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issues in oncology

Disruptions in Health Insurance Coverage and Cancer Care, Survival

A new study published by Yabroff et al in JNCI: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute found disruptions in health insurance coverage are common in the United States and are associated with poorer cancer care and survival. Disruptions can be caused by gaps in insurance coverage or transitions ...

covid-19

New Research Highlights Risk of Thromboembolic Complications in Patients With COVID-19

A special report published by Oudkerk et al in the journal Radiology outlined strategies for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of thromboembolic complications in patients with COVID-19. Based on recent reports that demonstrated a strong association between elevated D-dimer levels and poor...

issues in oncology

Barbara DeVivo, PhD, MBA, on Tumor Boards: The Influence of Social Hierarchy on Cancer Treatment Decision-Making

Barbara DeVivo, PhD, MBA, of Westmont College, talks about how the culture and structure of tumor boards—and their invisible status hierarchies—may hamper collaboration and influence the way providers treat patients with cancer (Abstract BPI20-020).

covid-19
multiple myeloma

Managing Multiple Myeloma During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In dealing with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), some oncologists are modifying conventional treatment regimens to limit patients’ visits to infusion centers and providers’ offices. The ASCO Post asked C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, Chief of the Myeloma Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer...

gynecologic cancers

FDA Approves Niraparib as Maintenance Therapy for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

On April 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved niraparib (Zejula) for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in a complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy....

pancreatic cancer

Risk-Prediction Model for Pancreatic Cancer

A risk-prediction model that combined genetic and clinical factors with circulating biomarkers may help to identify people at a significantly higher-than-normal risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to results of a study published by Peter Kraft, PhD, and colleagues in Cancer...

covid-19
lung cancer

AACR 2020: Mortality Rate in Patients With Thoracic Cancers Infected With COVID-19

First results from the TERAVOLT (Thoracic cancERs international coVid 19 cOLlaboraTion) registry for thoracic cancers—presented by Marina C. Garassino, MD, at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Annual Meeting in the COVID-19 and Cancer Session—indicate a high mortality rate ...

immunotherapy

FDA Approves New Pembrolizumab Dosing Regimen

On April 28, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to a new dosing regimen for pembrolizumab (Keytruda)—400 mg every 6 weeks—across all currently approved adult indications, in addition to the current 200 mg every 3 weeks dosing regimen. The approval was based on...

skin cancer

AACR 2020: Continuous vs Intermittent Dabrafenib/Trametinib Dosing in Patients With BRAF-Mutated Melanoma

A randomized clinical trial offers evidence that a combination of two targeted melanoma drugs, when given continuously, improves progression-free survival when compared with intermittent treatment, according to study results presented by Algazi et al at the American Association for Cancer Research...

covid-19

Prognosis of Patients With Cancer and COVID-19: Outcomes From a Center in New York City

A group of clinicians from New York City sought to determine if patients with cancer and COVID-19 in the United States have a poor prognosis. In an article published as a pre-proof in Annals of Oncology, Miyashita et al analyzed the electronic medical records from the Mount Sinai Health System, and ...

covid-19

ASCO Shares New Clinical Trial Data, Initiatives, and Path Forward for Post–COVID-19 Cancer Care Delivery System

ASCO (the Society) and its affiliate organization the Association for Clinical Oncology (the Association) recently announced the results of a survey that tracked the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer clinical trials, highlighted a new research initiative to address the data gap on...

covid-19
global cancer care

Jacek Jassem, MD, PhD, on Fighting COVID-19 and Cancer: The View From Poland

Jacek Jassem, MD, PhD, of the Medical University of Gdansk, and an international editor on The ASCO Post Editorial Board, talks about the situation in Poland, how his institution is coping, and the adjustments the staff has made to deliver quality cancer care. Filmed April 17, 2020.

covid-19
global cancer care
skin cancer

Paolo A. Ascierto, MD, on Cancer Treatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The View From Southern Italy

Paolo A. Ascierto, MD, of the Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Naples, Italy, talks about minimizing risks for patients with cancer, prioritizing surgery and other treatments for melanoma, and the state of clinical trials. Filmed April 17, 2020.

covid-19

Hypercoagulability in Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19: Where Do We Stand?

“Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult.” ―Hippocrates The ASCO Post is pleased to present Hematology Expert Review, an ongoing feature that occasionally quizzes readers on issues in hematology. In this installment, Drs. Abutalib and Connors...

breast cancer

AACR 2020: Final Overall Survival Results From the Phase III EMBRACA Trial

New data from the phase III EMBRACA trial showed the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor talazoparib did not produce a statistically significant overall survival benefit for patients with locally advanced or metastatic HER2-negative germline BRCA­-mutated breast cancer. Most patients...

Robert L. Coleman, MD, Named Chief Scientific Officer for the US Oncology Network

On March 31, 2020, the US Oncology Network (The Network) named cancer researcher Robert L. Coleman, MD, FACOG, FACS, as its new Chief Scientific Officer. In this role, Dr. Coleman will be the senior-most clinician scientist on The US Oncology Network leadership. Dr. Coleman, who most recently...

