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issues in oncology

Liquid Biopsies Identify Distinct Genomic Profiles With Potentially Targetable Alterations in Carcinoma of Unknown Primary

Next-generation sequencing of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) identified distinct genomic profiles with potentially targetable alterations in 99.7% of patients with carcinoma of unknown primary (CUP) who have detectable alterations, according to results published by Kato et al in Cancer Research....

solid tumors

Detection of Early-Stage Cancers With Circulating Tumor DNA

In a bid to detect cancers early and in a noninvasive way, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Baltimore, reported they have developed a test that spots tiny amounts of cancer-specific DNA in blood, and have used it to accurately identify more than half of 138 people with...

gastrointestinal cancer

Adding First-Line Selective Internal Radiotherapy to Chemotherapy in Patients With Liver Metastases From Colorectal Cancer

A meta-analysis of three randomized trials (FOXFIRE, SIRFLOX, and FOXFIRE-Global) indicates no overall survival benefit of adding first-line selective internal radiotherapy to chemotherapy in patients with liver metastases from colorectal cancer. The findings were reported by Wasan et al in The...

leukemia

Arsenic Trioxide and Reduced Anthracycline Dose in Pediatric Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia

In the phase III historically controlled Children’s Oncology Group (COG) AAML0631 trial, arsenic trioxide consolidation permitted the use of lower-dose anthracycline without appearing to compromise outcomes in pediatric patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). The results were...

lymphoma

Crizotinib in Pediatric ALK-Positive Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma and Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumors

In a Children’s Oncology Group study, high response rates were achieved with crizotinib (Xalkori) treatment in pediatric ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCL) and inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors. These results were reported by Mossé et al in the Journal of Clinical...

hematologic malignancies

Off-the-Shelf, Virus-Specific T Cells for Treating Viral Infections After Transplantation

In a phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Tzannou et al found that use of off-the-shelf, broad-coverage, adoptively transferred, virus-specific T cells was feasible and effective in treating viral infections in patients who had undergone allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell...

First Universal Childhood Cancer Data Lab Opens

ALEX’S LEMONADE STAND FOUNDATION (ALSF) has announced the opening of the first-of-its-kind Childhood Cancer Data Lab (CCDL) with the mission of accelerating cures. ALSF first announced the CCDL at the National Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, DC, hosted by former Vice President Joe Biden and...

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...

World Oncology Leaders Reunion

prostate cancer

Deep Androgen Suppression Plus Abiraterone and Prednisone: Effective Strategy for Hormone-Naive Prostate Cancer

ANTAGONISM OF THE ANDROGEN AXIS remains a cornerstone of systemic therapy for high-risk localized and metastatic prostate cancer, reflecting the central role of androgen-dependent biologic mechanisms in hormone-naive disease. Despite the use of standard androgen-deprivation therapy, men with...

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...

issues in oncology

Fighting Misinformation in HPV-Related Cancer Prevention

FAKE NEWS, junk science, and alternative facts seem pervasive in our current culture, to the detriment of important, verified scientific advancements. One area where this is quite evident is the vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV). Although we have had a safe, effective vaccine since 2006...

gynecologic cancers

FDA Approves Olaparib Tablets for Maintenance Treatment in Ovarian Cancer

On August 17, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted regular approval to olaparib tablets (Lynparza) for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer, who are in a complete or partial response to...

leukemia

FDA Approves Inotuzumab Ozogamicin for Relapsed or Refractory B-Cell Precursor ALL

On August 17, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved inotuzumab ozogamicin (Besponsa) for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). INO-VATE ALL The approval was based on data from INO-VATE ALL, a randomized (1:1), ...

solid tumors
skin cancer

Dabrafenib Plus Trametinib in BRAF V600–Mutant Melanoma Brain Metastases

A phase II trial has shown that the combination of the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and the MEK inhibitor trametinib (Mekinst) produces responses in brain metastases in patients with BRAF V600–mutant melanoma. These findings were reported by Michael A. Davies, MD, of The University of...

head and neck cancer
solid tumors

PD-L1 Expression and Radiation Resistance in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

According to a study by Heath D. Skinner, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and colleagues, the primary cause of death in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is local treatment failure. Although human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive head and neck squamous ...

Reuben Shaw, PhD, Receives NCI Outstanding Investigator Award

Salk Institute for Biological Studies Professor Reuben Shaw, PhD, has received the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Outstanding Investigator Award, which encourages cancer research with breakthrough potential. Dr. Shaw, a member of Salk’s Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory and holder of the...

