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Heterogeneity of the Estrogen Receptor and Risk of Death in Breast Cancer

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that the risk of death from breast cancer is twice as high for patients with high heterogeneity of the estrogen receptor within the same tumor, compared to patients with low heterogeneity. The study, published by Lindström et al in ...

Study Describes Structure of Tumor Herpes Virus Associated With Kaposi's Sarcoma

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have provided the first description of the structure of the herpes virus associated with Kaposi’s sarcoma. The findings, published by Dai et al in Nature, answer important questions about how the virus spreads and provide a...

Effect of TP53 Germline Variations on Outcomes in Pediatric B-Cell ALL

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Qian et al found that loss-of-function germline TP53 variants increase the risk of childhood B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), as well as the risk of poorer response to therapy and second malignancies. Study Details In the study,...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Barriers to Treatment in Limited-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Pezzi et al found that lack of health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, was associated with not receiving combined-modality therapy in limited-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC). They also found that lack of insurance was associated with poorer...

Presurgical Targeted Therapy Delays Relapse of High-Risk Stage III Melanoma

A pair of targeted therapies given before and after surgery for melanoma produced at least a sixfold increase in time to progression compared to standard-of-care surgery for patients with stage III disease, Amaria et al reported in The Lancet Oncology. Patients who had no sign of disease at surgery ...

Tumor-Specific T Cells and Response in Relapsed Hodgkin Lymphoma

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Bollard et al found that T cells with forced expression of dominant-negative transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) receptor type 2 (DNRII) that targeted the Epstein Barr virus (EBV)-derived tumor antigens latent membrane proteins...

Triple Inhibitory Neoadjuvant Therapy in HER2-Positive, ER-Positive Breast Cancer

In an Italian phase II study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Gianni et al found that neoadjuvant therapy with the RB1 inhibitor palbociclib (Ibrance), estrogen receptor (ER) inhibitor fulvestrant (Faslodex), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) inhibitors trastuzumab (Herceptin) and ...

Competing Causes of Death vs Primary Disease in Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Simpson et al found that each year of survival in patients with primary head and neck cancer was associated with a 26% increased risk of death from competing causes, and that competing causes predominated after 5 years postdiagnosis. Study Details The study...

Safety Information on Rolapitant Injectable Emulsion

The Oncology Center of Excellence of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing health-care providers about new safety information for rolapitant (Varubi) injectable emulsion, a substance P/neurokinin (NK-1) receptor antagonist indicated for the prevention of delayed nausea and...

FDA Accepts sBLA, Grants Priority Review for Tisagenlecleucel in Adults With DLBCL

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted for Priority Review a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) suspension for intravenous infusion (formerly CTL019) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large...

Improved Overall and Progression-Free Survival With First-Line Pembrolizumab in Combination With Pemetrexed and Cisplatin or Carboplatin in NSCLC

The phase III KEYNOTE-189 trial—investigating pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in combination with pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin or carboplatin for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)—met its dual primary endpoints of...

issues in oncology
cost of care

ACCC 2017 Survey Shows Cost of Treatment Is Top Threat to Cancer Program Growth

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) 8th annual Trending Now in Cancer Care survey, conducted in partnership with Advisory Board’s Oncology Roundtable, has identified current and emerging trends across U.S. cancer programs. When asked to identify the top threats to future cancer ...

CTC Number May Be Marker of Improved Survival in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Heller et al identified two circulating tumor cell (CTC) markers that had high discriminatory ability for improved survival in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Study Details The study used individual patient data from 5...

Treatment Outcomes in Patients With Bone Metastasis From Advanced RCC

In a subgroup analysis of the phase III METEOR trial of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients with with bone metastases, cabozantinib was associated with improved outcomes vs everolimus. The analysis was reported by Escudier et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Study Details In the...

Arsenic Trioxide With Tretinoin for First-Line Treatment of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia Approved by the FDA

On January 15, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of arsenic trioxide (Trisenox) injection in combination with tretinoin for the treatment of adults with newly-diagnosed low-risk acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) whose APL is characterized by the presence of the t(15;17)...

Cell-Free DNA Tumor Fraction and Somatic Copy Number Alterations May Affect Survival in Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Stover et al found that cell-free (cf) DNA tumor fraction ≥ 10% was associated with worse survival in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, and that several somatic copy number alterations are enriched and prognostic in metastatic...

Study Finds Association Between Breast Implants and Risk of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

In a Dutch study reported in JAMA Oncology, de Boer et al found that breast implants were associated with an increased risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) in the breast, although the absolute risk was small. Study Details In the study, all patients diagnosed with primary non-Hodgkin...

