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breast cancer
issues in oncology

PI3K Inhibitor Buparlisib Extends Progression-Free Survival  in Advanced Breast Cancer

Addition of the oral investigational pan-PI3K inhibitor buparlisib to the endocrine agent fulvestrant (Faslodex) improved progression-free survival among postmenopausal women with advanced hormone receptor–positive/HER2-negative advanced breast cancer. “We are happy to announce that the phase III...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Targeted Therapy Gaining Ground in the Second-line Treatment of Gastric Cancer 

In gastric cancer, the concept of targeted therapy assumed clinical significance when the addition of trastuzumab (Herceptin) to chemotherapy improved survival by almost 3 months in the ToGA trial.1 Another anti-HER2 agent, lapatinib (Tykerb), now looks promising, as does an agent targeting the...

gynecologic cancers
lymphoma
issues in oncology

Guideline Adherence and Geriatric Assessment Studies among NCCN Scientific Posters of Interest 

For the first time at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Annual Conference, scientific posters were included as part of the program. The ASCO Post captured some of the most interesting findings for our readers, including the following news briefs. The findings of these studies support ...

issues in oncology
supportive care
symptom management

Automated Telephone Monitoring Reduces Chemotherapy-related Symptoms 

The use of an automated computer-based telephone monitoring system to assess symptoms during outpatient chemotherapy—and provide intervention where appropriate by a nurse practitioner—substantially reduced the number of days with symptoms in a study reported at the 18th Annual Conference of the...

issues in oncology
health-care policy

Disparities in Cancer Care: How A Deep South Community Overcame Them 

Racial inequities were a daily observation for Edward E. Partridge, MD, growing up in Alabama during the civil rights era. When he became a physician, he saw that these disparities extended into his own field, gynecologic oncology. He decided to do something about it. Dr. Partridge recently...

issues in oncology

ASCO Will Change with the Times 

At the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting, The ASCO Post caught up with new President Clifford A. Hudis, MD, Chief of the Breast Cancer Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, for a glimpse of his plans for ASCO in the coming year, and his thoughts on being elected ASCO...

issues in oncology

Access to and Appropriate Use of Oncology Drugs Called Into Question by ASCO Studies 

Studies presented at this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting suggest that despite the wealth of amazing oncolytics on the market, drug shortages persist, drug substitutions are common, off-label use of drugs occurs frequently, and patients find their costs burdensome. Drug Shortage Persists The shortage...

issues in oncology

The Oncologist as Author: On Guiding Patients Through Cancer 

When Tumor Is the Rumor and Cancer Is the Answer is the guidebook to cancer that Kevin P. Ryan, MD, FACP, COL, USAF (ret) wished his patients had during his 30 years of practicing oncology. The book, recently published by AuthorHouse, is an authoritative, inspiring, and even philosophical guide for ...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Breast Cancer Care in the Era of Accountable Care Organizations

Prepare for big changes ahead, Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School in Boston, told oncologists at the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium.1 One change is the emergence of...

issues in oncology

NCI-Led Scientists Develop Criteria for 'Omics' Tests Used in Clinical Investigations

High-throughput “omics” technologies that generate molecular profiles on tumor specimens are increasingly being incorporated into clinical trials, but some of these assays have not been well validated, leading many in the research community to question their fitness for use in patient-care...

issues in oncology

Sharing Treatment Decision-Making With Patients: Where’s the Evidence of Value?

Though certainly not new to oncologists, “shared decision-making” between doctors and patients is receiving increased attention in the medical community today. While it’s an idea with merit, Steven J. Katz, MD, MPH, a specialist in quality care issues, maintains that expectations about the...

issues in oncology

Challenges in Creating and Promoting Clinical Practice Guidelines

With regard to clinical practice guidelines, clinicians want an authoritative resource that will clearly and concisely instruct them in most clinical scenarios. Guideline developers want to give them this, “but producing guidelines is not as straightforward as it might seem,” according to David...

issues in oncology
supportive care

NCCN Roundtable: When a Parent Has Cancer

Attendees at this year’s annual conference of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) not only got up to date on the Guidelines but left with a better understanding of how children deal with a parent’s cancer, and how oncology providers can best help. Panelists for the NCCN roundtable...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Stakeholders Are Uniting Around Value in Cancer Care

Judging from its visibility at the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting, the concept of “value” in cancer care has reached critical mass. “ASCO is leading this difficult discussion on value in cancer care. This had to happen,” said ­Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, Immediate Past President of ASCO and Chief of...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Panelists Lambast, Explore the High Cost of Cancer Drugs

