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breast cancer

Genomic Characteristics and Immune Infiltration in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Karn et al found that triple-negative breast cancers with high immune gene expression levels were characterized by lower clonal heterogeneity, reduced copy number alterations, and lower somatic mutation and neoantigen loads. Study Details In the study, DNA...

cost of care

Out-of-Pocket Costs Remain High, Even for Insured Patients With Cancer

One-third of insured people with cancer end up paying more out-of-pocket than they expected, despite having health insurance coverage, researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute have found. The data showed that costs such as copays and deductibles could lead to financial distress among insured...

prostate cancer

First-Line Cabazitaxel vs Docetaxel in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

The phase III FIRSTANA trial has shown no difference in overall survival with two dose regimens of cabazitaxel (Jevtana) vs docetaxel in the first-line treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Results were reported by Oudard et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology....

colorectal cancer

Imaging and Biomarker Test Could More Accurately Predict Longer-Term Patient Response to Regorafenib in Colorectal Cancer

Administering a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and a blood test to patients with metastatic colorectal cancer may help to select those who would benefit from a targeted cancer treatment, a new study published by Khan et al in Gutreported. Researchers found that after only 2 weeks on the...

gynecologic cancers

Increased Endometrial Cancer Rates Found in Women With Increased Levels of Cadmium

Through a 5-year observational study recently published by McElory et al in PLOS One, researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) found that women with increased levels of cadmium—a metal commonly found in foods such as kidney, liver, and shellfish, as well as tobacco—had an...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

FDA to Expand Public Education Campaign to Focus on Prevention of Youth E-Cigarette Use

On August 8, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it would pursue a strategic, new public health education campaign aimed at discouraging the use of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) by children. The agency plans to expand its “The Real...

breast cancer

Effect of Radiotherapy After Breast-Conserving Surgery Among Breast Cancer Subtypes

In an analysis of the Swedish Breast Cancer Group 91 Radiotherapy trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Sjöström et al found that adjuvant radiotherapy vs no radiotherapy had an increased benefit in triple-negative disease and little effect on HER2-positive disease in a...

gynecologic cancers

Final Overall Survival Results of GOG 240 Trial Adding Bevacizumab to Chemotherapy in Advanced Cervical Cancer

As reported in The Lancet by Tewari et al, the final overall survival results of the phase III Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) 240 trial show continued benefit of the addition of bevacizumab (Avastin) to chemotherapy in patients with metastatic, persistent, or recurrent cervical carcinoma. Study...

gynecologic cancers

New Device to Test for Cervical Cancer May Be Less Painful for Patients, Produce Better Results

When a woman has an abnormal Papanicolaou (Pap) smear, she usually undergoes colposcopy—a procedure physicians use to closely examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva for signs of disease. Typically, a metal instrument is used to obtain a small sampling of cells inside the cervix, which is...

issues in oncology

Identifying Essential Genes for Cancer Immunotherapy

A new study published by Patel et al in Nature identifies genes that are necessary in cancer cells for immunotherapy to work—addressing the problem of why some tumors don’t respond to immunotherapy, or respond initially but then stop as tumor cells develop resistance to...

issues in oncology

Factors in Discontinuation of Palliative Radiotherapy

In a study reported by Puckett et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice, factors associated with premature discontinuation of palliative radiotherapy in cancer patients included poorer performance status, higher number of prescribed radiotherapy fractions, and treatment site other than bone...

breast cancer

Predisposition to Breast Cancer Due to Mutations Other Than BRCA1 and BRCA2 in Ashkenazi Jewish Women

A cohort study in Ashkenazi Jewish women with breast cancer identified mutations other than BRCA1 and BRCA2 founder alleles that were associated with cancer risk. These study results were reported by Walsh et al in JAMA Oncology. Among Ashkenazi Jewish women, three mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2...