Look for Opportunities to Lower Barriers to ­Participation of Older Patients in Oncology Clinical Trials

Practicing evidence-based medicine requires evidence, but the evidence for efficacy and safety of new and evolving cancer therapies in older adults is wanting due to their underrepresentation in oncology clinical trials. “It is difficult to practice evidence-based medicine in an older population...

geriatric oncology
issues in oncology

‘Slow, Incremental Changes’ Are Increasing Participation of Older Adults in Clinical Trials

Older adults continue to be proportionally underrepresented in oncology clinical trials, but the participation rate of adults aged 65 and older is increasing by “slow, incremental changes,” Stuart M. Lichtman, MD, noted in an interview with The ASCO Post. Prompting those changes are the rapidly...

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Created at Fox Chase Cancer Center

The Pain & Palliative Care Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center is offering a new Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship in partnership with the Hospice of the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia and Temple University Hospital. The 1-year program is approved by the...

solid tumors
breast cancer

A Personal Tribute to Angela H. Brodie, PhD, a Scientist Who Transformed Breast Cancer Treatment

Angela H. Brodie, PhD, a pioneer in breast cancer research, passed away on June 7, 2017, from complications of Parkinson’s disease and pancreatic cancer. An obituary for Dr. Brodie was published previously in the June 25, 2017, issue of The ASCO Post. Here, Dr. Balkees Abderrahman shares a...

kidney cancer

CheckMate-214: Nivolumab and Ipilimumab in Intermediate- and Poor-Risk Previously Untreated Advanced or Metastatic RCC

On August 15, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company announced topline results from the CheckMate-214 trial investigating nivolumab (Opdivo) in combination with ipilimumab (Yervoy) vs sunitinib (Sutent) in intermediate- and poor-risk patients with previously untreated advanced or metastatic renal cell...

lymphoma

FDA Accepts sBLA and Grants Priority Review for Brentuximab Vedotin in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

On August 16, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) and granted Priority Review for brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). The sBLA and its acceptance is based on data from the phase III...

Recent FDA Actions Include New Drug Approvals in Leukemia, Expanded Approvals in Colorectal Cancer and Graft-vs-Host Disease

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted approval, expanded approval, and breakthrough therapy designation to numerous treatments across a range of tumor types and malignancies. New Drug Approvals Daunorubicin-Cytarabine Combination (Vyxeos): On August 3, the FDA granted...

Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD, Named Director of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD, an expert in immunotherapy and a specialist in head and neck cancer, has been named Director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Hillman Cancer Center. His appointment was effective July 1. Dr. Ferris, a 15-year veteran of the UPMC Hillman Cancer...

solid tumors
prostate cancer

On My Way to Hospice Care, Immunotherapy Saved My Life

Two years ago, I was on my way to hospice care after numerous treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy failed to stop the progression of my stage IV castration-resistant prostate cancer. A last-minute call from my oncologist about a phase I combination trial of the...

leukemia

End-of-Life Care for Older Patients With Acute Myeloid Leukemia

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Wang et al, many older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) do not receive hospice care at the end of life, with those who do tending to enroll in hospice within days of death. Study Details The population-based retrospective cohort study...

hematologic malignancies

Association of Pretransplant Vitamin D Deficiency and Relapse in Myeloid Malignancies

A German retrospective study has found that pretransplantation vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of relapse in patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) for myeloid malignancies. These findings were reported by Radujkovic et al in the Journal of Clinical ...

head and neck cancer

Plasma Epstein-Barr Virus DNA Screening for Nasopharyngeal Cancer

In a Hong Kong study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Chan et al found that screening for circulating cell-free Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA is useful in detecting nasopharyngeal carcinoma in asymptomatic individuals. Study Details In the study, 20,174 participants underwent...

Claire Verschraegen, MD, Joins OSUCCC–James

Claire Verschraegen, MD, has been appointed Director of the Division of Medical Oncology and Associate Director of the Translational Research Program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center–Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC–James)....

solid tumors
breast cancer

Making Our Future Plans Happen Now

The following essay by Hope S. Rugo, MD, is adapted from The Big Casino: America’s Best Cancer Doctors Share Their Most Powerful Stories, which was coedited by Stan Winokur, MD, and Vincent Coppola and published in May 2014. The book is available on Amazon.com and thebigcasino.org. I was in...

supportive care
integrative oncology

Turmeric

The ASCO Post’s Integrative Oncology series is intended to facilitate the availability of evidence-based information on integrative and complementary therapies commonly used by patients with cancer. In this installment, Gary Deng, MD, PhD, and Jyothirmai Gubili, MS, present information on...