NCI Awards $14.5 Million Grant for Immunotherapy Research

A team led by Pawel Kalinski, MD, PhD, of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, has earned a 5-year, $14.5 million award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to expand a promising immunotherapy platform. Funded through the NCI’s Program Project Grant, this 5-year grant will fund five...

Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center Appoint Deputy Chief Medical Officer

Mehra Golshan, MD, MBA, FACS, has been appointed the inaugural Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Surgical Services at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center, Professor of Surgery at Yale School of Medicine, and Interim Director of the Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital. As Deputy Chief...

covid-19

AMA Highlights Mental Health Resources for Physicians During COVID-19 Pandemic

Earlier this month, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced resources available to help physicians cope with increased levels of distress and anxiety during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These resources build on the AMA’s efforts to ensure physicians and other...

covid-19

Virtual Appointments Help Patients With Cancer Continue Care During COVID-19 Health Crisis

Texas Oncology recently announced a major expansion of its telemedicine services to allow patients to schedule virtual visits with more than 400 physicians and 150 advanced practice providers throughout the statewide cancer care practice. Through this expanded approach, launched earlier this month, ...

covid-19

FDA Accelerates Development of Novel Therapies for COVID-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented a program to expedite the development of potentially safe and effective life-saving treatments. The program, known as the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP), is using every tool at the agency’s disposal to bring new...

issues in oncology

Radon Exposure: A Leading Environmental Cause of Cancer Mortality in the United States

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that about 21,000 people die each year of lung cancer related to radon gas exposure, making it the second leading cause of lung cancer death in the United States. Although the EPA and various other organizations, including the National Radon ...

immunotherapy
solid tumors

PD-1 Inhibition in Mismatch Repair–Deficient/Microsatellite Instability–High Cancers Other Than Colorectal Cancer

Mismatch repair (MMR)-deficiency and consequently high DNA microsatellite instability (MSI-H) are associated with high tumor mutational burden. A high mutational load increases the potential number of neoantigens that can be presented by the tumor cell and recognized by host lymphocytes. Detection...

hematologic malignancies

Gut Bacterial Diversity: A Marker or Driver of Outcomes After Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation?

Previous single-center studies have linked the gut microbiota (via stool sample analysis) to outcomes after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), such as overall mortality, transplant-related mortality, graft-vs-host disease, and graft-vs-host–related mortality.1-4 Although intriguing, these...

genomics/genetics

How CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing May Improve the Effectiveness of Cellular Therapeutics in Patients With Cancer

The results from the first in-human phase I clinical trial in the United States evaluating CRISPR-Cas9–edited T cells in patients with advanced cancer has shown that the therapy is both feasible and safe, representing a big step forward in the potential of using gene editing to boost the natural...

breast cancer

ASCENT Study Halted: Efficacy Shown Across Multiple Study Endpoints in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

The phase III confirmatory ASCENT study of the antibody drug-conjugate sacituzumab govitecan will be stopped based on efficacy across multiple study endpoints following unanimous recommendation from the independent data safety monitoring committee, according to a news release issued earlier this...

breast cancer

Beyond CDK4/6 Inhibitors: What Subsequent Treatment Is Best?

Inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) have changed the natural history of hormone receptor–positive metastatic breast cancer. While median progression-free survival on these drugs is approximately 27 months, the disease eventually progresses and clinicians must choose a subsequent ...

immunotherapy
breast cancer
skin cancer
lung cancer

What’s the Current Status of Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy?

For several tumor types, can the successes achieved with immunotherapy in the metastatic and adjuvant settings be replicated in the neoadjuvant setting? An explosion in clinical trials—with more than 300 listed on ClinicalTrials.gov—point to “yes.” “The neoadjuvant use of immunotherapy is of great ...

prostate cancer

Upfront Apalutamide Delays Time to Second Progression in Metastatic Castration-Sensitive Prostate Cancer

The addition of apalutamide to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) reduced the risk of second disease progression or death (PFS2) by 34% vs ADT alone in patients with metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer, in a post hoc analysis of the phase III TITAN trial presented at the 2020...

AACR Annual Meeting to Be Held in Two-Part Virtual Platform

Earlier this month, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced that the group’s Annual Meeting would be held in a two-part virtual format and not in person. Instead, segments of the meeting program will be presented in late April and in June 2020. The decision was made not to...

AACR Provides Scientific Expertise to Assist FDA’s Public Health Initiative

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to advance the FDA’s public health initiative called Project Renewal. Launched in October 2018 by the FDA’s Oncology Center for Excellence (OCE), Project Renewal has an ambitious goal to...

EXPECT INTEREST AND QUESTIONS ABOUT STATINS AND METFORMIN

A study showing that statins used alone or in combination with metformin was associated with reduced prostate cancer mortality and all-cause mortality among men with high-risk prostate cancer may raise more questions about these already commonly used drugs.1 “Metformin is the first-line therapy for ...

prostate cancer

Statins With or Without Metformin Are Associated With Increased Survival in Patients With High‑Risk Prostate Cancer

A population-based retrospective cohort study involving 12,700 patients found that men with high-risk prostate cancer who took a statin alone or in combination with metformin had reduced all-cause and prostate cancer–specific mortality. The associations between the medications and reduced...

hepatobiliary cancer

A Clinical Trial Saved My Life

In the fall of 2009, I began experiencing some abdominal discomfort, pain in my right shoulder, and severe fatigue that were easily explained away as the result of gallstones and by my career as a paramedic. I had many of the risk factors for gallbladder disease, and both my mother and sister...

