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gastrointestinal cancer
colorectal cancer

Maintenance Therapy for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Benefit Seen With Panitumumab Combination

Although the optimal approach to maintenance is not definitive in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have undergone chemotherapy-based induction with anti–endothelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) agents, the phase II VALENTINO trial showed that anti-EGFR maintenance therapy with...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia

Durable Responses With Moxetumomab Pasudotox in Pretreated Hairy Cell Leukemia

Moxetumomab pasudotox produced deep and durable responses in a heavily pretreated population of patients with hairy cell leukemia, with the ability to eradicate minimal residual disease. The drug showed a favorable safety profile with less bone marrow suppression than with purine nucleoside analog...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia

Durable Response With Venetoclax and Azacitidine in Elderly Patients With AML

In elderly patients with untreated acute myeloid leukemia (AML), venetoclax (Venclexta), given at a 400-mg dose, with an azacitidine backbone led to durable responses with a tolerable safety profile, according to data from a phase Ib dose-escalation and -expansion study. Response rates were high...

immunotherapy

Update on Clinical Trials of Novel Therapies

Long-term follow-up data on axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta) in lymphoma, potential partners for nivolumab (Opdivo) in solid tumors, and a targeted agent for RET-altered cancers were featured during the developmental therapeutics program at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting. At the Best of ASCO...

solid tumors
hepatobiliary cancer

Cabozantinib in Second-Line Treatment of Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Compared with placebo, cabozantinib (Cabometyx) significantly improved overall survival and progression-free survival in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma who were previously treated with sorafenib (Nexavar), with no new safety signals, according to data from the phase III CELESTIAL ...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Ian Olver, MD, PhD

COMMENTING ON the importance of this topic at a press conference during the 2018 Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC)/International Society of Oral Oncology (ISOO) Annual Meeting, Ian Olver, MD, PhD, Immediate Past President of MASCC and Director of the University of...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Cardiac Issues Related to Checkpoint Inhibitors Still Largely Understudied

IMMUNE CHECKPOINT inhibitors represent a giant step forward in the treatment of many cancers, and as these agents have “come of age” in the past few years, so has the collective understanding of their potential for causing adverse events. Although checkpoint inhibitors are known to be associated...

skin cancer

No Improvement in Survival Reported With Epacadostat Plus Pembrolizumab in Advanced Melanoma

IN PATIENTS with unresectable or metastatic melanoma, adding epacadostat to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) did not result in greater clinical benefit over pembrolizumab alone, according to data from the phase III ECHO-301/KEYNOTE-252 study. These results were originally presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual...

head and neck cancer

Adding Nimotuzumab to Chemoradiation Improved Survival in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

IN PATIENTS with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, nimotuzumab—a humanized monoclonal antibody against the epidermal growth factor receptor—in combination with cisplatin and radiotherapy was superior to cisplatin and radiotherapy alone in improving progression-free...

skin cancer

Overall Survival Improved With Encorafenib/Binimetinib Combination in BRAF-Mutant Melanoma

IN PATIENTS with advanced BRAF V600–mutant melanoma, combining the BRAF inhibitor encorafenib (Braftovi) with the MEK inhibitor binimetinib (Mektovi) improved overall survival compared to vemurafenib (Zelboraf) or encorafenib as monotherapy, with a favorable toxicity profile, according to updated...

issues in oncology

Focus on the Empire State Hematology & Oncology Society

The Empire State Hematology & Oncology Society (ESHOS), a State Affiliate of ASCO, was formed in January 2017 as a merger of three separate hematology and oncology professional organizations in New York. Stuart P. Feldman, MD, of the New York State Society of Medical Oncologists &...

pain management

Expert Point of View: Ian Olver, AM, MD, PhD

Though many case studies and anecdotal reports have touted the effectiveness of cannabinoids for cancer pain, in randomized studies, the areas in which they are effective are “fairly borderline,” according to Ian Olver, AM, MD, PhD, Immediate Past President of the Multinational Association of...

supportive care

Cannabinoids for Cancer Pain: Dangerous or Beneficial?