ASCO GI 2018: Liquid Biopsy Test May Detect Early-Stage Colorectal Cancer

A new study has found that a test that identifies circulating tumor cells (CTCs) present in the bloodstream can detect colorectal cancer at an early stage, with accuracy ranging from 84% to 88%. Most prior studies using CTCs have been able to detect late-stage colorectal cancer, and this study is...

FDA Approves Afatinib for Previously Untreated, Metastatic NSCLC With Other Nonresistant EGFR Mutations

On January 12, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval to afatinib (Gilotrif) for a broadened indication in first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have nonresistant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Study Finds Adolescents Using Alternative Tobacco Products Are More Likely to Smoke 1 Year Later

Nonsmoking adolescents who use e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, or tobacco water pipes are more likely to start smoking conventional cigarettes within a year, according to new research by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Findings were published by Watkins et al in JAMA...

Passive Scattering Proton Therapy vs Intensity-Modulated Photon Radiotherapy for Locally Advanced NSCLC

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Liao et al found that passive scattering proton radiotherapy (PSPT) improved heart—but not lung—radiation dose-volume indices vs intensity-modulated photon radiotherapy (IMRT) in patients with advanced non–small cell lung...

Estrogen-Mimicking Compounds Found in Many Foods May Reduce Effectiveness of Breast Cancer Treatment

Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that two estrogen-mimicking compounds found in many foods appear to potently reverse the effects of palbociclib/letrozole, a popular drug combination for treating breast cancer. The study, published by Warth et al in Cell Chemical...

CAP Guideline Details HPV Testing in Head and Neck Carcinomas

Patients with certain head and neck cancers who test positive for high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) have a better prognosis and may need less aggressive treatment. To help ensure that patients with these cancers are accurately diagnosed and effectively treated, the College of...

FDA Approves Olaparib for Germline BRCA-Mutated Metastatic Breast Cancer

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted regular approval to olaparib (Lynparza), a poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline BRCA-mutated, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer who have been...

Brentuximab Vedotin Plus Bendamustine in Relapsed/Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma

A phase I/II trial has shown that the addition of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) to bendamustine is active in relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma. Study findings were reported in The Lancet Oncology by O’Connor et al. Study Details In the study, 64 patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and 1...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Out-of-Pocket Costs and Prescription Abandonment of Novel Oral Anticancer Agents

In a retrospective claims-based study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Doshi et al found that higher out-of-pocket costs were associated with increased rates of prescription abandonment for novel oral anticancer agents. Study Details The study involved data on 38,111 patients from...

Study Finds Desmoplastic Melanoma Highly Responsive to PD-1/PD-L1 Blockade

Desmoplastic melanoma is a rare subtype of melanoma that is commonly found on sun-exposed areas, such as the head and neck, and usually seen in older patients. Treatment is difficult, as these tumors are often resistant to chemotherapy and lack actionable mutations commonly found in other types of...

PSA at 7 Months and Prognosis in Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer Treated With ADT With or Without Chemotherapy

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Harshman et al found that a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level ≤ 0.2 ng/mL at 7 months after the start of androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) was significantly associated with longer overall survival in metastatic...

PARP1 and Androgen Receptor Inhibition in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

In a phase II trial (NCI 9012) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Hussain et al found no benefit of adding PARP1 inhibition with veliparib to abiraterone (Zytiga) plus prednisone in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. ETS fusion status was not predictive of...

Chemoradiation in Elderly Patients With Stage III NSCLC Improves Overall Survival

Elderly patients with stage III non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) showed improved overall survival when treated with chemoradiation compared to definitive radiation alone, according to findings published by Miller et al in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. NSCLC constitutes between...

Study Finds Gene-Expression Profile Testing for Breast Cancer Less Cost-Effective in Real-World Practice

The most commonly used gene expression profile test used to help predict breast cancer recurrence may not be as cost-effective as once thought, say a team of researchers led by scientists from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Their study, published by Chandler et al in the Journal...

Durable Complete Responses After Discontinuation of Immunotherapy in Metastatic Melanoma

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Robert and colleagues, a high proportion of patients with metastatic melanoma achieving complete response on pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in the phase Ib KEYNOTE-001 trial maintained complete response for prolonged durations after treatment...

Comparison of Chemoradiation Treatment Schedules in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In an Indian phase III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Noronha and colleagues found that curative-intent adjuvant chemoradiotherapy with cisplatin at 100 mg/m2 every 3 weeks produced better locoregional control than cisplatin at 30 mg/m2 every week in patients with locally...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
lung cancer
skin cancer
issues in oncology

Growing Socioeconomic and Racial Disparities in Management of Brain Metastases

Increasing use of a potentially life-saving treatment for metastatic cancer is leaving too many vulnerable patients behind, according to a new study from Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital published by Kann et al in JNCCN – Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The...

