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breast cancer
skin cancer
issues in oncology
gastrointestinal cancer

Study Finds Increased Risk in Common Cancers in Female Night Shift Workers

In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified shift work with circadian disruption or chronodisruption as a probable human carcinogen. Now, a meta-analysis investigating whether long-term shift work increases the risks of common cancers in women has found that, overall, night...

issues in oncology

Link Between Cancer and Diabetes, High Body Mass Index

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Cancer Research Fund, there is a causal association between a high body mass index (BMI) and 14 cancers, including colorectal, gallbladder, pancreatic, kidney, liver, endometrial, postmenopausal breast, ovarian, gastric...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Liquid Biopsy May Provide Predictive Biomarkers for Checkpoint Inhibitor Response

Although checkpoint inhibitor–based immunotherapy has revolutionized treatment for a variety of cancers, the majority of patients with cancer do not respond to the therapy, and a subset of patients may even experience hyperprogression. Many patients also experience some degree of...

issues in oncology

Adipose Tissue and Cancer Risk

Although obesity and its associated metabolic dysregulation are established risk factors for many cancers, the biologic mechanisms underlying this relationship are not well understood. Now, the results from a systematic literature review by Himbert et al of human clinical studies exploring the...

issues in oncology

Concurrent Treatment With OX40 Agonist Antibody and PD-1 Blockade

Although the potential for immunotherapy to improve outcomes for patients with cancer, particularly through a combination of agents targeting immune inhibitory pathways, is becoming increasingly evident, how to optimally combine the many new immunotherapy agents being developed remains a major...

issues in oncology

Screening for Occult Cancer in Patients With Unprovoked Venous Thromboembolism

Because unprovoked venous thromboembolism may be the first sign of occult cancer, or cancer of an unknown primary origin, screening is often considered in patients with the condition to detect underlying cancer at an early, curable stage. However, extensive screening tests may yield false-positive...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Many Health Benefits Linked to Having Health Insurance

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 28 million people younger than age 65 are uninsured, compared with more than 48 million in 2010, before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. A review of current evidence concerning the relationship between health insurance...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Studies Find Disparity in Life Expectancy Widening Between Wealthy and Poor Americans

To better understand the conditions and mechanisms driving health disparities in the United States, The Lancet partnered with physicians and public health researchers from the City University of New York, Harvard Medical School, Cornell University, Yale School of Medicine, and the New York...

issues in oncology

Barriers to Clinical Trial Accrual Include Trial Sponsorship and Time to Enrolling First Patient, Study Finds

A study by researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center investigating factors associated with slow participant accrual into phase I to III cancer clinical trials at their institution has found trials initiated through national cooperative groups and the time taken from trial...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Cancer Mortality in Hispanics Varies Among Ethnic Groups

Although cancer is a leading cause of death among Hispanics, the burden of cancer mortality within Hispanic groups has not been well quantified. Now, a study by Pinheiro et al comparing the differences among Hispanic populations and cancer incidence has found that cancer mortality varies...

issues in oncology

Study Finds EXITS Gene Mutations May Contribute to Cancer Sex Bias

According to Surveillance, Epidemiology, and end Results (SEER) data from 2008 to 2012, American males have an excess risk of 20.4% of developing any cancer compared with females, and there is a ≥ 2:1 male predominance for some individual cancers. This excess risk results in approximately...

issues in oncology

Proportion of Cancer Deaths From Smoking Varies Across States and Is Highest in the South

Although smoking prevalence in the U.S. has declined by more than half since 1965, nearly 40 million adults still smoke cigarettes, resulting in about 167,133 cancer deaths in 2014, according to a study by the American Cancer Society. The study investigated cancer deaths among adults 35 and older...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

CDC Finds Cancer Death Rates Among Children and Adolescents Declined by 20%, With Brain Cancer Topping Leukemia as Leading Cause of Death

New findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the cancer death rate for children and adolescents aged 1 to 19 has been steadily declining since the mid-1970s and dropped by 20% from 1999 to 2014, the result of advances in therapy, especially for leukemia. During...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Low Engagement in Internet-Based Research in Underrepresented Population

A large study by Hartz et al examining whether Internet-based research approaches effectively engage participants from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds has found engagement in this type of research to be low among participants without a high school education, those living below the...

issues in oncology

Study Finds New Whole-Exome Sequencing Test Accurately Identifies Actionable Mutations

Exome Cancer Test v1.0 (EXaCT-1), a new whole-exome sequencing test developed by the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, detected mutations that guide precision cancer treatment with over 95% accuracy, according to a study by Rennert et al published in Genomic ...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese People May Lower Levels of Certain Proteins Linked to Cancer

A new study investigating the effects of dietary weight loss and exercise on circulating levels of certain angiogenesis-related proteins, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), in postmenopausal...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Adherence to Cancer Prevention Guidelines on Diet and Physical Activity May Reduce Cancer Risk and Mortality

According to the American Cancer Society’s 2016 Cancer Facts & Figures, behaviors such as poor diet choices, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and unhealthy body weight account for about 20% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States and likely could be prevented with...

issues in oncology
supportive care

Study Finds Many Terminal Patients Unaware of Their Impending Death

A sizable portion of patients with advanced cancer lack an understanding of their prognosis and impending death, according to a study by Epstein et al. However, those patients who had recent discussions of prognosis/life expectancy with their oncologists had a better understanding of the terminal...

issues in oncology

ASCO Provides Support and Guidance for the White House Cancer Moonshot Initiative

Although President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act in 1971, essentially declaring a war on cancer, the genesis of the idea had actually been born 2 years earlier, after the first landing on the moon set off a new era of scientific exploration and sparked a belief that any scientific...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

The New Frontiers of Breast Cancer

A seismic shift is underway in screening and treatment approaches for breast cancer. These changes are being fueled by studies showing that mammography in younger women may do more harm than good and that advances in genomic testing and a better understanding of the biology of breast cancers may...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Study Finds Fecal Immunochemical Test Effective for Annual Colon Cancer Screening

Although the fecal immunochemical test is a common method for colorectal cancer screening, its acceptability and performance over several rounds of annual testing are largely unknown. Now, a large retrospective cohort study by Jensen et al assessing the fecal immunochemical...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

American College of Physicians Issues Advice for Evaluating Hematuria as a Marker of Urinary Tract Cancer

Although little controversy exists regarding the indication for urologic evaluation for patients with gross hematuria, the evaluation of patients with the much more common finding of microscopic hematuria is complicated by a lack of clarity regarding indications for clinical referral, according to...

issues in oncology
cost of care
health-care policy

The Ethics of Rationing Cancer Care

Should cost be a consideration when deciding on treatment for patients with cancer, and if so, what kind of ethical dilemma does that pose for oncologists? With U.S. spending on oncology drugs expected to climb more than 20% annually over the next decade—reaching $173 billion by 2020, according to...

issues in oncology

Teens and Young Adults with Cancer Want a Voice in End-of-life Care

A top the list of concerns of adolescents and young adults with a life-threatening cancer are these two considerations: being able to choose the kind of medical treatment they want (or do not want) and expressing their wishes to family and friends about how they want to be remembered, according to...

issues in oncology

As Computers Learn to 'Talk' to Each Other, Patient Care Will Improve 

Last fall, Edward P. Ambinder, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, and a member of ASCO’s Health Information Technology Work Group, spoke about “The Information Age: Cyberspace and Cancer,” at the...

issues in oncology
health-care policy

Focus on the Medical Oncology Association of Southern California 

For more than 2 decades, the guiding principle of the Medical Oncology Association of Southern California (MOASC) has been to ensure the continuation of the private practice of medical oncology and to provide the highest quality care to cancer patients. Founded in 1990, MOASC is the largest...

