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Epithelioma Tubule De Nez, Albumen Print Paris, 1872

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 Anesthesia Era: 1845–1875.” The photograph...

solid tumors
gastroesophageal cancer

FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Pembrolizumab for Advanced Gastric Cancer

On September 22, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic, gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma whose tumors express programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) as ...

issues in oncology

Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Oncology Workforce

Although significant progress has been made in cancer incidence and mortality in the United States over the past 2 decades—the death rate fell 23% between 1991 and 20121—not everyone is benefiting equally. According to the American Cancer Society, blacks have the highest death rate and shortest...

National Committee for Quality Assurance Recognizes Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson

The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center of the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia has announced the receipt of two accolades by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Jefferson Oncology Medical Associates has been recognized by the NCQA for patient-centered specialty practice (PCSP)...

Endocrine Society Names V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, 2018 Laureate

V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, has been recognized by the Endocrine Society as the 2018 Laureate of the Gerald D. Aurbach Award for Outstanding Translational Research. Dr. Jordan is the Dallas/Fort Worth Living Legend Chair of Cancer Research in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at The...

solid tumors
breast cancer

Adjuvant Pertuzumab in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer: Value Yet to Be Demonstrated

The ASCO Post issue of June 25, 2017, did an excellent job of summarizing the results and controversy generated by the initial results of the APHINITY trial, reported at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting and published simultaneously online in The New England Journal of Medicine.1 With a median follow-up ...

Anthony Back, MD, to Receive Inaugural Walther Cancer Foundation Award

ASCO will honor Anthony Back, MD, with its inaugural Walther Cancer Foundation Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Endowed Award and Lecture. Endowed by the Walther Cancer Foundation,* this award and lecture was established to recognize a distinguished lecturer and leader with multiple,...

issues in oncology

Recognizing the Importance of a Work-Life Balance in Oncology

The ASCO Post introduces this new department, Living a Full Life, in which we will share insightful narratives of oncology professionals highlighting personal aspects of these clinicians’ lives separate from the world of oncology. We also intend to open a dialogue about the challenges that today’s...

FDA Expands Approval of Ipilimumab to Pediatric Patients 12 Years and Older

On July 24, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the indication for ipilimumab (Yervoy) injection for intravenous use now to include the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma in pediatric patients 12 years of age and older. Ipilimumab was evaluated in 2 trials of...

health-care policy

ASTRO 2017: Uninsured Patients With Cancer Saw Increased Coverage for Care Following Medicaid Expansion

A new study found that Medicaid expansion enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) improved coverage for care for patients with cancer receiving radiation therapy and potentially decreased health-care disparities. Analysis of more than 197,000 patient records from one ...

breast cancer

ASTRO 2017: Accelerated Breast Radiation Therapy Following Mastectomy Can Shorten Treatment Time While Maintaining Tumor Control

Radiation therapy following mastectomy for intermediate-stage, high-risk breast cancer can be shortened from 5 to 3 weeks while maintaining tumor control rates in the breast and surrounding region that are equivalent to conventional treatment, according to research presented by Sun et al at the...

prostate cancer

William A. Hall, MD, on Prostate Cancer: Results From a Study of Three Treatment Modalities

William A. Hall, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, discusses trial findings on androgen deprivation and radiation alone, compared with androgen deprivation, radiotherapy, and surgery in men with high-risk, nonmetastatic adenocarcinoma of the prostate (Abstract 15).


