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health-care policy
immunotherapy

CMS Proposes Medicare Coverage With Evidence Development for CAR T-Cell Therapy

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed coverage of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy under its “coverage with evidence development” paradigm. Currently, there is no national...

head and neck cancer
kidney cancer
immunotherapy

FDA Pipeline: Priority Reviews in Renal Cell Carcinoma and Head and Neck Cancer

Over the past week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted multiple Priority Reviews: Pembrolizumab in Combination With Axitinib as First-Line Treatment for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma Today, the FDA accepted and granted Priority Review for a new supplemental biologics license...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

First-Line Pembrolizumab in Advanced Merkel Cell Carcinoma

In a phase II trial (Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network-09/Keynote-017) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nghiem et al found that first-line pembrolizumab produced a high response rate in patients with advanced Merkel cell carcinoma. In the multicenter trial, 50 adult patients who had ...

sarcoma
issues in oncology
symptom management

Gastric Acid Suppressants May Reduce Survival Outcomes in Patients With Sarcoma Treated With Pazopanib

It is estimated that 20% to 33% of patients undergoing cancer treatment are concomitantly using a gastric acid suppressant, most commonly a proton pump inhibitor (including omeprazole and esomeprazole magnesium) or a histamine H2-receptor blocker (such as ranitidine). A study by Mir et al...

issues in oncology

Involvement of Primary Care Providers in Cancer Treatment Decisions

The idea of team-based cancer care most often focuses on involving primary care physicians in the care of cancer survivors, but research has shown patients are also discussing initial cancer treatment options with their primary care doctors. Now, a new study by Wallner et al in Cancer has...

breast cancer

New Approach to Predicting Response to Pertuzumab and Trastuzumab in Breast Cancer

In the phase II TBCRC026 study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Connolly et al found that early changes in tumor maximum standardized uptake values corrected for lean body mass (SULmax) on [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) were...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

System-Based Intervention to Reduce Racial Disparities in Early-Stage Lung Cancer Treatment

Results from a study published by Cykert et al in Cancer Medicine showed that a pragmatic system-based intervention within cancer treatment centers may eliminate existing disparities in treatment and outcomes for black patients with early-stage lung cancer. “These results show ...

immunotherapy

Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, Awarded the 2019 Szent-Györgyi Prize

The 2019 Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research will be awarded to Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, of the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The prize, awarded annually by the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR), recognizes Dr....

survivorship
symptom management

Late-Onset Cardiotoxicity in Pediatric Cancer Survivors: Comparison of Regimens

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Feijen et al found that daunorubicin was associated with decreased cardiomyopathy risk vs doxorubicin among pediatric cancer survivors, with epirubicin being approximately isoequivalent to doxorubicin. Risk associated with the anthraquinone mitoxantrone was...

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Implementation of a Hospital Pathway for Patients With a Newly Identified Single Brain Mass

In a study reported by Arrillaga-Romany et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice, a team at Massachusetts General Hospital found that implementation of a hospital pathway consisting of a dedicated admission protocol for patients with newly identified single brain masses and no history of cancer...

lymphoma

Alisertib vs Investigator’s Choice in Relapsed or Refractory Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma

In the phase III Lumiere trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, O’Connor et al found that the Aurora A kinase inhibitor alisertib did not improve outcomes vs investigator’s choice of single-agent treatment in relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL). Study...

breast cancer

Recent Decrease in Deaths Attributable to Breast Cancer in the United States

The latest U.S. estimates indicate that since 1989, hundreds of thousands of women's lives have been saved by mammography and improvements in breast cancer treatment. In a study published by Hendrick et al in Cancer, findings point to progress made in the early detection and management of...

head and neck cancer

Small Study Investigates Rise of Glottic Carcinoma in Young Adults and HPV Infection

An increase in the diagnosis of glottic carcinoma in young adults may be due in part to infection with strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) described finding HPV infection in all tested samples of glottic carcinoma from 10 patients diagnosed ...

gynecologic cancers

Two-Year Interim Analysis of Conservatively Managed Ovarian Tumors

In an interim analysis of a prospective cohort study (IOTA5) reported in The Lancet Oncology, Froyman et al found that the risk of malignancy and acute complications is low when adnexal masses with benign ultrasound findings are managed conservatively. In the study, patients with at least 1...

solid tumors

Inherited Variants in CHEK2 and Susceptibility to Testicular Germ Cell Tumors

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, AlDubayan et al found that inherited pathogenetic variants in the checkpoint kinase 2 gene (CHEK2), among inherited pathogenetic DNA-repair gene (DRG) alterations, were associated with susceptibility to testicular germ cell tumors. The study involved screening ...

hepatobiliary cancer

Adjuvant Gemcitabine Plus Oxaliplatin vs Surveillance in Resected Biliary Tract Cancer

In a French phase III trial (PRODIGE 12-ACCORD 18-UNICANCER GI) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Edeline et al found that adjuvant gemcitabine plus oxaliplatin (GEMOX) did not significantly improve relapse-free survival vs surveillance following resection for localized biliary tract...

