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NCI and VA Launch NAVIGATE to Boost Veterans’ Access to Cancer Clinical Trials

Veterans with cancer who receive treatment from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will now have easier access to clinical trials of novel cancer treatments, thanks to an agreement between the VA and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NCI...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care Preferences in Male Patients With Cancer

Men with advanced cancer are 30% less likely than women to consider palliative care, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) study. Researchers believe the findings reflect social norms about gender roles, as well as widespread messages in the media and society about...

Human Papillomavirus Vaccine in Cutaneous Basaloid Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second-most-common form of skin cancer. Evidence suggests the human papillomavirus (HPV) plays a role in the development of some types of this skin cancer. Two years ago, a 97-year-old woman whose right leg was covered with squamous cell tumors went to see...

AR-V7 as Marker for Taxane vs Androgen Receptor Inhibitor Treatment in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Scher and colleagues found that the presence of nuclear-localized androgen receptor splice variant 7 (AR-V7) protein in circulating tumor cells (CTCs) may predict better survival with taxane therapy vs androgen receptor signaling (ARS) inhibitor treatment in...

ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Systemic Therapy for Patients With Advanced HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Sharon H. Giordano, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and colleagues, ASCO has released a clinical practice guideline update on systemic therapy for patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer. The guideline update...

issues in oncology
pain management

Statement by FDA Commissioner on Opioid Access for Patients With Chronic and End-of-Life Pain

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, recently issued the following statement. The opioid epidemic continues to take an emotional, physical, and financial toll on Americans. The FDA is committed to taking every possible step to address the many facets of this...

gynecologic cancers
issues in oncology

ESHRE 2018: Large Population Study Does Not Find Causal Link Between Assisted Reproduction and Ovarian Cancer Risk

Following concerns over many years that hormonal stimulation of the ovaries necessary for in vitro fertilization (IVF) may increase the risk of ovarian cancer, a nationwide cohort study from Denmark has now concluded that any perceived increase in risk is actually a statistical bias resulting from...

ESHRE 2018: Early-Stage Research Shows Potential of Artificial Ovary for Fertility Preservation Without the Risk of Reintroducing Malignancy

Important steps in the development of an artificial ovary have been successfully completed. Researchers from the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, reported that they have—for the first time—isolated and grown human follicles to a point of biofunctionality on a bioengineered ovarian ...

PDL1 Amplification in Solid Tumors

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Goodman et al found amplification of PDL1 genes in 0.7% of solid tumors, including more than 100 tumor types. Response to checkpoint inhibition was high in a small group of patients with PDL1 amplification. Prevalence of PDL1 Amplification The study included...

Adding Motolimod to Standard Chemotherapy and Cetuximab in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

In a phase II trial (Active8) reported in JAMA Oncology, Ferris et al found that the addition of the toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8) agonist motolimod to platinum-fluorouracil plus cetuximab (Erbitux) did not improve progression-free survival among all patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous...

PROSPER: Enzalutamide Prolongs Metastasis-Free Survival in Nonmetastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

As reported in The New England Journal of Medicine by Hussain et al, the phase III PROSPER trial has shown a 71% reduction in risk of metastasis or death with enzalutamide (Xtandi) vs placebo in men with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Study Details In the double-blind trial,...

FDA Approves Nivolumab Plus Low-Dose Ipilimumab for Second-Line Treatment of MSI-H/dMMR Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved  nivolumab (Opdivo) plus low-dose ipilimumab (Yervoy) for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients aged 12 years and older with microsatellite instability–high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair–deficient (dMMR)...

issues in oncology
palliative care

A. Oliver Sartor, MD, on Issues in Immunotherapy

A. Oliver Sartor, MD, of Tulane University, speaks anecdotally about immunotherapy for prostate cancer and shares his experiences in speaking to patients with late-stage disease about the knowns, unknowns, risks, and toxicities of using a therapy outside the context of a clinical trial setting. The ...

