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breast cancer

One Size May Not Fit All: Thoughts on the New Adjuvant Bisphosphonate Guideline for Early-Stage Breast Cancer

The oncology community has now conducted several prospectively designed, hypothesis-driven randomized clinical trials among women with breast cancer to address this question: Do adjuvant bisphosphonates decrease the risk of breast cancer bone metastases and other recurrence? A meta-analysis1 by...

Syed Abutalib, MD, Appointed to Education Committee for ASBMT

THE CANCER TREATMENT CENTERS OF AMERICA issued congratulations to Syed Abutalib, MD, in July for being appointed to the Education Committee for the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT). Dr. Abutalib is Assistant Director, Stem Cell Transplant & Cell Therapy Program at...

colorectal cancer

New Data Reported on Vemurafenib, Vitamin D, Selective Internal Radiotherapy, and Circulating Tumor DNA in Colorectal Cancer

RESULTS OF the IDEA trial, which showed that some patients with stage III low-risk colon cancer may require less oxaliplatin therapy (see the June 25 issue of The ASCO Post), were among the findings highlighted at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting Plenary Session. Other studies of interest in colorectal ...

breast cancer
leukemia
supportive care
gastrointestinal cancer

FDA Actions Yield Extended Approvals of Novel Agents, Advisory Committee Votes Favorably on Two Biosimilars and Pediatric Indication for CAR T-Cell Therapy

DURING JULY, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) made a number of approvals and recommendations on a variety of oncology products.  Neratinib  ON JULY 1 7, the FDA approved neratinib (Nerlynx) for the extended adjuvant treatment of adult...

supportive care
symptom management

FDA Expands Ibrutinib Indications to Chronic Graft-vs-Host Disease

On August 2, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ibrutinib (Imbruvica) for the treatment of adult patients with chronic graft-vs-host disease after failure of one or more lines of systemic therapy. This is the first FDA-approved therapy for the treatment of chronic...

issues in oncology
solid tumors

FDA’s First Site-Agnostic Drug Approval Marks a Paradigm Shift in Regulatory Criteria

IN MAY, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for patients with solid tumors that have the microsatellite instability–high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) biomarker, which disrupts the ability of cells to repair DNA. The...

global cancer care

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

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...

palliative care

An Educational Program for Safe Handling of Opioids

Improper storage, use, and disposal of prescribed opioids can lead to diversion or accidental overdose. Given that opioids are the mainstay of cancer pain treatment, this issue is particularly germane in the oncology community. The ASCO Post recently spoke with Akhila Reddy, MD, and Maxine de la...

breast cancer

MammaPrint Test Addressed in ASCO Breast Cancer Guideline Update

New recommendations on the use of the MammaPrint genomic test issued on July 10 will help guide decisions on adjuvant systemic therapy for women with early breast cancer. The recommendations update the ASCO 2016 clinical practice guideline on the use of biomarkers in these patients. The guideline ...

Julian Schink, MD, Named Chief of Gynecologic Oncology at Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) has named Julian Schink, MD, as Chief of Gynecologic Oncology. He will also serve as Medical Director of Gynecologic Oncology and Medical Oncology at CTCA at the Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion, Illinois. A nationally renowned, Board-certified...

issues in oncology

Launch of Watson-Powered Genomic Sequencing Service to Help Physicians Bring Precision Cancer Treatments to Patients Nationwide

On July 27, IBM Watson Health and Quest Diagnostics announced the launch of IBM Watson Genomics from Quest Diagnostics, a new service that helps advance precision medicine by combining cognitive computing with genomic tumor sequencing. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) will...

Two San Diego Nonprofits to Receive 2017 ASTRO Survivor Circle Grants

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) will award its annual Survivor Circle grants to two San Diego–based cancer support charities: Cancer Angels of San Diego and The Seany Foundation. Each organization will receive an $8,500 grant to support its programs for those who have been...

NETRF Commits $4 Million for Neuroendocrine Tumor Research

The Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF) has announced its largest research commitment ever—$4 million in collaborative grants—most from its new Accelerator Grants program to study neuroendocrine tumors, a widely misunderstood, commonly misdiagnosed cancer type without adequately...

Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, Appointed CDC Director and ATSDR Administrator

On July 7, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, MD, named Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, as the 17th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). “I am extremely proud and excited to announce...

