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issues in oncology
covid-19

Harvard Medical Student’s Innovation: Disinfection You Can See

In 2014, three undergrads at Columbia University had a crazy idea for a hackathon challenge: colorize bleach so health-care workers could spot missed areas on the surfaces and personal protective equipment they are trying to disinfect. Five years later, the result is a product called Highlight®,...

breast cancer
bladder cancer
lymphoma
immunotherapy

FDA Pipeline: Approval of New Dosing for Biosimilar, Plus Two Fast Track Designations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new dose for a biosimilar referencing trastuzumab and granted Fast Track designations to agents for patients with urothelial cancer and follicular lymphoma. Approval of Multidose Vial of Trastuzumab Biosimilar The FDA approved a...

issues in oncology

Apixaban for Cancer-Associated Venous Thromboembolism

For patients with cancer, the oral blood thinner apixaban is at least as effective as dalteparin, a low–molecular-weight heparin given by injection, in preventing a repeat venous thromboembolism (VTE), with no excess in major bleeding events. These findings from the phase III Caravaggio study were...

covid-19

Oncologists on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Conversation With Miriam A. Knoll, MD

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, The ASCO Post will be interviewing oncologists on how they and their centers are dealing with the crisis. Here, we speak with Miriam A. Knoll, MD, a radiation oncologist at the John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, ...

hematologic malignancies
covid-19

ASH Research Collaborative's Data Hub Creates International Data Registry for Patients With Blood Cancers and COVID-19

On April 1, the ASH Research Collaborative's (ASH RC) Data Hub launched the ASH RC Data Hub COVID-19 Registry for Hematologic Malignancy, a global registry with clinical data exclusively on people with COVID-19 and a current or past diagnosis of a hematologic malignancy. The registry is intended to ...

issues in oncology
gynecologic cancers
global cancer care

Gynecologic Cancer Screening After a Natural Disaster

Cervical cancer screening rates were significantly affected in the years following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, according to a report published by Miki et al in PLOS ONE. “Conflicts and disasters, and the social isolation that often follows, have a major impact on health care and lead...

issues in oncology
lung cancer

Disparities in Receipt of Chemotherapy Among Patients With pN1 Lung Cancer

In patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) where the cancer has spread to one or more lymph nodes close to the lungs—a condition known as pathologic N1 (pN1) disease—current guidelines recommend a two-part protocol: surgical resection, followed by chemotherapy. However, a retrospective...

multiple myeloma
covid-19

Irene M. Ghobrial, MD, on How COVID-19 is Changing the Conduct of Clinical Trials

Irene M. Ghobrial, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, talks about PROMISE—her screening study for people at high-risk of developing precursor conditions of multiple myeloma­­—and how this and other trials have been altered in the wake of the pandemic, as well as what might be considered a silver...

hematologic malignancies
immunotherapy

Bispecific Antibodies: Successes and Challenges

Bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE) antibodies, such blinatumomab, may be the most appealing type of bispecific antibodies, a class of manufactured constructs that is expected to expand into the solid tumor space, according to Hermann Einsele, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Würzburg,...

issues in oncology
geriatric oncology

Polypharmacy and Inpatient Hospitalization Rates in Older Patients With Cancer

In a study published by Grace Lu-Yao, PhD, and colleagues in the Journal of Geriatric Oncology, researchers found hospitalization rates can increase by as much as 114% in patients with breast, prostate, and lung cancers when those patients have taken 15 or more medications prior to chemotherapy...

solid tumors
immunotherapy

Does Pembrolizumab Show Activity in Some Rare Cancers?

A study published by Naing et al in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer found that treatment with pembrolizumab demonstrated acceptable toxicity and antitumor activity in patients with four types of advanced, hard-to-treat rare cancers. “Our findings that pembrolizumab has a favorable toxicity...

immunotherapy
lung cancer

FDA Approves Durvalumab as Part of a First-Line Combination Regimen for Extensive-Stage SCLC

On March 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved durvalumab (Imfinzi) in combination with etoposide and either carboplatin or cisplatin as first-line treatment of patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC). CASPIAN Trial Efficacy of this combination in patients...