issues in oncology

Preparing for the Next Superstorm: Protecting Patients during Natural Disasters 

When Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast last October, the magnitude of devastation it left in its wake exceeded even the most dire predictions. Eighty mile per hour winds and record storm surges destroyed antiquated electrical grids and flooded subway stations, leaving much of New York...

breast cancer
issues in oncology
survivorship

Breakthroughs in Targeted Therapies for Breast Cancer Are Improving Patient Survival Rates 

For more than 20 years, José Baselga, MD, PhD, has devoted his medical and scientific career to caring for breast cancer patients and the development of novel molecular targeted agents to treat the disease. From 1996 to 2010, he was Head of the Oncology Department of Vall d’Hebron University...

issues in oncology
health-care policy

ASCO Announces New Conflict of Interest Policy 

In April, ASCO released its updated conflict of interest policy in the development and presentation of scientific research and educational content. The revised policy is designed to increase transparency in financial relationships between individuals and health-care companies and impose new...

issues in oncology

Francis Crick's Discovery of the Structure of DNA Transformed 20th Century Biologic Sciences 

“My Dear Michael, Jim Watson and I have probably made a most important discovery. We have built a model for the structure of des-oxy-ribose-nucleic-acid, called DNA for short.… In other words we think we have found the basic copying mechanism by which life comes from life,” wrote Francis Crick,...

issues in oncology

Making Prevention and Early Detection of Cancer a Priority 

Conquering cancer has been the goal of Bert Vogelstein, MD, since he was a teenager in Baltimore. For more than 3 decades, Dr. Vogelstein, Co-Director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Johns Hopkins Medical...

issues in oncology

Determining the Best Diet for Patients with Cancer  

How much does diet and body weight influence the effectiveness of cancer treatment and reduce the risk of cancer recurrence? What is the optimal diet for patients with cancer and survivors to follow? There are currently no hard and fast rules, but some dietary clues are starting to emerge. Search...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia
issues in oncology

'Matriarch of Modern Cancer Genetics,' Janet D. Rowley, MD, Helped Propel the Field of Molecular Oncology 

Even as a child, Janet D. Rowley, MD, found the intellectual order and logic of science appealing. Born on April 5, 1925, in New York, Dr. Rowley’s parents, Hurford and Ethel Ballantyne Davison, moved the family to Chicago 2 years later. Both educators, the Davisons encouraged their only child in...

issues in oncology

Focus on the Society of Rhode Island Clinical Oncologists 

Founded in 1994, just 1 year after ASCO launched the State/Regional Affiliate Program, the Society of Rhode Island Clinical Oncologists is one of ASCO’s oldest state affiliates. Like many other ASCO affiliates, the Providence-based group is facing a myriad of challenges, including ensuring...

issues in oncology

Study Shows HPV Vaccine Reduced Rate of Infection in Teenage Girls by 56% 

A new government study investigating the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in females aged 14 to 59 before and after the introduction in 2006 of the HPV vaccine found that the rate of the HPV infection dropped by 56%, decreasing from 11.5% in 2006 to 5.1% in 2010 among female...

issues in oncology
legislation

Supreme Court Rules Human Genes May Not Be Patented 

On June 13, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that isolated human genes may not be patented. However, the creation of synthetic forms of DNA, known as complementary DNA (cDNA), is eligible for patent protection. The decision resolves the question brought before the Supreme Court justices in...

issues in oncology

Co-discoverer of DNA Double Helix, James Watson, PhD, Offers a New Theory on Cancer Progression 

Despite his fame as co-discoverer—along with Francis Crick, PhD—of the double-helix structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in 1953, that accomplishment is not what James Dewey Watson, PhD, came to talk about during a recent presentation he gave at the World Science Festival in New York. Instead,...

issues in oncology

Making the Science of Cancer Understandable to a Broad Audience 

An educator and scientist for over 30 years, David Sadava, PhD, became interested in the science of cancer while on sabbatical from Claremont Colleges, where he was teaching courses in molecular biology and biotechnology, and went to the City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, California, to study...