skin cancer

Updated German Guidelines for Basal Cell Carcinoma

The German S2k guidelines for cutaneous basal cell carcinoma were recently updated to include new developments regarding the epidemiology, diagnosis, and histology of the disease. Commissioned by the Dermatologic Cooperative Oncology Group of the German Cancer Society and the German Society of...

kidney cancer
immunotherapy

2019 GU Cancers Symposium: KEYNOTE-426: Pembrolizumab Plus Axitinib vs Sunitinib in Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

Results from the randomized, phase III KEYNOTE-426 clinical trial show that first-line therapy with a combination of pembrolizumab and axitinib extended both overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) for patients with clear cell metastatic renal cell carcinoma compared with the...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

2019 GU Cancers Symposium: Study Evaluates Survival by Race in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

A large, retrospective study analyzing 5 years of data from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) found that African American men with chemotherapy-naive, metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer who were treated with abiraterone acetate or enzalutamide lived 20% longer compared with...

prostate cancer

2019 GU Cancers Symposium: Small Trial of LuPSMA in PSMA-Positive, Metastatic, Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

A single-arm, phase II trial in men with prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-positive, metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer that progressed despite standard therapies found that a majority of men treated with a novel, targeted radiation therapy called lutetium-177 PSMA-617...

breast cancer

MRI and Assay Results May Influence Treatment of DCIS

In a prospective cohort clinical trial reported in JAMA Oncology, Lehman et al found that multiple factors, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, played a role in conversion to mastectomy among women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) who were candidates for wide local excision...

multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

FDA Approves Daratumumab Split-Dosing Regimen

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a split-dosing regimen for daratumumab (Darzalex), a CD38-directed antibody, providing health-care professionals and patients with multiple myeloma an option to split the first infusion over 2 consecutive days. The approval is based on...

Leaders of Harborside Medical Education Recognized by the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions

THE PRINCIPALS and staff of Harborside, publisher of The ASCO Post, congratulate Harborside Medical Education (HSME) for staff recognition by the Alliance for Continuing Education (CE) in the Health Professions (the Alliance). Two senior staff were honored during the awards ceremony preceding the...

lung cancer
pain management

Opioid Use Following Thoracoscopic Surgery in Early-Stage Lung Cancer

In a study reported in a research letter in JAMA Oncology, Stephanie Tuminello, MPH, and colleagues found that video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) was less likely than open resection to be associated with long-term opioid use in patients undergoing surgery for early-stage lung cancer....

skin cancer

In Vitro and Ex Vivo Activity of Gentian Violet in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

As reported in JAMA Dermatology, Jianqiang Wu, MD, PhD, and Gary S. Wood, MD, found that the widely available nonprescription topical antimicrobial agent gentian violet has potent activity against cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) in studies in vitro and ex vivo. The study involved high-throughput ...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

Neoadjuvant Combination Checkpoint Blockade in Advanced Melanoma

Neoadjuvant combination checkpoint blockade showed activity among patients with high-risk stage III melanoma in a small study. However, a high incidence of side effects caused the trial to be closed early. These results were published by Rodabe N. Amaria, MD, Assistant Professor of Melanoma...

integrative oncology

Advancing the Science and Art of Integrative Oncology

In 2019, we will mark the 20th year of the establishment of the Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), which helped lay the foundation for the emerging field of integrative oncology. Over the past 2 decades, academic cancer institutions, including The...

breast cancer

Breast Cancer Surgical Terminology Should Be Updated to Reflect Modern Medical Practice

BREAST CANCER is a microscopic disease, with most patients presenting with “localized” stage I to III disease, for which they are offered curative-intent surgery often accompanied by radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy. More accurately, we now know that patients with localized...

lymphoma

Living My Best Life

Five years ago, I was living my dream life. I was under contract as a commentator on Fox News, which necessitated commuting weekly from my home in Los Angeles to New York, and was building a new home in Palm Springs with my partner, Matt Lashey. Not only was my career and personal life going well,...

lung cancer

Lorlatinib Shows Overall and Intracranial Activity in ALK-Positive NSCLC

IN A GLOBAL phase II study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Benjamin J. Solomon, MBBS, of Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, and colleagues found that lorlatinib showed high overall and intracranial activity in patients with advanced ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were...

colorectal cancer

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Test on Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Syndrome Receives FDA Clearance

ON JANUARY 22, 2019, 23andMe received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for a genetic health risk report on the hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome MUTYH-associated polyposis. The clearance follows the FDA’s authorization for 23andMe’s BRCA1/BRCA2 (Selected Variants) Genetic...

leukemia
lymphoma

FDA Approves Ibrutinib in Combination With Obinutuzumab in Treatment-Naive CLL/SLL

ON JANUARY 28, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ibrutinib (Imbruvica), a Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in combination with obinutuzumab in treatment-naive patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL). This is the first approval of...

lung cancer

Encourage Lung Cancer Screening to Prevent Early Deaths

Discussions of benefits and harms from screening of high-risk populations for lung cancer have missed the point. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) showed an early and statistically significant major benefit in all-cause mortality from computed tomography (CT) screening.1 Those referred for...

immunotherapy

How Turning ‘Cold’ Tumors Into ‘Hot’ Ones May Improve Response to Immunotherapy

The proliferation of immunotherapeutics in the treatment of cancer over the past decade has revolutionized the way many cancers are treated, especially lung cancer and melanoma, as well as some blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, drastically improving outcomes for many patients with...