issues in oncology
palliative care

Owen A. O’Connor, MD, PhD, on Issues in Immunotherapy

Owen A. O'Connor, MD, PhD, of Columbia University Medical Center, shares his perspective on immunotherapy for patients with late-stage cancer in the context of a clinical trial setting and recent Right-to-Try legislation. The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of...

issues in oncology

Andrew D. Seidman, MD, on Embracing Computer-Assisted Decision-Making

Andrew D. Seidman, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the benefits of decision support tools, especially for the oncologist who treats a variety of cancers in his or her practice. The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. ...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Allen S. Lichter, MD, and Mark J. Ratain, MD, on Better Dosing, Lower Cost: Improving Cancer Care and Value

Allen S. Lichter, MD, Board Chair of the Value in Cancer Care Consortium, and Mark J. Ratain, MD, of the University of Chicago, discuss the benefits—and challenges—of lowering dosages in the face of market forces. The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical...

FDA Accepts sBLA for Pembrolizumab in Combination With Chemotherapy as First-Line Treatment for Metastatic Squamous NSCLC

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) for pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in combination with carboplatin/paclitaxel or nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) as a first-line treatment for metastatic squamous non–small cell lung...

Study Finds Inherited Gene Variants in 10% of Patients With Pancreatic Cancer

A large study of pancreatic cancer patients found that almost 10% harbored inherited genetic variations or mutations that may have increased their susceptibility to the disease. At the same time, some of these mutations were associated with more favorable responses to certain chemotherapy agents,...

FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation to CPI-613 for Treatment of Burkitt Lymphoma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug designation to CPI-613 for the treatment of Burkitt lymphoma. Burkitt lymphoma is a highly aggressive hematologic B-cell malignancy classically characterized by the overexpression of c-Myc. Due to the rapid proliferation rate of...

Body Mass Index, Age, and Premenopausal Breast Cancer Risk

In a multicohort study reported by researchers from the Premenopausal Breast Cancer Collaborative Group in JAMA Oncology, Schoemaker et al found that increasing adiposity was associated with a significantly reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer across the entire spectrum of body mass index...

Intratumoral Recombinant Poliovirus in Grade IV Glioblastoma

In a study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Desjardins and colleagues found that convection-enhanced intratumoral delivery of a recombinant nonpathogenic polio–rhinovirus chimera (PVSRIPO) was not associated with neurovirulence in patients with recurrent grade IV glioma and...

Pembrolizumab in Platinum-Refractory or Relapsed Thymic Epithelial Tumors

In a Korean single-center phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cho et al found that pembrolizumab (Keytruda) was active in advanced thymic epithelial tumors progressing after platinum-based chemotherapy. Study Details The study included 26 patients with thymic carcinoma...

ASCO Supports NCI-Designated Cancer Centers’ Goal of Eliminating HPV-Related Cancers

ASCO HAS officially endorsed a statement by the 70 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers calling for increased human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and screening to eliminate HPV-related cancers. The full uptake of the vaccine and screening could prevent 12,000 cervical...

New Fellows Begin 2018–2019 ASCO Health Policy Fellowship Program

TREVOR ROYCE, MS, MD, MPH, and Sheetal Kircher, MD, are the 2018–2019 ASCO Health Policy Fellows. Now entering its third year, the fellowship program offers oncologists the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to shape regulatory and legislative policies that directly ...

ASCO Resource Helps Patients Learn About Cancer Costs

HELP YOUR patients understand the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis with the ASCO Answers Managing the Cost of Cancer Care booklet. This booklet provides information about key financial categories for cancer care; an easy-to-understand explanation of health insurance coverage; information...

Today’s Breakthroughs Require Year-Round Support

PROMISING BREAKTHROUGHS in cancer care don’t just happen overnight; they result after years of hard work by the brightest minds in cancer research. Yet many are unaware of the vast resources necessary to fuel cutting-edge research projects. Increasing awareness around this issue is vital to...