Lenvatinib and Pembrolizumab Combination Receives Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

On January 9, Eisai and Merck announced that they received Breakthrough Therapy designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Eisai's multiple receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor lenvatinib (Lenvima) in combination with Merck's anti–programmed cell death protein 1...

Adjuvant Pembrolizumab Improves Recurrence-Free Survival in Stage III Resected High-Risk Melanoma

On January 8, Merck and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) announced that the phase III EORTC1325/KEYNOTE-054 trial investigating pembrolizumab (Keytruda) as monotherapy for surgically resected high-risk melanoma met its primary endpoint of recurrence-free...

Everolimus in Previously Treated Thymoma and Thymic Carcinoma

In an Italian phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Zucali et al found that everolimus was active in cisplatin-pretreated thymoma and thymic carcinoma; however, a high rate of fatal pneumonitis was observed. Study Details In the study, 51 patients with advanced/recurrent...

Bipolar Androgen Therapy After Progression on Enzalutamide in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

In a single-center phase II study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Teply et al found that bipolar androgen therapy can induce prostate-specific antigen (PSA) response and resensitization to enzalutamide (Xtandi) in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who progressed on...

breast cancer
skin cancer
issues in oncology
gastrointestinal cancer

Study Finds Increased Risk in Common Cancers in Female Night Shift Workers

In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified shift work with circadian disruption or chronodisruption as a probable human carcinogen. Now, a meta-analysis investigating whether long-term shift work increases the risks of common cancers in women has found that, overall, night...

Age-Associated Mortality Risk and BRAF V600E Status in Papillary Thyroid Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Shen et al found evidence that BRAF V600E mutation status explains the long-recognized increased mortality risk associated with age at diagnosis in patients with papillary thyroid cancer. Study Details The study involved data from 2,638...

Cognitive Function After Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Hematologic Malignancy

In a prospective longitudinal study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Sharafeldin et al found that cognitive function after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for hematologic malignancy was impaired among those receiving myeloablative allogeneic HCT, with a delayed effect being...

Addition of Tumor-Treating Fields to Maintenance Temozolomide in Glioblastoma

Final results of a phase III trial reported by Stupp and colleagues in JAMA indicate that adding antimitotic treatment with tumor-treating fields to maintenance temozolomide is associated with improved progression-free and overall survival in patients with previously treated glioblastoma. The...

New Cancer Model Shows Genomic Link Between DCIS and IDC Breast Cancer Types

A new genetic-based model may explain how ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) progresses to a more invasive form of cancer, say researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The study provides new insight into how DCIS leads to invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and provides a clearer...

Cancer Statistics 2018: U.S. Cancer Mortality Continues Decades-Long Drop

The cancer death rate dropped 1.7% from 2014 to 2015, continuing a drop that began in 1991 and has reached 26%, resulting in nearly 2.4 million fewer cancer deaths during that time. The data is reported in “Cancer Statistics, 2018,” the American Cancer Society’s...

FDA Approves Denosumab for the Prevention of Skeletal-Related Events in Patients With Multiple Myeloma

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for denosumab (Xgeva) to expand the currently approved indication for the prevention of skeletal-related events in patients with bone metastases from solid tumors to include patients...

head and neck cancer
leukemia

Radioiodine Treatment of Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer and Hematologic Malignancy Risk

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Molenaar et al found that radioiodine treatment for well-differentiated thyroid cancer was associated with an increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) compared with thyroidectomy alone. Study Details ...

IMvigor211 Trial: Atezolizumab vs Chemotherapy in Platinum-Treated Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma

The phase III IMvigor211 trial showed no survival benefit for atezolizumab (Tecentriq) vs physician's choice of chemotherapy in platinum-treated locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma with programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression ≥ 5%. Findings were reported in The Lancet by...

Patients With SCLC Face Barriers to Receiving Standard-of-Care Treatment

Despite decades of clinical research establishing chemotherapy with thoracic radiation as the standard of care for the initial management of nonmetastatic small cell lung cancer (SCLC), a large percentage of U.S. patients do not receive these treatments, and in turn have lower overall survival,...

Treatment With Carfilzomib May Lead to Cardiovascular Toxicity in Patients With Multiple Myeloma

The proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib (Kyprolis) has taken on an increasing role in the treatment of multiple myeloma, but new research from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania shows the therapy may come with the risk of cardiovascular problems in a higher than expected...

Surveillance vs Metastasis-Directed Therapy in Recurrent Oligometastatic Prostate Cancer

In a Belgian phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ost et al found that androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)-free survival was prolonged with metastasis-directed therapy vs surveillance in recurrent oligometastatic prostate cancer. Study Details Sixty-two patients with...

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