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palliative care
hematologic malignancies

Lack of Access to Transfusions Limits Hospice Use by Patients With Blood Cancer

A new survey finds that doctors would refer more patients with incurable blood cancers to hospice for end-of-life care if they could receive transfusions, which are generally not available because of hospice reimbursement policies. The findings, published by Odejide et al in Cancer, help explain...

breast cancer

ASCO and CAP Invite Comment on Focused Update to HER2 Testing Guideline in Breast Cancer

Draft recommendations as part of a focused update to the ASCO/College of American Pathologists (CAP) evidence-based guideline for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) testing in breast cancer are now open for public comment through June 12, 2017. For patients with invasive breast...

In Remembrance of H. Jean Khoury, MD, FACP

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University is mourning the loss of an esteemed colleague: H. Jean Khoury, MD, FACP, died on Monday, May 22, after a year spent battling cancer. His many colleagues and friends remember him as an outstanding physician, researcher, and educator, and a respected and...

Legislation

Impact of Proposed Cuts to NIH Budget: More Than Just About Cancer

If enacted, the proposed budget reduction of $5.8 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will slow research, deprive patients afflicted with cancer of hope, and deliver a devastating blow to our science workforce and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This proposed reduction directly...

Breast Cancer
Symptom Management

OPTIMIZE-2 Trial Offers Reassuring Data on Deescalation of Bisphosphonate Therapy for Breast Cancer–Related Bone Metastases

Bisphosphonates were first synthesized more than a century ago, with their initial usage restricted to a range of industrial processes until their potential clinical relevance was appreciated in the late 1960s.1 Then, following development for the treatment of osteoporosis and Paget’s disease of...

Breast Cancer

New Immunotherapy Trial in Breast Cancer at Fox Chase Cancer Center

Patients with some types of breast cancer will have a new clinical trial option at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Medical oncologists Lori Goldstein, MD, and Elias Obeid, MD, MPH, are opening a phase II immunotherapy clinical trial for newly diagnosed, locally recurrent, or metastatic HER2-overexpressing ...

Statement From ASH President on Cancer Drug Parity Act

In response to the introduction of the Cancer Drug Parity Act (H.R. 1409) by Representatives Leonard Lance (R–NJ) and Brian Higgins (D–NY), American Society of Hematology (ASH) President Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, issued the following statement: “Oral and...

James Allison, PhD, Named One of TIME ’s 100 Most Influential People in 2017

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Chair of Immunology, James Allison, PhD—whose pivotal insight to attack cancer by treating the immune system instead of the tumor revived cancer immunotherapy—has been named to the 2017 TIME 100 Most Influential People. His approach launched a...

Breast Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Unique Challenges Facing Young Women With Breast Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, over 252,700 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2017, and about 40,610 women will die of their disease. Between 7% and 10% of those new cases will be diagnosed in women younger than age 40, accounting for more than 40% of all cancer...

Sir Richard Peto, FRS, to Receive McGuire Award at 2017 SABCS

Sir Richard Peto, FRS, will receive the William L. McGuire Memorial Lecture Award at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), to be held December 5–9. The McGuire Award was established in 1992 to honor William L. McGuire, MD, who, along with Charles A. Coltman, MD, founded SABCS in...

Six NY Scientists Win Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research

The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance announced the six winners of the 4th annual Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research, awarded annually to promising early-career, New York City–area scientists. Recipients receive $200,000 in funding per year for up...

AACR Honors Mina J. Bissell, PhD, FAACR, With Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) recognized Mina J. Bissell, PhD, FAACR, with the 14th AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research during the 2017 AACR Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research was established in 2004 ...

Clark Chen, MD, PhD, to Join University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota Medical School has announced the addition of Clark Chen, MD, PhD, as the Lyle French Chair in Neurosurgery and the Head of the University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Neurosurgery. He will assume his new position in August 2017. Dr. Chen is a nationally...

Prostate Cancer

What Is Appropriate Treatment of Oligometastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer?

As the subtleties of metastatic prostate cancer become increasingly recognized, treatment should evolve accordingly, said Jessica M. Clement, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Connecticut Health System and Neag Cancer Center, Farmington. Of particular interest to Dr. Clement ...

Issues in Oncology

Setting His Presidential Course on Making Precision Medicine a Reality for More Patients

Ensuring that all patients with cancer have access to the potential benefits of precision medicine regardless of where they are treated has been a primary goal of Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, since the concept was first introduced following completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003. Dr....

Pancreatic Cancer

ESTRO 2017: Study Suggests Role for Radiotherapy in Extending Survival in Patients With Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer

Radiotherapy at a high enough dose may increase survival in early-stage pancreatic cancer, according to research presented at the European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology (ESTRO) 36 Conference.1 Previous research has suggested that radiotherapy may be of little help in this setting. The...

health-care policy

ASCO and Other Oncology, Medical Societies Speak Out Against White House's Proposed Budget Cuts

On May 23, President Trump presented the White House’s fiscal year 2018 budget request, which proposes a $7.18 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—a budget decrease of 21%. In addition, it cuts the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s chronic disease...

gastroesophageal cancer

FDA Grants Priority Review to sBLA for Pembrolizumab in Recurrent or Advanced Gastric or GEJ Adenocarcinoma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for pembrolizumab (Keytruda) seeking approval for treatment of patients with recurrent or advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma who have already...