Christopher R. Kelsey, MD, on DLBCL: Study Results on Consolidation Radiotherapy

Christopher R. Kelsey, MD, of Duke University Medical Center, discusses reducing the radiation dose from 30 Gy to 20 Gy for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Phase II findings show this approach may be effective in light of improved systemic treatment and better chemotherapy response...

prostate cancer
kidney cancer

Gerard Morton, MD, on GU Highlights: Expert Perspective

Gerard Morton, MD, of Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, summarizes a session that included discussion of late toxicities of radiotherapy for locally recurrent prostate cancer; using chemotherapy instead of radiation in early-stage seminoma; radiotherapy vs surgery plus radiotherapy in Gleason score...

lung cancer

Shrinivas Rathod, MD, on NSCLC: Quality-of-Life Outcomes From an IAEA Trial

Shrinivas Rathod, MD, of the University of Manitoba, discusses phase III study results on optimization of treatment of advanced non–small cell lung cancer using radiation therapy and chemotherapy (Abstract 223).

head and neck cancer

Bhishamjit S. Chera, MD, on Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma and HPV-16: Expert Perspective

Bhishamjit S. Chera, MD, of the University of North Carolina, discusses quantification of human papillomavirus 16 in circulating tumor DNA during de-intensified chemoradiation therapy for favorable-risk HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (Presentation 92).

breast cancer

ASTRO 2017: Patients With Breast Cancer Find Radiation Therapy Experience Better Than Expected

A new survey finds breast cancer patients’ actual radiation therapy experiences largely exceeded their expectations. The survey, which addressed the fears and misconceptions regarding radiation therapy for breast cancer, found that more than three-fourths of the breast cancer patients...

head and neck cancer

ASTRO 2017: Aggressively Reduced Radiation Therapy May Benefit Some Patients With HPV-Related Throat Cancer

For certain patients with oropharyngeal cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), an aggressive reduction of radiation therapy after surgery may provide cancer control while simultaneously reducing post-treatment side effects, improving quality of life, and lowering treatment costs,...

gynecologic cancers

ASTRO 2017: GOG-249 Confirms Adjuvant Pelvic Radiation as Standard of Care for High-Risk, Early-Stage Endometrial Cancer

In a new phase III trial report from the National Clinical Trial Network group, NRG Oncology, recurrence-free and overall survival rates for women with stage I–II high-risk endometrial cancer were not superior following adjuvant vaginal cuff brachytherapy plus chemotherapy when compared with...

issues in oncology

Second Annual ASCO Advocacy Summit Convenes in Washington, DC

Nearly 100 oncology care providers from across the United States traveled to Capitol Hill on September 27 and 28 to participate in the second annual ASCO Advocacy Summit. Advocates met with Members of Congress and their staff to educate them on critical issues affecting patients with cancer ...

FDA Approves New CDK4/6 Inhibitor for Certain Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved abemaciclib (Verzenio) to treat adult patients who have hormone receptor–positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer that has progressed after endocrine therapy. Abemaciclib is...

breast cancer

Shulian Wang, MD, and Benjamin Movsas, MD, on Breast Cancer: Radiation Therapy After Mastectomy

Shulian Wang, MD, of the National Cancer Center in Beijing, and Benjamin Movsas, MD, of the Henry Ford Health System, discuss study results on the use of hypofractionated radiation therapy after mastectomy for the treatment of high-risk breast cancer (Abstract PL01).

prostate cancer

Tamim Niazi, MDCM, on Prostate Cancer: Results From a Trial on Dose Escalation

Tamim Niazi, MDCM, of McGill University, discusses phase III study findings on hypofractionated, dose-escalation radiation therapy for high-risk adenocarcinoma of the prostate (Abstract 281).

lung cancer

Maria Werner-Wasik, MD, on Lung Cancer Highlights: Expert Perspective

Maria Werner-Wasik, MD, of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, summarizes a session on NSCLC that included discussion of a quality-of-life trial on optimizing treatment; chemotherapy and radiotherapy in advanced disease; a comparison of standard- vs high-dose conformal chemoradiotherapy; and...

lung cancer

Jeffrey D. Bradley, MD, on NSCLC: Results of the RTOG 0617 Trial

Jeffrey D. Bradley, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine, discusses long-term phase III findings on standard-dose vs high-dose conformal chemoradiation therapy with or without cetuximab for stage III non–small cell lung cancer (Abstract 227).