V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, DSc, FMedSci, Receives Reynold Spector Award in Clinical Pharmacology

V. CRAIG JORDAN, OBE, PhD, DSc, FMedSci, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will receive the 2019 Reynold Spector Award in Clinical Pharmacology, during the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2019 in...

Julian Schink, MD, Named Chief Medical Officer of CTCA

JULIAN SCHINK, MD, has been appointed Chief Medical Officer of Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). As Chief Medical Officer for the comprehensive cancer care network, Dr. Schink will provide leadership and direction for its enterprise-wide clinical programs and will serve as a liaison...

myelodysplastic syndromes

Novel Treatments of Myelodysplastic Syndromes

AS PART of The ASCO Post’s continued coverage of the 2018 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, here is an update on seven different studies on new therapeutics in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Among the treatments highlighted here are the erythroid maturation...

NCCN Guidelines Exceed 10 Million Downloads in 2018

THE NATIONAL Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) announced that the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) were downloaded more than 10 million times in 2018, marking a 26% increase over downloads in 2017. The NCCN Guidelines provide up-to-date recommendations for...

integrative oncology

Integrative Oncology Scholars Program: Model for Evidence-Based Complementary Care

THE FIRST full year of educational training in the practice of complementary therapies is now underway at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor through its Integrative Oncology Scholars Program, which launched in 2017. The program, which is supported through a 5-year grant from the National...

solid tumors
lymphoma
pancreatic cancer
symptom management

FDA Pipeline: Treatments for Tenosynovial Giant Cell Tumor and Pancreatic Cancer, Plus a Statement on Breast Implant–Associated Lymphoma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted the following designations and applications and also issued a statement: Priority Review for Pexidartinib in Tenosynovial Giant Cell Tumor The FDA has accepted a new drug application (NDA) and granted Priority Review for pexidartinib...

immunotherapy

Immunotherapy in Patients With HIV Infection and Advanced Cancer

A study published by Cook et al in JAMA Oncology focused on whether treatment with checkpoint inhibitors is both safe and effective in patients with advanced cancer who are also human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive. Because checkpoint inhibitors manipulate the immune system, the concern has...

colorectal cancer

Do Certain Sedentary Behaviors Increase the Risk of Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer?

Although colorectal cancer rates in older adults have been decreasing in the United States since the mid-1980s, incidence rates for the cancer have been increasing among young and middle-aged adults, according to a study by the American Cancer Society (ACS). Based on the new data, in 2018, the ACS...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Multiethnic Cohort Study Update on Racial/Ethnic Differences in Lung Cancer Incidence

In an update from the Multiethnic Cohort Study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Stram et al found persistent racial/ethnic differences in risk for lung cancer at similar levels of cigarette smoking intensity. A prior report from the study found that African Americans and...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

More Than 60 Leading Health-Care Organizations Call on CMS to Maintain Coverage for Medically Necessary Cancer Testing

Leading health-care companies and organizations representing patients, providers, academic medical centers, laboratories, and diagnostic manufacturers urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to revise its interpretation of the National Coverage Determination (NCD) for...

immunotherapy

Machine Learning Identifies Multiple Underlying Factors Predicting Response to Immunotherapy

A research team is using a branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning to better target immunotherapy to those who will benefit. In a recent study published by Leiserson et al in PLOS One, the team used data from a clinical trial of patients with bladder cancer to...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Site of Care May Affect Racial and Ethnic Minorities’ Access to Palliative Treatment

For patients at the end of life, palliative care can prolong survival and improve the quality of life for patients with a life-threatening illness and for their families—but studies have found that racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive end-of-life palliative care than...

breast cancer

Postmastectomy Hypofractionated vs Conventionally Fractionated Radiotherapy for High-Risk Breast Cancer

In a Chinese, single-center, noninferiority phase III trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Wang et al found that postmastectomy hypofractionated radiotherapy was noninferior to and associated with similar toxicities vs conventionally fractionated radiotherapy in patients with high-risk breast...

gynecologic cancers

'Deep Learning'–Based Visual Evaluation for Cervical Cancer Screening

In an observational study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Hu et al found that an automated 'deep learning'–based visual evaluation algorithm permitted identification of cervical precancer/cancer cases with greater accuracy than other screening methods. Study Details ...

supportive care
symptom management

FDA Approves Caplacizumab-yhdp for Acquired Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved caplacizumab-yhdp (Cablivi) injection, the first therapy specifically indicated, in combination with plasma exchange and immunosuppressive therapy, for the treatment of adult patients with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP), a...

hematologic malignancies
symptom management

Letter to the Editor: Survey on DOACs in Cancer-Related Venous Thromboembolism

This letter is a follow-up to a report published previously in The ASCO Post. Recent trials report comparable or improved efficacy of direct-acting oral coagulants (DOACs) over low–molecular-weight heparins (LMWH) in the treatment of cancer-related VTE (cVTE) at the expense of increased...

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