Cancer Care Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

To start off this week, we’ll discuss a report from physicians in Washington state about how they’re handling cancer care currently in their institutions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll then hear from Dr. Giuseppe Curigliano, who spoke with The ASCO Post from his office in Milan about how Italy...

covid-19

The Blind Leading the Blind: COVID-19, Cancer, and the Need for More Data

In the novel Blindness, Portuguese author José Saramago describes an epidemic that quickly and inexorably causes nearly all inhabitants of an unnamed city to lose their sight. The Nobel Laureate writes in long uninterrupted sentences, making the reader experience the fears and anxieties of the...

hepatobiliary cancer
global cancer care

Trends in Global Rates of Liver Cancer From 1990 to 2017

New research published by Liu et al in the journal Cancer has revealed rising rates of liver cancer around the world, despite advances aimed at preventing the disease; however, some steps towards alleviation have been made due to control of hepatitis. Methods To obtain trends and estimates of liver ...

covid-19

American College of Surgeons Issues COVID-19 Guidelines for Triage of Patients Undergoing Cancer Surgery

This week, the American College of Surgeons issued guidelines on triage of patients undergoing elective cancer surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, hospital leadership and individual providers are facing increasingly difficult decisions about how to conserve...

global cancer care
covid-19

Giuseppe Curigliano, MD, PhD, on How COVID-19 Is Affecting Cancer Care: The View From Italy

Giuseppe Curigliano, MD, PhD, of the University of Milan, talks about how, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, he and his fellow oncologists have altered the way they treat patients with cancer. Filmed March 24, 2020.

covid-19

Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, MBA, on Delivering Cancer Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Report From Philadelphia

Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, MBA, Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, talks about what she and her staff have encountered during the COVID-19 crisis and how they and their patients are coping. Filmed March 25, 2020.

gynecologic cancers
immunotherapy

Predicting Which Patients With Ovarian Cancer May Respond to Combination PARP and PD-1 Inhibition

In some patients with advanced ovarian cancer, the combination of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors can produce responses, but up until now, investigators have been unable to predict which patients would not benefit from the treatment and...

covid-19

Association for Clinical Oncology: More Testing, Personal Protective Equipment, Practice Support Needed During COVID-19 Crisis

The Association for Clinical Oncology, ASCO's affiliated 501(c)(6) organization, is urging the White House and leaders in Congress to swiftly work together to meet the needs of patients and health-care professionals in response to the COVID-19 crisis. In a letter to the President, Vice President,...

Prepare Your Patients for Potential Side Effects With ASCO Answers Fact Sheets

  Help patients with cancer identify, manage, and cope with side effects by giving them in-depth information from ASCO Answers. Direct, easy to understand, and in a convenient single-page format, ASCO Answers fact sheets are the ideal take-home resource for your patients. Popular titles include:   ...

Leaving ‘No Stone Unturned’ in Research to Cure a Rare Kidney Cancer

It is devasting for a doctor to tell a patient there is nothing that can be done to help him. For Nizar Tannir, MD, FACP, the words of a young father still ring in his ears: “I was trying to tell him that, unfortunately, despite all our efforts, I didn’t have any more treatments to offer him. And...

Conquer Cancer–Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research Career Pathway Grants

Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, and Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research (RTFCCR) have partnered to establish the Conquer Cancer–Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research Career Pathway Grants in Symptom Management. These grants will support research in symptom...

New Study in JCO Oncology Practice Highlights Smoking Cessation Initiative Success for Patients With Cancer

A new study in JCO Oncology Practice (JCO OP) highlights an effective effort to increase the use of evidence-based state smoking cessation programs among patients with cancer and survivors who use tobacco. In Michigan, state agencies and the Michigan Oncology Quality Consortium partnered to create...

Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking Cessation Highlights Evidence-Based Ways to Help People Quit

ASCO applauds the Office of the Surgeon General for releasing its first report on smoking cessation in 30 years. The report provides the latest evidence-based information on the public health consequences of tobacco use and effective ways to help people quit smoking. Smoking rates in the United...

Survey Says: A Low-Tech Approach Leads to High-Quality Care in South Africa

An American medical student travels to rural Uganda; there, he finds most villagers walking miles to receive health care at the nearby district hospital. Upon arrival, they spend hours waiting in line. Some patients make this trip monthly. Before entering internal medicine residency, Daniel O’Neil, ...

ASCO, Project ECHO Partner to Pilot Impactful Cancer Tele-Education Program in Nepal

Cancer care for patients in rural areas is challenging—for example, in the United States, only 3% of medical oncologists practice in rural areas, and patients must travel long distances to see specialists. Patients may also have trouble managing complications from care or follow-up from treatment....

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Awards $2.75 Million to Support Six Early-Career Researchers

The parker institute for cancer immunotherapy (PICI) recently announced awards for six early-career researchers through the Parker Scholars, Parker Bridge Fellows, and Parker Senior Fellows programs. They are receiving a total of up to $2.75 million in funding to advance their research in profound...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Don’t Expect Transgender Patients to ‘Out’ Themselves

Although more transgender patients are presenting to breast centers for imaging, many “report significant social stigma when seeking care,” according to a study in the Journal of Breast Imaging.1 Reported verbal abuse and other forms of harassment “can lead to transgender patients concealing their...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Addressing the Needs of Transgender Patients for Breast Cancer Screening in Comfortable and Inclusive Environments

An analysis of breast imaging center websites and a literature search for research articles on transgender breast health found that “issues related to transgender breast imaging are not well addressed in the radiology literature or in the radiology community, even though more transgender patients...

leukemia

AML Pioneer and Giant, Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, FASCO, Dies at 77

Physicians and scientists interested in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have lost one of the community’s shining lights with the death of Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, FASCO, on March 1, 2020, at age 77 years. Dr. Bloomfield is well known for her more than 50 years of groundbreaking research in blood...

breast cancer

I Wasn’t Prepared for the Emotional Turmoil of Breast Cancer

Nearly a decade ago, my mother tested positive for the BRCA1 mutation; soon after, my twin sister and I were tested for the inherited defective gene, and I learned I, too, have the BRCA1 mutation. My sister is not a carrier of the mutation. Although there is a long history of both breast and...

The Opioid Crisis as Told From the Streets to the Clinics and Its Unintended Consequences

The history of drug addictions and epidemics in the United States dates back to the Civil War, when morphine was introduced as a pain medication for wounded soldiers. Regular off-label use of morphine quickly spread from war hospitals to the general public. It is estimated that more than 400,000...

A Cello for Michayla

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...

leukemia
lymphoma

Selected ASH Abstracts on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma

To complement The ASCO Post’s continued comprehensive coverage of the 2019 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, here are several abstracts selected from the meeting proceedings focusing on novel therapies for newly diagnosed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and...

colorectal cancer

Expert Point of View: John M. Carethers, MD

The analysis of the National Cancer Database is one of a number of studies describing  sociodemographic-related disparities in colorectal cancer outcomes, according to session Co-Chair John M. Carethers, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan,...

Veterans Health Bill Promotes Comprehensive Prostate Cancer Care Program

The American Urological Association (AUA) ­announced its support for the Veterans Prostate Cancer Treatment and Research Act, introduced on March 5 by Rep. Neal Dunn, MD (R-FL-3), and Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC-1). This bill supports the development and implementation of a Veterans Health...

