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FDA Approves Larotrectinib for Solid Tumors With NTRK Gene Fusions

On November 26, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to larotrectinib (Vitrakvi) for adult and pediatric patients with solid tumors that have a neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase (NTRK) gene fusion without a known acquired resistance mutation, whose...

geriatric oncology

Leader in Geriatric Oncology, Arti Hurria, MD, FASCO, Dies at Age 48

ARTI HURRIA, MD, FASCO, died tragically on November 7, 2018, from injuries sustained in a traffic accident. Dr. Hurria was a national leader in geriatric oncology, embracing the age-associated nuances of the elderly, and leading initiatives and research that advanced this specialty field. “The...

leukemia

Causes of Inferior Outcomes in AYAs With Leukemia

Despite survival gains for children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), adolescents and young adults (AYAs)— those between the ages of 15 and 39— diagnosed with the disease have seen only modest improvements in survival. A study by Julie A. Wolfson, MD, MSHS, Assistant Professor and ...

head and neck cancer

DNA Vaccine Leads to Immune Responses in HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancer in Small Study

A therapeutic vaccine may boost antibodies and T cells, helping them infiltrate human papillomavirus (HPV)-related head and neck cancer tumors. Researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania tested the immunotherapy in two groups of patients with advanced head and...

head and neck cancer

Pazopanib Plus Cetuximab in Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Douglas Adkins, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, and colleagues, the addition of the angiogenesis inhibitor pazopanib (Votrient) to cetuximab (Erbitux) in a phase Ib and expansion cohort study showed activity in...

leukemia

A Single CAR T Cell Cured My Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

The combination of symptoms I began experiencing in the spring of 2007, including night sweats so severe they woke me from a sound sleep and midline chest wall swelling so extreme I needed a larger shirt size, drove me to seek immediate medical attention. A series of imaging and blood tests...

issues in oncology
genomics/genetics
breast cancer

ADVISE PATIENTS ABOUT THE IMPLICATIONS OF RACIAL DISPARITIES FOR BREAST CANCER SCREENING

“BLACK WOMEN are more likely to develop breast cancer at a younger age, compared with white American women, and at all ages, younger and older individuals are more likely to develop triple-negative breast cancers,” Lisa A. Newman, MD, MPH, told The ASCO Post. “So, I think it is very clear that if...

issues in oncology
breast cancer
genomics/genetics

Obligation to Evaluate Racial/Ethnic Features That May Affect Outcomes for Patients With Breast Cancer

"WE ABSOLUTELY have an obligation to evaluate all of the features describing our patients with cancer when we are trying to figure out why some patients do better than others,” Lisa A. Newman, MD, MPH, reminded the nearly 700 participants at the 2018 Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Symposium, hosted by...

A Pediatric Oncologist Recounts 7 Years at a Hospital in Jerusalem

Elisha Waldman, MD, is a pediatric oncologist and Associate Chief in the Division of Palliative Care at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. He grew up in a Connecticut suburb, the son of a conservative rabbi. Early on, Dr. Waldman majored in religious studies and felt...

Founder of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute Relates the History of Cancer Research

Cancer memoirs are generally written by people who have an intimate relationship with the disease, mostly survivors, sometimes by those who are dying while writing, such as the breathtaking book, The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying, by the poet Nina Riggs. Once in a while, a scientist or...

hepatobiliary cancer

FDA Approves Pembrolizumab for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Previously Treated With a Kinase Inhibitor

ON NOVEMBER 9, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who have been previously treated with the kinase inhibitor sorafenib (Nexavar). KEYNOTE-224 APPROVAL WAS based on KEYNOTE-224, a...

integrative oncology

Probiotics

The ASCO Post’s Integrative Oncology series is intended to facilitate the availability of evidence-based information on integrative and complementary therapies sometimes used by patients with cancer. Shelly Latte-Naor, MD, and Jyothirmai Gubili, MS, explore some of the beneficial effects attributed ...

lung cancer

Nivolumab for Third-Line Treatment of Metastatic Small Cell Lung Cancer

ON AUGUST 16, 2018, nivolumab (Opdivo) was granted accelerated approval for treatment of patients with metastatic small cell lung cancer (SCLC) with disease progression after platinum-based chemotherapy and at least one other line of therapy.1,2 Supporting Efficacy Data APPROVAL WAS BASED on...

issues in oncology

Focus on the Rocky Mountain Oncology Society

Formed in 1991, the Rocky Mountain Oncology Society (RMOS), a Chapter Member of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) and State Affiliate of ASCO, serves as the voice for Colorado’s multidisciplinary cancer care teams and the patients they serve. Representing the common interests of...

Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, President of City of Hope National Medical Center, Elected to National Academy of Medicine

MICHAEL A . CALIGIURI, MD, President of City of Hope National Medical Center, and Deana and Steve Campbell Physician-in-Chief Distinguished Chair, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. Membership in the Academy...

At Sea

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the 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,...

