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supportive care

2019 Supportive Care: Oncology Massage May Relieve Symptoms of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

A new study has found that oncology massage therapy can provide symptomatic relief for a common and difficult-to-treat side effect of cancer treatment. Patients with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy experienced a sustained reduction in lower-extremity pain up to 6 weeks after completion...

symptom management

Update to FDA Prescribing Information for Romiplostim for Adults With Immune Thrombocytopenia

On October 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for romiplostim (Nplate) to include new data in its U.S. prescribing information showing sustained platelet responses in adults with immune thrombocytopenia. The updated...

The Future of the Radiation Abscopal Response

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.” –Robert Frost One of the first patients I encountered after residency was a 26-year-old woman with a single brain metastasis from melanoma. For anonymity, let’s call her Anna. Anna had just...

Cancer Researcher Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, Returns to West Virginia to Lead Her Alma Mater

Nationally regarded melanoma researcher Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, was born in La Jolla, California, a seaside community surrounded by ocean bluffs and beaches within the city of San Diego. She was reared in a Navy family that moved from the West Coast to the East Coast during her childhood,...


Algorithm for Identifying Genetic Mutations Likely to Respond to Immunotherapy

A new model works to determine which genetic mutations may respond best to treatment with immunotherapy. Richman et al published the data on the model’s development in Cell Systems, and the algorithm, antigen.garnish, is already available online as an open source technology to serve as a resource. ...

issues in oncology

Exercise for Patients With Cancer to Minimize Treatment Cardiotoxicity

Tailored exercise may help to minimize cardiotoxicity in patients with cancer, according to a report published by D’Ascenzi et al in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Cardiovascular diseases are common side effects in patients with cancer. This is the result of cardiotoxicity, whereby...

symptom management

FDA Pipeline: Designations for Acute Graft-vs-Host Disease, Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Fast Track designation to a therapy for steroid-refractory acute graft-vs-host disease and granted Orphan Drug designation to a therapy for peripheral T-cell lymphoma. Fast Track Designation for T-Guard in Steroid-Refractory Acute...

issues in oncology

Virtual Molecular Tumor Boards May Help to Efficiently Deliver Precision Medicine to Patients

Using virtual, cloud-based, interconnected computing techniques applied to 51,000 variables, researchers reduced the time needed to assess a patient’s tumor profile and suitability for clinical trials from 14 to 4 days. This method also increased the number of cases that could be assessed compared...

lung cancer

IASLC North America: Lung Cancer Screening Among First Responders

National lung cancer screening guidelines are inadequate to diagnose patients who contract lung cancer from occupational exposure, including first responders, according to a study reported by Vershalee Shukla, MD, at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer’s (IASLC) North America ...

breast cancer
cost of care

Deviation From NCCN Guidelines May Result in Greater Costs for Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer

A study published by Williams et al in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network found that direct costs for patients with metastatic breast cancer increased when their treatment differed from recommendations found in the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology® (NCCN...

hematologic malignancies
issues in oncology

High Blood Pressure and Cardiac Adverse Events in Patients Treated With Ibrutinib

Over half of patients treated with the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib developed new or worsened high blood pressure within 6 months of starting the medication, according to a study published by Dickerson et al in Blood. The analysis is also the first to tie ibrutinib-related...

breast cancer

ASCO Breakthrough: Breast Cancer Gene-Expression Signature May Help Predict Recurrence Postradiotherapy

Researchers have identified a gene pattern that may help predict which patients with breast cancer will have early or late disease recurrence following radiation therapy. The ability to predict the timing of recurrence could change—and improve—treatment strategies and determine the length of...