Inoperable Carcinoma of the Breast

The text and photograph here are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology: Tumors & Treatment, A Photographic History, The X-Ray Era: 1901–1915 by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS, and Elizabeth A. Burns. The photograph appears courtesy of Dr. Burns and The Burns Archive. To view ...

Chemotherapy and the Sweat Lodge

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of 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, historical...

covid-19

Unnecessary Barrier to Blood Donation for British Nationals?

I read with great interest Jo Cavallo’s article “Maintaining Blood Donations During the COVID-19 Pandemic”. My wife and I have been British residents in the United States for over 6 years and are frustrated that we cannot donate blood, especially during this raging global COVID-19 pandemic, when...

NIH Launches $1 Million Competition to Target Disease Diagnostics

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched the $1 million Technology Accelerator Challenge to spur the design and development of noninvasive, handheld, digital technologies to detect, diagnose, and guide therapies for diseases with high global and public health impact. The challenge is...

Fox Chase Cancer Center Announces New Name and Recertification for Palliative Care Program

To more accurately reflect the mission and vision of the program, Fox Chase Cancer Center recently announced that the name of the Pain and Palliative Care Program has been changed to the Supportive Oncology and Palliative Care Program (SOPCP). The program has also received, for the third time, the ...

covid-19
immunotherapy

Joseph C. Alvarnas, MD, on the Increased Risk of Side Effects for Patients With Cancer and COVID-19

Joseph C. Alvarnas, MD, of the City of Hope National Medical Center, discusses the patients with cancer who are at an increased risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19, including those receiving bone marrow or stem cell transplants and CAR-T cell therapy, and what they can do to...

supportive care

Helping Patients to Feel Informed About Goals and Adverse Effects of Cancer Treatments

How confident should oncologists be that their patients feel adequately informed about the adverse effects of their cancer treatment? A recent study by Shaverdian et al,1 reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice and reviewed in this issue of The ASCO Post, found that 18% of 403 patients felt...

issues in oncology

Intermittent Dawn-to-Sunset Fasting and Anticancer Serum Proteome

In a small study published in the Journal of Proteomics, Ayse Leyla Mindikoglu, MD, MPH, and colleagues found that dawn-to-sunset fasting was associated with proteins that were protective against cancer as well as obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammation, and some neurologic disorders...

lymphoma

Vitamin D and Lymphoma: An Apparent Benefit, but Further Study Required

Vitamin D is a steroid-like hormone involved primarily in human calcium homeostasis. Obtained through sun exposure as well as food and dietary supplements,1 vitamin D in humans is metabolized in the liver and kidneys to its active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25[OH]2D).2 Other cell types,...

breast cancer

FDA Approves Sacituzumab Govitecan-hziy for Patients With Previously Treated Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

On April 22, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved sacituzumab govitecan-hziy (Trodelvy) for the treatment of adult patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer who have received at least two prior therapies for metastatic disease. Sacituzumab govitecan-hziy is the first...

covid-19

ACS Releases New Guidance to Help Health-Care Facilities Prepare for Resuming Elective Surgery Past COVID-19 Peak

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has released a new surgical resource document, “Local Resumption of Elective Surgery Guidance,” as a guide for health-care facilities preparing to resume elective surgery once COVID-19 has peaked in their area.  Health-care facilities have been allocating...

David A. Tuveson, MD, PhD, FAACR, Named AACR President-Elect for 2020–2021

The members of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) have elected David A. Tuveson, MD, PhD, FAACR, as their President-Elect for 2020–2021. He will officially become President-Elect on April 29, 2020, during the AACR’s Business Meeting of Members. He will assume the presidency in...

leukemia
lymphoma

FDA Approves Ibrutinib/Rituximab for CLL/SLL

On April 21, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the indication of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) to include its combination with rituximab for the initial treatment of adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). This review was conducted...

solid tumors

Hope S. Rugo, MD, on Talazoparib for Advanced Solid Tumors: Reduced Hospitalization and Supportive Care

Hope S. Rugo, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, discusses an integrated analysis of five clinical trials, in phases I through III, for a variety of advanced cancers. Findings show that patients treated with talazoparib monotherapy had lower hospitalization rates (compared to those ...

breast cancer

Sara A. Hurvitz, MD, on Talazoparib vs Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer: Results From the EMBRACA Trial

Sara A. Hurvitz, MD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, discusses racial differences in self-reported outcomes of patients with HER2-negative, locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer and a germline BRCA1/2 mutation who received talazoparib vs physician’s choice of chemotherapy...

covid-19

FDA Authorizes First COVID-19 Test for Patient At-Home Sample Collection

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the first diagnostic test with a home collection option for COVID-19. Specifically, the FDA re-issued the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) COVID-19 RT-PCR Test to permit testing of samples...

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