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Expert’s Corner

Issues in Oncology

How ASCO and ACCC Aim to Increase Diversity in Clinical Trials and Close the Equity Gap in Cancer Care

Jo Cavallo  /  August 10, 2022

Research shows that although 15% of Black individuals and 13% of Hispanic individuals have cancer in the United States, only between 4% and 6% of clinical trial participants are Black and between 3% and 6% are Hispanic.1-3 To improve these statistics, in 2020, ASCO and the Association of Community C...

CNS Cancers
Genomics/Genetics

Deciphering the Elusive Origin and Pathways of Brain Metastases

Ronald Piana  /  July 25, 2022

The effective treatment of patients with brain metastases is an unmet need because, until fairly recently, patients with brain metastases were excluded from clinical trials of systemic therapies. However, the emergence of molecular targeted therapies has allowed a new treatment approach in patients ...

Former NCI Director Takes Stock of His Accomplishments and Looks Ahead to the Next Challenge

Jo Cavallo  /  July 10, 2022

After nearly 5 years as Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), interrupted by 7 months as Acting Commissioner for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless, MD, left his position on April 29 to concentrate on his family and contemplate his next career choice. D...

Issues in Oncology

Raising the Bar: Rethinking the Accelerated Drug Approval Process

Ronald Piana  /  July 10, 2022

Our growing knowledge of the molecular and genomic drivers of cancer has translated into a robust pipeline of promising anticancer agents. However, bringing new drugs from the lab to the patient with cancer can be frustratingly slow. To that end, the accelerated approval system was created by the U....

Issues in Oncology

How Social Media Is Fueling an Epidemic of Misinformation and Disinformation—and Distrust in Science

Jo Cavallo  /  June 10, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic and the confluence of events that followed—including the rapid development of vaccines, the mixed messaging on mitigation efforts to prevent coronavirus infection, and the growing political polarization—helped spark public mistrust and skepticism toward science. This mistrust h...

ASCO’s President-Elect Makes Partnering With Patients the Cornerstone of His Presidential Term

Jo Cavallo  /  June 3, 2022 - Narratives Special Issue

This year, Eric P. Winer, MD, FASCO, takes on two new leadership roles in his illustrious medical career. In February, Dr. Winer left his positions as Chief Clinical Development Officer and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Leader of the Dana-Farber/Harva...

Global Cancer Care

How St. Jude and the WHO Are Sparking an International Movement to Increase Treatment Access for Children With Cancer

Jo Cavallo  /  May 25, 2022

The toll of cancer on children, especially those living in low-resource countries, is staggering. Each year, an estimated 400,000 children and adolescents worldwide develop cancer,1 and despite improved survival rates, the global 5-year net childhood cancer survival rate is only 37.4%,2 making cance...

Global Cancer Care

How ASCO, ECO, and WHO Are Marshalling Resources to Provide Care for Ukrainian Civilians and Refugees With Cancer

Jo Cavallo  /  April 25, 2022

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the number of attacks on health-care facilities continues to mount. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of March 16, there have been 43 attacks on health facilities, including 34 attacks that have directly impacted health facilities and 7...

COVID-19

Protecting the Immunocompromised From COVID-19: Practical Information for Physicians

Chase Doyle  /  April 10, 2022

COVID-19 may have caught the world off guard in 2020, but in the 2 years since the pandemic began, several effective monoclonal antibodies and antiviral drugs have emerged to protect the most vulnerable patients. The ASCO Post spoke with Gunjan L. Shah, MD, a hematologic oncologist at Memorial Sloa...

Issues in Oncology

Emerging Issues Regarding Artificial Intelligence in Cancer Research and Clinical Practice

Ronald Piana  /  March 10, 2022

Artificial intelligence (AI) has captured society’s imagination and generated enthusiasm for its potential to improve our quality of life, especially in the health-care arena. The availability of high-dimensionality data sets along with innovations in high-performance computing and deep-learning arc...

Pain Management

Studies Show That Laws to Limit Opioid Prescribing Have Hampered Pain Control for Patients With Cancer

Ronald Piana  /  February 25, 2022

In 2015, an unprecedented phenomenon occurred in the United States: according to the World Bank Group, the nation’s average life expectancy fell from 78.8 years in 2014 to 78.7 years in 2015, then to 78.5 years in 2017. The last time our life expectancy registered a similar decline was in the years ...

Issues in Oncology
COVID-19

Challenges for Oncologists as They Reach Retirement Age

Ronald Piana  /  February 10, 2022

In 2014, The ASCO Post spoke with Mark J. Clemons, MB BS, BMedSci, MSc, MD, FRCP, FRCPC, of Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, about the retirement challenges faced by many oncologists. With market demand expected to exceed supply of oncologists soon, it is clear retirement is n...