Ronald P. DeMatteo, MD, FACS, Named Chair of the Department of Surgery at Penn Medicine

Ronald P. DeMatteo, MD, FACS, has been named Chair of the Department of Surgery in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He will assume his new post July 1, 2017, and will lead a department that includes 130 faculty across 11 divisions who provide advanced patient care ...

JNCCN 360, the Source for Tumor-Specific News and Treatment Updates, Available Now

Launched during the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) 22nd Annual Conference: Improving the Quality, Effectiveness, and Efficiency of Cancer Care™, JNCCN360.org is the latest resource from the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (JNCCN). Currently available for breast...

head and neck cancer

Complications From Thyroid Cancer Surgery More Common Than Once Thought

As thyroid cancer rates rise, more patients are having surgery to remove all or part of their thyroid. A new study by Papaleontiou et al in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests complications from these procedures are more common than previously believed. Overall, 6.5% of ...

Two Faculty Members From Johns Hopkins Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Johns Hopkins University faculty members Stephen B. Baylin, MD, and Robert F. Siliciano, MD, PhD, have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.” They are among 84 new members and 21 foreign associates ...

Leukemia

Expert Point of View: David L. Porter, MD & Jonathan S. Serody, MD

In a separate interview with The ASCO Post, David L. Porter, MD, Director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the Jodi Fisher Horowitz Professor in Leukemia Care Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, said: “It is encouraging that many patients with acute lymphoblastic...

Rafal Dziadziuszko, MD, PhD, Receives 2017 Heine H. Hansen Award

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) awarded the 2017 Heine H. Hansen Award to Rafal Dziadziuszko, MD, PhD, at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) 2017, which was held May 5–8 in Geneva, Switzerland. The...

Marie Bleakley, MD, PhD, Receives Research Grant in Immuno-oncology From Stand Up To Cancer

Marie Bleakley, MD, PhD, a pediatric oncology physician-scientist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch), has received a 2017 Innovative Research Grant in immuno-oncology from Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). Dr. Bleakley will use the 3-year, $750,000 award to develop T-cell therapies...

Alice T. Shaw, MD, PhD, Joins LUNGevity Foundation Scientific Advisory Board

LUNGevity Foundation has announced that Alice T. Shaw, MD, PhD, joined its Scientific Advisory Board, a group of 20 world-renowned scientists and researchers who guide LUNGevity’s research program. The Scientific Advisory Board is integral to the Foundation, overseeing the scientific strategy and...

Pharmaceutical Companies Collaborate in NCCN Oncology Research Program

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) has funded three studies in its first multi-­industry collaborative research project, in which Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Company are collaborating with NCCN to study combination...

New Chief of CHOP’s Cellular Therapy and Transplant Section

A leading pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD, was named Chief of the Section of Cellular Therapy and Transplant in the Hospital’s Division of Oncology. Dr. Grupp, who has researched and led groundbreaking clinical trials of an innovative...

Bladder Cancer

Metastatic ­Urothelial ­Carcinoma: A Model Malignancy for Immune ­Checkpoint Blockade

Platinum-based combination chemotherapy became a mainstay of first-line treatment for metastatic urothelial cancer in the 1980s. With combination platinum-based regimens, 40% to 50% of patients achieve an objective response to treatment. However, aside from approximately 5% to 10% of patients who...

Lung Cancer

The Ongoing Challenges of Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer persistently remains the leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. Only about 15% of lung cancers are diagnosed at the localized stage, when clinical intervention could markedly improve patient outcomes. For decades, lung cancer specialists and advocacy...

colorectal cancer
solid tumors

FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Pembrolizumab for First Tissue/Site Agnostic Indication

On May 23, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for adult and pediatric patients with unresectable or metastatic, microsatellite instability–high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) solid tumors that have progressed ...

Breast Cancer

Neratinib in Combination With Ado‑trastuzumab Emtansine in HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer

Puma Biotechnology presented interim results from the phase Ib/II FB-10 clinical trial of the oral pan-HER family irreversible tyrosine kinase inhibitor neratinib given in combination with the antibody-drug conjugate ado-trastuzumab emtansine (also known as T-DM1, Kadcyla) at the 2017 American...

CNS Cancers
Genomics/Genetics

Key Gene Controlling Tumor Growth in Gliomas Pinpointed

Cedars-Sinai investigators have identified a stem cell–regulating gene that affects tumor growth in patients with brain cancer and may strongly influence survival rates of patients. The findings, published by Edwards et al in Scientific Reports,1 may move physicians closer to their goal of better...

Henry Ford Cancer Institute Appoints Spencer C. Hoover, Vice President, Executive Director

Spencer C. Hoover, a decorated U.S. Army veteran who joined Henry Ford Health System in 2015, was appointed Vice President and Executive Director of the health system’s Henry Ford Cancer Institute and cancer care services. Mr. Hoover had previously served as Vice President of Planning and Business ...