Cannabis has been used in health care for millennia, and its use has been well documented, albeit never definitively integrated into clinical practice. Recent societal changes and the increasing acceptance and availability of cannabis have reignited the medical and public debate around its role in...

supportive care

Therapeutic Applications for Cannabinoids in Oncology: The Debate Continues

In the early part of the 20th century, the U.S. government classified cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug: a dangerous substance with no medical value. For many years, that classification prevented systematic research in cannabinoid use in medicine. As a result of societal changes and an intense and...

supportive care
symptom management

Lack of Congruence Among Tools Used to Assess Cancer-Related Cognitive Dysfunction

THE ASSESSMENT of cognitive dysfunction in patients who have undergone chemotherapy is complex, and although a number of strategies are available, each has its limitations, according to Karin Olson, RN, PhD, Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.  At...

symptom management
head and neck cancer

Expert Point of View: Rajesh Lalla, DDS, PhD

COMMENTING ON the results of this trial of GC4419, Rajesh V. Lalla, DDS, PhD, President of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, said, “This study demonstrated this agent’s strong potential for the management of oral mucositis in patients receiving head and neck radiation...

symptom management
head and neck cancer

Novel Therapy Reduces Duration of Chemoradiotherapy-Induced Mucositis in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

GC4419, A SMALL molecule superoxide dismutase mimetic, reduced the duration, incidence, and severity of chemoradiotherapy-induced mucositis in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer, with a safety profile comparable to that of placebo. This finding comes from a randomized phase IIb...

gynecologic cancers
pain management

Study Evaluates Effect of Restrictive Opioid Protocol After Gynecologic Surgery

THE NUMBER of opioids prescribed after surgery for gynecologic cancer decreased significantly after implementation of an ultra-restrictive opioid prescription protocol, with no apparent negative effect on patient satisfaction or pain, according to research presented by Jaron Mark, MD, and...

gynecologic cancers

Expert Point of View: Shitanshu Uppal, MD

COMMENTING ON the study, invited discussant Shitanshu Uppal, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, called the data “provocative” but said he had progressed through the “five stages of grief” in reaction to the results. “I’ve gone through denial, I’ve gone through anger, I couldn’t...

gynecologic cancers

Poorer Outcomes Reported With Minimally Invasive Surgery Than Open Approach in Early Cervical Cancer

PATIENTS UNDERGOING minimally invasive radical hysterectomy for early cervical cancer had higher rates of disease recurrence and worse disease-free, progression-free, and overall survival than did women who had the open approach, according to results from the phase III LACC trial, presented by...

gynecologic cancers

Expert Point of View: Oliver Dorigo, MD, PhD

COMMENTING ON the study, invited discussant Oliver Dorigo, MD, PhD, of Stanford University, said that tumor size and disease site are useful clinical parameters for predicting nonresponse to immunotherapy and should be considered when selecting and “unselecting” patients for immunotherapy...

gynecologic cancers

Clinical Findings Predict Early Treatment Discontinuation in Patients Receiving Immunotherapy for Ovarian Cancer

PRETREATMENT CLINICAL findings may predict early treatment discontinuation in patients with ovarian cancer receiving checkpoint blockade immunotherapy agents. Data presented by MD candidate Julia L. Boland at the 2018 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer revealed that...

Focus on the Tennessee Oncology Practice Society

The Tennessee Oncology Practice Society (TOPS) is among the oldest and one of many politically active ASCO State Affiliates. Founded in 1990, the organization has since been a voice for Tennessee’s diverse community of oncology professionals, advocating for patient access to the best available care ...

survivorship

Obesity in Cancer Survivors: Identifying Teachable Moments

OBESITY IS associated with poor survival in patients with cancer, but when research is translated into survivorship care, obese and overweight patients can experience better outcomes, according to Karen Basen-Engquist, PhD, MPH, Professor of Behavioral Science and Director of the Center for Energy...

gynecologic cancers

Follow-up Too Short in Ovarian Cancer, Too Long in Other Gynecologic Malignancies

A STANDARDIZED 5-year period of surveillance by a gynecologic oncologist was found to be inadequate for some gynecologic cancers and excessive for others, according to research presented by Robert Dood, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, at the 2018 Society of...

