Link Between Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and Melanoma, Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers

Although literature demonstrates a decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease in individuals with various cancers—including squamous cell cancers (SCC) and basal cell cancers (BCC)—there is a paucity of literature to substantiate an association between malignant melanoma and...

Pediatric Centers May Improve Survival for Adolescents and Young Adults With ALL

Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) have a survival advantage if they receive treatment at a pediatric cancer center vs an adult center, according to a study published by Muffly et al in Blood Advances. The findings also suggest that treatment at a center...

FDA Accepts sBLA, Grants Priority Review for Nivolumab in Previously Treated Patients With SCLC

On April 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted for Priority Review a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for nivolumab (Opdivo) to treat patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) whose disease has progressed after two or more prior lines of therapy. ...

Long-Term Outcomes of Adjuvant Treatment in High-Risk Prostate Cancer

As reported by Hussain et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, long-term follow-up of the phase III SWOG S9921 trial showed that the addition of adjuvant mitoxantrone and prednisone (MP) to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) did not improve survival and increased death from other malignancies in ...

Family History and Contralateral Breast Cancer Risk in Young Women

In an update from the WECARE (Women’s Environmental Cancer and Radiation Epidemiology) study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Reiner et al found that women with invasive breast cancer are at increased risk of contralateral breast cancer even in the absence of deleterious...

Identification of Genetic Subtypes of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

In a study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Schmitz et al identified four subtypes of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCLs) with distinct genetic, epigenetic, and clinical characteristics that may be amenable to different therapeutic approaches. Study Details The study involved...

Morbidity in Testicular Cancer Survivors Treated With Standard Cisplatin-Based Chemotherapy

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Kerns et al found that approximately 20% of testicular cancer survivors treated with cisplatin-based regimens had high cumulative burden of morbidity (CBM) scores and identified factors associated with risk for increased morbidity. Study...

Phase II Study of Sunitinib Schedule in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

In a phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Jonasch et al found evidence that a 2-weeks-on/1-week-off (2/1) schedule of sunitinib (Sutent) might be an option in frontline treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Study Details In the study, 59 patients with previously...

Cancer Cost Planning and Accounting for Patients Under 65

A new study published by Banegas et al in JNCCN–Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network has found that cancer care costs in the United States are higher for people under age 65—and that costs increase with disease stage. Despite the fact that nearly half of new cancer...

CB-839 in Combination With Cabozantinib for Advanced RCC Granted FDA Fast Track Designation

On April 18, Calithera Biosciences, Inc, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Fast Track designation to CB-839 in combination with cabozantinib (Cabometyx) for the treatment of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who have received one or two prior lines ...

FDA Grants Fast Track Designation for Balixafortide in Combination With Eribulin as Third-Line Therapy for Metastatic Breast Cancer

On April 19, Polyphor announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Fast Track designation for its novel immuno-oncology candidate balixafortide (POL6326) in combination with eribulin (Halaven) for the treatment of patients with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer who...

Study Finds Sigmoidoscopy Screening Reduces Colon Cancer Risk in Men but Not Women

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends several screening tests for colorectal cancer (CRC) in adults aged 50 to 75, including fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2017, there were an estimated 95,520 cases ...

Follicular Extension in Actinic Keratosis and Invasion in Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Actinic keratoses may show extension down into follicles, not only in cases with full-thickness epidermal atypia (bowenoid actinic keratosis), but also in cases with atypia limited to the epidermal basalis. Previous studies have demonstrated that, in bowenoid actinic keratosis, follicular...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

COA Practice Impact Report Details Consolidation, Shift of U.S. Cancer Care System Into More Expensive Hospital Setting

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) has released the 2018 Community Oncology Practice Impact Report, which tracks data on the changing landscape of cancer care in the United States. It details a decade-long trend of closure and consolidation in the U.S. cancer system that has resulted in a...

Personalized Tumor Vaccine Shows Promise in Advanced Ovarian Cancer

A new type of cancer vaccine has yielded promising results in an initial clinical trial conducted at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The personalized vaccine is made from a patient’s own immune ...

Adjuvant FOLFOX or CAPOX for 3 or 6 Months in Stage II or III Colon Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Sobrero et al, the Italian phase III TOSCA trial did not demonstrate noninferiority of 3 vs 6 months of adjuvant CAPOX (capecitabine plus oxaliplatin) or FOLFOX (fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin) in relapse-free survival in stage II or...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Postmarketing Label Modifications for Cancer Drugs Approved Without Supporting Randomized Controlled Trials

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Shepshelovich et al found that cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of solid tumors without supporting randomized controlled trials were more likely to have postapproval safety-associated label...

gastroesophageal cancer
gastrointestinal cancer

Postoperative Chemotherapy vs Chemoradiotherapy in Resectable Gastric Cancer

In the Scandinavian phase III CRITICS trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Cats et al found no benefit of postoperative chemoradiotherapy vs chemotherapy among patients with gastric cancer who had received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Compliance with postoperative regimens was poor in both groups....

