pain management

Ontario Province–Wide Symptom Screening and Opioid Prescribing Rates in Older Patients With Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Barbera et al found that a province-wide effort to improve symptom screening and management has increased the frequency of screening but has not improved opioid prescription rates in elderly cancer patients with severe pain. A previous study...

hematologic malignancies

Momelotinib vs Ruxolitinib in Janus Kinase Inhibitor–Naive Myelofibrosis

In the phase III SIMPLIFY-1 noninferiority trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Mesa et al found that the selective Janus kinase (JAK) 1 and 2 inhibitor momelotinib was noninferior to ruxolitinib (Jakafi) in spleen response, but not symptom response, in JAK inhibitor–naive...

palliative care

Integrative Therapies in Palliative Care Project

Palliative care professionals are invited to participate in a unique project sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. Collinge and Associates, Inc, is seeking interdisciplinary professionals to help develop and evaluate a new online continuing education (CE/CME) course on the use of integrative...

hepatobiliary cancer

FDA Accepts sNDA for Lenvatinib for the Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

On September 26, Eisai Inc announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for lenvatinib  (Lenvima) for potential use in the first-line treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. “Patients with...

breast cancer

Study Finds 'Standard Care' Treatments in Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Not Always Standard

Historically, randomized controlled trials have served as the state-of-the-art method for determining the efficacy and safety of new, innovative treatment regimens for patients with cancer and other diseases. It is imperative that such trials are carefully designed to ensure that they are...

lymphoma

European Commission Approves Obinutuzumab for Previously Untreated Advanced Follicular Lymphoma

On September 22, Roche announced that the European Commission has approved obinutuzumab (Gazyvaro in Europe; available in the United States as Gazyva) in combination with chemotherapy, followed by obinutuzumab maintenance in patients achieving a response, as a new treatment for previously untreated ...

palliative care

Inpatient Palliative Care During HCT and Psychological Distress After Transplantation

In a single-center study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, El-Jawahri et al found that inpatient palliative care during hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was associated with improvement in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms at 6 months after...

lung cancer

Comparison of First-Line Treatments for EGFR-Mutant NSCLC

The phase III ARCHER 1050 trial has shown superior progression-free survival with the second-generation irreversible epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor dacomitinib vs gefitinib (Iressa) in the first-line treatment of advanced EGFR-mutant non–small cell lung...

Lymphoma Physician-Scientist Oliver Press, MD, PhD, Dies at 65

Oliver Press, MD, PhD, a blood cancer physician-scientist who made foundational contributions to the development of targeted cancer therapies, died Friday of complications from glioma. He was 65 years old. Dr. Press was the David and Patricia Giuliani/Oliver Press Endowed Chair for Cancer Research ...

issues in oncology

FDA Conducts Global Operation to Protect Consumers From Potentially Dangerous Prescription Drugs Sold Online

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in partnership with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, recently took action against more than 500 websites that illegally sell potentially dangerous, unapproved versions of prescription medicines, including opioids, antibiotics, and...

breast cancer

FDA Grants Priority Review for Pertuzumab for Adjuvant Treatment of HER2-Positive Early Breast Cancer

On September 29, Roche announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the company’s supplemental Biologics License Application and granted Priority Review for pertuzumab (Perjeta), in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and chemotherapy, for adjuvant treatment of...

lung cancer

Consolidative Radiotherapy for Limited Metastatic NSCLC

In a single-institution phase II trial reported in JAMA Oncology, Iyengar et al found that consolidative stereotactic ablative radiotherapy improved progression-free survival vs maintenance therapy alone in patients with limited metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Study Details...

breast cancer

10-Year Survival With vs Without Axillary Dissection in Invasive Breast Cancer With Sentinel-Node Metastasis

As reported in JAMA by Giuliano et al, 10-year overall survival in the ACOSOG Z0011 (Alliance) trial with sentinel lymph node dissection (SLND) alone was noninferior to that with axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) in women with clinical T1 or T2 invasive breast cancer, no palpable axillary...

breast cancer

What Is the Most Important Factor Women Consider in Deciding on SERM Use to Reduce Their Risk of Breast Cancer?