ASCO Breakthrough: Effect of ATM Mutations on Response to Radiotherapy

Somatic mutations of DNA damage repair genes like ATM and BRCA1 or BRCA2 may result in poor disease prognosis and chemotherapy resistance. However, a study by Lee et al presented at ASCO Breakthrough: A Global Summit for Oncology Innovators (Abstract 130) investigated the possibility that these...

prostate cancer
integrative oncology

Mindfulness Training for Men Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer Who Are on Active Surveillance

GUEST EDITOR Integrative Oncology is guest edited by Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine and Chief of Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York. The ASCO Post’s Integrative Oncology series is intended to facilitate the...

lung cancer

Andrew C. von Eschenbach, MD, Honored for Leadership in National Lung Screening Trial

The Prevent Cancer Foundation recently honored Andrew C. von Eschenbach, MD, with the James L. Mulshine, MD, Leadership Award for his work leading the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), the first large-scale clinical trial for low-dose computed tomography (CT) lung cancer screening. The award...

Susan G. Komen Unveils $26 Million Investment in Research and Treatments in Metastatic Breast Cancer

SUSAN G. KOMEN recently announced $26 million in funding for new research projects that focus on metastatic breast cancer, new treatments, and disparities in breast cancer outcomes. This year’s grant slate focuses on key areas that will help the organization achieve its bold goal to reduce the...


Cancer Taught Me What It Means to Be a Man

Let’s face it, men don’t go to the doctor as often as we should. At least that has been my experience. I felt compelled to finally make an appointment with my primary care physician after I began working as a research assistant at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai in 2014, as it felt...

issues in oncology

Being an Expert Witness in a Legal Proceeding: A Learning Experience

I read with great interest and appreciation the Law and Ethics in Oncology column, “Should You Become an Expert Witness in a Legal Proceeding? Here Are the Pros and Cons,” by Thaddeus Pope, JD, PhD (August 25, 2019, issue of The ASCO Post). I am an oncologist and have been an expert witness in a...

issues in oncology

Survey Identifies Gap in Culturally Competent Cancer Care for LGBTQI+ Latinx Population

Most Latinx people who are LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex) reported being reluctant to share their gender identity and/or sexual orientation with a health-care provider, and a majority have never received cancer information tailored for their community, according...

A Tale of Two Eugenes

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the Art of Oncology as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. These articles focus on the experience of suffering from cancer or of caring for people diagnosed with cancer, and they include narratives, topical essays,...

Vassiliki Papadimitrakopoulou, MD, Appointed Clinical Development Leader of Pfizer Oncology

Vassiliki Papadimitrakopoulou, MD, has been appointed Clinical Development Leader of Pfizer Oncology. Dr. Papadimitrakopoulou will be based in New York City. Recognized around the world for her expertise in personalized genomics-driven cancer therapies, immunotherapies, translational research, and ...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

Researchers Examine the Rise in HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Cancers

Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes nearly all cervical cancers and is attributed to some cancers of the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, and oropharynx. Although most HPV infections are asymptomatic and usually resolve within 1 to 2 years, persistent infections can lead to precancer and cancer. According ...

Horwitz Prize Awarded to Three Scientists for Work on Critical Cancer Pathway

Columbia University awarded the 2019 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize to three scientists: Lewis C. Cantley, PhD, of Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York; David M. Sabatini, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and ...

Higher-Volume Cancer Centers and Patient Outcomes Studies

RESEARCHERS FROM Fox Chase Cancer Center have discovered a link between higher patient volume at cancer facilities and improved survival in two studies of patients with advanced cancer.1,2 These data underscore the ability of a higher-volume facility to provide patients with more experience and...

City of Hope Researchers Receive Awards and Grants

City of Hope recently announced that several of its researchers and faculty have been named as the recipients of several awards and grants. These accolades recognize individuals for their work in their respective fields of human genetics education, genomic research, and leptomeningeal disease....

issues in oncology

Study Shows Benefits of Comprehensive Tobacco Treatment Program

Findings from a large smoking cessation study in patients with cancer indicate comprehensive tobacco treatment is effective in helping individuals successfully quit and abstain from smoking. The prospective study, published by Paul Cinciripini, PhD, Chair of Behavioral Science at the MD Anderson...

colorectal cancer

Managing Rectal Cancer: Better Outcomes Now, but Still a Challenging Clinical Setting

The management of rectal cancer has evolved over the past decades, yielding several major practice changes that have substantially improved outcomes. However, rectal cancer treatment remains challenging and even with improved outcomes can result in life-altering morbidity. To shed light on the...