Excerpt From the 2018 ASCO Presidential Address: ‘Delivering Discoveries: Expanding the Reach of Precision Medicine’

In my area of research, lung cancer, precision medicine is indeed transforming the treatment of this disease and has important implications for other cancers and for the future of our patients with cancer. Today’s achievement of being able to systematically identify genomic changes that can be...

solid tumors
survivorship

Testicular Cancer Survivors and Adequate Screening for Long-Term Heart Disease

TESTICULAR CANCER is among the most common cancers in young men. The majority of patients are cured of their disease, but a newly published study shows many remain at risk for later complications from chemotherapy or other treatments. The study, published by Mohammad Abu Zaid, MD, Assistant...

A Humble Beginning Built on Commitment: The Life and Times of Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP

  In this edition of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, interviewed medical oncologist Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, Executive Director at the West Cancer Center, Memphis. Dr. Schwartzberg’s major research interests are new therapeutic approaches to breast cancer,...

Mariusz A. Wasik, MD, Joins Fox Chase as Chair of Pathology

MARIUSZ A. WASIK, MD, has been appointed Chair of the Department of Pathology at Fox Chase Cancer Center and Jeanes Hospital. He will also serve as Associate Director of the Cancer Center, a position he assumed on July 2, 2018.  As Chair of Pathology and a key member of Fox Chase’s leadership...

Carnegie Corporation Honors Antoni Ribas, MD

THE CARNEGIE CORPORATION of New York named University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Professor Antoni Ribas, MD, an honoree as part of its Great Immigrants Initiative, a program honoring a selected group of naturalized citizens who have made notable contributions to the progress of American...

skin cancer

Treatment Beyond Disease Progression in Melanoma: Challenge Centers on Knowing Who May Benefit

Dr. Weiss is Assistant Professor (Medical Oncology), Developmental Therapeutics, Melanoma Program, Yale Cancer Center. Dr. Sznol is Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology); Co-Director, Cancer Immunology Program, Yale Cancer Center Co-Director, Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer, New Haven, Connecticut.  ...

skin cancer

Outcomes in Patients With Melanoma Treated With Anti–PD-1 Antibody Beyond Disease Progression

A POOLED analysis by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has shown a benefit of treatment beyond disease progression on Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) in some patients receiving anti–programmed cell death protein 1 (anti–PD-1) antibodies for unresectable or...

lung cancer

Expert Point of View: David Rimm, MD, PhD

“TUMOR MUTATIONAL burden is an emerging biomarker independent of programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) level. There are a few reasons for enthusiasm. Tumor mutational burden is a compelling biomarker for response and progression-free survival. Six-month progression-free survival is 50% with a...

lung cancer

Evidence Builds for Tumor Mutational Burden as Biomarker in Lung Cancer

TUMOR MUTATIONAL burden is emerging as a predictive biomarker for the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), as well as other tumor types. However, experts say tumor mutational burden has hurdles to overcome. At the 2018 Annual Meeting of...

skin cancer

Expert Point of View: Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD

“THIS IS a wonderful presentation and a very exciting trial,” said formal discussant Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York. Despite the remarkable advances achieved with anti–programmed cell death protein 1 and ligand 1 (anti–PD-1/anti–PD-L1) treatment, “there...

skin cancer

Early Data Suggest TLR9 Agonist May Combat PD-1 Resistance in Advanced Melanoma

COMBINING CMP-001, a Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist, plus pembrolizumab (Keytruda) appears to overcome resistance to anti–programmed cell death protein 1 (anti–PD-1) therapy, according to a preliminary phase Ib study.1 Adding CMP-001 to pembrolizumab was well tolerated, with antitumor efficacy ...

multiple myeloma

Expert Point of View: Parameswaran Hari, MD

FORMAL DISCUSSANT Parameswaran Hari, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, was impressed by many aspects of the bb2121 study, which represents the “largest and most mature” data set for the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell approach in myeloma, he noted.  According to Dr. Hari,...

multiple myeloma

CAR T-Cell Therapy: Updated Data Remain Favorable in Heavily Pretreated Patients With Myeloma