Gastrointestinal Cancer
Cost of Care
Issues in Oncology

Assessing Value in Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatments

Ronald Piana  /  February 10, 2022

The era of precision oncology, in which molecular biomarkers are used to help guide drug delivery, has dovetailed with the emerging issues of value-based care and cost containment. To shed light on these issues and more, The ASCO Post spoke with Hanna K. Sanoff, MD, MPH, Clinical Medical Director of...

Issues in Oncology

Recent Study Aims to Improve the Quality of Cancer Care in Rural Areas

Ronald Piana  /  January 25, 2022

Despite growing national awareness of health-care inequities, cancer care for many rural Americans remains inadequate. To shed some light on the challenges faced by patients with cancer in rural areas, The ASCO Post spoke with Mary Charlton, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the University...

Issues in Oncology
Survivorship

Developing a Comprehensive System for Personalized Survivorship-Centered Care Plans

Jo Cavallo  /  January 25, 2022

By 2040, the number of cancer survivors in the United States is expected to climb from 17 million today to 26.1 million, with most living 5 years or more after their diagnosis. However, many of these survivors will need ongoing monitoring for treatment-related side effects and cancer recurrence afte...

Colorectal Cancer

Does Geography Play a Role in Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer in Young Black Men?

Jo Cavallo  /  January 25, 2022

Although the incidence and mortality rates in colorectal cancer have dropped by 3.6% each year from 2007 to 2016 for people aged 55 and older—mainly because of increased colorectal cancer screening, advances in therapy, and reductions in smoking—these rates have increased by 2% each year during the ...

Issues in Oncology

Newer Cancer Therapies Offer Hope but Also May Confer Cardiac Risk

Ronald Piana  /  December 10, 2021

Since many different chemotherapeutic agents have been linked with cardiac adverse events, there is a growing need for strategies for the assessment and mitigation of treatment-induced cardiotoxicity. Moreover, the rapid rise of immunotherapies has added a new dimension to this clinical setting. ...

Colorectal Cancer

Solving the Conundrum of Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer

Jo Cavallo  /  December 25, 2021

Although research so far has failed to uncover the root causes of the development of young-onset colorectal cancer, what is certain is that although colorectal cancer rates are declining in older adults, they are on a steady rise in people younger than age 50, especially those between the ages of 18...

Issues in Oncology

Establishing a Health Equity Report Card to Eradicate Disparities in Cancer Care

Jo Cavallo  /  December 10, 2021

Although enormous progress over the past 50 years in every aspect of cancer care, including prevention, screening, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and supportive care, has resulted in increases in lives saved—from 3 million in 1971 to 16.9 million in 2019—the burden of ca...

Issues in Oncology

How ASCO Is Expanding Its Commitment to Diversity and Equity in Cancer Care

Jo Cavallo  /  October 10, 2021

Ensuring equitable cancer care for every patient, everywhere has been embedded into ASCO’s mission statement since the Society’s inception nearly 60 years ago. Nevertheless, events of the past year, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionally impacted minority communities,...

Prostate Cancer

Adding Value to Clinical Decision-Making in Nonmetastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Ronald Piana  /  October 10, 2021

Several recent investigations have led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of novel antiandrogens to treat nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Yet, this work has not addressed the treatment of nonmetastatic hormone-sensitive biochemically recurrent prostate cancer...

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

Building a ‘Better Normal’ of Oncology Care to Strengthen Global Health Security After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jo Cavallo  /  September 25, 2021

During the opening session of the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting, Julio Frenk, MD, PhD, MPH, President of the University of Miami, gave a riveting presentation in which he described the devastating effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic on patients with cancer as well as on fragile and fragmented health-...

Issues in Oncology
Palliative Care

Improving End-of-Life Discussions With Patients Who Have Advanced Cancer

Jo Cavallo  /  September 10, 2021

Although studies have shown that patients with advanced cancer want their oncologists to discuss their advance care plans with them, fewer than half of those patients have that conversation. The reasons are many, including the difficulty many oncologists have in initiating conversations about noncur...

Issues in Oncology
Palliative Care

Balancing a Reverence for Life With a Belief That Patients Have a Right to a Dignified Death

Jo Cavallo  /  May 25, 2021

The U.S. right-to-die movement took root in the mid-1970s, when Derek Humphry helped his wife, who was dying of breast cancer, take her own life. Five years later, Mr. Humphry founded the Hemlock Society, the first right-to-die organization in the United States,1 and set off a firestorm of controver...

Issues in Oncology
Global Cancer Care

How Climate Change Is Impacting Cancer Care and What Can Be Done to Reduce Oncology’s Footprint on the Environment

Jo Cavallo  /  August 10, 2021

Worldwide, the global average surface temperature has risen at a similar rate of 0.17°F per decade since 1901, with the warmest year on record occurring in 2016 and the second warmest occurring in 2020. However, according to NOAA, since the late 1970s, the United States has warmed faster than the gl...