gynecologic cancers

Expert Point of View: Oliver Dorigo, MD, PhD

COMMENTING ON THE study by Cybulska et al, invited discussant Oliver Dorigo, MD, PhD, of Stanford University, said several important questions still need answers. “Tumor immune scores differ between metastatic sites, but how do these immune scores predict response to immunotherapy? And how does...

gynecologic cancers
immunotherapy

Microenvironment Heterogeneity May Contribute to Lack of Immunotherapy Success in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer

INTER- AND INTRAPATIENT heterogeneity of the tumor microenvironment may explain the limited success of checkpoint blockade thus far observed in patients with advanced high-grade serous ovarian cancer, according to Paulina Cybulska, MD, MSc, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York....

issues in oncology
survivorship

Efforts to Make Tobacco Cessation in Cancer Survivors Standard Practice

It is well established that smoking increases the risk for developing cancer, but when it comes to tobacco cessation in the cancer survivor population, should oncologists be stepping in, and what resources should they be using? Graham W. Warren, MD, PhD, posed these questions to the audience at the ...

Expert Point of View: Timothy Gilligan, MD, MSc

“Knowing that exercise after surgery can help women with breast cancer quickly restore their full range of arm motion is an important step forward in their care,” said Timothy Gilligan, MD, MSc, Vice Chair for Education and Associate Professor of Medicine, Case Comprehensive Cancer...

solid tumors
breast cancer
supportive care
issues in oncology
survivorship

Education Plus Exercise Improves Arm Mobility After Lymph Node Dissection in Women With Breast Cancer

In breast cancer survivors after lymph node dissection, a combined education and exercise intervention resulted in patients regaining full range of motion in both arms sooner than those who received education alone, according to follow-up from a phase III clinical trial reported by Electra D....

Expert Point of View: Christopher J. Recklitis, PhD, MPH

Christopher J. Recklitis, PhD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, called the results “instructive.” He said the study highlights the need for integrating mental health care into survivorship medical care. “We’re going to have to think about suicide prevention...

issues in oncology
survivorship
head and neck cancer

Elevated Suicide Risk Among Head and Neck Cancer Survivors Demands More Integrated Psychosocial Care

In general, the risk of suicide among cancer survivors is about 50% higher than in the general population, but this risk is especially elevated among survivors of head and neck cancer, according to research presented by Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, BDS, MPH, CHES, of the Department of...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
survivorship

Expert Point of View: Timothy Gilligan, MD, MSc

“IN THE PAST, patients were often told to rest and reduce their physical activity during treatment, but we now know that exercise is both safe and beneficial,” said Timothy Gilligan, MD, MSc, moderator of a presscast where these results were presented prior to the Cancer Survivorship Symposium....

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
survivorship

Four Years Posttreatment, Exercise Improves Physical Activity Levels, Reduces Fatigue in Patients With Breast and Colon Cancers

IN PATIENTS WITH breast and colon cancers, a physical exercise intervention conducted during adjuvant chemotherapy improved total physical activity levels 4 years after treatment, with a trend toward less fatigue, according to a follow-up study from the randomized multicenter PACT study, presented...

survivorship

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Julia Rowland, PhD

“THE GOOD NEWS is cancer survivors are living longer. The bad news is they’re living long enough to experience the late consequences of curative treatment,” said Julia Rowland, PhD, formerly of the National Cancer Institute and now with Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Washington, DC, at the ...

colorectal cancer
survivorship

Long-Term Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Increased Among Colorectal Cancer Survivors

COMPARED TO the general population, the risk of cardiovascular disease among colorectal cancer survivors was significantly increased more than 10 years after their cancer diagnosis, according to research presented by David Baraghoshi, MSTAT candidate, of the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the...

breast cancer

Precision Medicine: Hope or Hype?