Steven D. Leach, MD, Named Director of Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Physician and scientist Steven D. Leach, MD, has been selected as the new Director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC). As the leader of northern New England’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center, Dr. Leach will oversee a program that combines advanced ...

leukemia

FDA Approves Enasidenib in Relapsed or Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved enasidenib (Idhifa) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who have a specific genetic mutation. The drug is approved for use with a companion diagnostic, the RealTime IDH2 Assay, which ...

lymphoma

FDA Grants Acalabrutinib Breakthrough Therapy Designation for the Treatment of Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for acalabrutinib for the treatment of patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) who have received at least one prior therapy. Acalabrutinib is a highly selective, potent Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK)...

colorectal cancer

FDA Approves Nivolumab in MSI-H or dMMR Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nivolumab (Opdivo) injection for intravenous use for the treatment of adult and pediatric (12 years and older) patients with microsatellite instability–high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) metastatic colorectal cancer...

supportive care

New ASCO Recommendations for Controlling Nausea and Vomiting Related to Cancer Treatment

An update of the ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline covers new medicines for nausea and vomiting related to cancer treatment. The update, issued by Hesketh et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology today, provides new evidence-based information on the appropriate use of olanzapine, neurokinin 1...

leukemia

FDA Grants Venetoclax Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Geriatric Patients With Acute Myeloid Leukemia

On July 28, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy designation for venetoclax (Venclexta) in combination with low-dose cytarabine for elderly patients with previously untreated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who are ineligible for intensive chemotherapy. FDA...

breast cancer

Fulvestrant Receives EC Approval as First-Line Therapy for Advanced Breast Cancer

On July 26, the European Commission (EC) approved fulvestrant (Falsodex) for the treatment of estrogen receptor–positive, locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer in postmenopausal women not previously treated with endocrine therapy. The EC approval is based on pivotal data from the...

lung cancer

FDA Grants Durvalumab Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Patients With Locally Advanced Unresectable NSCLC

On July 31, AstraZeneca and MedImmune (AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy designation for durvalumab (Imfinzi) for the treatment of patients with locally advanced,...

lung cancer

Initial Progression-Free Survival Results From the MYSTIC Trial in Stage IV NSCLC

On July 27, researchers announced the progression-free survival (PFS) results for the phase III MYSTIC trial, a randomized, open-label, multicenter, global trial of durvalumab (Imfinzi) monotherapy or durvalumab in combination with tremelimumab vs platinum-based standard-of-care chemotherapy in...

lung cancer

Study Finds HER2 Mutations in 3% of Lung Cancers

The Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium at the University of Colorado Cancer Center reported that 24 of 920 patients (3%) with advanced-stage lung cancer in a recent study had mutations in the gene HER2. According to the study, published by Pillai et al in Cancer, 71% of these patients were...

issues in oncology

National Cancer Groups Release Joint Statement to Chart the Future of Cancer Health Disparities Research

Several national cancer organizations have released a joint position statement to guide the future of cancer health disparities research. The statement, which was published by Polite et al in Cancer Research, represents a unified strategy by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the...

solid tumors

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

Today, investigators at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) 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...

skin cancer

FDA Expands Approval of Ipilimumab to Include Pediatric Patients 12 Years and Older With Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma

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

issues in oncology
survivorship

Poor Social Functioning in Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors

A new study indicates many young adults who survived the disease struggle with “getting back to normal” as much as 2 years after their initial diagnosis. The longitudinal study, published by Husson et al in Cancer, is among the first seeking to understand the social functioning among...

solid tumors

COX-2 Inhibitors May Reverse IDO1-Mediated Immunosuppression in Some Cancers

In preclinical studies, tumors that consitutively expressed the protein indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO1) responded to the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor celecoxib (Celebrex) and had improved infiltration of certain subsets of T cells, making them more likely to respond to...

lung cancer

Concurrent Chemotherapy, Proton Therapy May Improve Survival in Patients With Advanced Lung Cancer

For patients with advanced, inoperable stage III lung cancer, concurrent chemotherapy and proton-beam radiotherapy offers improved survival compared to historical data for standard of care, according to a new study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The research, published by...

issues in oncology

Social Interaction May Affect Patients’ Response to Chemotherapy

How well patients with cancer fared after chemotherapy was affected by their social interaction with other patients during treatment, according to a new study by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the University of...

ASCO-AACI’s Best Practices in Cancer Clinical Trials Initiative: Streamlining Adverse Events Reporting and Research Community Forum Activities

Research sites and investigators face an ever-increasing number of challenges in the conduct and management of cancer clinical trials. Many of these challenges stem from the multitude of requirements for clinical trials that sponsors and regulatory and administrative agencies have set.  In...

2017 ASTRO Gold Medalists Named

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR RADIATION ONCOLOGY (ASTRO) has announced the 2017 ASTRO Gold Medalists. Søren M. Bentzen, DSc, PhD; Louis B. Harrison, MD, FASTRO; and Michael L. Steinberg, MD, FASTRO, have been awarded the annual honor given to ASTRO members who have made outstanding lifetime...

Mike Heller, PhD, Joins OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

THE OREGON Health & Science University (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute announced that bioengineering and technology expert Mike Heller, PhD, will join the Institute’s Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center (CEDAR) to lead its technology efforts. A leader with more than 53 issued...

Khurshid Guru, MD, Named Chair of Urology at Roswell Park

KHURSHID GURU, MD, an acclaimed robotic surgeon, has been named Chair of the Department of Urology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Dr. Guru, who was recruited to Roswell Park in 2005 to direct the Institute’s robotic surgery program, will lead a team of more than 50 faculty members, clinicians,...

