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Expert’s Corner

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 ...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

Issues in Oncology

Discerning the Underlying Mechanisms of Endometrial Cancer Disparities in Black Women

Jo Cavallo  /  December 10, 2020

Endometrial cancer is the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, and the seventh most common cause of cancer death among women.1 This year, nearly 66,000 women will be diagnosed with the cancer, and about 12,600 will die of the disease.2 And although endometrial cancer is one of t...

Global Cancer Care

Assessing the Progress Made in Global Cancer Care and Looking Toward the Future

Jo Cavallo  /  December 10, 2020

In October 2020, Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired of Jordan ended her 2-year tenure as President of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), a global organization with more than 1,198 members from 172 countries and territories committed to reducing the cancer burden and inequitab...

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...

Prostate Cancer

A Urologic Surgeon Assesses the Current State of Prostate Cancer

Ronald Piana  /  November 25, 2020

Despite decades of research, multinational clinical trials, regular guideline updates by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and coordinated efforts by ASCO and other major oncology organizations, the management strategy for prostate cancer remains controversial. To keep the oncology community ...

Issues in Oncology
COVID-19

Results From ASCO’s 2020 National Cancer Opinions Survey

Jo Cavallo  /  November 10, 2020

As in past years, the results from ASCO’s 2020 National Cancer Opinions Survey showed a startling dichotomy in the perceptions of Americans on a variety of health-care issues. As expected, the two major events this year, the COVID-19 pandemic and a national reckoning over racial injustice, dominated...

Skin Cancer

Small Case Study Explores Novel Approach to Neoadjuvant Therapy for Skin Cancer

Ronald Piana  /  October 25, 2020

Skin cancers are the most common malignancy in the United States and worldwide. Between 1994 and 2014, the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers in the United States increased by 77%.1 The cost of treating melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers to the health-care system alo...

Issues in Oncology
Gynecologic Cancers
Colorectal Cancer
COVID-19

A Primary Care Physician Explores Barriers to Cancer Prevention and Clinical Trial Accrual

Ronald Piana  /  October 10, 2020

To accelerate progress in the survival rates of people with cancer in the United States and to reduce cancer disparities across the entire spectrum of cancer from diagnosis to survivorship, there needs to be increased access to cancer screening and prevention programs. To shed light on this critical...

Issues in Oncology

An MSK Hospitalist Looks at Oncologists’ Attitudes About Inpatient Cancer Care

Ronald Piana  /  October 10, 2020

Each year in the United States, about five million adults with cancer are admitted to hospitals. Given our aging population, this trend will increase, putting added stress on the oncology community, which is already dealing with an impending workforce shortage. Although physician extenders, such nur...

COVID-19

A Young Oncologist Cares for Patients With Cancer Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Ronald Piana  /  October 10, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the face of U.S. health-care services in such rapid fashion that many providers were caught off guard, learning and preparing on the fly. Patients with cancer, given their multiple physical and emotional challenges, were especially vulnerable. To get a sense of the on-t...

Issues in Oncology

Ending Systemic Racism in Oncology Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Jo Cavallo  /  October 10, 2020

Five years ago, as Rachel B. Issaka, MD, MAS, was beginning her second year as a gastroenterology fellow and feeling proud of the progress she was making in her training, she was suddenly confronted with an all-too-familiar slight that underrepresented minority providers may often experience. As Dr....

Issues in Oncology

Efforts to Broaden Eligibility Criteria for Clinical Trials Seek to Include More Racial and Ethnic Minority Patients

Jo Cavallo  /  September 25, 2020

A review of the 2019 Drug Trials Snapshots Report1 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that although female participation in clinical trials grew to 72% from 56% in the FDA’s 2018 Drug Trials Snapshots Report,2 ethnic minority participation in clinical trials actually declined ...

Issues in Oncology

Caring for Undocumented Patients With Cancer

Ronald Piana  /  September 25, 2020

There are approximately 25 million foreign-born immigrants living in the United States, which is more than 13% of the nation’s total population. Of these individuals, it is estimated that about 11 million are undocumented; by far, the largest group of this immigrant undocumented population is Hispan...

Issues in Oncology

Setting an Ambitious Path to Ensure Health Equity for All Patients With Cancer

Jo Cavallo  /  September 10, 2020

In keeping with her Presidential theme of “Equity: Every Patient, Every Day, Everywhere,” in July, ASCO President Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, announced the Society was joining forces with the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) to increase racial and ethnic minority participation i...

