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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...

Douglas R. Lowy, MD, and John T. Schiller, PhD, Receive 2017 Lasker Award

Two scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) received the 2017 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for their significant research leading to the development of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. The award is the country’s most prestigious biomedical research prize and was...

AMA Applauds Surgeon General Nominee

DAVID O. BARBE, MD, President of the American Medical Association (AMA), issued the following statement:  "The American Medical Association strongly supports the nomination of Jerome Adams, MD, to become the next Surgeon General of the United States. As Indiana State Health Commissioner, Dr. Adams ...

Gary Kohanbash, PhD, Receives Grant From St. Baldrick’s Foundation

GARY KOHANBASH, PhD, a neuro-oncology researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has been awarded a scholar grant of $298,000 from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer...

Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, Named to NIH Immunology Grant Review Board

KUNLE ODUNSI, MD, PHD, FRCOG, FACOG, Deputy Director of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, has been appointed to the Transplantation, Tolerance, and Tumor (TTT) Immunology Study Section within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Scientific Review. The TTT section is the panel of peer...

NCCN Guidelines to Be Integrated Into Evinance Decision Support Platform

THE NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is collaborating with Evinance to integrate the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) into the Evinance Decision Support Platform to allow for point-of-care access to treatment recommendations derived from the NCCN...

gynecologic cancers

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommends Screening Most Adult Women for Cervical Cancer

THE U.S. PREVENTIVE SERVICES TASK FORCE has posted a draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review on screening for cervical cancer. The Task Force recommends that primary care clinicians screen for cervical cancer in women ages 21 to 29 every 3 years with cervical cytology, more...

issues in oncology

Balancing Harms and Benefits of Cancer Screening: The Debate Continues

Over the past several decades, widespread cancer screening has saved lives from various cancer types. However, despite advances in early-detection technologies, many cancers still remain undetected until they become symptomatic, conferring poor prognoses and outcomes. Moreover, some methods of...

palliative care

How Early Palliative Care May Benefit Patients With Incurable Cancer

Palliative care provided soon after a patient is diagnosed with incurable cancer not only helps improve the patient’s overall quality of life but also improves communication about the patient’s wishes for end-of-life care, according to a study by Jennifer S. Temel, MD, Clinical Director of Thoracic ...

solid tumors

FDA Recent Approvals Include First Oncology Biosimilar

ON SEPTEMBER 14, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved bevacizumab-awwb (Mvasi) as a biosimilar to bevacizumab (Avastin) for the treatment of multiple types of cancer. Bevacizumab-awwb is the first biosimilar approved in the United States for the treatment of cancer....

issues in oncology

Duration Studies in Oncology Have Often Been Poorly Designed and Analyzed

The ASCO Post is pleased to introduce “At Microphone 1,” an occasional column written by Steven E. Vogl, MD, of Bronx, New York. When he’s not in his clinic, Dr. Vogl can generally be found at major oncology meetings, and often at the microphone where he stands ready with important questions for...

thyroid cancer
prostate cancer
lung cancer
palliative care

News From JCO and JOP

STAYING UP-TO-DATE in the fast-paced world of oncology literature is a daunting task at best. To assist with that task, The ASCO Post has assembled an assortment of studies recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) and the Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP). Future installments...

prostate cancer

Weill Cornell Medicine Awarded $11.3 Million Grant for Prostate Cancer Research

Weill Cornell Medicine has been awarded a 5-year, $11.3 million Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to improve the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of prostate cancer. Established in 1992, SPORE grants serve as the cornerstone of...

supportive care
symptom management

Tibetan Yoga Practice May Improve Sleep Quality for Patients With Breast Cancer Undergoing Chemotherapy

Participating in twice-weekly practice of Tibetan yoga may reduce sleep disturbances and improve sleep quality in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, according to a study published by Chaoul et al in Cancer. The study, led by researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer...