How to Tell Patients They Have Cancer

The following essay by Stan Winokur, MD, is adapted, with permission, from The Big Casino: America’s Best Cancer Doctors Share Their Most Powerful Stories, which was coedited by Stan Winokur, MD, and Vincent Coppola and published in May 2014. The book is available on Amazon.com and...

Six Hospital Systems Launch Research Center on Symptom Management

SIX HOSPITAL systems across the country are launching a new research collaboration to improve the reporting and management of cancer treatment–related symptoms. The initiative, known as the SIMPRO Research Center, will integrate the use of patient-reported outcomes into the routine practice of...

ASH Honors Freda K. Stevenson, DPhil, and Brunangelo Falini, MD, With 2018 Henry M. Stratton Medal

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HEMATOLOGY (ASH) will recognize Freda K. Stevenson, DPhil, of the University of Southampton and Southampton University Hospitals in the United Kingdom, and Brunangelo Falini, MD, of the University of Perugia and the Institute of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation...

ASH Honors Cage S. Johnson, MD, and José A. López, MD, With Award for Leadership in Promoting Diversity

DURING THE 2018 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Diego this December, ASH will honor Cage S. Johnson, MD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Physiology, and Biophysics at the University of Southern California, and José A. López, MD, Professor of Medicine...

lung cancer

Lung Cancer Researcher Melissa Johnson, MD, Benefits From Father’s Perspective as Career Military Officer

Lung cancer researcher Melissa Johnson, MD, is a self-described “military brat,” whose father was a career officer in the Marine Corps, serving for more than 35 years. She was born in Oklahoma City and moved nine times during her childhood. When Dr. Johnson was in high school, her father was...

When Illness and Culture Collide

“‘Sickness’ is what is happening to the patient. Listen to him. Disease is what is happening to science and to populations.” —Lawrence Weed, MD, 1978 America’s massive health-care system is highly complex, with its own unique language, methods, technologies, and scientific approaches, developed and ...

issues in oncology

Electronic ‘Datarrhea’ and Wellness

THE INTRODUCTION of the electronic health record (EHR) was supposed to lead us to a utopian world for health-care delivery in America. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23, 2010, promoted its implementation by providing financial incentives.1 The Centers for...

A Career Path Shaped by Unlimited Possibilities for Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO

In this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, interviewed Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO, ASCO’s Chief Executive Officer. Prior to his current position, Dr. Hudis served in a variety of roles at ASCO, including President during ASCO’s 50th anniversary...

California Researchers Receive $4.5 Million to Develop Immunotherapies in Head and Neck Cancer

RESEARCHERS AT LA JOLLA INSTITUTE for Immunology and University of California (UC), San Diego, have been awarded $4.5 million as part of the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Moonshot initiative. The funding will support research to develop new and improved immunotherapeutic options for patients...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

The Abscopal Effect: A Reemerging Field of Interest

For the past 50 years or more, oncologists have designed their treatment plans around the three pillars: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Now, with a series of recent successes, immunotherapy is rapidly reemerging as the fourth pillar in the oncologic armamentarium. Despite major advancements...

lymphoma

FDA Expands Approved Use of Brentuximab Vedotin in Some Types of PTCL

ON NOVEMBER 16, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the approved use of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) injection in combination with chemotherapy for adult patients with certain types of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL)—adults with previously untreated systemic anaplastic...

2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Award Winners Announced

THE SAN ANTONIO Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will honor three researchers for their work in breast cancer at the upcoming 2018 SABCS in December. They are Ian Smith, MD, FRCP, FRCPE, who will receive the SABCS William L. McGuire Memorial...

solid tumors

Iobenguane I-131 for Advanced Pheochromocytoma or Paraganglioma

ON JULY 30, 2018, the radiotherapeutic agent iobenguane I-131 (Azedra) was approved for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients (aged ≥ 12 years) with iobenguane scan–positive, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma who require systemic anticancer...

multiple myeloma

FDA Approves Elotuzumab Plus Pomalidomide and Dexamethasone for Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma

ON NOVEMBER 6, 2018, following Priority Review, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved elotuzumab (Empliciti) injection for intravenous use in combination with pomalidomide (Pomalyst) and dexamethasone for the treatment of adult patients with multiple myeloma who have received at...

New Leadership Elected to ASH Executive Committee

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HEMATOLOGY (ASH) announced the election of four new members to its Executive Committee for terms beginning after the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition in December. Martin S. Tallman, MD, will serve a 1-year term as Vice President, followed by successive terms as...

FDA Approves Glasdegib for Patients With Newly Diagnosed AML Who Cannot Undergo Intensive Chemotherapy

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved glasdegib (Daurismo) tablets to be used in combination with low-dose cytarabine for the treatment of newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in adults who are 75 years of age or older or with comorbidities that may preclude the use of ...

Chanita Hughes-Halbert, PhD, Receives AACR Distinguished Lecture on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities

Chanita Hughes-Halbert, PhD, is the recipient of the 2018 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Distinguished Lecture on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities, funded by Susan G. Komen. She was honored during the 11th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in...

Thank You From Conquer Cancer

When you give to ASCO’s Conquer Cancer Foundation, your donation provides grants to researchers around the world. Research fuels the breakthroughs in cancer prevention and treatment needed for every cancer, every patient, everywhere. “Year after year, we meet patients who credit their successful...