Kidney Cancer Association Announces Recipients of Advanced Discovery and Young Investigator Awards

The Kidney Cancer Association has announced the recipients of the Advanced Discovery Awards (ADAs) and Young Investigator Awards (YIAs). In April, the Kidney Cancer Association approved $1.3 million in new grant funding to advance early detection and new treatments of kidney cancer. Established...


Gene Therapy: A March Forward!

GUEST EDITORS Dr. Abutalib is Associate Director, Hematology and Cellular Therapy Program and Director, Clinical Apheresis Program Cancer Treatment at Centers of America, Zion, Illinois; Associate Professor, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science; and Founder and Co-Editor of...


Multimodal Therapy for High-Risk or Locally Advanced Endometrial Cancer: Is It Any Clearer in 2019?

Endometrial cancer remains the most common gynecologic malignancy affecting women in the United States. There are over 60,000 new cases diagnosed and more than 12,000 deaths annually. Traditional management includes surgical staging, with optimal disease cytoreduction as able, and adjuvant...


Younger, Fit Patients With CLL: Goal Remains Undetectable Minimal Residual Disease and Time-Limited Therapy

As reviewed in this issue of The ASCO Post, Shanafelt and colleagues recently published the interim analysis of E1912, a U.S. Intergroup–led randomized phase III trial comparing ibrutinib/rituximab, followed by ibrutinib to disease progression vs 6 months of fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and...


Resistance to Immune Checkpoint Blocker May Be Linked to Metabolic Imbalance

A metabolic imbalance in some patients with cancer, following treatment with the checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab, may be associated with resistance to immunotherapy and shorter survival, according to scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in collaborative work with the Broad Institute of...

Lisa M. DeAngelis, MD, Named Physician-in-Chief and Chief Medical Officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering

The Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center recently announced that Lisa M. DeAngelis, MD, has been named Physician-in-Chief and Chief Medical Officer. An expert in brain cancer, Dr. DeAngelis previously served as Chair of the Department of Neurology and was Co-Founder of MSK’s Brain Tumor...

Cleveland Clinic Appoints Jame Abraham, MD, FACP, as Department Chair of Hematology/Medical Oncology

Jame Abraham, MD, FACP, has been appointed the new Chair of the Hematology/Medical Oncology Department at Cleveland Clinic. In this capacity, he will recruit and develop staff as well as guide the department’s focus on patient access and a multidisciplinary approach to care. Dr. Abraham currently...

Reflecting on My First National Presentation

I gave my first national presentation of my original clinical research on a topic that was to become a professional obsession: finding a cure for esophageal cancer. (Spoiler, I failed.) It was late May 1982. Writing about this now is undoubtedly predicated on my recent retirement, my desire to...

issues in oncology
palliative care

Is Implicit Bias Contributing to Time Disparities in Goals-of-Care Conversations With Minority Patients?

GUEST EDITOR Addressing the evolving needs of cancer survivors at various stages of their illness and care, Palliative Care in Oncology is guest edited by Jamie H. Von Roenn, MD, FASCO. Dr. Von Roenn is ASCO’s Vice President of Education, Science, and Professional Development. It has been well...

issues in oncology

Inequities in Care for Patients With Cancer and Serious Mental Illness

Studies show that people suffering from serious mental illness are at increased risk for poor cancer outcomes and mortality due to inequities in their cancer care. Although psychiatric care at the time of diagnosis may improve care, current models for integrating psychiatric interventions and...