Unraveling the Complexities of Cellular Immunotherapy and Its Potential to Cure Some Cancers

This past fall, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle opened an all-encompassing 9,222-square foot outpatient cellular immunotherapy clinic, specifically designed to serve patients participating in the center’s novel immunotherapy clinical trials, which mainly focus on chimeric...

colorectal cancer

Clinical Trials Actively Recruiting Patients With Stage II/III Colorectal Cancer

The information contained in this Clinical Trials Resource Guide includes actively recruiting clinical studies focused on patients with stage II or III colorectal cancer. These studies highlight dietary intervention, supplements, immunotherapy, combination chemotherapy, neoadjuvant therapy, and...

breast cancer

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Practical Approach, Promising Research

Triple-negative breast cancer has a reputation for being a particularly challenging malignancy, but breast cancer specialist Nancy Davidson, MD, Senior Vice President of the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, put this in perspective in a recent...

lung cancer

ASCO Guideline on Stage IV NSCLC Therapy Updated

An update of the ASCO clinical practice guideline on the systemic treatment of patients with stage IV non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) clarifies the role of immunotherapy in this setting. The update, published by Hanna et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, also provides new...

issues in oncology

Short-Term Risk of Arterial Thromboembolism in Newly Diagnosed Patients With Cancer

Patients newly diagnosed with cancer may have a substantially increased short-term risk of arterial thromboembolism, according to a study published by Navi et al in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Patients with cancer face an increased risk of medical complications. However, the ...

pancreatic cancer

Germline Mutations in Apparent Sporadic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

As reported by Shindo et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, deleterious germline mutations in known pancreatic cancer susceptibility genes were frequently found in patients with pancreatic cancer who do not have a reported family history of cancer. Study Details The study involved sequencing ...

breast cancer

Surveillance Mammography by Life Expectancy in Older Breast Cancer Survivors

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Freedman et al found that many older breast cancer survivors with a limited life expectancy still undergo annual surveillance mammography despite the absence of known benefits. Study Details The study involved analysis of National Health...

hematologic malignancies

Effect of Azithromycin on Airflow Decline–Free Survival After Allogeneic HSCT for Hematologic Malignancy

The French phase III ALLOZITHRO trial, stopped early due to excessive hematologic relapse in the azithromycin group, showed worse airflow decline–free survival with azithromycin vs placebo after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for hematologic malignancy. The study findings were ...

colorectal cancer

Colorectal Cancer Mortality Rates in Adults Aged 20 to 54 Years From 1970 to 2014

In a research letter to JAMA, Siegel et al reported that overall colorectal cancer mortality rates have declined in the United States between 1970 and 2014 in patients aged 20 to 54 years but increased in white persons in this age group between 2004 and 2014. Study Details In the study,...

issues in oncology

Survival After In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Patients With Advanced Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Bruckel et al found that among patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest, those with advanced cancer had lower survival rates and were more frequently designated Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) within 48 hours after return of spontaneous...

breast cancer

Partial-Breast and Reduced-Dose Radiotherapy After Breast-Conserving Surgery

The UK IMPORT LOW phase III trial has shown noninferiority in local relapse for partial-breast and reduced-dose vs standard whole-breast radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery in early breast cancer. These study results were reported by Coles et al in The Lancet. Study Details In the...

solid tumors
hematologic malignancies

Clonal Hematopoiesis in Patients With Nonhematologic Cancers

In a study of nearly 9,000 people treated for solid tumors, researchers found that radiation treatment and tobacco use were linked to higher rates of blood-based DNA mutations that could lead to a higher risk for blood cancers such as leukemia. The study, published by Coombs et al in...

lung cancer

Lung Cancer Clinical Trial Eligibility Criteria Increase in Number, Complexity

With the advent of molecular targeted therapies and immunotherapy, eligibility criteria have increased in number and complexity for lung cancer clinical trials, according to an analysis published by Garcia et al in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. Despite calls to streamline cancer clinical trial...

breast cancer

Genomic Characteristics and Immune Infiltration in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Karn et al found that triple-negative breast cancers with high immune gene expression levels were characterized by lower clonal heterogeneity, reduced copy number alterations, and lower somatic mutation and neoantigen loads. Study Details In the study, DNA...

cost of care

Out-of-Pocket Costs Remain High, Even for Insured Patients With Cancer

One-third of insured people with cancer end up paying more out-of-pocket than they expected, despite having health insurance coverage, researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute have found. The data showed that costs such as copays and deductibles could lead to financial distress among insured...

prostate cancer

First-Line Cabazitaxel vs Docetaxel in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

The phase III FIRSTANA trial has shown no difference in overall survival with two dose regimens of cabazitaxel (Jevtana) vs docetaxel in the first-line treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Results were reported by Oudard et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology....

colorectal cancer

Imaging and Biomarker Test Could More Accurately Predict Longer-Term Patient Response to Regorafenib in Colorectal Cancer

Administering a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and a blood test to patients with metastatic colorectal cancer may help to select those who would benefit from a targeted cancer treatment, a new study published by Khan et al in Gutreported. Researchers found that after only 2 weeks on the...

gynecologic cancers

Increased Endometrial Cancer Rates Found in Women With Increased Levels of Cadmium

Through a 5-year observational study recently published by McElory et al in PLOS One, researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) found that women with increased levels of cadmium—a metal commonly found in foods such as kidney, liver, and shellfish, as well as tobacco—had an...

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