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issues in oncology

Targeted Methylation Sequencing Assay May Provide New Tool for Cancer Detection Across Stages and Tissues of Origin

A study by Geoffrey R. Oxnard, MD, and colleagues using bisulfite sequencing of plasma cell-free DNA to identify methylomic signatures for multicancer detection and tissue-of-origin determination found the assay achieved accurate detection of multiple cancers across stages and tissue-of-origin...

ASTRO Honors 2019 Gold Medalists, Honorary Member, and Other Award Recipients

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) recognized the recipients of its 2019 Gold Medal awards and other high-profile honors at the 2019ASTRO Annual Meeting. Gold Medalists and Honorary Member Walter J. Curran, Jr, MD;Silvia C. Formenti, MD, FASTRO; and Thomas R. Mackie, PhD, were...

kidney cancer
immunotherapy

Immunotherapy Combinations Redefine Outcomes for Patients With Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

The treatment landscape for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma has changed drastically over the past several years with the introduction of many new therapeutic options for patients. The revolution began with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of nivolumab and ipilimumab...

kidney cancer

CheckMate 214: Nivolumab/Ipilimumab vs Sunitinib in First-Line Treatment of Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Robert J. Motzer, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and colleagues, extended follow-up of the phase III CheckMate 214 trial has shown maintained survival benefit of first-line nivolumab/ipilimumab vs sunitinib among patients with...

LEAD Conference Awards 2019 Woman Oncologist of the Year

Claire Verschraegen, MD, was named the 2019 Woman Oncologist of the Year, and Shikha Jain, MD, FACP, received the 2019 Rising Star award at the first-ever Leadership Empowerment and Development: Enriching Experiences for Women in Hematology and Oncology (LEAD) Conference, hosted by Bio Ascend. An ...

gastrointestinal cancer

Machine-Learning Model May Predict Unplanned Hospitalizations After Radiation Therapy for Gastrointestinal Cancer

Unplanned hospitalizations may be common among patients with cancer, but they diminish quality of care while racking up high costs for patients and the health-care system alike. According to data presented at the 2019 ASCO Quality Care Symposium, however, a new predictive model may help providers...

myelodysplastic syndromes

Personalized Treatment Approaches on the Horizon for Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Despite the spate of recent drug approvals in blood cancer, it’s been more than 13 years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a treatment for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a bone marrow disorder characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis. Nevertheless, data from a...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Mafalda ­Oliveira, MD, PhD

Formal discussant Mafalda ­Oliveira, MD, PhD, of Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, commented that monarcHER was a “well-designed, hypothesis-generating trial that addresses clinically relevant questions,” including whether cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 inhibition now has broader...

breast cancer

Abemaciclib Benefits Patients With HER2-Positive Breast Cancer in monarcHER Trial

Inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) are associated with a robust benefit in patients with hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, but now the monarcHER trial has confirmed their benefit in the HER2-positive population. The new findings were reported at the...

lung cancer

Nearly One-Quarter of Completed Lung Cancer Clinical Trials Remain Unpublished

A new analysis has found that the results of up to one-fourth of completed lung cancer clinical trials are not published. This finding was published in a research letter by Al-Shbool et al in JAMA Network Open.  “It is surprising to see that a quarter of trials that have been completed end up not...

hepatobiliary cancer

Studies Report Efficacy of Proton Radiotherapy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Two new studies published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics focused on the use of proton radiation therapy to treat patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. The first study, by Sanford et al, found that proton radiation may extend overall survival compared to...

An Early Love of Nature’s Biodiversity Leads to a Career in Cancer Research for Lisa Coussens, PhD

Founded in 1887, the Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) is located in Portland, Oregon, and is home to the cutting-edge Coussens Lab, which focuses on the role of immune cells and their mediators as critical regulators of cancer development. The lab’s eponymous Director, Lisa Coussens, PhD,...

Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPH, Named Chief Academic Officer at Partners HealthCare

Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPH, was named Chief Academic Officer at Partners HealthCare, starting November 11, 2019. Dr. Thadhani most recently served as Vice Dean of Research and Graduate Research Education at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he served as Associate Director of...

