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breast cancer
genomics/genetics

Nicholas C. Turner, MD, PhD, on ctDNA Testing to Direct Targeted Therapies in Advanced Breast Cancer

Nicholas C. Turner, MD, PhD, of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, discusses findings from the plasmaMATCH trial, which showed that circulating tumor DNA testing offers accurate tumor genotyping to identify patients with rare HER2 and AKT1 mutations and may enable matching them with targeted...

breast cancer

Priyanka Sharma, MD, on Postoperative Treatment of Primary Breast Cancer: POTENT Trial

Priyanka Sharma, MD, of the University of Kansas Medical Center, reviews new phase III data on adding oral fluoropyrimidine to adjuvant endocrine therapy, the current standard of care, in the setting of hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative primary breast cancer (Abstract GS1-09).

breast cancer

Icro Meattini, MD, on Breast Irradiation After Breast Conservation Surgery: 10-Year Follow-up Results

Icro Meattini, MD, of the University of Florence, discusses study findings that showed the less-invasive partial-breast irradiation using intensity-modulated radiotherapy after surgery may be an acceptable choice for patients with early breast cancer, as it is cost-effective, safe, and efficacious...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

Ralph R. Weichselbaum, MD, on Oligometastatic Cancer: The Role of Radioimmunotherapy

Ralph R. Weichselbaum, MD, of the University of Chicago, summarizes a plenary lecture in which he presented data that could guide future clinical strategies: studies supporting the basis and classification of oligometastatic disease, including breast cancer; and basic and clinical data on...

breast cancer

Miguel Martín, MD, PhD, on Metastatic Breast Cancer: PEARL Trial on Palbociclib Plus Endocrine Therapy vs Capecitabine

Miguel Martín, MD, PhD, of the Gregorio Marañón Institute and GEICAM, discusses phase III study findings that showed no improvement in progression-free survival with palbociclib plus endocrine therapy vs capecitabine in patients with hormone receptor–positive/HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

Sara M. Tolaney, MD, MPH, on HER2-Positive Breast Cancer: ATEMPT Trial on T-DM1 vs Paclitaxel Plus Trastuzumab

Sara M. Tolaney, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses phase II findings on patients receiving T-DM1 monotherapy as adjuvant treatment for stage I HER2-positive breast cancer, a regimen associated with few recurrences in the study population (Abstract GS1-05).

breast cancer
immunotherapy

SABCS 2019: Does Treatment With Pembrolizumab Improve Pathologic Complete Response in Patients With Triple-Negative Breast Cancer and Lymph Node Involvement?

The addition of the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and as adjuvant therapy increased the rates of pathologic complete response in patients with triple-negative breast cancer who had lymph node involvement, according to results from the KEYNOTE-522 trial, which were...

breast cancer

SABCS 2019: 6-Year Analysis of the Addition of Pertuzumab to Trastuzumab Plus Chemotherapy as Adjuvant Therapy

Data from the 6-year analysis of the APHINITY trial showed that adding pertuzumab to the previous standard treatment of trastuzumab plus chemotherapy after surgery continued to reduce the risk of recurrence and death in patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer, according to findings...

breast cancer

SABCS 2019: 10-Year Follow-up of Adjuvant Accelerated Partial-Breast Irradiation vs Adjuvant Whole-Breast Irradiation

A 10-year follow-up study of patients with breast cancer who had been treated with accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI) after surgery showed that their rates of disease recurrence were similar to those of patients who had received whole-breast irradiation (WBI), according to data presented ...

breast cancer

SABCS 2019: Ribociclib/Letrozole vs Multiagent Chemotherapy in Patients With High-Risk Luminal B Breast Cancer

A phase II study by Gavila et al evaluating the efficacy of the combination of the CDK4/6 inhibitor ribociclib and the aromatase inhibitor letrozole in combination as a neoadjuvant treatment in patients with high-risk luminal B breast cancer has found that the therapy produced response rates...

breast cancer

SABCS 2019: IBIS-II Study Finds Long-Term Preventive Benefit With Anastrozole Among Postmenopausal Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer

A 10-year median follow-up analysis of the IBIS-II trial on the efficacy and safety of the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole for healthy postmenopausal women at increased risk of developing breast cancer has found that the therapy reduced the likelihood of breast cancer incidence by 50% and had few...

multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

Saad Z. Usmani, MD, on Carfilzomib, Dexamethasone, and Daratumumab for Relapsed or Refractory Myeloma

Saad Z. Usmani, MD, of the Levine Cancer Institute, discusses phase III study findings suggesting that the combination of carfilzomib/dexamethasone/daratumumab represents an efficacious new regimen for patients with relapsed or refractory disease, including those refractory to lenalidomide...

leukemia
immunotherapy

Jeff P. Sharman, MD, on CLL: Trial Results on Acalabrutinib, Obinutuzumab, and Chlorambucil

Jeff P. Sharman, MD, of the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and US Oncology Research, discusses phase III findings from the ELEVATE TN study, which showed that acalabrutinib plus obinutuzumab and acalabrutinib monotherapy improved progression-free survival in patients with treatment-naive...

multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, on Carfilzomib/Lenalidomide/Dexamethasone/Daratumumab for Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma

C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses phase II study findings that showed an 83% negative rate of minimal residual disease in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma treated weekly with 8 cycles of the quadruplet regimen of...

leukemia
immunotherapy

Patrick A. Brown, MD, on B-Cell ALL in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults: Blinatumomab vs Chemotherapy

Patrick A. Brown, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, discusses phase III findings from a Children’s Oncology Group Study showing that blinatumomab was superior to chemotherapy in terms of efficacy and tolerability for young patients as a post-reinduction therapy in the setting of high- and...

leukemia
myelodysplastic syndromes
genomics/genetics

Ilaria Iacobucci, PhD, on AML and MDS: Moving Beyond Gene Panel–Based Classifications

Ilaria Iacobucci, PhD, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, discusses her work to more accurately define mutation subtypes in acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes, as well as the implications for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment (Abstract LBA-4 ).

leukemia

Jerald P. Radich, MD, on CML: Predicting Deep Molecular Response to Treatment

Jerald P. Radich, MD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses a gene-expression model that distinguishes patients with chronic myeloid leukemia who achieved a deep molecular response from those with a poor response to treatment. This work could yield new therapeutic targets that...

leukemia

Andrew H. Wei, MBBS, PhD, on AML: Results From the QUAZAR Trial on Oral Azacitidine

Andrew H. Wei, MBBS, PhD, of The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, discusses phase III findings on oral azacitidine (CC-486), the first treatment used in the maintenance setting shown to improve both overall and disease-free survival in patients with acute myeloid leukemia that is in remission following...

leukemia
lymphoma

Jennifer Crombie, MD, on Relapsed or Refractory CLL/SLL: Results From a Phase I Trial of Duvelisib and Venetoclax

Jennifer Crombie, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses early study results which showed that duvelisib plus venetoclax showed activity in patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma, with no dose-limiting toxicities observed (Abstract 1763).

multiple myeloma

Mark Bustoros, MD, on Ixazomib/Lenalidomide/Dexamethasone for High-Risk Smoldering Multiple Myeloma

Mark Bustoros, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses phase II study results showing that the combination of ixazomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone is effective in patients with high-risk smoldering disease, with a high response rate, convenient schedule, and manageable toxicity. Longer...

lymphoma
immunotherapy

Catherine M. Diefenbach, MD, on Follicular Lymphoma: Polatuzumab Vedotin Plus Obinutuzumab/Lenalidomide

Catherine M. Diefenbach, MD, of the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone, discusses a primary analysis of a phase Ib/II trial showing that the novel triplet combination of polatuzumab vedotin plus obinutuzumab/lenalidomide is safe and effective, with high complete response rates seen in a...

breast cancer

SABCS 2019: Postoperative S-1 Plus Endocrine Therapy for HR-Positive, HER2-Negative Breast Cancer

The postoperative combination of S-1, an oral fluoropyrimidine-based drug, with endocrine therapy improved invasive disease–free survival and 5-year invasive disease–free survival estimates in patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, according to results from the...

breast cancer

SABCS 2019: Adding Tucatinib to Capecitabine/Trastuzumab Improved Survival for Patients With Advanced HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