COVID-19

How Delays in Screening and Early Cancer Diagnosis Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic May Result in Increased Cancer Mortality

Jo Cavallo  /  September 10, 2020

Earlier this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic was spreading across the United States, federal health officials and cancer societies urged Americans to delay routine cancer screenings and other elective procedures to keep them out of clinics to avoid potential exposure to the coronavirus and to preserv...

Cost of Care

Web-Based Tool May Help Patients With Cancer Choose the Best Insurance for Their Needs

Ronald Piana  /  September 10, 2020

Given the rising costs of cancer care, many patients with cancer and cancer survivors are challenged by financial toxicity, the burden of care costs. Many struggle to choose a health insurance plan that best meets their needs. Moreover, these challenges are often exacerbated by limited health insura...

Health-Care Policy

Past CMS and FDA Head Discusses Challenges in U.S. Health-Care Policy and Possible Solutions

Ronald Piana  /  August 25, 2020

As evidenced at this year’s ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program, oncology science, technology, and clinical practice are evolving at a rapid pace, bringing new challenges to the efficient and ethical practice of cancer care at all levels. To shed light on some of the large-scale public health and po...

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...

Multiple Myeloma

How to Treat Patients With Multiple Myeloma Cost-Effectively Without Compromising Outcome

Jo Cavallo  /  August 25, 2020

The dramatic advances in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma over the past 20 years have resulted in significant improvements in overall survival, with 5-year relative survival rates now around 50% and more than 60% for patients younger than age 70.1 The proteasome inhibitors bortezomib,...

Neuroendocrine Tumors

Update on Detecting and Treating Biologically Diverse Neuroendocrine Tumors

Ronald Piana  /  August 25, 2020

Neuroendocrine tumors are rare malignancies that arise in neuroendocrine cells, which can occur throughout the body but are most commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and pancreas. Although most neuroendocrine tumors are indolent and take years to grow, some are aggressive and grow mo...

COVID-19

Top Scientists Share Early Research on Intersection of COVID-19 and Cancer Care at AACR Virtual Meeting

Alice Goodman  /  August 10, 2020

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer took place from July 20 to 22, 2020, attracting top scientific minds from around the world to present preliminary research on the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its intersection with cancer care. In an in...

Issues in Oncology

Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist Yoram Unguru, MD, MS, MA, Explains the Economic Origins of Drug Shortages and Other Ethical Issues

Ronald Piana  /  August 10, 2020

Improvements in protocol-driven clinical trials and supportive care for children and adolescents with cancer have markedly reduced mortality rates over the past 5 decades. Yet, along with clinical advances, oncologists and their young patients with cancer face a host of ethical issues, made more c...

Health-Care Policy

Addressing Discrimination and Bias in Medical Education

Jo Cavallo  /  July 10, 2020

“As a medical student, I often felt marginalized from my medical community. I have been told that my name is ‘not American,’ fallen prey to being confused for support staff such as a janitor (even while wearing my white coat), and been asked questions like, ‘Where are you really from?’ or ‘How old w...

Issues in Oncology

Improving the Quality of Care and Research for Patients With Cancer and the Ethics Behind Its Delivery

Ronald Piana  /  July 10, 2020

With the rapid expansion of scientific advances, the intersection of ethics and the delivery of cancer care becomes ever more complicated. To shed light on some of the challenging ethical issues faced by today’s busy oncology practitioners, The ASCO Post spoke with Rebecca D. Pentz, PhD, Professor...

Palliative Care

Determining the Best Place to Die for Patients With Cancer

Jo Cavallo  /  June 25, 2020

Studies have shown a disconnect between where patients say they want to die and where they actually die. According to research from Stanford School of Medicine, although an overwhelming majority of Americans—about 80%—would prefer to die at home, just 20% do. In fact, 60% die in acute care hospitals...

Issues in Oncology
COVID-19

Overcoming the Challenges of Presenting the ASCO Annual Meeting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jo Cavallo  /  May 25, 2020

As the worldwide cases of the coronavirus started to mount in February and March, medical societies and organizations monitoring the escalating COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international and domestic travel made the difficult decision to postpone or cancel their scientific conferences. On Mar...

COVID-19

From the Front Lines: Perspectives on How the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Impacting Oncology Care

Jo Cavallo  /  May 25, 2020

The long-term effects on oncology care from the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the globe are still being assessed, but there is no doubt they will be deep and far-reaching and may lead to substantial changes in how research and medicine are practiced. One alarming trend starting to emerge is the...