ACCC Honors Seven Cancer Programs With Innovator Awards

ACCC Honors Seven Cancer Programs With Innovator Awards The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) honored the recipients of 2019 ACCC Innovator Awards at the ACCC 36th National Oncology Conference, October 30–November 1 in Orlando, Florida, where this year’s honorees shared innovative...

lung cancer

Lorlatinib in Advanced ROS1-Positive NSCLC

As reported by Alice T. Shaw, MD, and colleagues in The Lancet Oncology, a phase I/II trial has shown overall and intracranial activity of the third-generation ALK and ROS1 tyrosine kinase inhibitor lorlatinib in patients with advanced ROS1-positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Lorlatinib...

solid tumors
immunotherapy

High-Dose Bevacizumab for Patients With Neurofibromatosis Type 2 and Progressive Vestibular Schwannomas

In a phase II trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Plotkin et al found that high-dose bevacizumab induction therapy did not appear to produce better outcomes compared with lower-dose treatment in patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) and progressive vestibular schwannomas. As...

breast cancer

Regional Disparities in Metastatic Breast Cancer Survival Between 1990 and 2011

In a study reported in Cancer, Judith A. Malmgren, PhD, and colleagues found marked regional differences in improvements in breast cancer–specific survival among women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer between 1990 and 2011, with the best rates found in an institutional cohort. Study ...

leukemia

ADMIRAL: Gilteritinib vs Chemotherapy in Relapsed or Refractory FLT3-Mutated AML

As reported in The New England Journal of Medicine by Perl et al, the phase III ADMIRAL trial showed improved overall survival with the oral FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) inhibitor gilteritinib vs salvage chemotherapy in patients with relapsed or refractory FLT3-mutated acute myeloid leukemia...

Expert Point of View: Ana Oaknin, MD, PhD

“The main goal in ovarian cancer is to avoid relapse after first-line therapy because otherwise, the probability of cure is quite low,” said European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) discussant of the PAOLA-1 trial, Ana Oaknin, MD, PhD, of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology, Barcelona....

gynecologic cancers

PAOLA-1 Trial: Front-Line Olaparib/Bevacizumab Maintenance Benefits Women With Advanced Ovarian Cancer

In women with newly diagnosed ovarian cancer, front-line maintenance therapy with olaparib plus bevacizumab reduced the risk of disease progression by 41% overall and by 69% in the subset of patients with BRCA-mutated disease, vs bevacizumab and placebo, in the phase III PAOLA-1/ENGOT-ov25 trial...

Expert Point of View: Thomas Powles, MD, PhD

In metastatic urothelial carcinoma, the bar has been set low, with a median survival of 1 year in cisplatin-eligible patients and 6 to 8 months when platinum-based therapy fails to elicit a response in patients, explained formal study discussant Thomas Powles, MD, PhD, Director, Bart’s Cancer...

breast cancer

Is There a Difference in Breast Cancer Recurrence Rates After Surgery With Regional vs General Anesthesia?

In a trial reported in The Lancet, Sessler et al found no difference in breast cancer recurrence after surgery with regional anesthesia-analgesia using paravertebral block and propofol vs general anesthesia with the volatile anesthetic sevoflurane and opioid analgesia. They also found no difference ...

bladder cancer

IMvigor130 Trial: Atezolizumab Plus Chemotherapy for Metastatic Urothelial Cancer

Treatment with atezolizumab plus chemotherapy extended progression-free survival by 1.9 months vs chemotherapy alone in patients with metastatic urothelial cancer, according to the early results of the IMvigor130 trial, which were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)...

prostate cancer

DNA Vaccine for Patients With Progressive, Nonmetastatic, Castration-Sensitive Prostate Cancer

In a phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, McNeel et al found that a DNA vaccine (pTVG-HP) encoding prostatic acid phosphatase did not improve 2-year metastasis-free survival vs control treatment in patients with progressive, nonmetastatic, castration-sensitive prostate...

breast cancer

Scientific Session on Breast Cancer Explores Studies on Partial-Breast Irradiation, Chemoradiotherapy

Women with early-stage breast cancer treated with lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy rated the cosmetic results for whole-breast and partial-breast irradiation to be equivalent, according to a new analysis of results from the phase III NRG Oncology/NSABP B39-RTOG 0413 clinical trial. Results...

