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hematologic malignancies

Advances in Haploidentical Transplantation and Cellular Therapies

With advances in the field, the number of haploidentical stem cell transplants being performed (ie, using human leukocyte antigen [HLA] half-matched donor stem cells) has been increasing. In recognition of evolving strategies to improve outcomes, a group of transplant physicians started the...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

Nicolas Guibert, MD, PhD, on Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer: Predicting Response to PD-1 Inhibitors With cfDNA

Nicolas Guibert, MD, PhD, of Toulouse University Hospital, discusses a simple algorithm built to predict durable outcomes of patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer that has been treated with immunotherapy. He notes that early changes in circulating tumor DNA burden may also predict...

breast cancer

Long-Term Study Finds Axillary Radiotherapy Safe and Effective After Positive Sentinel Node Biopsy

Following identification of a positive sentinel lymph node, surgical axillary lymph node dissection and axillary radiation therapy provide comparable locoregional control and survival, according to a 10-year follow-up of the large European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer AMAROS...

Expert Point of View: Ian Davis, MBBS (Hons), PhD, FRACP, FAChPM

The formal discussant of the ARAMIS trial, Ian Davis, MBBS (Hons), PhD, FRACP, FAChPM, of Monash University and Eastern Health, Melbourne, Australia, commented: “ARAMIS is a positive trial with encouraging early results. It has a meaningful endpoint of metastasis-free survival with acceptable...

prostate cancer

ARAMIS Trial Reports Darolutamide Improves Outcomes in High-Risk Nonmetastatic Prostate Cancer

Darolutamide—an investigational androgen receptor inhibitor—significantly improved metastasis-free survival in men with high-risk nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer vs placebo in the large phase III ARAMIS trial.1 Men treated with darolutamide had a median metastasis-free survival...

Expert Point of View: Robert Dreicer, MD, MS, MACP, FASCO, and Sumanta K. Pal, MD

“This is an intriguing agent,” said ASCO expert Robert Dreicer, MD, MS, MACP, FASCO, of the University of Virginia Cancer Center and moderator of a press briefing where these data were discussed. “Survival rates are low for patients with metastatic castration--resistant prostate cancer, and the...

prostate cancer

Radioligand Therapy Achieves Responses in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

In a prospective, single-center, single-arm phase II trial reported at the 2019 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, a novel approach using a tumor-specific radioligand therapy that binds to prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) (lutetium-177 PSMA-617 -[LuPSMA]) achieved responses in a majority of...

Expert Point of View: Lori Wood, MD

Formal discussant of KEYNOTE-426, Lori Wood, MD, of Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, called both KEYNOTE-426 and JAVELIN-101 “practice-changing.” “In 2019, we have a new standard of care,” Dr. Wood declared. “The majority of patients with clear cell advanced renal cell carcinoma ...

kidney cancer

Pembrolizumab/Axitinib Combination Improves Outcomes vs Sunitinib in Kidney Cancer

The checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab plus the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) tyrosine kinase inhibitor axitinib significantly improved overall survival, progression-free survival, and objective response rates vs sunitinib as first-line therapy for clear cell metastatic renal cell...

First-Line Ibrutinib/Rituximab Combination Shows Benefit for Younger Patients With CLL

FIRST-LINE therapy with the combination of ibrutinib and rituximab reduced disease progression by two-thirds compared with standard chemotherapy using fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) in younger patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to the late-breaking...

leukemia
myelodysplastic syndromes
lymphoma
multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

Highlights From the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition

TO ADD to our ongoing coverage of the 2018 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, we bring readers of The ASCO Post these summaries of an assortment of interesting studies. They focus on novel therapies under investigation in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic...

breast cancer

SABCS Presentations Offer New Data on Biomarkers and Novel Treatment Approaches in Early and Metastatic Breast Cancers

REPORTERS FOR The ASCO Post captured the following summaries of noteworthy studies presented at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. In HER2-Negative Metastatic Disease, CTCs Frequently HER2-Positive ALMOST HALF of all patients with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer have circulating...