The addition of tucatinib to capecitabine and trastuzumab significantly improved progression-free survival and overall survival in patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, with or without brain metastasis. These findings—from the HER2CLIMB study—were presented by Murthy et al at the 2019 ...

breast cancer

SABCS 2019: [Fam-] Trastuzumab Deruxtecan in Patients With Pretreated HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer

A phase II clinical study investigating [fam-] trastuzumab deruxtecan (T-DXd) in patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer previously treated with trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) showed patients had an overall response rate of 60.9% with the treatment. The study by Krop et al was presented ...

leukemia
immunotherapy

ASH 2019: Blinatumomab vs Standard Chemotherapy for Pediatric Patients With Relapsed B-ALL

Blinatumomab improved survival in children with relapsed B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) compared with standard chemotherapy, accordings to findings from a study presented by Brown et al at the 2019 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition (Abstract LBA-1)....

leukemia
myelodysplastic syndromes

ASH 2019: New Genomic Mutational and Expressional Data in AML, MDS

Researchers have completed the first comprehensive analysis combining full genomic sequencing and gene-expression profiles of more than 1,300 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). The research was presented by Iacobucci et al during the 2019 American Society...

leukemia

ASH 2019: Oral Azacitidine Improves Survival in Older Patients With AML in First Remission

Treatment with an investigational oral form of azacitidine, CC-486, improved overall survival in older patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who were in remission following standard induction chemotherapy with or without consolidation therapy, according to a phase III study...

Hematologist/Oncologist Augustine L. Perrotta, DO, Dies at 80

On November 24, hematologist/oncologist Augustine L. Perrotta, DO, died, days before his 81st birthday. Ironically, Dr. Perrotta died of renal cell carcinoma, presenting with metastasis to the spine, a topic about which he had written and lectured extensively. Clinical Professor of Medicine at...

Scott A. Gerber, PhD, Named Inaugural Kenneth E. and Carol L. Weg Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth

Scott A. Gerber, PhD, has been named the Kenneth E. and Carol L. Weg Distinguished Professor at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. Dr. Gerber is the first to hold this newly established professorship. Dr. Gerber is Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology and of Biochemistry and...

gynecologic cancers

Thermal Ablation vs Cryotherapy or Loop Excision in Zambian Women Positive for Cervical Precancer

In the pilot phase of an ongoing randomized trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Partha Basu, MD, and colleagues found that thermal ablation and cryotherapy produced similar treatment success rates in Zambian women positive for cervical precancer on visual inspection with acetic acid. The...

gynecologic cancers

Nivolumab Plus Bevacizumab in Relapsed Ovarian Cancer

In a phase II trial reported in JAMA Oncology, Joyce F. Liu, MD, MPH, and colleagues found evidence of the activity of combined nivolumab and bevacizumab in relapsed ovarian cancer, with activity appearing to be greater in platinum-sensitive disease. Study Details In the trial, 38 women with...

colorectal cancer

Colorectal Cancer Screening With Fecal Immunochemical Testing, Sigmoidoscopy, or Colonoscopy for Patients Aged 50 to 79

As reported in The British Medical Journal (BMJ) by Lise M. Helsingen, MD, PhD, and colleagues, a clinical practice guideline on colorectal cancer screening published as a BMJ Rapid Recommendations guideline indicates that previously unscreened individuals aged 50 to 79 years old with 15-year...

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, Jeanne Tie, MD, and colleagues 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...

breast cancer

Having Cancer Should Not Make You Homeless

In the spring of 2005, I was launching a new career as a sales consultant for a startup graphics company and wanted to cross off a few essential things on my to-do list, including getting my annual mammogram and physical, before I started my new job. Although I was surprised when I got a call from ...

issues in oncology

Study Investigates Quality-of-Life Scores as Prognostic Factors in Patients With Cancer

Patients with cancer who report on their own quality of life can provide information important in predicting the outcome of their disease, according to researchers from the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). Until recently, reports from clinicians on issues such as...

lymphoma

Zanubrutinib in Previously Treated Mantle Cell Lymphoma

On November 14, 2019, the oral Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor zanubrutinib was granted accelerated approval in the treatment of adult patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) who have received at least one prior therapy.1,2 Supporting Efficacy Data The approval was based on findings from...