FDA Office of Hematology Oncology Products Reorganizes, Renamed Office of Oncologic Diseases

As part of modernization plans approved in September 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) office responsible for reviewing applications for new and existing cancer therapies has reorganized and been renamed. The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) Office of Hematology and...

colorectal cancer

American College of Physicians Issues Guidance on Colorectal Cancer Screening for Average-Risk, Asymptomatic Adults Aged 50 to 75 Years

The American College of Physicians has issued a new guidance statement on colorectal cancer screening, which recommends screening for average-risk adults who do not have symptoms and are between the ages of 50 and 75 years. The guidelines were published by Qaseem et al in Annals of Internal...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Study Finds Nearly One in Four Oncologists Rarely or Never Mention Cost When Discussing Genomic Testing

Nearly one in four oncologists report rarely or never discussing the costs of genomic testing with their patients, according to a new study led by American Cancer Society investigators. The study, published by Yabroff et al in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that oncologists...

symptom management

FDA Approves Pegfilgrastim Biosimilar

On November 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a biosimilar to pegfilgrastim, pegfilgrastim-bmez (Ziextenzo). Pegfilgrastim-bmez is indicated to decrease the incidence of infection, as manifested by febrile neutropenia, in patients with nonmyeloid malignancies receiving...

breast cancer

Outcomes in Patients With Early Breast Cancer and High 21-Gene Recurrence Score Treated With Adjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Endocrine Therapy: Secondary Analysis of TAILORx

In a secondary analysis of the phase III TAILORx trial reported in JAMA Oncology, Joseph Sparano, MD, and colleagues found that adjuvant chemotherapy plus endocrine therapy produced good 5-year outcomes among women with hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative, axillary node–negative breast cancer...

lymphoma

Long-Term Follow-up of Patients With Nodular Lymphocyte–Predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma Treated in GHSG Trials

In an analysis reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Eichenauer et al found that patients with newly diagnosed nodular lymphocyte–predominant Hodgkin lymphoma treated in German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG) trials had good long-term outcomes overall. Study Details The analysis identified the...

colorectal cancer

ctDNA and Recurrence Risk After Surgery and Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Stage III Colon Cancer

In a cohort biomarker study reported in JAMA Oncology, Tie et al showed that the circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA)-positive status after surgery and chemotherapy was associated with an increased risk of disease recurrence in patients with stage III colon cancer. Study Details The Australian multicenter ...

multiple myeloma

Continuous Therapy for Multiple Myeloma Offers Survival Advantage, but Questions Remain

The number of approved agents in multiple myeloma has skyrocketed in recent years, leading to significant improvements in survival, but questions remain regarding the optimal duration of treatment. Although traditionally limited to a fixed number of cycles due to accumulating toxicity, novel agents ...

colorectal cancer

Do Poorly Differentiated Clusters in Liver Metastases From Colorectal Cancer Offer Prognostic Value?

A study published by Yonemura et al in The American Journal of Surgical Pathology has shown a correlation between the poorly differentiated cluster grade in primary colorectal cancer tumors and metastatic lesions in the liver. The researchers wrote, “[Grade of] poorly differentiated clusters in...

thyroid cancer

2019 Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association Briefs

The American Thyroid Association held its 2019 Annual Meeting from October 30 to November 3 in Chicago. Below are brief summaries of important oral presentations on thyroid cancer from the meeting. Incidence and Incidence-Based Mortality in a State Results of a retrospective analysis of thyroid...

multiple myeloma

Levofloxacin Prophylaxis During Treatment of Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma

In the phase III TEAMM trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Drayson et al found that prophylactic treatment with levofloxacin during the first 12 weeks of multiple myeloma treatment in newly diagnosed patients was associated with a significant reduction in first febrile episodes or death from any ...

breast cancer

Factors Influencing Freedom From Distant Recurrence in Premenopausal Women With Hormone Receptor–Positive, HER2-Negative Breast Cancer

In a long-term analysis of the TEXT/SOFT trials reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Pagani et al found that potential benefits of escalating adjuvant endocrine therapy beyond tamoxifen alone in preventing distant recurrence may be minimal in premenopausal women with hormone...