Multiple Myeloma

Defining Cure in Multiple Myeloma

Jo Cavallo  /  July 10, 2021

The past 2 decades have seen so many advances in the treatment of multiple myeloma; in addition, median patient survival has grown from just 3 years in the late 1990s to between 8 and 10 years today,1 with some patients exceeding that prognosis by many years. Although still considered a stubbornly i...

Global Cancer Care
Health-Care Policy

Canadian Oncologists Report Costly Delays in Their Drug Regulatory Process

Ronald Piana  /  July 25, 2021

Canada’s publicly funded health-care system has a complex drug approval and funding process. Due to multiple assessment steps and bureaucratic processes, newly developed cancer drugs can often experience long delays before oncologists may use them to treat their patients with cancer. Several Canadia...

Issues in Oncology

Bridging the Gender Gap in Oncology

Ronald Piana  /  July 25, 2021

Women account for a growing proportion of the oncology workforce. Multiple studies, however, show that women oncologists are underrepresented in leadership positions, may have significantly lower salaries than men, and may be subjected to discriminatory practices stimulated by a medical culture perm...

Lung Cancer

Emerging Reasons for Optimism in Lung Cancer

Ronald Piana  /  June 25, 2021

Despite public smoking cessation initiatives and improved methods for early detection and treatment, lung cancer persists as the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. However, over the past decade, smoking cessation efforts, increased screening, and new scientific...

Global Cancer Care

Predicting Global Cancer Trends in 2021

Jo Cavallo  /  July 10, 2021

Although we are just halfway through 2021, the outlook for improvements in global cancer trends looks grim. According to new estimates by the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s Global Cancer Observatory, the global cancer burden rose to 19.3 million cases and 10 million deaths in 2020 and...

Colorectal Cancer
Genomics/Genetics

How RAS Mutations in Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer May Impact Patient Survival

Jo Cavallo  /  June 25, 2021

Although both incidence and mortality rates in colorectal cancer have been declining among people older than 65 by 3.3% and 3% annually, respectively, among individuals younger than age 50, the incidence rate has risen about 2% annually, and death rates have increased by 1.3% annually.1 Colorectal c...

Issues in Oncology
Survivorship

Addressing Sexuality Challenges Throughout the Cancer Care Continuum

Ronald Piana  /  June 25, 2021

Multiple studies have shown that sexuality and intimacy problems are common among patients with cancer, often beginning at the time of diagnosis and persisting through the continuum of care into the survivorship setting. Although these problems have been well documented, many patients and survivors ...

Geriatric Oncology

Do Community Oncologists Have Access to Geriatric Specialty Care for Older Patients?

Jo Cavallo  /  June 25, 2021

As our population rapidly ages, the burden of cancer incidence increases accordingly, creating an urgent need for greater and more incisive research on the diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship issues for older adults with cancer. Given the numerous challenges faced by today’s busy oncologists, a t...

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

Harnessing a Worldwide Effort to Combat COVID-19 and Cancer

Jo Cavallo  /  June 25, 2021

This past October, in a virtually held ceremony of the General Assembly of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Anil K. D’Cruz, MBBS, MS, DNB, FRCS (Hon), Director of Oncology at Apollo Hospitals in Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi, India, began his 2-year tenure as President of the global c...

Issues in Oncology

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden Assures the NCI of the Administration’s Commitment to Advancing Cancer Research

Jo Cavallo  /  June 10, 2021

In a virtual visit to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on February 3, 2021, just 2 weeks after her husband, Joe Biden, was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, First Lady Jill Biden, EdD, recounted that, in her many years of travel across the United States, she learned that canc...

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

ASCO’s President-Elect Focuses on Advancing Equitable Cancer Care Through Innovation

Jo Cavallo  /  May 25, 2021

Internationally renowned for his pioneering research in combining high-dose radiation therapy and chemotherapy in the treatment of locally advanced head and neck cancer to improve patient survival, ASCO’s President-Elect Everett E. Vokes, MD, FASCO, is dedicating his tenure as President to expanding...

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19
Survivorship
Issues in Oncology

Celebrating 50 Years of Cancer Progress: The International View

Jo Cavallo  /  May 25, 2021

Although the National Cancer Act of 1971 has resulted in tremendous advances in cancer research, which have led to sharp declines in cancer mortality in the United States—from 1991 to 2018, there has been a 31% decrease in overall cancer death rates—and more than 17 million cancer survivors,1 much o...