ALTHOUGH PRECISION medicine may be a recent discovery in some fields, it is an old story in the field of breast cancer, and one that has been exceptionally important in terms of managing the disease, according to George Sledge, MD, FASCO, Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncologist at the...

breast cancer

Exercise Counteracts Fatigue, Pain in Women With Advanced Breast Cancer

A SUPERVISED and individualized exercise program can reduce fatigue and pain while improving cardiovascular health and quality of life in women being treated for advanced breast cancer, according to research presented by Eduardo Oliveira, PhD, Professor of Exercise Physiology and Exercise Cancer...

breast cancer

Disease Progression and Deterioration of Health-Related Quality of Life in Advanced Breast Cancer

IN PATIENTS WITH estrogen receptor–positive, HER2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer, better quality of life may be prolonged by delaying the progression of the disease, according to an ongoing quality-of-life assessment from the PALOMA-2 study, presented by Nadia Harbeck, MD, PhD, of...

issues in oncology

Cancer and Obesity: Not Such a Linear Relationship

Obesity has been established as a strong risk factor for the development of cancer. African Americans and Hispanics are particularly at risk, and their access to health care is often poor. How do racial and ethnic disparities in the development of obesity as well as access to care intersect to...

solid tumors
breast cancer

Combined Therapies Increase Adverse Events in Patients With Hormone Receptor–Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer

In patients with hormone receptor–positive metastatic breast cancer, the combination of targeted agents and hormone therapy is associated with a significantly increased risk of severe adverse events, according to research presented by Matteo Lambertini, MD, European Society for Medical Oncology...

solid tumors
breast cancer

Managing Neurotoxicity in Advanced Breast Cancer

Neurotoxicity in advanced breast cancer is not limited to chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, according to Matti Aapro, MD, of IMO Clinique de Genolier, Switzerland. Surgery, radiation therapy, and medical therapy can all have detrimental effects on either the central or peripheral nervous ...

solid tumors
lung cancer

Addressing Disparities in Use of Lung Cancer Screening With Community Outreach

African Americans and members of other communities of lower socioeconomic status have higher burdens of lung cancer mortality. Therefore, targeting underserved patient populations with lung cancer screening is of the utmost importance, according to Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPH, a medical...

solid tumors
breast cancer
issues in oncology
health-care policy

Health-Care Access Unlikely to Explain Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Breast Cancer Outcomes

Even with equivalent access to care, black patients with breast cancer may fare worse than white patients with breast cancer, according to Lawrence H. Kushi, ScD, Director of Scientific Policy at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research in Oakland. “Accounting for...

issues in oncology

Experts Address Cancer Health Disparities in Facebook Live Session at AACR Meeting

Although it has long been known that certain cancer types disproportionately affect individuals from underserved and underrepresented populations, the sources of these disparities are still not entirely clear. In a “Facebook Live” session at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)...

gynecologic cancers

Update on Nonimmunotherapy Advances in Endometrial, Cervical, and Ovarian Cancers

AT THE 12TH ANNUAL New Orleans Summer Cancer Meeting, Thomas Herzog, MD, Deputy Director of the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute and Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, delivered an update on nonimmunotherapy advances in...

gynecologic cancers

Targeted Treatments and Health-Related Quality of Life in Ovarian Cancer

Novel targeted treatment strategies and new trial endpoints in recurrent, platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer were highlighted in a gynecologic cancer session at the Best of ASCO New Orleans. At the meeting, Karen McLean, MD, PhD, of the University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, presented...

hematologic malignancies

Update on Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Includes New Data in HIV-Infected and Follicular Lymphoma Patients

New hematology research, presented at the Best of ASCO New Orleans meeting, may help to guide the use of stem cell transplant in hematologic malignancies. At the meeting, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and Tycel Phillips, MD, of the...

multiple myeloma

Cutting-Edge Induction Strategies and Novel Approach to Reducing Skeletal-Related Events Explored in Multiple Myeloma

THE ADDITION of daratumumab (Darzalex) to a triplet induction regimen led to good responses in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, but not without toxicities. And in the treatment of myeloma bone disease, denosumab (Xgeva) in place of zoledronic acid preserved renal function and may be associated...

lung cancer

Updates of Key Trials in Metastatic Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer: KEYNOTE-024 and AvaALL

IMMUNOTHERAPY AND ANTIANGIOGENESIS were highlighted in a session on metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) at the Best of ASCO New Orleans meeting. Matthew Gubens, MD, MS, presented the selected abstracts from the ASCO Annual Meeting.1 Dr. Gubens is Associate Professor of Thoracic Medical...

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