issues in oncology

A Look Ahead: The Next Decade in Pediatric Oncology 

The past 10 years have seen dramatic advances in cancer care, especially in better screening methods and earlier detection, genomic sequencing, and more effective therapies, which have led to increased survival rates in both childhood and adult cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute...

issues in oncology

Infertility in Men Raises Their Risk for Cancer 

A cohort study of 2,238 men who were evaluated for infertility at a clinic in Texas from 1989 to 2009 found that those men who had azoospermia, a condition in which no measurable sperm is present, had a 2.2-fold higher cancer risk compared with those who were nonazoospermic. The study was published ...

issues in oncology

ASCO Examines the Future of Cancer Care Over the Next 2 Decades 

While the many scientific advances over the past 50 years have led to improved outcomes for millions of patients with cancer—increasing the number of survivors from just 3 million in the 1970s to nearly 14 million today—the next 20 years promise to bring even greater opportunities to improve the...

issues in oncology

Integrating Genomic Sequencing Into Clinical Care  

Although the price of next-generation genomic sequencing is coming way down, making it available to more people interested in determining their risk for disease, figuring out how to interpret the results and applying that information in the routine medical care of individual patients remains a...

issues in oncology

The Direction of Immunotherapy Over the Next Decade 

The use of immunotherapy to target malignant cells in a variety of cancers—especially the PD-1 inhibitors lambrolizumab and nivolumab in the treatment of metastatic melanoma and the anti–PD-L1 agent MPDL3280A in the treatment of melanoma and lung, kidney, colorectal, and gastric cancers—made...

issues in oncology

Focus on the Texas Society of Clinical Oncology

The second largest state in the nation (after Alaska), Texas covers a total area of 268,581 square miles and has a diverse population of over 26 million people. In 1987, the Texas Society of Medical Oncology, now the Texas Society of Clinical Oncology (TxSCO), was formed to address the oncology...

issues in oncology

Focus on the Massachusetts Society of Clinical Oncologists

The Massachusetts Society of Clinical Oncologists (MSCO) is among the oldest and largest of ASCO’s State Affiliates. Based in the same building as the Massachusetts Medical Society in Waltham, MSCO was founded in 1985 and has a growing membership of 160 members, including medical, surgical, and...

issues in oncology

The Quest to Optimize Personalized Therapies for Cancer

In the late 1980s, Brian J. Druker, MD, was investigating the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase as a target for therapeutic intervention for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in a laboratory at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. By 1993, Dr. Druker had moved to Oregon Health & Science University in...

breast cancer
gynecologic cancers
issues in oncology

Cancer Is in My Soul

The threat of getting cancer began for me before I was born. In 1950, when my mother was pregnant with me, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and refused treatment until after she gave birth, so I have always felt that cancer was woven into my soul. For the first year of my life, I was raised by...

issues in oncology

Overcoming Drug Development Challenges in the New Era of Cancer Care

While the last 15 years have brought unprecedented advances in oncology drug development, the next 10 years promise to usher in even greater opportunities to realize the goal of precision medicine in the treatment of cancer, providing patients with more effective care and better outcomes. Reaching...

colorectal cancer
gynecologic cancers
issues in oncology
survivorship

Nothing Prepared Me for Cancer

Fourteen years ago, when I was just 29, I was feeling weak and fatigued and had severe pain in my abdomen. I’d had these symptoms for about a year, but none of the several doctors I saw or any of the tests they performed could find the source of my problems. I even had one nurse practitioner tell...

hematologic malignancies
issues in oncology

Focus on the Michigan Society of Hematology and Oncology

Founded nearly 3 decades ago in response to unfavorable changes in Medicare reimbursement regulations and growing coverage issues with Michigan’s private payers that threatened oncologists’ ability to provide quality cancer care to patients, the Michigan Society of Hematology and Oncology (MSHO)...

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