102 Trial

Khaldoun Almhanna, MD, MPH, of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses the long-term outcome of a phase III study that explored the significance of extensive intraoperative peritoneal lavage in addition to standard treatment for ≥ T3 resectable gastric cancer (Abstract 1).

hepatobiliary cancer

Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, on HCC: Results From the CELESTIAL Trial

Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses phase III study findings on cabozantinib vs placebo in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma who have received prior treatment with sorafenib (Abstract 207).

2018 GI CANCERS SYMPOSIUM: First-Line Ramucirumab in Gastric Cancer Improves Progression-Free but Not Overall Survival

The monoclonal antibody ramucirumab (Cyramza) was evaluated as first-line therapy for the treatment of metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma in the international phase III RAINFALL trial. Charles Fuchs, MD, of Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut, presented findings...

2018 GI CANCERS SYMPOSIUM: Cabozantinib Demonstrates Significant Overall Survival Benefit in Patients With Previously Treated Advanced HCC

Detailed results of the phase III CELESTIAL trial in patients with previously treated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were presented in a late-breaking oral session by Abou-Alfa et al at the 2018 ASCO Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancers Symposium (Abstract 207). Study Findings In CELESTIAL,...

2018 GI CANCERS SYMPOSIUM: KEYNOTE-224 Trial: Pembrolizumab in Patients With Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma Previously Treated With Sorafenib

Findings from the phase II KEYNOTE-224 trial investigating the use of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma who were previously treated with sorafenib (Nexavar) were presented by Zhu et al at the 2018 Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancers Symposium in San Francisco...

issues in oncology

Preserving Sexual Function in Women Treated for Cancer

“There is huge potential to positively influence a patient’s experience and outcomes” by addressing concerns about sexual function after cancer treatment early in the course of treatment planning, Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD, MA, stated in her keynote address at the 11th Annual Oncofertility...

Heterogeneity of the Estrogen Receptor and Risk of Death in Breast Cancer

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that the risk of death from breast cancer is twice as high for patients with high heterogeneity of the estrogen receptor within the same tumor, compared to patients with low heterogeneity. The study, published by Lindström et al in ...

Study Describes Structure of Tumor Herpes Virus Associated With Kaposi's Sarcoma

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have provided the first description of the structure of the herpes virus associated with Kaposi’s sarcoma. The findings, published by Dai et al in Nature, answer important questions about how the virus spreads and provide a...

Expert Point of View: Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, PhD

Andrzej Jakubowiak, MD, PhD, Director of the Multiple Myeloma Program at the University of Chicago Medical Center, commented on the study for The ASCO Post. “Overall, I was impressed with these results. They make an important contribution to the field. This is an advance in the right direction,”...

NCI Awards $16M Research Grant to Ponce Health Sciences University and Moffitt Cancer Center

Ponce Health Sciences University of Ponce, Puerto Rico, in partnership with the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida, has received a grant of $16,000,000 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The grant will help to expand Ponce Health Sciences University’s research capabilities in basic ...

Expert Point of View: Virginia Kaklamani, MD and Harold Burstein, MD, PhD, FASCO

Press briefing moderator Virginia Kaklamani, MD, Professor of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, along with Harold Burstein, MD, PhD, FASCO, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, commented on the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel ...

solid tumors
breast cancer

NSABP B-47: No Benefit for Adjuvant Trastuzumab in HER2-Low Breast Cancer

  For more than a decade, breast cancer experts have wondered whether women with low levels of HER2 might derive some benefit from trastuzumab (Herceptin), based on signals seen in earlier trastuzumab trials. Most notably, in the landmark National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) ...

Celebrating the Life of Jimmie Holland, MD

The oncology community mourns the sudden passing of Jimmie C. Holland, MD, who died on December 24, 2017, at the age of 89. Dr. Holland’s achievements over her 40-year career are legend. They include the founding of the subspecialty of psycho-oncology, the establishment of a full-time Psychiatry...

Presurgical Targeted Therapy Delays Relapse of High-Risk Stage III Melanoma

A pair of targeted therapies given before and after surgery for melanoma produced at least a sixfold increase in time to progression compared to standard-of-care surgery for patients with stage III disease, Amaria et al reported in The Lancet Oncology. Patients who had no sign of disease at surgery ...

hematologic malignancies

ECHELON-1: A Commendable Study, but Questions Remain

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” —Albert Einstein The phase III international ECHELON-1 study, designed to evaluate brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) as part of a front-line chemotherapy regimen for previously untreated advanced classic...