At the 2014 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, a symposium on the high cost of cancer drugs proved provocative and a bit testy as panelists presented their various points of view. ‘Medical Darwinian System’ Already known for his outspoken views on the topic is Hagop M. Kantarjian, MD, ...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Dr. Mary-Claire King Proposes Population Screening in All Young Women for BRCA Mutations

It is not enough for Mary-Claire King, PhD, to have identified the germline BRCA1 mutation associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. Her clinically applicable discovery is one of the world’s greatest in genetics and one for which she has been highly lauded. But not one to rest on her...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Too Early to Use Genome Sequencing for Breast Cancers in the Clinic

The role of next-generation sequencing (high-throughput technologies that allow DNA and RNA to be analyzed more quickly and inexpensively than earlier techniques) in breast cancer remains unclear and at present is primarily a research tool. Therefore, clinicians should be cautious in using genetic...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Should Oncologists Be Ordering Breast Cancer Gene Panels?

Two oncologic surgeons squared off at the 32nd Miami Breast Cancer Conference to debate whether breast cancer genetic susceptibility panel testing is ready for routine use in the clinic. J. Michael Dixon, MD, Professor of Surgery and Consultant Surgeon at the Edinburgh Breast Unit in the United...

issues in oncology

20 Years of NCCN: The Best Is Yet to Come

As the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) celebrates its 20th year, The ASCO Post asked its Chief Executive Officer, Robert W. Carlson, MD, to reflect on the organization’s accomplishments, mission, and future and on the role he may have played in its success.  The Early Years You became...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

NCCN Advocates for Universal Lynch Syndrome Screening in Newly Diagnosed Colorectal Cancer

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is recommending that newly diagnosed colorectal cancer patients be screened for Lynch syndrome, previously called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer. The NCCN’s proactive position should greatly help identify individuals and their...

supportive care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care Services and Outcomes Improve Using a Standardized Approach

Standardized criteria for initiating palliative care consultations can substantially improve the care of patients with advanced solid tumors, according to research from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, led by Kerin Adelson, MD, Coordinator for Ambulatory Oncology Quality for the Tisch...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Online Training Tool Can Improve Pathway Adherence and Reduce Costs

A new educational tool for oncologists may enhance compliance with quality care standards and improve the value of cancer care, ultimately resulting in big cost savings for health-care systems, according to Karen Fields, MD, and colleagues from H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute,...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Simple Blood Test May Diagnose Lung and Other Cancers

A simple blood test that measures serum free fatty acids and their metabolites may detect early-stage lung cancer and its recurrence, according to a study from The Cleveland Clinic presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2013 Annual Meeting in San Francisco (Abstract A4267). The study was presented ...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

ECC 2013: PI3KCA-Mutant Tumors Not Likely to Respond to Neoadjuvant HER2 Blockade

In patients with early breast cancer receiving anti-HER2 therapy in the NeoALTTO trial, mutations in PIK3CA were associated with lower rates of pathologic complete response, Jose Baselga, MD, reported at the European Cancer Congress 2013 (Abstract 1859) in Amsterdam. In patients treated with the...

breast cancer
gynecologic cancers
issues in oncology

ECC 2013: Continuous Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy Protects Against Endometrial Cancer

According to an analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative, continuous combined use of estrogen plus progestin reduces the risk of endometrial cancer among postmenopausal women. The study was reported at the European Cancer Congress 2013 in Amsterdam (Abstract LBA13) by Rowan Chlebowski, MD,...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Breast Cancer Treatment in 10 Years: George Sledge, MD, Offers His Predictions

In a keynote lecture during the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium breast cancer expert and ASCO Past President George Sledge, MD, offered five predictions for the future of the medical management of breast cancer. Dr. Sledge is now Chief of Oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto,...

issues in oncology

Dr. Larry Norton, Honored at 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium, Calls for Return to the ‘Exploration of Concepts’

Larry Norton, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, is the recipient of the 2013 Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award, which he received at the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium. The Symposium is sponsored by ASCO, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the American Society of Radiation...

issues in oncology
breast cancer

Following Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy, Biomarkers Change in 41% of Breast Cancer Patients

After neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 41% of early breast cancer patients experienced a change in status for the estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, or HER2 oncogene, researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported at the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Could MRI Be a Better Breast Cancer Screening Tool Than Mammography?

German investigators reported at the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco that an abridged magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol can accurately detect cancers among women whose mammographic screenings were negative (Abstract 1). MRI, therefore, may reveal the type of tumor that...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Best of ASCO 2013: VeriStrat Assay May Help Select NSCLC Patients for Second-Line Therapy

VeriStrat, a serum-based protein assay, can help select which patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who are not known to have epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations might benefit from an EGFR-targeted agent, according to a study described at the 2013 Best of ASCO Los...

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