Expert Point of View: Eleni Efstathiou, MD

Formal study discussant Eleni Efstathiou, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, was enthusiastic about the PROfound trial results. “This is the first phase III targeted therapy trial to deliver positive outcomes in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer,” she stated. “This is truly a ...

prostate cancer

Targeted Therapy Moves Into Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer With Strong Showing by Olaparib and Rucaparib

Treatment with olaparib delayed disease progression, and early survival data suggest a positive trend in favor of olaparib compared with newer hormonal agents in men with pretreated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and homologous recombinant repair genetic alterations—specifically...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

Patient-Reported Outcomes Observed With Durvalumab Treatment After Chemoradiotherapy for Stage III Unresectable NSCLC

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Hui et al, no clinically important differences in patient-reported outcomes were observed among patients receiving durvalumab vs placebo after chemoradiation for stage III unresectable non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the phase III PACIFIC trial. The...

lymphoma

Omitting Radiation From Treatment for Early-Stage Hodgkin Lymphoma Increases Risk of Recurrence

Two presentations at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting offered more evidence that omitting radiation therapy leads to higher rates of recurrence for patients with early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma.1,2 Both studies involve work by the German Hodgkin Study Group among...

Stephen Hahn, MD, to Be Nominated FDA Commissioner

In a press release issued by the White House today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intention to nominate Stephen Hahn, MD, FASTRO, to be the Commissioner of Food and Drugs at the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Hahn has been Chief Medical Executive at The University of Texas...

solid tumors

AACR-NCI-EORTC: Investigational KRAS G12C Inhibitor for KRAS-Mutant Solid Tumors

The investigational KRAS G12C inhibitor MRTX849 yielded clinical responses in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and colorectal cancer harboring KRAS G12C mutations, according to data from a phase I clinical trial presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular...

solid tumors

AACR-NCI-EORTC: Selumetinib for Adult Patients With Neurofibromatosis Type 1 and Inoperable Plexiform Neurofibromas

The investigational MEK inhibitor selumetinib showed clinical activity in adult patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)-associated plexiform neurofibromas, according to preliminary results from an ongoing phase II study presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular...

hepatobiliary cancer

Postdiagnosis Use of Aspirin in Patients With Biliary Tract Cancer

In a study reported in a research letter in JAMA Oncology, Jackson et al found that postdiagnosis aspirin use was associated with significantly improved overall survival across biliary tract cancer types. Study Details The study involved 2,934 adult patients diagnosed with biliary tract cancer...

immunotherapy

Association Between Prior Antibiotic Treatment and Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy Outcomes

In a study presented in a brief report in JAMA Oncology, David J. Pinato, MD, PhD, and colleagues found that past but not concurrent use of broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy was associated with poorer treatment outcomes in patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors for various cancers in...

head and neck cancer

AACR-NCI-EORTC: Activity of Tipifarnib in Patients With HRAS-Mutant Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

A small phase II study investigating the efficacy and safety of the investigational farnesyl transferase inhibitor tipifarnib in patients with recurrent and metastatic HRAS-mutant head and neck squamous cell carcinoma found the agent produced objective responses in the patient population. Based on...

breast cancer

Long-Term Recurrence-Free Survival With the Addition of Adjuvant Trastuzumab to Chemotherapy in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Long-term follow-up analysis of the NCCTG N9831 (Alliance) and NRG Oncology/NSABP B-31 trials, reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Chumsri et al, showed poorer recurrence-free survival in hormone receptor (HR)-negative vs HR-positive HER2-positive breast cancer, with the addition of...

prostate cancer

Long-Term Follow-up of Salvage Short-Term ADT Plus Radiotherapy After Radical Prostatectomy

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Carrie et al, the 112-month follow-up of the French phase III GETUG-AFU 16 trial has confirmed the initial 5-year report of the trial, which reported improved progression-free survival with the addition of short-term androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) to...

survivorship
pain management
symptom management

First Survivor Views Survey Highlights Barriers to Addressing Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

Barriers to accessing appropriate therapies to address the physical and psychological side effects of cancer treatment continue to persist for patients and survivors, according to results of the Survivor Views survey conducted by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)....

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