hematologic malignancies

Pretreatment Vitamin D Deficiency in Patients Receiving First-Line Treatment for Hodgkin Lymphoma

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Sven Borchmann, MD, of the German Hodgkin Study Group, University Hospital of Cologne, and colleagues found that pretreatment vitamin D deficiency was associated with significantly poorer progression-free and overall survival in patients...

lung cancer

Global Survey Shows Misperceptions About Lung Cancer Among the General Public

Only one in five people (22%) disagrees with the statement “generally, patients with lung cancer have caused their illness through their lifestyle choices and behaviors,” according to a global, omnibus survey conducted by Ipsos MORI and sponsored by the Lung Ambition Alliance. The results were...

skin cancer

ACCC Project Focuses on Multidisciplinary Care of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Due to the rarity of advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, staying current with the latest information on diagnosing, treating, and supporting patients with this diagnosis can be challenging for clinicians who do not often encounter it in practice. To support the multidisciplinary cancer team ...

Alan Hutson, PhD, MA, to Serve on St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Data Safety Monitoring Board

Alan Hutson, PhD, MA, now holds a 5-year term as a biostatistics expert for the data safety monitoring board at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Dr. Hutson is Chair and Professor of Oncology in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. At ...

Partners HealthCare to Become Mass General Brigham: 5-Year Strategic Plan

Partners HealthCare President and Chief Executive Officer, Anne Klibanski, MD, unveiled a 5-year strategic plan and announced plans for rebranding its health-care system. Partners HealthCare, which serves more than 1.5 million patients and receives nearly $2 billion in research funding annually,...

NCCN Updates Genetic Screening Guidelines

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) recently announced publication of the newest genetic risk assessment recommendations for breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment:...

health-care policy

Studies Show the U.S. Health-Care System Hampered by Waste and Trailing Other High-Income Countries

Recent studies show that at least one-quarter of our nation’s health-care expenditures are being consumed by waste, fraud, and abuse. Moreover, since 2004, annual reports from the Commonwealth Fund have consistently rated the performance of our health-care system last among high-income countries,...

Collaborative Trial to Evaluate Imaging Methods for Women With Dense Breasts

In a new effort to improve early breast cancer detection and reduce false-positive exams in women with dense breasts, the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), and GE Healthcare are partnering to support the Contrast-Enhanced Mammography Imaging...

hematologic malignancies

ASH Releases New Clinical Practice Guidelines on Immune Thrombocytopenia

Earlier this month, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) published new state-of-the-art guidelines on the treatment of immune thrombocytopenia. The guidelines were published in the journal Blood Advances.1 The 2019 ASH Clinical Practice Guidelines on Immune Thrombocytopenia, developed in...

gastrointestinal cancer

Working to Improve Survival Rates in Pancreatic Cancer

Although pancreatic cancer survival rates have slowly improved over the past few decades for all stages of pancreatic cancer combined, the 1-year rate is 20%, and the 5-year rate is about 9%. There is no single diagnostic test to detect pancreatic cancer, and less than 20% of tumors are confined to ...

immunotherapy

Antibiotics and Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Patients With Cancer: First Do No Harm

Despite the unprecedented improvement in clinical outcomes with the advent of immune checkpoint blockade for cancer,1,2 robust biomarkers for therapeutic success as well as novel strategies to increase their efficacy are urgently needed. In addition to exploring novel immune checkpoints and other...

immunotherapy

Prior Antibiotic Treatment Linked to Poorer Outcomes With Immunotherapy in Patients With Cancer

In a study presented in a brief report in JAMA Oncology,1 David J. Pinato, MD, PhD, of the Imperial College London, 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...

Carolyn C. Meltzer, MD, Joins Board of Directors for RSNA

Carolyn C. Meltzer, MD, neuroradiologist, nuclear physician, and leader in organized radiology, joined the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Board of Directors earlier this month at the Society’s annual meeting in Chicago. She will serve as the board liaison for science. “I am delighted ...

An Early Interest in Biology and People Led to a Career in Oncology for Nina Shah, MD

Multiple myeloma expert Nina Shah, MD, was born and reared in the Northeast. During grade school, she developed a passion for science that would lead to an early decision to pursue a career in medicine. “My ninth-grade biology class really got me interested in human biology, and that’s when I...

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