Currently, two medications have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce the risk of breast cancer: tamoxifen and raloxifene. Both medications, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), have been shown to reduce the risk for breast cancer by up to 50% in prevention...

breast cancer

ASTRO 2017: Shorter Course of Radiation Treatment Safe for Breast Cancer Patients Under 50

A higher-dose, shorter form of radiation is safe, effective, and no more damaging to the breast tissue or skin of breast cancer patients under age 50 than it is in older patients. This is the finding of a study led by researchers from Perlmutter Cancer Center at New York University (NYU)...

lymphoma

Molecular Profiling of Key Survival Proteins in B-Cell Lymphoma Subtypes

Investigators at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson uncovered potential new proteins that contribute to the development and progression of several types of lymphoma. Their findings were published by Adams et al in Clinical Cancer Research. The researchers focused their attention on...

gastrointestinal cancer

Nivolumab Approved in Japan for Unresectable Advanced or Recurrent Gastric Cancer That Has Progressed After Chemotherapy

On September 22, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) approved nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of unresectable advanced or recurrent gastric cancer which has progressed after chemotherapy. This approval was based on the phase III ...

skin cancer

Pooled Analysis Safety Profile of Combination Immunotherapy for Advanced Melanoma

In a retrospective study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Sznol et al have provided a pooled safety profile of combination nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) treatment in patients with advanced melanoma. Study Details The study included data from 448 patients from a phase Ib...

gastrointestinal cancer

Addition of MET Inhibitor to First-Line Chemotherapy in Advanced Gastric Cancer

The phase III RILOMET-1 trial showed no survival benefit of adding the MET inhibitor rilotumumab to first-line epirubicin, cisplatin, and capecitabine in patients with advanced MET-positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. These results were reported in The Lancet Oncology by...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Liquid Biopsy May Provide Predictive Biomarkers for Checkpoint Inhibitor Response

Although checkpoint inhibitor–based immunotherapy has revolutionized treatment for a variety of cancers, the majority of patients with cancer do not respond to the therapy, and a subset of patients may even experience hyperprogression. Many patients also experience some degree of...

health-care policy

ASTRO 2017: Uninsured Patients With Cancer Saw Increased Coverage for Care Following Medicaid Expansion

A new study found that Medicaid expansion enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) improved coverage for care for patients with cancer receiving radiation therapy and potentially decreased health-care disparities. Analysis of more than 197,000 patient records from one ...

breast cancer

ASTRO 2017: Accelerated Breast Radiation Therapy Following Mastectomy Can Shorten Treatment Time While Maintaining Tumor Control

Radiation therapy following mastectomy for intermediate-stage, high-risk breast cancer can be shortened from 5 to 3 weeks while maintaining tumor control rates in the breast and surrounding region that are equivalent to conventional treatment, according to research presented by Sun et al at the...

breast cancer

Preexisting Mental Illness and All-Cause and Breast Cancer Mortality in Elderly Breast Cancer Patients

A study using linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results–Medicare data has shown a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality and a nonsignificantly increased risk of breast cancer–specific mortality in elderly breast cancer patients with preexisting severe mental...

issues in oncology

Changes in Insurance Coverage and Diagnosis Stage After Affordable Care Act Implementation

Jemal et al found decreases in the percentage of uninsured patients and trends toward earlier diagnosis among nonelderly patients with cancer after implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Their findings were reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Study Details The study used...

lung cancer

Combination Therapy for Previously Untreated BRAF V600E–Mutant Metastatic NSCLC

In a phase II trial, the combination of dabrafenib (Tafinlar) plus trametinib (Mekinist) produced durable responses in a cohort of patients with previously untreated BRAF V600E–mutant metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The findings were reported in The Lancet Oncology by...

breast cancer

ASTRO 2017: Patients With Breast Cancer Find Radiation Therapy Experience Better Than Expected

