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lung cancer

WCLC 2019: Selpercatinib in RET Fusion–Positive NSCLC

Patients with RET fusion–positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) comprise up to 2% of all NSCLC cases, but there are no targeted therapies currently approved for patients with this form of lung cancer. Selpercatinib (also known as LOXO-292) is an oral and highly selective investigational drug...

lung cancer

WCLC 2019: KEYNOTE-024 Survival Update Shows Benefit With Pembrolizumab vs Chemotherapy in Advanced NSCLC

First-line pembrolizumab monotherapy provides durable long-term overall survival benefit compared to chemotherapy in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to data from the KEYNOTE-024 trial presented by Martin Reck, MD, PhD, at the International Association for the...

issues in oncology

WCLC 2019: Declaration From IASLC on Tobacco Cessation After Cancer Diagnosis

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) used the platform of the 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) to call attention to the importance of tobacco cessation after cancer diagnosis and urged all physicians to screen patients with cancer for tobacco use and...

lung cancer

WCLC 2019: Final Overall Survival Results of IMpower131 Trial in Advanced Squamous NSCLC

Patients with stage IV squamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with high programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression treated with atezolizumab and chemotherapy experienced longer overall survival rates than those treated with chemotherapy alone. The data from the IMpower131 trial were...

lung cancer

WCLC 2019: BioMILD Trial of Blood MicroRNA Plus Low-Dose CT to Reduce CT Repeats in Lung Cancer Screening

Researchers from Milan reported that using a blood microRNA assay accompanied by low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening is safe and effective in screening patients for lung cancer. The results were shared at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 2019 World...

lung cancer

WCLC 2019: Autoantibody Diagnostic Test Followed by CT Imaging May Improve Diagnosis, Reduce Mortality in Lung Cancer

A combination of the EarlyCDT-Lung Test followed by computed tomography (CT) imaging in Scottish patients at risk for lung cancer resulted in a significant decrease in late-stage diagnosis of lung cancer and may decrease lung cancer–specific mortality, according to research presented at...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

Michael Kenneth Keng, MD, on an ASCO Quality Training Program: 5-Year Review

Michael Kenneth Keng, MD, of the University of Virginia, gives a status update on this international program, and discusses future initiatives which include coaching mentorship and publishing articles on quality care (Abstract 7).

issues in oncology

Cary P. Gross, MD, on Creating and Implementing Clinical Pathways: Where is the Patient’s Voice?

Cary P. Gross, MD, of Yale School of Medicine, discusses the challenges of implementing pathways and guiding patient decision-making on treatment.

issues in oncology

Joseph O. Jacobson, MD, on Suffering, Systems, and Safety: The Joseph V. Simone Award Lecture

Joseph O. Jacobson, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and this year’s recipient of the award for excellence in quality cancer care, discusses the need for quality improvement (QI) to encompass systems of care, the role of QI in preventing suffering, how poor quality affects patient safety, and...

issues in oncology

Nadine Housri, MD, on Online Tumor Boards: A New Resource for Practicing Oncologists

Nadine Housri, MD, of the Yale School of Medicine, talks about a new paradigm in sharing knowledge from tumor board discussions at NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, with community oncologists on Currently, thoracic, breast, and GI cancers are included, with plans to expand ...

issues in oncology

Matthew B. Schabath, PhD, on Addressing Cultural Barriers to Equality in Oncology Among Sexual and Gender Minorities

Matthew B. Schabath, PhD, of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, discusses the disparities in cancer care among members of the LGBTQ community and the need to collect more data in order to close that gap.

symptom management

Angela M. Stover, PhD, on Patient-Reported Outcome Performance Measures for Oncology Practice

Angela M. Stover, PhD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discusses ASCO’s initiative to develop patient-based performance measures for assessing and managing symptoms. The measures have made substantial differences in reducing nausea, constipation, and insomnia (Abstract 173).

issues in oncology

Lauren M. Hamel, PhD, on Race and Doctor-Patient Behavior

Lauren M. Hamel, PhD, of Wayne State University/Karmanos Cancer Institute, discusses her findings on the ways in which nonverbal behavior between doctors and patients of the same or different races can affect their relationship, quality of communication, and ultimately, perhaps outcomes as well...

issues in oncology

Mallika Sharma, MPH, on Eliminating Prior Authorizations, Anxiety, Delay in Care, Higher Costs

Mallika Sharma, MPH, of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, discusses her findings that, by doing away with the many prior authorization denials based on administrative errors, providers may offer higher-value care by eliminating unnecessary anxiety among patients, administrative burdens, and increased...

issues in oncology

Grace C. Hillyer, EdD, MPH, on Enrolling Patients in Clinical Trials: Improving Clinician-Patient Communication

Grace C. Hillyer, EdD, MPH, of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, discusses the many barriers to enrolling patients in clinical trials, most notably different attitudes toward and perceptions about research studies among clinicians vs patients. Her findings point to the need for...