IN AN UPDATE of a phase I trial, a heavily pretreated population of patients with multiple myeloma continued to respond to the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy bb2121.1 The results presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting confirmed previous findings for bb2121 in the dose-escalation...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Harold Burstein, MD, PhD

HAROLD BURSTEIN, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, where he is Associate Professor of Medicine, commented on the SANDPIPER trial during a press briefing at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting. PIK3 mutations are probably the most common mutation in breast cancer, and...

breast cancer

Study of PI3K Inhibitor Added to Fulvestrant in Advanced Breast Cancer Affirms Proof-of-Principle

IN PATIENTS with advanced breast cancer harboring a PIK3CA mutation, the addition of the PI3 kinase (PI3K) inhibitor taselisib to endocrine therapy with fulvestrant (Faslodex) significantly improved progression-free survival compared with fulvestrant alone, in the international phase III SANDPIPER...

lung cancer

Expert Point of View: David Graham, MD, FASCO

ASCO EXPERT David Graham, MD, FASCO, Medical Director at the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina, was enthusiastic about this new technology. “This is an important first step showing there is an easier way to detect lung cancer at earlier stages. If the promise of this report...

lung cancer

Genome Sequencing of Blood Samples May Lead to Detection of Early- Stage Lung Cancer

IF THE INITIAL promise of research presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting bears fruit, we may one day have a simple blood test to screen for early-stage lung cancer and possibly other cancers. Although it is still very early days for this test, an initial report from the ongoing Circulating...

lung cancer

Expert Point of View: Marina Chiara Garassino, MD, and Justin Gainor, MD

“TODAY WE HAVE good news, because IMpower 150 is another clear positive trial on the combination of chemotherapy with immunotherapy. This is true in terms of progression-free and overall survival, which are both statistically significant [for atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus bevacizumab (Avastin)...

lung cancer

More Evidence of Benefit With Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy in Nonsquamous Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

ATEZOLIZUMAB (TECENTRIQ) plus bevacizumab (Avastin) plus a platinum doublet (ABCP) improved overall survival by 22% compared with bevacizumab plus a platinum doublet (BCP) in patients with advanced wild-type (without an identified mutation) nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according...

lymphoma

Expert Point of View: Bruce D. Cheson, MD

BRUCE D. CHESON, MD, Director of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, DC, agreed that rituximab (Rituxan) plus lenalidomide (Revlimid; R2) is a reasonable first-line option, considering the findings of the RELEVANCE trial.  “Dr. Fowler showed ...

lymphoma

Chemotherapy-Free Regimen Comparable to Rituximab-Chemotherapy as Front-Line Therapy for Follicular Lymphoma

IN PATIENTS with previously untreated advanced follicular lymphoma, the chemotherapy-free combination of rituximab (Rituxan) plus lenalidomide (Revlimid), the so-called R-squared (R2) regimen, yielded outcomes as good as those in patients who received standard rituximab-chemotherapy, in the interim ...

sarcoma

Expert Point of View: Warren Chow, MD, and Douglas S. Hawkins, MD

WARREN CHOW, MD, a sarcoma specialist at City of Hope, Duarte, California, said maintenance therapy has not traditionally been used in the treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma; therefore, the findings represent “a paradigm shift.”  Although the RMS2005 Maintenance study established a new standard of care ...

sarcoma

With European Protocol, Maintenance Therapy Improved 5-Year Survival in Rhabdomyosarcoma

THE ADDITION OF 6 months of maintenance chemotherapy in the treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma improved 5-year survival by 13%, in the European RMS2005 Maintenance study reported at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting.1 “At the end of this long, not-easy study, we concluded that maintenance is an effective and ...

leukemia

Expert Point of View: Susan O'Brien, MD, and Bruce Cheson, MD

SUSAN O’BRIEN, MD, Associate Director for Clinical Science, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California Irvine Health, told The ASCO Post that the pairing of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) and venetoclax (Venclexta) “is clearly a very powerful combination.” The next question, she...

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