Expert Point of View: Virginia Kaklamani, MD and Wendy A. Woodward, MD

At a press conference held during the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, moderator Virginia Kaklamani, MD, said that partial-breast irradiation is underutilized in the United States for women with breast cancer. Dr. Kaklamani is Professor of Medicine at The University of Texas at San...

breast cancer

Small Differences Found in Breast Cancer Recurrence With Partial-Breast vs Whole-Breast Irradiation

Partial-breast irradiation delivered over 5 to 10 days did not meet noninferiority criteria compared with whole-breast irradiation given over 5 to 7 weeks, according to 10-year results of the large NRG (NSABP B-39/RTOG 0413) trial presented at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1 However, ...

breast cancer

Genomic Classifier for Luminal Androgen Receptor Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

TRIPLE-NEGATIVE breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease that comprises several subtypes, which may respond differently to therapy. Breast cancer researchers at the Mayo Clinic are developing a novel genomic signature that may improve the identification of the luminal androgen receptor vs basal...

symptom management
issues in oncology

Primary Prophylaxis With a Direct Oral Anticoagulation Agent Reduces Venous Thromboembolism Rate in Ambulatory Patients With Cancer

LATE-BREAKING results from the large, randomized, placebo-controlled CASSINI trial showed that primary prophylaxis with the direct oral anticoagulation agent rivaroxaban reduced the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) as well as VTE-related deaths in high-risk patients with cancer who were...

leukemia

Expert Point of View: Joseph Mikhael, MD

JOSEPH MIKHAEL, MD, press conference moderator where these data were discussed, commented on the BEAT AML trial: “One of the greatest challenges in the concept of personalized medicine is that by the time you determine what is right for a patient [ie, genomic analysis], the horse is out of the...

leukemia

BEAT AML Umbrella Trial: Bringing Personalized Medicine to Acute Myeloid Leukemia

THE MULTIARM, multicollaborative BEAT AML umbrella trial demonstrated the feasibility of using next-generation sequencing to assign treatment tailored to individual genomics of elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) within 7 days. This may prove to be a major advance, since typically...

breast cancer
symptom management

Expert Point of View: C. Kent Osborne, MD

COMMENTING ON the ACCRU study SC-1603, press conference moderator C. Kent Osborne, MD, Director of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and Co-Director of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, said: “In patients who have breast cancer, I usually...

breast cancer
symptom management

Oxybutynin: A Novel Option for Managing Hot Flashes?

OXYBUTYNIN, AN ANTICHOLINERGIC drug approved for the treatment of overactive bladder, reduced the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in women who were suffering frequent hot flashes, including breast cancer survivors who were receiving tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors. These results of the...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Carlos L. Arteaga, MD

PRESS CONFERENCE moderator Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, Director, Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, said that oncologists typically do not test triple-negative breast cancer for basal-like or non–basal-like features....

breast cancer

Role of Adjuvant Capecitabine in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

ADJUVANT CAPECITABINE added to standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy failed to significantly improve disease-free or overall survival in patients with early triple-negative breast cancer in the large phase III CIBOMA/2004-01_GEICAM/2003-11 (CIBOMA/GEICAM) trial.1 However, extended treatment with...

lung cancer

New Data Reported From International Studies of Lung Cancer Treatment

At the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress, important studies were presented for every cancer type. Here, The ASCO Post offers some snapshots of lung cancer studies that may inform approaches to treating this common cancer, which—despite the advances in recent years—remains...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia

Fixed-Duration Venetoclax Plus Rituximab in Relapsed or Refractory CLL

In patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), fixed-duration venetoclax -(Venclexta) combined with rituximab (Rituxan) reduced the risk of disease progression or death compared with standard-of-care bendamustine/rituximab, according to longer-term follow-up of the...