Issues in Oncology

ASCO’s President-Elect Aims to Ensure Equitable Cancer Care for Every Patient

Jo Cavallo  /  May 25, 2020

The desire to pursue a career in medicine took root when Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, was a young child visiting family in segregated Ahoskie, North Carolina. She witnessed firsthand the impact the town’s lone African American family physician had on the community. When it came time to choo...

COVID-19

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Propelling the Delivery of Home Care for Patients With Cancer

Jo Cavallo  /  May 25, 2020

In 2019, the Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center began planning a demonstration program, called Cancer Care at Home, to broaden the delivery of oncology treatments to patients in the home setting. The existing services offered by Penn Hom...

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...

CNS Cancers

Despites Advances, Treatment-Related Sequelae Remain Problematic in Pediatric Neuro-oncology

Ronald Piana  /  May 25, 2020

The management of pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors is extremely complex, as are the survivorship issues in this highly vulnerable patient population. To shed light on the current clinical reality in this setting, The ASCO Post recently spoke with Katherine E. Warren, MD, an internationally rec...

Leukemia
COVID-19

Treating Patients With Leukemia During the COVID-19 Era at MD Anderson Cancer Center

Alice Goodman  /  May 25, 2020

As part of a series of interviews with cancer experts during the COVID-19 pandemic, The ASCO Post spoke with Hagop Kantarjian, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, about the impact of the pandemic on treatment of patient...

COVID-19

Cancer vs COVID-19: Clinical Trial Research During the Pandemic

Chase Doyle  /  May 25, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed cancer care, seemingly overnight, as practices scrambled to ensure a safe environment for caregivers and patients. Although regulatory burdens have been relaxed to allow patients to continue on trial treatment and telemedicine has expanded its competency and reach, ...

Gynecologic Cancers
COVID-19

Gynecologic Oncologist Describes His New Normal in a New York Hospital

Chase Doyle  /  May 25, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, The ASCO Post will be interviewing oncologists on how they and their centers are dealing with the crisis. Here, we speak with Alexander Melamed, MD, MPH, a gynecologic oncologist and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia Uni...

Immunotherapy
COVID-19

Negotiating the Obstacles to Conducting Clinical Trials of Immunotherapy During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Alice Goodman  /  May 10, 2020

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is perhaps the biggest challenge health-care systems have ever had to face. As part of a series of interviews The ASCO Post is conducting with oncologists, we talked with Charles G. Drake, MD, PhD, about the impact of COVID-19 on his practice and on the conduct of...

COVID-19
Multiple Myeloma

Managing Multiple Myeloma During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Caroline Helwick  /  May 10, 2020

In dealing with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), some oncologists are modifying conventional treatment regimens to limit patients’ visits to infusion centers and providers’ offices. The ASCO Post asked C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, Chief of the Myeloma Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Cent...

Issues in Oncology

The Role of Adipose Tissue in Cancer Aggressiveness

Ronald Piana  /  May 10, 2020

Over the past decade, obesity has been linked to an increased risk and aggressiveness of numerous cancer types. Many biologic activities within adipose tissue change with obesity and may contribute to carcinogenesis and the initiation of cancer. To shed light on the current state of knowledge in thi...

COVID-19

Oncologists on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Conversation With Miriam A. Knoll, MD

Caroline Helwick  /  April 25, 2020

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, The ASCO Post will be interviewing oncologists on how they and their centers are dealing with the crisis. Here, we speak with Miriam A. Knoll, MD, a radiation oncologist at the John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, ...

COVID-19

Maintaining Blood Donations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jo Cavallo  /  April 25, 2020

A major casualty of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is the dramatic decrease in the number of blood donations across the United States. As more people are urged to shelter-in-place and avoid social contact, the number of cancellations in blood drives has been dramatic. According to ...

Genomics/Genetics

How CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing May Improve the Effectiveness of Cellular Therapeutics in Patients With Cancer

Jo Cavallo  /  April 25, 2020

The results from the first in-human phase I clinical trial in the United States evaluating CRISPR-Cas9–edited T cells in patients with advanced cancer has shown that the therapy is both feasible and safe, representing a big step forward in the potential of using gene editing to boost the...

Issues in Oncology

Radon Exposure: A Leading Environmental Cause of Cancer Mortality in the United States

Ronald Piana  /  April 25, 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that about 21,000 people die each year of lung cancer related to radon gas exposure, making it the second leading cause of lung cancer death in the United States. Although the EPA and various other organizations, including the National Rado...

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