Solange Peters, MD, PhD, Elected 2020–2021 ESMO President

THE EUROPEAN SOCIETY for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has announced that the President of the Society for the 2020–2021 term will be Solange Peters, MD, PhD, Head of the Medical Oncology Service and Chair of Thoracic Oncology, Oncology Department at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois in...

head and neck cancer

Pembrolizumab and Cetuximab-Treated Head and Neck Cancer: Activity Confirmed But No Surprises

WITH THE RECENT efficacy findings, improvements in survival, and resultant U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitors across multiple solid tumor indications, the publication of yet another positive trial adds to the...

bladder cancer

Pembrolizumab in Second-Line Therapy for Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma

THE TREATMENT OF metastatic urothelial carcinoma experienced a long period of stagnation until the recognition that targeting the programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) pathway could yield deep and durable responses.1-3 Cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy has been the reference standard for...

symptom management

Understanding and Managing Radiation-Induced Bystander Effect

More than half of patients with cancer undergo radiotherapy. Due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect, in which irradiated cells leak chemical signals that can travel some distance to damage unexposed healthy cells, many suffer side effects such as hair loss, fatigue, and...

cns cancers

Analysis Reveals Genomic Alterations, Oncogenes Driving Medulloblastoma Subtypes

The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75% of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least understood disease subgroups. The study from an international research...

leukemia

Ongoing Research in Cancer Immunotherapy for Children With Leukemia

THE CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY PROGRAM at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has several clinical trials of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy available to eligible patients.  Pilot Study of Redirected Autologous T Cells Engineered to Contain Anti-CD19 Attached to TCRζ and 4-1BB Signaling...

hematologic malignancies
symptom management
supportive care
head and neck cancer
pancreatic cancer
solid tumors

NCCN Panelists Relay ‘What’s Hot’ in Their Fields

AT THE NATIONAL Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) 22nd Annual Conference, experts from several fields met with journalists to highlight “what’s hot” in their specialties. The ASCO Post captured that conversation.  Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Guidelines  NCCN HAS LAUNCHED new NCCN Clinical...

leukemia

Pivotal CAR T-Cell Data Reported in Relapsed/Refractory B-Cell ALL

UPDATED RESULTS from the ELIANA clinical trial of CTL019 (tisagenlecleucel)—an investigational chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy—found that remission rates are maintained at 6 months in relapsed/refractory pediatric and young adult patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia....

cost of care

ASCO Offers Path to Addressing Affordability of Cancer Drugs in New Position Statement

Today, ASCO issued a position statement aimed at contributing to the national dialogue on rising cancer drug prices. The statement, which asserts that any solutions must also preserve patients' access to care and foster innovation, analyzes a wide array of options and recommends that a panel of...

hepatobiliary cancer

FDA Approves Three-Drug Combination Tablet for Hepatitis C

On July 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a combination tablet (Vosevi) to treat adults with chronic hepatitis C virus genotypes 1–6 without cirrhosis or with mild cirrhosis. This fixed-dose, combination tablet contains two previously approved drugs—sofosbuvir and ...

Edus H. Warren, MD, PhD, Named Leader of Fred Hutch Global Oncology Program

Immunotherapy researcher and oncologist Edus H. Warren, MD, PhD, has been selected to lead the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch) program in Global Oncology in its effort to transform cancer care in sub-Saharan Africa, China, and other regions by providing greater access to the...

skin cancer

Spark Discussions About Indoor-Tanning Devices

“Strong evidence suggests that using a tanning bed during adolescence or young adulthood can increase the risk of early-onset melanoma by over 40%,” Jeffrey E. Gershenwald, MD, wrote in an opinion piece for Newsweek.1 Dr. Gershenwald is Professor of Surgical Oncology, Medical Director of the...

skin cancer

Educating Young People on Sun-Safe Behaviors and Reducing the Risk of Melanoma

“If minors don’t tan, then they may never become adult tanners,” Jeffrey E. Gershenwald, MD, said in explaining the emphasis on teaching sun safety behaviors to young children as part of the Melanoma Moon Shot Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. Dr. Gershenwald is ...

integrative oncology

Shiitake Mushroom: Insufficient Evidence to Support It Boosts Immune System

In the June 25 issue of The ASCO Post, the Integrative Oncology column by Ting Bao, MD, DABMA, MS, and Jyothirmai Gubili, MS, focused on how to counsel a patient about shiitake mushroom. They concluded: “We advised our patient that it is safe to take shiitake mushroom to boost her immune system.”...

A Frank Memoir About Doctors, Patients, and the Health-Care System

“In 1981, 2 days after my older brother Matthew was born, my father sawed off the tip of his index finger.” So begins No Apparent Distress: A Doctor’s Coming of Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine, a memoir by Rachel Pearson, MD, who is currently a resident at Seattle Children’s Hospital. ...

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