Randall A. Oyer, MD, Named President of the Association of Community Cancer Centers

At the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) 46th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit, held March 4–6 in Washington, DC, Randall A. Oyer, MD, was named ACCC President for 2020–2021. Dr. Oyer announced that the theme of his presidency will be “Community Oncology Can Close the ...

International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Names Research Award After Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) recently announced it is naming the Translational Research Lectureship Award after longtime member and former IASLC Chief Executive Officer Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD. The award, which was previously named after Adi Gazdar, MD, who...

Charles Sawyers, MD, Receives Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has named Charles Sawyers, MD, as the recipient of the 2020 Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics. Dr. Sawyers is Chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program and the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Chair at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, as ...

Memorial Sloan Kettering Announces Two New Appointments

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) recently appointed Sergio Giralt, MD, and Miguel-Angel Perales, MD, as Deputy Division Head of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Chief of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service, respectively. Dr. Giralt: New Roles and Old Former Chief of...

breast cancer

Neratinib Combined With Capecitabine in Previously Treated Advanced HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

On February 25, 2020, neratinib (Nerlynx) was approved for use in combination with capecitabine for treatment of adult patients with advanced or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have received two or more prior anti–HER2-based regimens in the metastatic setting.1,2 Supporting Efficacy ...

issues in oncology

Cancer During Pregnancy: Whose Moral Compass to Follow?

As has often been written, “Cancer is the greatest equalizer.” It tends to strike its victims regardless of their financial status. In low- and middle-income countries, however, the impact of poverty on the treatment of cancer is strikingly conspicuous. It is the major catalyst for delay in seeking ...

issues in oncology
survivorship

How Exercise Oncology Can Improve Cancer Outcome and Survivorship

Researchers from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recently reviewed hundreds of epidemiologic studies on the link between physical activity and both cancer risk and cancer mortality. A subsequent analysis of the findings by a panel of experts representing 17 partner organizations,...

covid-19

Oncologists on the Front Lines of COVID‑19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is dramatically affecting health-care systems. This is the first in a series of interviews The ASCO Post will conduct with oncologists, to learn what they and their cancer centers are doing to deal with the crisis. In this article, we talk with John Cole, MD, a...

issues in oncology
prostate cancer
lung cancer
breast cancer
colorectal cancer

Patients With Certain Cancers May Be at a Higher Risk for Atrial Fibrillation

People with a history of cancer have an over twofold risk of developing atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder, compared to the general population, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session (Abstract 1216-235). In...

covid-19

A Message From the FDA OCE for Patients With Cancer and Health-Care Providers on COVID-19

On March 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE) issued the following statement: The FDA OCE recognizes that patients with cancer constitute a vulnerable population at risk of contracting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While everyone’s daily lives...

gastroesophageal cancer
gastrointestinal cancer
immunotherapy

Phase III JAVELIN Gastric 100 Trial Finds No Survival Benefit for Maintenance Avelumab

In the phase III JAVELIN Gastric 100 trial, a strategy called “switch maintenance” with the immune checkpoint inhibitor avelumab after 12 weeks of first-line induction chemotherapy did not statistically improve overall survival for treatment-naive patients with HER2-negative advanced gastric or...

gastroesophageal cancer
gastrointestinal cancer
immunotherapy

Pembrolizumab in MSI-H and CPS ≥ 10 Advanced Gastric or Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer: Subanalysis of KEYNOTE-059, -061, and -062

The survival benefit of pembrolizumab in advanced gastric/gastroesophageal junction cancer with microsatellite instability–high (MSI-H) tumors or a combined positive score (CPS) ≥ 10 was established in post hoc subanalysis of three KEYNOTE trials. Findings were presented at the 2020...

pancreatic cancer

Expert Point of View: Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FSCT, FASCO

Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FSCT, FASCO, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of ASCO, called the 74% response rate to cisplatin/gemcitabine “remarkable.” “What’s impressive to me is the high response rate, as well as the progression-free and overall survival data—these data are...

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