Positive Results from Phase III MURANO Trial Evaluating Venetoclax in Combination With Rituximab in Relapsed/Refractory CLL

The phase III MURANO study of venetoclax (Venclexta) tablets in combination with rituximab (Rituxan) met its primary endpoint. Results showed that the combination prolonged progression-free survival in patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) compared with bendamustine...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

AACR Releases 2017 Cancer Progress Report: Harnessing Research Discoveries to Save Lives

Federally funded research that provides a deep understanding of cancer is spurring advances against many types of the disease. With a strong bipartisan commitment from Congress to keep investment in biomedical research a national priority, we can accelerate our pace of progress and save more lives...

issues in oncology
symptom management

Assessing and Managing CAR T-Cell Treatment Toxicities

Immune-cell based therapies opening a new frontier for cancer treatment carry unique, potentially lethal side effects that provide a new challenge for oncologists—one addressed by a team led by clinicians at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center with proposed guidelines for...

issues in oncology

New ASCO Guideline Aims to Improve Clinician Communication With Patients

A new guideline from ASCO published by Gilligan et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology outlines best practices for cancer clinicians when communicating with patients and their loved ones. The Patient-Clinician Communication: American Society of Clinical Oncology Consensus Guideline...

Peter W.T. Pisters, MD, MHCM, Named Sole Finalist in Search for President, MD Anderson

The University of Texas System Board of Regents has selected Peter W.T. Pisters, MD, MHCM, as sole finalist for the position of president at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The regents voted unanimously to select Dr. Pisters at a special board meeting on Friday,...

bladder cancer

ESMO 2017: KEYNOTE-045: Updated Results Support Pembrolizumab as Second-Line Treatment in Advanced Urothelial Cancer

Mature results from the KEYNOTE-045 trial presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid (Abstract LBA37_PR) confirmed significantly longer survival in patients with advanced urothelial cancer who received the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab after initial...

palliative care
lung cancer

ESMO 2017: 'Triggers': A New Tool to Assess Patients’ Palliative Needs

A new tool to identify patients who would benefit from early palliative care was presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid (Abstract LBA54_PR). The so-called “Triggers” tool, developed by the London Cancer Alliance to help clinicians in the...

multiple myeloma

NCCN Guidelines to Include Categories of Preference

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has instituted Categories of Preference for recommendations within the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®). Initially, Categories of Preference will be published for drugs and biologics recommended within...

issues in oncology

ESMO 2017: Patients Struggle With Key Aspects of Clinical Trial Methodology

Clinical trials are fundamental to the development of new treatments for cancer, yet the annual accrual to cancer clinical trials worldwide is low, estimated at 3%–5%. A nationwide study in Ireland, the preliminary results of which were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology...

head and neck cancer

ESMO 2017: KEYNOTE-040 Evaluates Pembrolizumab in Head and Neck Cancer

Immunotherapy with the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) may be a better option than standard treatments for patients whose head and neck cancer has spread or recurred after an initial round of chemotherapy, according to results of the KEYNOTE-040 trial presented at the European Society ...

issues in oncology

ESMO 2017: Abdominal to Peripheral Fat Ratio May Predict Risk of Cancer Diagnosis in Postmenopausal Women

Body fat distribution in the trunk is more influential than body weight when it comes to cancer risk in postmenopausal women, according to a study presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid (Abstract 1408P_PR). The findings put a new spin on weight...

breast cancer

ESMO 2017: MONARCH 3: Abemaciclib as Initial Therapy Improves Outcome in Endocrine-Sensitive Advanced Breast Cancer

The results of the MONARCH 3 trial, presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid (Abstract 236O_PR), showed that adding the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 inhibitor abemaciclib to endocrine therapy improved progression-free survival compared to endocrine...

issues in oncology

ESMO 2017: NOR-CAYACS Trial: Factors That May Limit Work Ability of Young Adult Cancer Survivors

Factors that may limit the ability of young adult cancer survivors to work were reported at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid (Abstract 1110PD_PR). Late side effects can occur months or years after cancer treatment. In patients diagnosed with cancer in young...