St. Jude Cloud, Largest Public Repository of Pediatric Cancer Genomics Data, Launches for Researchers Worldwide

On April 12, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital launched the St. Jude Cloud, an online data-sharing and collaboration platform that provides researchers access to the world's largest public repository of pediatric cancer genomics data. Developed as a partnership among St. Jude,...

FDA Unveils Streamlined Path for Authorizing Tumor-Profiling Tests Alongside Its Latest Product Action

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalized two guidances to drive the efficient development of next-generation sequencing, which scans a person’s DNA to diagnose genetic diseases, and guide medical treatments. The guidances provide recommendations for designing,...

Update on ATLAS Trial of Axitinib as Adjuvant Treatment for Patients at High Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma Recurrence After Surgery

Pfizer recently announced that the independent data monitoring committee for the phase III ATLAS trial, which is evaluating axitinib (Inlyta) as adjuvant therapy for patients at high risk of recurrent renal cell carcinoma (RCC) after nephrectomy, recommended stopping the trial at a planned interim...

issues in oncology
survivorship

ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Fertility Preservation in Patients With Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Kutluk Oktay, MD, PhD, of Yale University School of Medicine, and colleagues, ASCO has issued a clinical practice guideline update on fertility preservation in adults and children with cancer. The update was informed by an update panel systematic...

lymphoma
skin cancer

Reciprocal Risks of Lymphoid Neoplasms and Cutaneous Melanoma

In a study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Herr et al found that patients with specific types of primary lymphoid neoplasms were at increased risk of second primary cutaneous melanoma, with the reciprocal association also being observed. Occurrence of second primary...

FDA Approves Osimertinib for First-Line Treatment of Metastatic NSCLC With Most Common EGFR Mutations

On April 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved osimertinib (Tagrisso) for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 19 deletions or exon 21 L858R mutations, as...

Following Nutrition and Exercise Guidelines May Prolong Survival in Stage III Colon Cancer

A diet high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables—along with exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight—can improve the 5-year survival rate for patients with stage III colorectal cancer, according to a new report published by Van Blarigan et al in JAMA Oncology. The findings...

Pembrolizumab Monotherapy in NSCLC Meets Primary Endpoint in Phase III KEYNOTE-042 Study

On April 9, the phase III KEYNOTE-042 trial evaluating pembrolizumab (Keytruda) as monotherapy for the first-line treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC, including nonsquamous or squamous histologies) met its primary endpoint of overall survival (OS). An ...

Use of Indwelling Pleural Catheter for Outpatient Talc Administration in Treatment of Malignant Pleural Effusion

In a UK study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Bhatnagar et al found that outpatient talc vs placebo administration via indwelling pleural catheter was associated with a higher rate of pleurodesis in patients with malignant pleural effusion. Study Details In the study, a target of ...

Crizotinib in East Asian Patients With ROS1-Positive Advanced NSCLC

In a phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Wu et al found that crizotinib (Xalkori) was highly active in East Asian patients with ROS1-positive advanced non­–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Study Details In the study, 127 patients from 37 sites in China, Japan,...

AACR 2018: Pilot Study of Neoadjuvant Nivolumab in Resectable NSCLC

In a pilot study reported at the 2018 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting (Abstract CT079) and in The New England Journal of Medicine by Forde et al, neoadjuvant nivolumab therapy was found to be feasible and active in patients with resectable non–small cell lung...

AACR 2018: Boosting T-Cell Memory May Result in Longer-Lasting Responses in Patients Treated With Checkpoint Blockade Immunotherapies

Some T cells have excellent memories. These subtypes—known as memory T cells—may explain why some immunotherapies are more effective than others and could potentially lead to researchers designing more effective studies using combination checkpoint blockade treatments, according to...

AACR 2018: New Liquid Biopsy–Based Cancer Model Reveals Data on Chemoresistance in SCLC

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for 14% of all lung cancers and is often rapidly resistant to chemotherapy, resulting in poor clinical outcomes. Treatment has changed little for decades, but a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center offers a potential explanation for...

AACR 2018: Adjuvant Pembrolizumab in High-Risk Stage III Melanoma

As reported at the 2018 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting (Abstract CT001) and in The New England Journal of Medicine by Eggermont et al, the phase III EORTC 1325/KEYNOTE 054 trial has shown that adjuvant pembrolizumab (Keytruda) significantly prolonged recurrence-free...

FDA Approves Fostamatinib Disodium Hexahydrate for Chronic Immune Thrombocytopenia in Adult Patients

On April 17, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved fostamatinib disodium hexahydrate (Tavalisse) for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in adult patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment. Fostamatinib is an oral spleen ...

AACR 2018: KEYNOTE-189: Addition of Pembrolizumab to Chemotherapy in Metastatic NSCLC

As reported at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Meeting (Abstract CT075) in the The New England Journal of Medicine by Gandhi et al, the first interim analysis of the phase III KEYNOTE-189 trial has shown significant improvement in overall and progression-free survival with the...