prostate cancer

Health-Related Quality of Life With Immediate vs Delayed ADT in Prostate Cancer

In a health-related quality-of-life study among patients in the phase III TOAD trial, immediate vs delayed androgen-deprivation therapy was associated with early worsening of androgen-deprivation therapy–related symptoms but few other comparative adverse effects on functioning or quality of...

survivorship
pain management

Higher Opioid Use Among Cancer Survivors

A new study found that opioid prescription use is more common in cancer survivors than in individuals without a history of cancer. This was true even among survivors who were 10 or more years past their cancer diagnosis. Published by Sutradhar et al in Cancer, the findings come at a time of rising...

legislation

Senate Passes the RACE for Children Act

On August 3, the leadership of Kids v Cancer, an advocacy group promoting pediatric cancer research, issued the following statement: Today, the U.S. Senate passed the FDA Reauthorization Act and with it, the RACE for Children Act. Now, new cancer drugs will be developed not only for...

head and neck cancer

Radiotherapy Fractionation for Head and Neck Cancers

An update of the Meta-Analysis of Radiotherapy in Squamous Cell Carcinomas of Head and Neck (MARCH) showed that hyperfractionated radiotherapy maintained a survival advantage over conventional radiotherapy in head and neck cancers. The findings were reported in The Lancet Oncology by Lacas et al. A ...

breast cancer

Ovarian Function Recovery During Anastrozole Therapy in Postmenopausal Patients With Breast Cancer

In the phase III DATA trial reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute by van Hellemond et al, 12% of women with breast cancer who had chemotherapy-induced ovarian function failure experienced ovarian function recovery during 30 months of aromatase inhibitor therapy with anastrozole....

prostate cancer

Bone-Targeted Therapies for Men With Prostate Cancer Receiving Androgen-Deprivation Therapy

Among men diagnosed with prostate cancer, about one in two will receive androgen-deprivation therapy, which is associated with many potential adverse side effects, including significant bone loss and increased risk for low trauma or fragility fractures similar to those found in people with primary...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Perioperative Anti-inflammatory, Antistress Drugs May Reduce Postsurgical Metastatic Disease Recurrence

Most cancer-related deaths are the result of postsurgical metastatic recurrence. A new Tel Aviv University (TAU) study published by Shaashua et al in Clinical Cancer Research found a specific drug regimen administered prior to and after surgery significantly reduces the risk of postsurgical cancer...

cns cancers
survivorship

Study Maps Mutation That May Drive Meningioma Development in Childhood Cancer Survivors

Neuroscientists may have uncovered the genetic basis for why many long-term survivors of childhood cancer develop meningiomas, the most common adult brain tumor, decades after their treatment with cranial radiation. The findings, published by Agnihotri et al in Nature Communications, show that...

palliative care

Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Form Use and End-of-Life Quality-of-Care Metrics in Cancer Patients

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Pedraza et al found that patients with advanced cancer who had Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms in place were more likely to have hospice admission and death out of the hospital than those with only advance...

lung cancer

Fat Intake and Lung Cancer Risk

According to a study reported by Yang et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, high dietary intake of total fat and saturated fat was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, with the association with saturated fat being particularly evident among current smokers. Study Details The...

ASCO Resource to Help Your Patients Quit Tobacco

ASCO’s patient booklet Stopping Tobacco Use After a Cancer Diagnosis offers people with cancer and their caregivers information on why and how to quit tobacco use. With information on available treatments and resources, this booklet gives patients the practical tools to work with their health-care...

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Participate in the 2017 ASCO Practice Census

There is less than 1 month left to participate in this year’s ASCO Practice Census— the only annual survey of the entire U.S. oncology practice community that aims to identify changes in cancer care and oncology practice over time. It is crucial that practices in all settings across the United...

Practice Engagement Program Connects Practices to Resources to Adapt to Health-Care Changes

ASCO launched its Practice Engagement Program to help administrators, physicians, and other members of the care team navigate ASCO tools, programs, and resources available to help oncology practices respond to the changes occurring in the cancer care delivery system.  The Practice Engagement...

ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson Seeks to Bring Personalized Medicine, Real-Time Data to Every Oncology Practice

Dedicating one’s career and livelihood to the pursuit of treating and possibly curing cancer is, for many, a decision that stems from deeply personal and, often, tragic experience. For 2017–2018 ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, the event that greatly influenced his decision was the...

Spotlight on Women Who Conquer Cancer

Women Who Conquer Cancer is a group dedicated to advancing cancer research by supporting young women researchers early in their careers through Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Awards (YIAs). These 1-year grants give promising researchers the boost they need to get started on...

Conquer Cancer Foundation Researcher Spotlight

Within the past few years, a type of immunotherapy known as T-cell therapy has emerged as a promising treatment option for certain cancers. T cells are immune cells that can fight infectious viruses—and also cancer. In T-cell therapy, these cells are removed from a patient’s blood, modified in the ...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Cancer at Baseline Screening in Patients With Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

In a new study from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), researchers found a higher-than-expected prevalence of cancer at baseline screening in individuals with Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a rare inherited disorder that leads to a higher risk of developing certain cancers. The research demonstrates...

issues in oncology
symptom management

Patients With Advanced Cancer Presenting to Emergency Departments With Delirium Likely to Die Earlier

According to a new study published by Elsayem et al in The Oncologist, patients with advanced cancer who are diagnosed with delirium when presenting to emergency departments are more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die earlier than patients without delirium. This shows the importance...

multiple myeloma

Lenalidomide Maintenance After Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Multiple Myeloma

According to a meta-analysis reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by McCarthy et al, lenalidomide (Revlimid) maintenance therapy after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) was associated with improved progression-free and overall survival vs placebo or observation in patients with...

colorectal cancer

Nivolumab in Advanced DNA Mismatch Repair–Deficient or Microsatellite Instability–High Colorectal Cancer

The phase II CheckMate 142 trial has shown that nivolumab (Opdivo) produces durable responses in recurrent or metastatic DNA mismatch repair–deficient (dMMR)/microsatellite instability–high (MSI-H) colorectal cancer. These study findings were reported in The Lancet Oncology by Overman...

leukemia

Blinatumomab in Advanced Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Brighter Therapeutic Outlook

NEW DRUGS that will improve the outcome of adult patients who develop a deadly disease such as acute leukemia are badly needed; combinations of cytotoxic chemotherapeutic drugs may have reached an upper limit of utility. Agents that eradicate leukemia by alternative mechanisms would be of...

leukemia

Improved Overall Survival With Blinatumomab vs Chemotherapy in Advanced Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

IN THE PHASE III TOWER TRIAL reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Hagop Kantarjian, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and colleagues found that blinatumomab (Blincyto) treatment improved overall survival vs chemotherapy in heavily pretreated patients with B-cell ...

NYU Perlmutter Creates New Pancreatic Cancer Center

PERLMUTTER CANCER CENTER at NYU Langone has announced the creation of a multidisciplinary center of excellence to develop innovative approaches to diagnose, treat, and prevent pancreatic cancer. The new Pancreatic Cancer Center brings together laboratory researchers, surgeons, oncologists,...

lung cancer

Alectinib: A New Standard for First-Line Therapy of ALK-Rearranged NSCLC?

ANAPLASTIC LYMPHOMA KINASE (ALK) was first identified in anaplastic large cell lymphoma. The ALK gene itself is not oncogenic, but it can become oncogenic by at least three mechanisms: by forming a fusion gene with a number of other partner genes, by copy number gain, or by mutations in the gene....

thyroid cancer

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommends Against Screening for Thyroid Cancer in Asymptomatic Individuals

AS REPORTED in JAMA, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended against thyroid cancer screening in asymptomatic individuals.1 The current USPSTF statement is an update of a 1996 USPSTF recommendation statement. The recommendation was based on Task Force review of evidence on ...