Leukemia

First-in-Human Clinical Trial in Children and Young Adults With Leukemia

After phase I results of Seattle Children’s Pediatric Leukemia Adoptive Therapy (PLAT-02) trial, published by Gardner et al in Blood,1 showed T-cell immunotherapy to be effective in sending 93% of patients with relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) into complete initial...

Breast Cancer

Study Establishes Low Risk for Contralateral Breast Cancer After Diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ

An increasing number of women with ductal carcinoma in situ are undergoing contralateral mastectomy, but the 5-year risk of cancer in the opposite breast is only about 3%, a study from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center recently found.1 Investigators hope these numbers will dissuade women from ...

CNS Cancers
Geriatric Oncology

Optimizing Treatment for Elderly Patients With Glioblastoma

In 2005, Stupp and colleagues published their landmark paper demonstrating in a randomized phase III trial that the addition of temozolomide to radiation increased overall survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Notably, patients over age 70 years were excluded from this study.1...

SU2C Names Top Researchers to $12 Million Dream Team on Colorectal Cancer

Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) announced the formation of a “Dream Team” of top researchers to take on one of the toughest challenges in cancer research and treatment: colorectal cancer, which is expected to claim the lives of more than 50,000 Americans this year. The announcement was made at a special...

Head and Neck Cancer

European Commission Approves Nivolumab for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Progressing After Platinum Therapy

On April 28, 2017, the European Commission approved nivolumab (Opdivo) as monotherapy for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) in adults with disease progression on or after platinum-based therapy. Nivolumab is the first and only immuno-oncology treatment that has...

Kidney Cancer

Managing Small Renal Masses: A Point-by-Point Consideration of ASCO’s Clinical Practice Guideline

As reviewed in this issue of The ASCO Post, a recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology featured an ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline on the management of small renal masses reported by Finelli and colleagues.1 This comprehensive guideline is written by a group of well-regarded and...

Prostate Cancer

ASCO Provisional Clinical Opinion on Hormonal Therapy for Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

On April 25, ASCO issued a provisional clinical opinion on the use of second-line hormonal therapy for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer who have not yet received chemotherapy. The recommendations of this provisional clinical opinion were informed by evidence from a systematic review of ...

ASPO Honors Kurt Ribisl, PhD, With Joseph W. Cullen Memorial Award

The American Society of Preventive Oncology (ASPO) has named Kurt Ribisl, PhD, the recipient of the 2017 Joseph W. Cullen Memorial Award. ASPO presented the honor at its Annual Meeting in Seattle. In addition to receiving the award, Dr. Ribisl presented a talk on finding a solution for...

Texas Medical Center Names William F. McKeon President and CEO

The Texas Medical Center (TMC) has announced that its Board of Directors has appointed ­William F. McKeon as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and member of the Board of Directors. Mr. McKeon previously held the position of Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Operating Officer....

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Denise A. Galloway, PhD

Denise A. Galloway, PhD, Associate Director, Human Biology Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, whose research focus is human papillomavirus (HPV), told The ASCO Post that these findings provide new data for the field. “I can’t think of a large study of oral HPV infection in...

Wendy S. Rubinstein, MD, PhD, Joins CancerLinQ LLC as Division Director, Clinical Data Management and Curation

CancerLinQ LLC, a wholly owned nonprofit subsidiary of ASCO, has announced that Wendy S. Rubinstein, MD, PhD, FACMG, FACP, will be its first Division Director, Clinical Data Management and Curation. Dr. Rubinstein will oversee the team working to securely process and analyze the CancerLinQ®...

Breast Cancer
Genomics/Genetics

Provision of Genetic Services to Women With Breast Cancer: We Must Do Much Better

Genetic testing for inherited cancer susceptibility is increasingly part of the care of cancer patients and their relatives. Early clinical guidelines recommended BRCA1/2 testing for women diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer if they also have a significant family cancer history or Ashkenazi...

New Partnership Seeks to Raise Skin Cancer Awareness

The Skin Cancer Foundation recently announced a partnership with Amazon. The relationship is designed to demonstrate a shared commitment to raising awareness of the world’s most common cancer, now occurring at epidemic levels. Throughout 2017, The Skin Cancer Foundation and Amazon will work...

Leader in International Clinical Trials, Robert L. Comis, MD, FASCO, Dies at 71

Robert L. Comis, MD, FASCO, Co-Chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, succumbed to a sudden illness at his home and died on May 10, 2017, at the age of 71. A giant in national and international clinical research since 1977, Dr. Comis is known as a champion of patient access to cancer...

issues in oncology

One in Five Cancers Diagnosed in the United States Is a Rare Cancer

About one in five cancer diagnoses in the United States is a rare cancer, according to new research from the American Cancer Society. The report, published by DeSantis et al in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, found rare cancers account for more than two in three cancers occurring in children...

FDA OCE Launches Drug Information Soundcast in Clinical Oncology (DISCO)

The FDA Drug Information Soundcast in Clinical Oncology (DISCO) is a new podcast series from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE), covering new product approvals, emerging safety information for cancer treatments, and other current topics in cancer ...

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