breast cancer

Recent Trends in the Treatment and Prognosis of Male Breast Cancer

A recent analysis published by Yadav et al in Cancer reviewed how the treatment of male breast cancer has evolved over the years 2004 to 2014. In addition, certain patient-, tumor-, and treatment-related factors were found to be linked with better survival. Male breast cancer comprises 1% of all...

multiple myeloma
issues in oncology

Impact of Treating Facility, Provider Volume, and Patient-Sharing in the Treatment of Patients With Multiple Myeloma

A study published by Freeman et al in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network found that generally, providers with more experience treating multiple myeloma have better outcomes than those with more limited experience. Providers who saw the most cases were more likely to be...

prostate cancer

Nicholas D. James, PhD, MBBS, on the STAMPEDE Trial: Long-Term Subgroup Analysis by Metastatic Burden in Hormone-Naive Prostate Cancer

Nicholas D. James, PhD, MBBS, of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, discusses results from a long-term follow-up of a cohort treated with docetaxel in the STAMPEDE randomized trial, confirming that the treatment showed benefit in patients with both high- and low-volume disease (Abstract...

prostate cancer

Nicholas D. James, PhD, MBBS, on Prostate Cancer: STAMPEDE Trial M1|RT Comparison of Radiotherapy

Nicholas D. James, PhD, MBBS, of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, discusses the efficacy of prostate radiotherapy plus androgen-deprivation therapy with or without docetaxel in patients with prostate cancer with only lymph node metastases or less than four bone metastases (Abstract 844O).

multiple myeloma

Jorge J. Castillo, MD, on Evolution of Therapy for Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma

Jorge J. Castillo, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the many advances in treating relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma, including novel immunomodulators, proteasome inhibitors, and monoclonal antibodies, as well as emerging treatments such as chimeric antigen receptor T-cell...

myelodysplastic syndromes

Rafael Bejar, MD, PhD, on Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Advances in Personalized Therapeutic Approaches

Rafael Bejar, MD, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center, discusses the tailored nature of MDS treatment, including somatic mutations that could alter treatment decisions, and novel therapies with predictive biomarkers.

multiple myeloma

Nina Shah, MD: How Long Should Initial Treatment for Myeloma Last?

Nina Shah, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, discusses the debate on fixed duration vs waiting until disease progression, a key question for clinicians treating patients with multiple myeloma.


Richard I. Fisher, MD, on Follicular Lymphoma: Optimizing First-Line Therapy

Richard I. Fisher, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, discusses the improvement in survival for patients with follicular lymphoma, new targeted biologic agents providing alternative treatments, and chemoimmunotherapy (a standard in many cases).


Nitin Jain, MD, on CLL: Is There a Role for Chemoimmunotherapy?

Nitin Jain, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the debate on evolving strategies in first-line treatment of CLL.


William G. Wierda, MD, PhD, on Evolving Strategies for First-Line Treatment of CLL

William G. Wierda, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, offers commentary on the debate about evolving strategies in first-line chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the clinical trials on such agents as ibrutinib, BTK inhibitors, and venetoclax, and the interest in...

hematologic malignancies

Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, on The Era of Therapeutic Biosimilars: What You Need to Know

Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the nature of biologic molecules and their importance in future therapeutic innovation.

issues in oncology
lung cancer

Preclinical Study Finds Exposure to E-Cigarette Smoke Increased Risk of Cancer in Mice

Exposure to e-cigarette smoke caused mice to develop lung cancer, according to findings from a preclinical study published by Tang et al in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). The study found that 9 of 40 mice (22.5%) exposed to e-cigarette smoke...

supportive care

How to Help Terminally Ill Patients Find Peace in the Dying Process

End-of-Life Oncology is a new occasional column in The ASCO Post that will explore how to ensure the care received by terminally ill patients is in alignment with their end-of-life goals and wishes. In this inaugural installment, The ASCO Post talked with Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS,...