Solid Tumors
Bladder Cancer
Global Cancer Care

Oncologists Launch Global Society to Improve Clinical Research, Standardize Treatment, and Improve Patient Education About Rare Genitourinary Tumors

Jo Cavallo  /  May 10, 2021

Late this past year, a group of oncologists led by Philippe E. Spiess, MD, MS, FRCS(C), FACS, Assistant Chief of Surgical Services and Senior Member in the Department of Genitourinary Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center and Professor in the Department of Urology at the University of South Florida; and...

Issues in Oncology

Ethical Considerations Before Launching a Clinical Cancer Trial

Ronald Piana  /  April 25, 2021

Randomized clinical trials are highly regulated initiatives that must comply with multiple requirements while maintaining high epistemic standards, a balance that becomes increasingly difficult as the research questions surrounding immunotherapy and targeted agents become more complex. To shed light...

Genomics/Genetics
Issues in Oncology

How Exceptional Responders Are Providing Clues to Personalizing Cancer Treatment

Jo Cavallo  /  April 10, 2021

The findings from a recent study of patients with cancer who had an exceptional response to chemotherapy are yielding new clues on the molecular changes in patients’ tumors. These findings may explain the genetic alterations contributing to these patients’ dramatic and long-lasting responses to trea...

Issues in Oncology

Overcoming Gender Disparity in Evaluating Sexual Health Following a Cancer Diagnosis

Jo Cavallo  /  March 25, 2021

The results from a recent study showcase the disturbing prevalence of sexual dysfunction as a treatment side effect of cancer and gender disparity in how the problem is addressed by physicians.1 The study, conducted by James Taylor, MD, MPH, Chief Resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at ...

Issues in Oncology

The Emerging Role of Exercise in Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Ronald Piana  /  March 10, 2021

The holistic benefits derived from exercise in preventing and ameliorating chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes are well documented. However, less is known about the salutary effects exercise may have across the cancer setting, especially during treatment. Originall...

COVID-19

ASCO’s Road to Recovery Report Outlines Lessons Learned From the COVID-19 Pandemic to Improve Oncology Care

Jo Cavallo  /  March 10, 2021

In 2020, ASCO established the Steering Group on Cancer Care Delivery and Research in a Post-Pandemic Environment to evaluate the changes made in oncology care delivery, clinical research, and regulatory oversight in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to make recommendations on how to proce...

Colorectal Cancer
COVID-19

Treating Colorectal Cancer in the Time of COVID-19

Caroline Helwick  /  May 25, 2020

The treatment of colorectal cancer has always been something of an art—but never more so than during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ASCO Post asked three experts in this malignancy to share their concerns and their approaches to achieving good patient outcomes while minimizing the risk of COVID-19 expos...

Hematologic Malignancies
Symptom Management
Supportive Care

Trading One Disease for Another: Patients With Chronic Graft-vs-Host Disease May Face Lifelong Complications

Chase Doyle  /  February 10, 2021

The field of allogeneic stem cell transplantation continues to improve survival for patients with previously incurable blood cancers. However, up to 50% of patients who undergo transplantation with donor cells will develop chronic graft-vs-host disease, a potentially deadly condition that can also c...

Issues in Oncology
Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

ASCO’s New Chief Medical Officer Plans to Tackle the Global Burden of Cancer and Disparities in Access to Care

Jo Cavallo  /  January 25, 2021

In November, ASCO announced that Julie R. Gralow, MD, FACP, FASCO, will succeed Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FSCT, FASCO, as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Society. Dr. Gralow will begin her new position on February 15, 2021. Dr. Gralow’s long relationship with ASCO dates back to 1995, when s...

Hematologic Malignancies

Chronic Graft-vs-Host Disease: Future Directions in Treatment

Chase Doyle  /  January 25, 2021

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has improved survival rates for several hematologic malignancies, but as the number of transplants continues to rise, community oncologists are evaluating more posttransplant complications in the clinics. The ASCO Post spoke with two of the principals ...

Cost of Care

How the First International Summit on Interventional Pharmacoeconomics Is Sparking Discussion on Reducing Cancer Costs

Jo Cavallo  /  August 25, 2020

Three years ago, former Chief Executive Officer of ASCO, Allen S. Lichter, MD, Laurence H. Baker, DO, Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor; Leonard Saltz, MD, a gastrointestinal oncologist at Memorial Sloan Ket...

Issues in Oncology

Reducing Disparities in Cancer Care for Sexual and Gender Minority Patients

Jo Cavallo  /  December 25, 2020

Although efforts have been made by various medical societies, including ASCO, over the past decade to address the needs of sexual and gender minorities in the cancer care setting, research shows that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) patients continue to face barrier...

Breast Cancer

Understanding Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Disparities in Resource-Challenged Nations

Ronald Piana  /  December 10, 2020

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Caribbean. Adding to this growing burden, many of the nations in this geographically spread region have under-resourced health-care systems and a lack of cohesive approaches to the delivery of cancer care. To shed light on the public health dilemm...

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