A new survey finds breast cancer patients’ actual radiation therapy experiences largely exceeded their expectations. The survey, which addressed the fears and misconceptions regarding radiation therapy for breast cancer, found that more than three-fourths of the breast cancer patients...

head and neck cancer

ASTRO 2017: Aggressively Reduced Radiation Therapy May Benefit Some Patients With HPV-Related Throat Cancer

For certain patients with oropharyngeal cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), an aggressive reduction of radiation therapy after surgery may provide cancer control while simultaneously reducing post-treatment side effects, improving quality of life, and lowering treatment costs,...

kidney cancer

Adjuvant Therapy for Localized or Locally Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Motzer et al, the phase III PROTECT trial showed no significant disease-free survival benefit for adjuvant pazopanib at 600 mg vs placebo after nephrectomy in patients with localized or locally advanced renal cell carcinoma at high risk of relapse. ...

gynecologic cancer

ASTRO 2017: GOG-249 Confirms Adjuvant Pelvic Radiation as Standard of Care for High-Risk, Early-Stage Endometrial Cancer

In a new phase III trial report from the National Clinical Trial Network group, NRG Oncology, recurrence-free and overall survival rates for women with stage I–II high-risk endometrial cancer were not superior following adjuvant vaginal cuff brachytherapy plus chemotherapy when compared with...

issues in oncology

Second Annual ASCO Advocacy Summit Convenes in Washington, DC

Nearly 100 oncology care providers from across the United States traveled to Capitol Hill on September 27 and 28 to participate in the second annual ASCO Advocacy Summit. Advocates met with Members of Congress and their staff to educate them on critical issues affecting patients with cancer ...

FDA Approves New CDK4/6 Inhibitor for Certain Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved abemaciclib (Verzenio) to treat adult patients who have hormone receptor–positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer that has progressed after endocrine therapy. Abemaciclib is...

prostate cancer

ASTRO 2017: Immune Response May Be Prognostic for Prostate Cancer Survival, Recurrence, and Response to Radiation Therapy

A new study finds that immune response in prostate cancer may be able to forecast how patients will respond to radiation therapy, as well as their likelihood of disease recurrence and survival outcomes. The analysis of more than 9,000 prostate tumors also found evidence that programmed cell death...

lung cancer

ASTRO 2017: RTOG 0617: Long-Term Survival Rates Improve Previous Estimates for Locally Advanced Lung Cancer

Long-term results of a phase III clinical trial indicate that survival rates for patients receiving chemoradiation for unresectable, locally advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may be more than twice as high as previous estimates. At 5 years following treatment with a standard dose of ...

survivorship

Cumulative Burden of Chronic Health Conditions in Childhood Cancer Survivors

In a report from the St Jude Lifetime Cohort Study published in The Lancet, Bhakta et al detailed the burden of lifetime chronic health conditions in survivors of childhood cancers. The report included retrospectively collected data on chronic health conditions in 5,522 patients treated for...

lung cancer

MicroRNA-Loaded Minicells in Recurrent Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

An Australian phase I first-in-human trial has shown early activity of microRNA-loaded minicells in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. These findings were reported in The Lancet Oncology by van Zandwijk et al. The minicells (TargomiRs) are loaded with miR-16–based mimic microRNA...

solid tumors

ASTRO 2017: Radiation-Immunotherapy Combination May Benefit Some Patients With Late-Stage Cancer

A new study involving patients with stage IV cancer has found that treatment with radiation therapy and immunotherapy can slow tumor growth by stimulating the body’s immune system to attack the cancer. In the phase II trial, patients with end-stage cancer that had metastasized to the lungs or ...

issues in oncology

ASTRO 2017: Distress in Patients Receiving Radiation Associated With Missed Appointments, Hospitalization

Psychological distress has long been associated with negative health outcomes for patients with cancer, though specific reasons remain unclear. A new study has found that roughly half of all patients who reported having severe distress, which the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN)...

