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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...

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 ...

issues in oncology

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...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

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.

issues in oncology

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...

issues in oncology

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

issues in oncology

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...

issues in oncology

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...

pancreatic cancer

Cisplatin/Gemcitabine Alone and With Veliparib in BRCA-Mutated Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

In patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and a germline BRCA/PALB2 mutation, first-line therapy with cisplatin plus gemcitabine yielded high response rates and encouraging survival, according to Eileen M. O’Reilly, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who presented the findings...

pancreatic cancer
genomics/genetics

Genetic Counseling and Testing of Patients With Pancreatic Cancer

Routine genetic counseling and multigene testing of patients with pancreatic cancer result in the detection of mutations that are actionable, not only for patients, but also for at-risk family members. At the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, the use of a systemized, automated referral system ...

pancreatic cancer

Maintenance Olaparib in BRCA1/2-Positive Pancreatic Cancer Yields Improved Progression-Free Survival, Preserves Quality of Life

Health-related quality of life was preserved during maintenance olaparib in patients with BRCA 1/2-positive pancreatic cancer, as evidenced by a low symptom burden over time.1 POLO investigators reported their findings in posters presented at the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. Other...

colorectal cancer
immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Christopher M. Booth, MD

Christopher M. Booth, MD, the invited discussant of the BEACON CRC quality-of-life findings, applauded the investigators for choosing overall survival and quality of life as endpoints in a trial that benefits a “vulnerable patient population with unmet needs.” Patients with BRAF-mutated metastatic...

colorectal cancer
immunotherapy

Mature Follow-up of BEACON CRC Study Reports Quality-of-Life Measures and Survival Outcomes

For patients with previously treated metastatic colorectal cancer harboring BRAF V600E mutations, the phase III BEACON CRC study showed the benefit for combining two or three targeted agents vs the standard of care.1 With further follow-up, the study has now also shown a benefit for the triplet and ...

colorectal cancer
immunotherapy

TAPUR Basket Study: Biomarker-Driven Treatment Strategies Yield Benefits in Colorectal Cancer

Positive findings on the potential benefit of molecularly targeted drugs in patients with advanced colorectal cancer were presented at the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, validating the purpose of ASCO’s Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR) study.1-3 TAPUR, the first...

hepatobiliary cancer
immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: A. Craig Lockhart, MD

A. Craig Lockhart, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, applauded the study for making patient-reported outcomes a prespecified endpoint and described the value of having this information. Dr. Lockhart was the invited discussant. “The U.S. Food and...

hepatobiliary cancer
immunotherapy

IMbrave150 Prespecified Analysis Adds Improved Quality-of-Life to Survival Benefits Reaped With Atezolizumab Plus Bevacizumab

New findings from a prespecified analysis of the pivotal IMbrave150 trial revealed improved quality of life for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma treated with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab in the first-line setting. These results were reported by Peter R. Galle, MD, at the 2020...

gastroesophageal cancer
gastrointestinal cancer
colorectal cancer
hepatobiliary cancer
pancreatic cancer

Conference Highlights From the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium

This past January, the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium was held in San Francisco. More than 3,600 individuals attended and more than 900 abstracts and posters were presented. Among the highlights presented at the meeting and reported in the pages of The ASCO Post, several studies in...

multiple myeloma
lymphoma
immunotherapy

A Discussion About CAR T-Cell Therapy for Multiple Myeloma and Lymphoma

Dr. Armitage discusses the role of CAR T-cell therapy in the management of multiple myeloma and lymphoma in a conversation with his colleagues Dr. Holstein and Dr. Lunning.

lymphoma

A Case of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

Dr. Armitage presents a case and asks Dr. Lunning to describe how he would treat this patient. The patient is a 52-year-old man who found a neck mass himself. He went to his doctor and was prescribed antibiotics. When the antibiotics failed to impact the mass, a biopsy was performed and a diagnosis ...

multiple myeloma

A Case of Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma

Dr. Armitage presents a case and asks Dr. Holstein to comment about her approach to treatment. The patient is be a 59-year-old man who had presented with symptomatic myeloma with bone pain and he was feeling unwell. He had bone lesions on images. He was anemic. This all happened 2 years ago. He was ...

lymphoma

A Case of Relapsed/Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma

Dr. Armitage presents a case and asks Dr. Lunning to describe how he would treat this patient. The patient is a 25-year-old man with a diagnosis of stage III nodular sclerosing Hodgkin lymphoma. His disease went into complete remission when the patient was treated with ABVD and he was well. One...

multiple myeloma

A Case of Smoldering Myeloma

In this episode, Dr. Armitage presents a case and asks Dr. Holstein to comment on her approach to treatment of this individual. The patient is a 65-year-old man who was referred because of a monoclonal protein found in his blood. The patient was asymptomatic. He had a normal exam. He had an IgG...

prostate cancer

PSMA PET/CT May Have Major Impact on Treatment of Patients With Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer experts speaking at the 2020 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium alluded to the fact that prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron-emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) scanning is more sensitive than conventional imaging for the detection of occult lesions in men ...

skin cancer

Trends in Deaths From Cutaneous Melanoma in the United States

Recent treatment advances in metastatic melanoma resulted in reductions in population-level mortality from the disease, according to a study published by Polsky et al in the American Journal of Public Health. Methods Researchers analyzed new cases and deaths from melanoma from nine U.S....

breast cancer

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis vs Digital Mammography Outcomes: Comparison Over 5 Years

A new study published by Conant et al in the journal Radiology found that the advantages of digital breast tomosynthesis over digital mammography, including increased cancer detection and fewer false-positive findings, are maintained over multiple years and rounds of screening. In addition,...

COVID-19 May Remain Stable for Hours to Days in Aerosols and on Surfaces

The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study published as a research letter in The New England Journal of Medicine. A team of researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the Centers ...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Cancer Incidence and Survivorship in Transgender Patients

The first-ever population-based study of cancer prevalence in transgender people was recently published by Boehmer et al in the journal Cancer. The authors of the report estimate that 62,530 of the nearly 17 million cancer survivors in the United States are transgender. Methods The researchers used ...

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