FDA Approves Copanlisib for Adults With Relapsed Follicular Lymphoma

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to copanlisib (Aliqopa) for the treatment of adults with relapsed follicular lymphoma who have received at least two prior systemic therapies. “For patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma, the cancer often...

cns cancers
gynecologic cancers
kidney cancer
lung cancer
gastroesophageal cancer

FDA Approves First Biosimilar for the Treatment of Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved bevacizumab-awwb (Mvasi) as a biosimilar to bevacizumab (Avastin) for the treatment of multiple types of cancer. Bevacizumab-awwb is the first biosimilar approved in the U.S. for the treatment of cancer. “Bringing new biosimilars to...

lung cancer

ESMO 2017: PACIFIC Trial: Durvalumab Improves Progression-Free Survival in Stage III Lung Cancer

Durvalumab improves progression-free survival in patients with locally advanced, unresectable stage III lung cancer, according to late-breaking results from the phase III PACIFIC trial presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid (Abstract LBA1_PR) and...

gynecologic cancers

ESMO 2017: Study Confirms Chemoradiation Is Best Treatment for Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer

A 14-year randomized trial in more than 600 patients has concluded that chemoradiation should remain the standard treatment for patients with locally advanced cervical cancer. The findings were reported at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid (Abstract 928O_PR). ...

issues in oncology
supportive care

ESMO 2017: Patients May Feel Psychosocial Impact of Chemotherapy More Acutely Than Physical Side Effects

The preliminary results of a study presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid show that sociopsychological factors have become more significant for patients today than physical side effects such as nausea and vomiting, which were among the top concerns in...

gastrointestinal cancer

ESMO 2017: Pembrolizumab Shows Promising Response Rate in Pretreated Metastatic Gastric Cancer

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) has shown a promising response rate in patients with pretreated metastatic gastric cancer, according to late-breaking results from the KEYNOTE-059 trial presented at the 2017 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress in Madrid (Abstract LBA28_PR). The expected...

breast cancer

ESMO 2017: Adding Taselisib to Neoadjuvant Letrozole Improves Outcomes in Early Breast Cancer

Adding taselisib to letrozole before surgery significantly improved outcomes for patients with early breast cancer that was both estrogen receptor–positive and HER2-negative, according to results of the LORELEI trial, presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress ...

prostate cancer

ESMO 2017: Patients With High-Risk Prostate Cancer May Benefit From Addition of Docetaxel or Abiraterone/Prednisolone to Long-Term Hormone Therapy

Patients with high-risk prostate cancer starting long-term hormone therapy may benefit from two new treatments, according to late-breaking results from the STAMPEDE trial presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid (LBA31_PR). Long-term hormone therapy...

gastroesophageal cancer

ESMO 2017: New Data Confirms Superiority of Docetaxel-Based Triplet Therapy in Esophagogastric Cancer

The superiority of docetaxel-based triplet therapy over standard of care in patients with resectable esophagogastric cancer has been confirmed in late-breaking results from the FLOT4 trial presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid (Abstract LBA27_PR)....

issues in oncology

ESMO 2017: DNA Sequencing Could Open Up New Drug Indications for Patients With Rare Cancers

Due to DNA sequencing, patients with rare cancers for which no standard treatment is available could receive existing therapies that work in patients treated for different cancers but who carry the same genetic mutations. The first results of a multidrug and multitumor clinical trial (Abstract...

issues in oncology

Bonnie S. Glisson, MD, on HPV-16+ Cancer: Study Results

Bonnie S. Glisson, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses a clinical trial on the combination of ISA101, an HPV-16 vaccine, and nivolumab for patients with incurable HPV-16+ cancer (Abstract 1136O).

breast cancer

Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, on Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: An Update

Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, offers expert perspectives on the role of PARP inhibitors in treating triple-negative breast cancer.