First Impressions Count: Share ASCO Resources With Your Newly Diagnosed Patients

Set new patients on the path to cancer education with ASCO Answers fact sheets. Choose from dozens of topics covering types of cancer, side effects, and treatments. ASCO Answers products ship for free inside the United States. ASCO members save 20%—browse titles and order a copy today on...

issues in oncology
legislation

Pharmacy ‘Gag Clause’ Bills Signed Into Law

This past month, President Trump signed a pair of bills into law aimed at increasing transparency with regard to drug prices in the United States. The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (S.2554) and the Know the Lowest Price Act (S.2553) prohibit so-called “gag clauses,” which prevent...

issues in oncology

ASCO President-Elect Candidates Identify Key Issues Facing the Field of Oncology

Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, of the University of Michigan, and Carolyn D. Runowicz, MD, FASCO, of Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, were selected by the ASCO Nominating Committee as candidates for President-Elect. Why do you want to serve as ASCO...

immunotherapy

ASCO, SITC Release Recommendations for Reporting of Immuno-Oncology Clinical Trials

ASCO and the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) have released a joint statement with 12 clinical trial reporting recommendations that address the unique efficacy, toxicity, and combination/sequencing aspects of immuno-oncology (IO) treatments. These recommendations, jointly published in the ...

2019 ASCO Election Candidates

The ASCO Nominating Committee has selected 15 distinguished ASCO members as candidates for open leadership positions within the Society, including: The office of President-Elect Three seats on the Society’s Board of Directors Three seats on the Nominating Committee Biographical information and...

Your Voice Matters: Vote in the ASCO Election by December 3

Each year, we call upon the ASCO members to place their votes to select our Society’s future leaders. This year, we are asking that you not only vote for the open leadership positions, but also for a proposed bylaw change. ASCO’s mission is more urgent than ever in today’s landscape of fast-moving ...

skin cancer

Cemiplimab-rwlc for Metastatic or Locally Advanced Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

On September 28, 2018, cemiplimab-rwlc (Libtayo) was approved for the treatment of patients with metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma or locally advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma who are not candidates for curative surgery or curative radiation.1 Supporting Efficacy Data Approval...

issues in oncology

Patients With Cancer in Rural America Remain Underserved

Despite growing national awareness of health-care inequities, the plight of rural Americans diagnosed with cancer has persistently remained inadequate. Speaking with The ASCO Post, Jan Probst, PhD, Professor at the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, noted, “We...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia

Duvelisib in Resistant Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Expanding the Treatment Armamentarium

The phase III DUO trial, reported by Flinn et al and reviewed in this issue of The ASCO Post, has led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of a novel B-cell receptor (BCR) kinase inhibitor, duvelisib (Copiktra), which targets phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-δ/γ in patients...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia
lymphoma

Duvelisib vs Ofatumumab in Relapsed or Refractory CLL/SLL

As reported in Blood by Ian W. Flinn, MD, PhD, Director of the Lymphoma Research Program at Sarah Cannon Research Institute, and colleagues, the phase III DUO trial has shown significantly prolonged progression-free survival with the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-δ/γ inhibitor duvelisib...

pain management
supportive care

Parenteral Opioid Shortage Threatens Appropriate Pain Care for Patients With Cancer

In response to the opioid-overdose epidemic, several measures have been put in place, such as the reclassification of hydrocodone as a Schedule II opioid and new requirements for physician review of prescription drug–monitoring program databases in most states. Moreover, the Surgeon General and...

issues in oncology

NCI Awards Grant to Team at Baylor to Establish Center to Focus on Cancer Health Disparities

As part of the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot initiative, the National Cancer Institute has awarded $6.3 million to Nicholas Mitsiades, MD, of the Baylor College of Medicine, and a collaborative team at Baylor College of Medicine to establish a Minority Patient-Derived Xenograft Development and Trial...

global cancer care

UPMC Opens New Radiotherapy Center in Italy

The University of Pittsburg Medical Center (UPMC) recently announced the opening of a new radiotherapy center in Villa Maria, Italy, which will become part of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center network when it opens to patients later this year. The new center, named the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at...

Oncologist’s Research Recognized by Radiation Oncology Institute

Amar Kishan, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and a member of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, will receive the 2018 Publication Award from the Radiation Oncology Institute in recognition of a study highlighting the value of...

issues in oncology

Inflammation, DNA Damage, and Cancer

The link between inflammation and cancer is a field of growing interest in the oncology community. Biologists have theorized that simultaneous DNA damage and cell division during inflammation could lead to cancer. To shed light on this important issue, The ASCO Post recently spoke with Jennifer...

Johns Hopkins Medicine Appoints Allen Kachalia, MD, JD, to Leadership Positions

Allen Kachalia, MD, JD, will be appointed Director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and Senior Vice President of Patient Safety and Quality for Johns Hopkins Medicine, starting December 1. During his nearly 20-year career in medicine, Dr. Kachalia has served in a variety...

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