prostate cancer

ASTRO 2017: Immune Response May Be Prognostic for Prostate Cancer Survival, Recurrence, and Response to Radiation Therapy

A new study finds that immune response in prostate cancer may be able to forecast how patients will respond to radiation therapy, as well as their likelihood of disease recurrence and survival outcomes. The analysis of more than 9,000 prostate tumors also found evidence that programmed cell death...

lung cancer

ASTRO 2017: RTOG 0617: Long-Term Survival Rates Improve Previous Estimates for Locally Advanced Lung Cancer

Long-term results of a phase III clinical trial indicate that survival rates for patients receiving chemoradiation for unresectable, locally advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may be more than twice as high as previous estimates. At 5 years following treatment with a standard dose of ...

gynecologic cancers

Marcus E. Randall, MD, on Endometrial Cancer: Results From a Gynecology Oncology Group Study

Marcus E. Randall, MD, of the University of Kentucky, discusses phase III study findings on pelvic radiation therapy vs vaginal cuff brachytherapy followed by paclitaxel/carboplatin chemotherapy in patients with high-risk, early stage endometrial cancer (Abstract LBA1).

prostate cancer

Juanita Crook, MD, on Prostate Cancer: Results From an NRG/RTOG Brachytherapy Trial

Juanita Crook, MD, of the University of British Columbia, discusses late toxicity findings on transperineal ultrasound–guided brachytherapy for locally recurrent prostate cancer after external-beam radiation therapy (Abstract 1).


James E. Bates, MD, on Pediatric Cancer Survivors: New Findings on Late Effects

James E. Bates, MD, of the University of Florida, discusses a volumetric dose-effect analysis of late cardiotoxicity, results from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (Abstract 4).

solid tumors

ASTRO 2017: Radiation-Immunotherapy Combination May Benefit Some Patients With Late-Stage Cancer

A new study involving patients with stage IV cancer has found that treatment with radiation therapy and immunotherapy can slow tumor growth by stimulating the body’s immune system to attack the cancer. In the phase II trial, patients with end-stage cancer that had metastasized to the lungs or ...

issues in oncology

ASTRO 2017: Distress in Patients Receiving Radiation Associated With Missed Appointments, Hospitalization

Psychological distress has long been associated with negative health outcomes for patients with cancer, though specific reasons remain unclear. A new study has found that roughly half of all patients who reported having severe distress, which the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN)...

lung cancer

ASTRO 2017: Adding Radiation to Maintenance Chemotherapy May Benefit Patients With Limited Metastatic NSCLC

For patients with limited metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), adding radiation therapy before maintenance chemotherapy may curb disease progression when compared to maintenance chemotherapy alone, according to a randomized phase II clinical trial reported by Iyengar et al. at the...

lung cancer

ASTRO 2017: Biomarker Blood Test Predicts Survival Following Localized Lung Cancer Treatment

A new study demonstrates that a blood test to detect cancer may predict treatment outcomes for patients with localized non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and afford physicians additional lead time to personalize treatment for recurrent disease. Patients in the study with detectable levels of...

gynecologic cancers

ASTRO 2017: IAEA Trial: Safety, Efficacy of High-Dose Brachytherapy Plus Pelvic Radiation for Cervical Cancer

Findings from a new multicenter, international clinical trial confirm the effectiveness of high-dose brachytherapy, or internal radiation therapy, for managing locally advanced cervical cancer. Tumor control was significantly better following four fractions of 7 Gy each than following two 9-Gy...

issues in oncology

ASTRO 2017: Urban Cancer Center Finds 75% of Its Patients With Depression Were Previously Undiagnosed

A new study of patients at an urban cancer center points to a potentially serious problem that may limit the impact of clinical cancer care—undiagnosed depression. Among the 40% of patients at the center who were diagnosed with depression, three in four had not previously been told they were ...

gastrointestinal cancer

FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Pembrolizumab for Advanced Gastric Cancer

On September 22, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic, gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma whose tumors express programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) as...

hepatobiliary cancer

FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Nivolumab for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Previously Treated With Sorafenib

On September 22, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients who have been previously treated with sorafenib (Nexavar). CheckMate 040 Approval was based on a 154-patient subgroup of...