lung cancer

ASTRO 2017: Adding Radiation to Maintenance Chemotherapy May Benefit Patients With Limited Metastatic NSCLC

For patients with limited metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), adding radiation therapy before maintenance chemotherapy may curb disease progression when compared to maintenance chemotherapy alone, according to a randomized phase II clinical trial reported by Iyengar et al. at the...

lung cancer

Addition of Motesanib to Paclitaxel/Carboplatin in East Asian Patients With Advanced NSCLC

The phase III MONET-A trial has shown that the addition of the multikinase/vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitor motesanib to paclitaxel and carboplatin did not significantly improve progression-free survival in East Asian patients with stage IV/recurrent nonsquamous non–small ...

skin cancer

Adjuvant Dabrafenib and Trametinib in Resected Stage III BRAF-Mutated Melanoma

The phase III COMBI-AD trial has shown a significant improvement in relapse-free survival with the combination of the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and the MEK inhibitor trametinib (Mekinist) vs placebo as adjuvant therapy in patients with resected stage III melanoma with BRAF V600E or V600K ...

breast cancer

Study Finds Smoking Negatively Impacts Long-Term Survival After Breast Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, about 316,120 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year, and over 40,000 women will die of the disease. Between 10% and 20% of women diagnosed with cancer are current smokers. Now, a prospective study by Parada et al investigating whether...

lung cancer

ASTRO 2017: Biomarker Blood Test Predicts Survival Following Localized Lung Cancer Treatment

A new study demonstrates that a blood test to detect cancer may predict treatment outcomes for patients with localized non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and afford physicians additional lead time to personalize treatment for recurrent disease. Patients in the study with detectable levels of...

gynecologic cancer

ASTRO 2017: IAEA Trial: Safety, Efficacy of High-Dose Brachytherapy Plus Pelvic Radiation for Cervical Cancer

Findings from a new multicenter, international clinical trial confirm the effectiveness of high-dose brachytherapy, or internal radiation therapy, for managing locally advanced cervical cancer. Tumor control was significantly better following four fractions of 7 Gy each than following two 9-Gy...

issues in oncology

ASTRO 2017: Urban Cancer Center Finds 75% of Its Patients With Depression Were Previously Undiagnosed

A new study of patients at an urban cancer center points to a potentially serious problem that may limit the impact of clinical cancer care—undiagnosed depression. Among the 40% of patients at the center who were diagnosed with depression, three in four had not previously been told they were ...

gastrointestinal cancer

FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Pembrolizumab for Advanced Gastric Cancer

On September 22, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic, gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma whose tumors express programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) as...

hepatobiliary cancer

FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Nivolumab for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Previously Treated With Sorafenib

On September 22, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients who have been previously treated with sorafenib (Nexavar). CheckMate 040 Approval was based on a 154-patient subgroup of...

breast cancer

Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes in African Americans and European Americans With Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Triple-negative breast cancer is a highly aggressive breast cancer that lacks hormone receptors and overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu), and, therefore, there are no targeted treatments available for the cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer afflicts African...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Preexisting Dementia and Survival in Older Patients With Stage III Colon Cancer

A pre-existing diagnosis of dementia was associated with increased risk of death for older patients with advanced colon cancer; however, some of the effects of dementia on survival could be mediated by receipt of chemotherapy, according to results of a study published by Chen et al in Cancer...

gynecologic cancer

Olaparib Receives Positive pCODR Recommendation for Treatment of BRCA-Mutated Ovarian Cancer

The pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) has provided a positive clinical recommendation for the reimbursement of olaparib (Lynparza), a first-of-its-kind treatment for BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer. Lynparza is an oral, potent inhibitor of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) available as a...

skin cancer

Adjuvant Nivolumab vs Ipilimumab in Resected Stage III or IV Melanoma

The phase III Checkmate 238 trial has shown improved recurrence-free survival with adjuvant nivolumab (Opdivo) vs ipilimumab (Yervoy) in patients with resected advanced melanoma. The findings were reported by Weber and colleagues in The New England Journal of Medicine. Study Details In the...

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