AACR 2018: CheckMate 227: Nivolumab/Ipilimumab vs Chemotherapy in NSCLC With High Tumor Mutational Burden Analysis

As reported at the 2018 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Meeting (Abstract CT077) and in The New England Journal of Medicine by Hellmann et al, an analysis from the phase III CheckMate 227 trial has shown that the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy)...

Health-Related Quality-of-Life Analysis of Anti–PD-1 Therapy vs Chemotherapy in Advanced Urothelial Cancer

As reported by Vaughn et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a health-related quality-of-life analysis from the phase III KEYNOTE-045 trial in previously treated advanced urothelial cancer showed that patients treated with the anti–programmed cell death protein 1 immunotherapy...

Investigational in Vitro Diagnostics in Oncology Trials: Streamlined Submission Process for Study Risk Determination

On April 16, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft guidance, “Investigational in Vitro Diagnostics in Oncology Trials: Streamlined Submission Process for Study Risk Determination,” to describe for sponsors of certain oncology trials an optional streamlined...

AACR 2018: Short-Acting Calcium Channel Blockers Associated With Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer in Postmenopausal Women

Calcium channel blockers (CCBs)—specifically the short-acting form of CCBs, which are prescribed to treat high blood pressure—were associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in postmenopausal women, according to a study presented at the American Assocation for Cancer...

AACR 2018: Dual Inhibition of IDO1 and PD-L1 Safe in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors

Treatment combining the IDO1 inhibitor epacadostat and the programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor durvalumab (Imfinzi) was found to be safe in patients with advanced solid tumors, with safety data similar to treatment with durvalumab alone, according to data presented from the ongoing...

AACR 2018: TLR9 Agonist CMP-001/Pembrolizumab Combination Shows Early Efficacy in Patients With Metastatic Melanoma Resistant to Anti–PD-1

A combination of CMP-001, an intratumoral Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist, and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) was well tolerated and had clinical activity in patients with metastatic melanoma resistant to programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) checkpoint inhibition, according to preliminary data...

AACR 2018: Prototype Assays Suggest Highly Specific Blood Test to Screen for Cancer Is Feasible

Initial findings from the Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study showed that prototype sequencing assays tested in this analysis may facilitate the development of a highly specific blood test for early cancer detection, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer...

FDA Approves Nivolumab/Ipilimumab Combination in Intermediate- or Poor-Risk Advanced RCC

On April 16, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approvals to nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) in combination for the treatment of intermediate- or poor-risk previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). CheckMate 214 The approvals were based on...

Low-Dose Abiraterone With Food vs Standard-Dose Abiraterone in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

In a phase II trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Szmulewitz et al found that low-dose abiraterone (Zytiga) given with a low-fat meal was noninferior to standard-dose abiraterone in the fasting state with regard to reduction in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels among patients...

Tivantinib in Second-Line Treatment of MET-High Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

In the phase III METIV-HCC trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Rimassa et al found no improvement in overall survival with the investigational MET inhibitor tivantinib vs placebo in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma with high MET expression previously treated with sorafenib...

AACR 2018: Off-the-Shelf, Dual-Targeted CAR T-Cell Product Showed Promising Results in Preclinical Studies

FT819—an off-the-shelf, T-cell receptor–less CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell product that could potentially be made more accessible to patients with cancer than conventional CAR T-cell therapies—showed positive results in preclinical specificity, functionality, and...

solid tumors
lung cancer

AACR 2018: Selective Inhibitor Shows Early Promise in Patients With RET-Altered Cancers

BLU-667, a next-generation inhibitor that selectively targets the oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinase RET, was well tolerated and had broad clinical benefit in patients with advanced cancer that had progressed on previous therapies, including multikinase inhibitor therapy. Proof-of-concept data from ...

AACR 2018: Crizotinib Yielded a High Objective Response Rate for Adult Patients With ALK-Positive Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumor

Among patients with inoperable, advanced, or metastatic ALK-positive inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor, 50% were confirmed to have partial or complete tumor shrinkage after treatment with the ALK-targeted anticancer therapeutic agent crizotinib (Xalkori), according to data from the phase II EORTC...

AACR 2018: Children With Nonchromosomal Birth Defects May Face Higher Risk of Several Childhood Cancers

Children with nonchromosomal birth defects—such as congenital heart disease—had a significantly higher risk of developing childhood cancer than children who did not have birth defects, according to a study presented at the 2018 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual...

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Liver Cancer Incidence in California

In a study among California residents reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Pham et al found that those designated as Asian/Pacific Islanders were at elevated risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) vs other racial/ethnic groups, with the highest risk observed among Southeast...

Minimal Residual Disease and Risk Stratification in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

In an analysis of the UK National Cancer Research Institute AML17 trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Freeman et al found that detection of measureable/minimal residual disease (MRD) after first induction in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) may be prognostically equivalent to partial...

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