Expert Point of View: Joseph C. Alvarnas, MD

“When people don’t respond [to chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy] as well as they should, it may be that the T cells are depleted and functionally exhausted. The mechanism of exhaustion is in part mediated by checkpoint-related killing. By thwarting that process with pembrolizumab...

hematologic malignancies
immunotherapy

Combining a Checkpoint Inhibitor With CAR T-Cell Therapy May Augment Immune Response

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a revolutionary approach to treating hematologic malignancies. As experience with this strategy is gained, researchers are learning more about how to optimize responses, especially in patients with “immune exhaustion,” who have a suboptimal initial...

Expert Point of View: Joseph C. Alvarnas, MD, and Henry Fung, MD

Commenting on the ibrutinib (Imbruvica)/chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell approach at a press conference, Joseph C. Alvarnas, MD, said: “Patients with CLL do not do as well on CAR T-cell therapy as those with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and by combining ibrutinib with CAR T cells,...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia
immunotherapy

Early Studies of Ibrutinib Plus CAR T-Cell Combination in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Researchers are combining chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy with ibrutinib (Imbruvica) as a means of augmenting and deepening responses in patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Two pilot studies presented at the 2018 American Society of Hematology...

Expert Point of View: Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, Laura J. Esserman, MD, MBA, and Joseph Sparano, MD

“This study supports the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy,” commented press conference moderator Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, of the Simmons Cancer Center at UTSouthwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “It did not matter whether patients received adjuvant therapy, as long as they had achieved a pathologic...

breast cancer

Association Between Pathologic Complete Response After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Breast Cancer Outcomes

A large comprehensive patient-level meta-analysis showed that achieving pathologic complete response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy correlates with significantly improved event-free survival and overall survival in patients with localized breast cancer. These findings were particularly robust in...

Expert Point of View: Aaron T. Gerds, MD, MS

At a press conference where the ECOG-ACRIN E1912 presentation and related issues were discussed, session moderator Aaron T. Gerds, MD, MS, of the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center, was quite enthusiastic about these results. “I believe these results should change clinical practice....

hematologic malignancies
leukemia

First-Line Ibrutinib/Rituximab Combination Shows Benefit for Younger Patients With CLL

First-line therapy with the combination of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) and rituximab (Rituxan) reduced disease progression by two-thirds compared with standard chemotherapy using fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) in younger patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to...

bladder cancer
immunotherapy

Bladder Cancer: Strategies to Address Checkpoint Inhibitor Failure

CHECKPOINT INHIBITORS have rapidly become the standard of care as second-line treatment, and in some patients first-line treatment, of advanced bladder cancer. However, the majority of patients do not respond and eventually experience disease progression; these patients will need subsequent...

prostate cancer

Shedding Light on Mechanisms of Resistance to Treatment of Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

ONE OF the pressing issues in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer is the development of resistance to therapies directed at the androgen receptor (AR), such as enzalutamide (Xtandi) and abiraterone acetate (Zytiga). Research is ongoing to identify mechanisms of resistance in the hope of ...

breast cancer

Management of HER2-Positive Breast Cancer: Business as Usual?

MANAGEMENT OF HER2-positive breast cancer changed after the introduction of trastuzumab (Herceptin), the first anti-HER2 therapy to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this type of cancer. Recent studies have more clearly defined the role of pertuzumab (Perjeta) and...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Rebecca Dent, MD, and Suzette Delaloge, MD, MSc

FORMAL DISCUSSANT of the ACE trial, Rebecca Dent, MD, of the National Cancer Center in Singapore, commented that the phase II ENCORE 301 study provided proof of concept that a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor can reprogram epigenetic changes.1 In that randomized, double-blind,...

breast cancer

HDAC Inhibitor May Overcome Endocrine Resistance in Advanced Breast Cancer

EPIGENETIC CHANGES are associated with the development of cancer, and epigenetic therapy is an attractive strategy for targeting the tumor microenvironment. One approach targeted to epigenetic changes is using histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition, which has antitumorigenic effects including growth ...

prostate cancer

Expert Point of View: Joaquin Mateo, MD, PhD

FORMAL DISCUSSANT Joaquin Mateo, MD, PhD, of the Prostate Cancer Translational Research Group, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, said that the TRITON2 findings were encouraging, although still preliminary. “We should interpret these results with caution, because this interim analysis ...