Sai Yendamuri, MD, FACS, Receives 2017 Brompton Prize

SAI YENDAMURI, MD, FACS, Chair of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, received the prestigious Brompton Prize at a recent international gathering of thoracic surgeons. The award, given by the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons, is for the year’s best thoracic...

thyroid cancer

Are Thyroid Cancer Incidence and Mortality Rates Truly Increasing in the United States?

THYROID CANCER diagnoses are increasing at a rate faster than any other malignancy in the United States. In 2017, there will be 56,870 new cases, accounting for 3.4% of all cancers, and 2,010 people will die of thyroid cancer.1 This represents a more than 200% increase in incidence since the...

issues in oncology
cost of care

ASCO Tackles the Issue of the High Cost of Cancer Drugs

In July, ASCO issued a comprehensive set of recommendations to remedy the problem of escalating drug pricing on cancer therapies.1 ASCO’s position statement comes at a time when new cancer drugs are routinely priced at $100,000 a year or more—imatinib (Gleevec) costs up to $146,000 a year2—causing...

thyroid cancer

Trends in Thyroid Cancer Incidence and Mortality in the United States

THE REPORTED INCIDENCE of thyroid cancer has markedly increased in the United States in recent decades, largely reflecting an increase in reported rates of papillary thyroid cancer. It has been unclear whether the increase in incidence is reflected in mortality rates over time. In a study of...

Fox Chase Announces New Immunotherapy Trial in Breast Cancer

PATIENTS WITH SOME TYPES of breast cancer will have a new clinical trial option at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Medical oncologists Lori Goldstein, MD, and Elias Obeid, MD, MPH, are opening a phase II immunotherapy clinical trial for newly diagnosed, locally recurrent, or metastatic HER2-overexpressing ...

geriatric oncology
global cancer care

Challenges in Geriatric Oncology in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Focus on Latin America

Virtually every region and country in the world are experiencing population aging. Although developed regions still have the largest proportion of older persons, the absolute number of older adults is higher in developing regions of the world. Globally, more than 60% of all persons aged 65 now...

leukemia

FDA Approves Liposome-Encapsulated Combination of Daunorubicin-Cytarabine for Some Types of Poor-Prognosis AML

On August 3, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted regular approval to a liposome-encapsulated combination of daunorubicin and cytarabine (Vyxeos) for the treatment of adults with newly diagnosed therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or AML with myelodysplasia-related...

solid tumors

First-in-Class T-Cell Stimulator Varlilumab in Advanced Tumors

A phase I study reported by Howard A. Burris, MD, of Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Tennessee Oncology, and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has shown that the first-in-class agonist anti-CD27 antibody varlilumab is well tolerated and active in patients with advanced solid tumors....

cost of care

Cost of Hospitalization for Cancer-Related Neutropenia or Fever

In a study of 2012 data, Eric Tai, MD, of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues estimated that average costs per hospital stay for cancer-related neutropenia or fever were approximately $25,000, with a total cost of more than $2.7 ...

lung cancer

Sacituzumab Govitecan in Metastatic NSCLC

As reported by Rebecca Suk Heist, MD, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the antibody-drug conjugate sacituzumab govitecan showed activity in patients with previously treated metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Sacituzumab targets ...

cns cancers

Vaccine-Chemotherapy Combination in Glioblastoma

Despite highly aggressive therapy that includes maximal tumor resection, high-dose radiation, and temozolomide chemotherapy, the prognosis for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma is dismal, with a median survival of less than 15 months, prompting researchers to study novel approaches to...

hematologic malignancies

ASH Selects 11 Fellows for Research Award in Academic Hematology

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) announced the names of 11 outstanding fellows selected to receive the 2017 ASH Research Training Award for Fellows, a year-long program that aims to encourage careers in academic hematology by providing protected research time during training. Each awardee...

lung cancer

FDA Grants Alectinib Priority Review for Initial Treatment of ALK-Positive Lung Cancer

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted Genentech’s supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) and granted Priority Review for alectinib (Alecensa) as a first-line treatment for people with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive, locally advanced, or metastatic...

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