issues in oncology

Elena Martinez, PhD, MPH, on Diversity in Precision Oncology

Elena Martinez, PhD, MPH, of Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego, discusses the challenges of ensuring diversity in precision oncology and potential solutions to address the challenges.

issues in oncology

Oncology Communications Online: Pause and Think Before Hitting ‘Send’

The emergence of online technologies over the past few decades has fundamentally changed the way society communicates and shares information. This sea change has also had profound influence on the practice of medicine, from real-time information-sharing among colleagues, to having instant access...

cost of care
issues in oncology

Ryan Huey, MD, on the Financial Toxicity of Early-Phase Clinical Trials

Ryan Huey, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses his findings that showed the large financial burden on lower-income patients enrolled in phase I trials (Abstract 8).

lung cancer

Cristina Merkhofer, MD, MHS, on NSCLC: Survival Impact of Taking Part in a Clinical Trial

Cristina Merkhofer, MD, MHS, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses study results showing that for patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer at her institution, enrolling in a therapeutic drug clinical trial was associated with a 47% lower risk of death, compared with not...

cost of care
lung cancer

Bernardo H.L. Goulart, MD, on Stage IV NSCLC: High Drug Costs May Affect Survival

Bernardo H. L. Goulart, MD, of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, discusses his findings that high out-of-pocket costs for oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors may lower survival rates, shorten the duration of therapy, and reduce the number of prescriptions for patients with metastatic EGFR- or ALK-positive...

lung cancer

WCLC 2019: Screening Efficacy of PLCOm2012 vs USPSTF Criteria

Researchers reported that a prospective trial comparing two screening methods for patients at risk of developing lung cancer found that a model used by Canadian, Australian, and European public health organizations detected more cancers than the screening model used by the United States Preventive...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

WCLC 2019: Survey Findings on Evidence-Based Guidelines for Molecular Testing in Lung Cancer

One-third of those who responded to a survey reported they are unaware of evidence-based guidelines that support the use of molecular testing in lung cancer, according to results from the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) Global Survey on Molecular Testing in Lung...

2019 Lasker Awards for Basic and Clinical Medical Research and Public Service Announced

On September 10, The Lasker Foundation announced the winners of its 2019 Lasker Awards: Max D. Cooper, MD, of Emory University, and Jacques Miller, AC, FRS, FAA, of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, will receive the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award; H. Michael...

lung cancer

WCLC 2019: CASPIAN Trial Finds Addition of Durvalumab to Chemotherapy Improves Overall Survival in Patients With Extensive-Stage SCLC

The addition of durvalumab to chemotherapy improved overall survival in patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC), according to research presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) (Abstract PL02.11)....

lung cancer

WCLC 2019: Pooled Analysis of CheckMate 017 and 057: 5-Year Outcomes With Nivolumab vs Docetaxel in Previously Treated NSCLC

Pooled data on two clinical trials demonstrated patients with previously treated non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with nivolumab had a greater than fivefold increase in 5-year overall survival rate compared to treatment with the chemotherapy docetaxel. Scott Gettinger, MD, of Yale...


In the August 10, 2019, issue of The ASCO Post, a photo on page 39, in an article about the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Policy Summit, was incorrectly identified as Terrell Johnson, MPA, an NCCN Policy and Advocacy Fellow. We regret the error and apologize to Mr. Johnson for the...

issues in oncology

FDA Proposes New Required Health Warnings With Images for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements

On August 15, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed rule to require new health warnings on cigarette packages and in advertisements to promote greater public understanding of the negative health consequences of smoking. The proposed warnings, which feature photo-realistic...


Having Cancer as a Teenager Derailed My Life Course

In 1994, I was a normal, active 15-year-old, who loved cars, sports, and rock music, especially songs from my favorite group, The Clash. In fact, it was while jubilantly dancing alone in my room to one of their tunes that I vomited into my hands, an early symptom of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). I...

A Vigorous Life Through the Prism of Impending Death

“Live while you’re living, friends,” writes Julie Yip-­Williams in her memoir, The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After. It was The New York Times bestseller when she died of stage IV colon cancer at the age of 42. She is the most recent of several...

Not for the Squeamish: Surgery in the 19th Century

Imagine undergoing major surgery in a grimy operating room without any form of antisepsis. That was the grim reality in the 1800s, when the ruling theory was that damage from “bad air” was responsible for infections in surgical wounds. Hospitals simply aired out the surgical wards at midday to...

Florida Cancer Specialists Welcomes Luis Carrascosa, MD

Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute recently announced that radiation oncologist Luis Carrascosa, MD, has joined the statewide practice. Dr. Carrascosa has privileges at Ocala Regional Medical Center, West Marion Community Hospital, and AdventHealth Ocala. Dr. Carrascosa earned his ...

Doctor, Where Art Thou?

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,...

Nakul Singhal, MD, and Nicole Carreau, MD, Join New York Cancer & Blood Specialists

Oncologist Nakul Singhal, MD, has joined New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (NYCBS) and will be accepting new patients at the Bayside and New Hyde Park locations. NYCBS also welcomes oncologist Nicole Carreau, MD. Prior to joining NYCBS, Dr. Singhal practiced at Hackensack Meridian Health...

Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, Awarded for His Pioneering Work in Immunotherapy

The Edogawa-NICHE Committee recently announced that the 2019-Edogawa NICHE Prize has been awarded to Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, for his work in developing effective adoptive immunotherapies and genetically modified T cells. Dr. Rosenberg’s research has significantly contributed to the...

issues in oncology

Confronting the Criticisms Facing Watson for Oncology

Over the past 2 years, IBM’s Watson for Oncology cognitive computing system, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to generate treatment recommendations, has come under fire for allegedly not delivering on expectations to provide state-of-the-art personalized treatment for patients...

MD Anderson to Expand Proton Therapy Center

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recently unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center. The expansion will more than double the center’s size to more than 160,000 square feet. The estimated completion of the new building is November 2023. The $159 million expansion will...

FDA OCE and Syapse Announce Research Collaboration Focused on Regulatory Use of Real-World Evidence

Syapse and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE) have signed a multiyear research collaboration agreement focused on the use of real-world evidence to support regulatory decision-making. Syapse and the OCE will work with stakeholders across the FDA to...

American Cancer Society Names William G. Cance, MD, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer

William G. Cance, MD, has been selected as he Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of the American Cancer Society (ACS). Dr. Cance will lead the integration of the ACS Research and Cancer Control departments, unifying its intramural and extramural research; prevention and early detection; patient...

issues in oncology

Firing Your Patient: How to Terminate a Treatment Relationship

Many clinicians are confused by the evolving opioid prescribing guideline issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) meant to stem the rising epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose in the United States.1 Many are also worried about regulatory oversight by the U.S. Drug...

Bert Vogelstein, MD, and Irving L. Weissman, MD, Recognized for Revolutionizing Cancer Research

Two scientists, whose discoveries in stem cell and cancer cell biology have led to innovative advances in fields ranging from oncology and immunology to cancer genomics and regenerative medicine, will receive the 2019 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. Bert Vogelstein, ...

pancreatic cancer

Sita Kugel, PhD, Receives Grant to Study Aggressive Type of Pancreatic Cancer

The deadly nature of most pancreatic tumors is well known, with less than 10% of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma estimated to survive 5 years after diagnosis. Recent molecular analyses of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma have shown that a patient’s prognosis changes depending on the...

Nancy E. Davidson, MD, FASCO, and Jerry Radich, MD, Receive Endowed Chairs at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Two researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle were recently awarded endowed chairs: Nancy E. Davidson, MD, FASCO, and Jerry Radich, MD. Raisbeck Endowed Chair for Collaborative Research Dr. Davidson was awarded the Raisbeck Endowed Chair for Collaborative Research at Fred ...

cns cancers

Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma: Striving for a Curative Therapy

Primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in which standards of care have not been well established. In light of recent insights into its pathophysiology and the emergence of novel approaches, The ASCO Post asked Tracy T. Batchelor, MD, a specialist in...

CureMD Oncology Integrates NCCN Templates

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is collaborating with CureMD to integrate the NCCN Chemotherapy Order Templates into the CureMD Oncology electronic health records. This collaboration is intended to allow for point-of-care access to treatment recommendations and order templates...

David I. Sternberg, MD, Joins Karmanos Cancer Institute

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute has announced that thoracic surgeon David I. Sternberg, MD, has joined its medical team. Board-certified in general and cardiothoracic surgery, and specialized in minimally invasive chest surgery, Dr. Sternberg will serve on Karmanos’ Thoracic Oncology...

Northern California Prostate Cancer Center Joins U.S. Oncology Network

The Northern California Prostate Cancer Center, an independent oncology practice serving patients with cancer throughout Santa Clara County, has joined the U.S. Oncology Network. The practice, which opened in 2009, was the first prostate-only radiation treatment center in California to obtain a...

$1 Million Gift for Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma Research

The Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma (EHE) Foundation and Cleveland Clinic recently received a $1 million gift from the Margie and Robert E. Petersen Foundation. The money will support EHE research conducted by Brian Rubin, MD, PhD, Chair of the Robert J. Tomsich Pathology & Laboratory Medicine ...

IU Simon Cancer Center Earns NCI’s Comprehensive Cancer Center Designation

The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center (IU Simon Cancer Center) has achieved the highest recognition from the National Cancer Institute (NCI): Comprehensive Cancer Center. With this federal designation signifying research excellence, it becomes the only NCI-designated...

NCI Community Oncology Research Program Expands to More Sites

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded 53 grants to researchers in the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) to conduct multisite cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery studies in their communities. In addition to 7 research hubs, these NCI grants went to 32 community...

lung cancer

FDA Approves Entrectinib for NTRK-Fusion Cancers, ROS1-Positive NSCLC

On August 15, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to entrectinib (Rozlytrek) for adult and adolescent patients whose cancers have an NTRK (neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase) genetic fusion and for whom there are no effective treatments. Entrectinib was also...