prostate cancer

PARP Inhibitor Active in BRCA1/2-Mutated Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

THE SEARCH for biomarkers in prostate cancer has proved frustrating, partly due to the complexity of the disease and its heterogeneity. A preliminary analysis of a phase II (TRITON2) study suggests that rucaparib (Rubraca), a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, may be active in men with...

kidney cancer

Expert Point of View: Manuela Schmidinger, MD

“TARGETED AGENTS were a breakthrough in the treatment of renal cell carcinoma, and immunotherapy also works well, improving survival. In the past 2 years, combining a checkpoint inhibitor with targeted agents appears to work even better, and multiple combination trials are underway. The outcomes...

kidney cancer

Progress Made in Identifying Gene-Signature Biomarkers in Renal Cell Carcinoma

A NEW ANALYSIS of the phase III IMmotion151 trial identified gene signatures in renal cell carcinoma that correlate with improved progression-free survival in patients treated with atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus bevacizumab (Avastin) vs sunitinib (Sutent). These findings were presented at the...

lymphoma

Expert Point of View: Laurie H. Sehn, MD

LAURIE H. SEHN, MD, Chair, Lymphoma Tumour Group, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, said these results are not unexpected and support de-escalation in selected patients. “The FLYER trial evaluates treatment with four cycles compared with six cycles of cyclophosphamide,...

lymphoma

De-escalation of Chemotherapy in Favorable-Risk Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

THE REGIMEN of four cycles of rituximab (Rituxan)/cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone (R-CHOP) plus two cycles of rituximab was noninferior to that of six cycles of R-CHOP in younger patients with favorable-risk diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), according to the results of...

Expert Point of View: Daniel Heinrich, MD, and Silke Gillessen, MD

Formal discussant of the ERA 223 trial, Daniel Heinrich, MD, of Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, Norway, reminded listeners at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress that radium-223 was developed in Norway. “When the ALSYMPCA results came out, we were celebrating....

prostate cancer

Treatment With Radium-223 Plus Abiraterone Not Advisable in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

The combination of radium-223 plus AAP (abiraterone acetate [Zytiga] and prednisone) was not superior to placebo plus AAP in the phase III ERA 223 trial, which enrolled men with asymptomatic bone-predominant metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.1 Patients treated with the combination had ...

Expert Point of View: Viktor Grünwald, MD, PhD

Formal discussant Viktor Grünwald, MD, PhD, of the Hannover Medical School, Germany, agreed that the results of JAVELIN Renal 101 were impressive, but he was more cautious about accepting avelumab (Bavencio)/axitinib (Inlyta) as a new standard of care without longer follow-up and quality-of-life...

kidney cancer
immunotherapy

Immunotherapy and Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Combination in Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

In the JAVELIN Renal 101 phase III study, the combination of the immune checkpoint inhibitor avelumab (Bavencio), a programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) blocking antibody, plus the tyrosine kinase inhibitor axitinib (Inlyta) significantly improved progression-free survival in previously untreated...

Expert Point of View: Amanda Psyrri, MD, PhD

Formal discussant of this trial, Amanda Psyrri, MD, PhD, of the University of Athens Medical School, Attikon Hospital, Athens, Greece, commented on these results, suggesting they would affect clinical practice “tomorrow.” “Cisplatin/radiotherapy remains the standard of care for low-risk human...

head and neck cancer

Phase III Study Supports Use of Cisplatin Over Cetuximab in HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer

In the United States and European countries, many oncologists are using cetuximab (Erbitux)/radiotherapy instead of cisplatin/radiotherapy in the treatment of human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer, based on the belief that cetuximab is equally effective with less toxicity than...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

Atezolizumab Plus Chemotherapy Improves Outcomes in Small Cell Lung Cancer

ATEZOLIZUMAB (TECENTRIQ), an anti–program cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) antibody, combined with carboplatin/ etoposide as first-line treatment for extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) improved overall and progression-free survival and may represent a new standard of care, according to...

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