Heart Disease, Cancer, Leading Causes of Death due to Noncommunicable Diseases, Global Study Finds

The Global Burden of Disease Study, published in The Lancet, finds that of noncommunicable diseases, cancer is the second-leading cause of death globally.1 The report also finds that deaths from cancer increased more than 17% between 2006 and 2016. The Global Burden of Disease Study is a...

I Don’t Feel Like I Have Incurable Cancer

A series of medical mishaps has led me to a diagnosis of stage IV carcinoid neuroendocrine cancer and a shortened lifespan. This never should have happened. For months in early 2015, I was plagued with all the signs of a serious illness, including chronic stomach, bowel, and digestive issues;...

ASH Honors Marshall A. Lichtman, MD, With Lifetime Achievement in Hematology Award

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will recognize Marshall A. Lichtman, MD, of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, with the 2017 Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology. Dr. Lichtman will be honored for his notable service to the field of...

The Dark Side of Medicine: Physician Suicide

The statistics on physician suicide are stark: Physicians are more than twice as likely to take their own lives as nonphysicians, and more than 400 physicians commit suicide each year in the United States. Moreover, young physicians at the early part of their training are reported to be...

NCI-COG Pediatric MATCH Trial to Test Targeted Drugs in Childhood Cancers

Investigators at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) have announced the opening of enrollment for a unique precision medicine clinical trial. NCI-COG Pediatric Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (Pediatric MATCH) is a nationwide trial to explore whether...

WISDOM Study to Test Personalized Approach to Breast Cancer Screening

MANY health-care experts disagree about when screening mammography is appropriate and for whom. That’s what Women Informed to Screen Depending on Measures of Risk (WISDOM) seeks to remedy. The University of California (UC) Health study aims to uncover whether annual mammograms really are the best...

ACS Awards Grants to Reduce Colorectal Cancer Disparities in American Indian and Alaska Native Populations

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has awarded $100,000 in grants to five community health centers across the country to reduce colon cancer disparities in American Indian and Alaska Native populations through the Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity...

prostate cancer

Emotional and Psychological Distress Associated With Prostate Cancer

A cancer diagnosis presents emotional and psychological challenges for patients and caregivers, and prostate cancer has some unique challenges, in part because management is not writ in stone. At several points along the trajectory of illness, men with prostate cancer face decisions that can be...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Preexisting Dementia and Survival in Older Patients With Stage III Colon Cancer

A pre-existing diagnosis of dementia was associated with increased risk of death for older patients with advanced colon cancer; however, some of the effects of dementia on survival could be mediated by receipt of chemotherapy, according to results of a study published by Chen et al in Cancer...

gynecologic cancers

Olaparib Receives Positive pCODR Recommendation for Treatment of BRCA-Mutated Ovarian Cancer

The pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) has provided a positive clinical recommendation for the reimbursement of olaparib (Lynparza), a first-of-its-kind treatment for BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer. Lynparza is an oral, potent inhibitor of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) available as a...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

Cancer on the Global Stage: Incidence and Cancer-Related Mortality in Benin

The ASCO Post is pleased to continue this special feature on the worldwide cancer burden. Each installment focuses on a country from one of the six regions of the world, as defined by the World Health Organization (ie, Africa, the Americas, South-East Asia, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, and...

issues in oncology

Overdiagnosis of Those in Higher Income Brackets

According to researchers from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, being in a high-income bracket may lead to overdiagnosis of cancer and the subsequent harms associated with unnecessary medical treatments. To shed light on this interesting finding and its broader...