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In the News

Genomics/Genetics

Enhanced Surveillance and Risk-Reducing Intervention Options for Individuals With PALB2 Variants

Charlotte Bath  /  October 10, 2021

PALB2 germline pathogenic variants are associated with a substantially increased risk for breast cancer and a smaller increased risk for pancreatic and ovarian cancers, warranting enhanced surveillance and the option of risk-reducing interventions, according to a global team of cancer genetic specia...

Gastroesophageal Cancer

Reduced-Intensity Chemotherapy for Older, Frail Patients With Advanced Gastroesophageal Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  September 10, 2021

Patients who had advanced gastroesophageal cancer but were considered unsuitable for full-dose chemotherapy because of their advanced age and/or frailty “had an improved patient experience with no significant detriment in cancer control” when treated with reduced-intensity chemotherapy in the phase ...

Skin Cancer
Immunotherapy

Responses to Pembrolizumab and Ipilimumab After Anti–PD-1/L1 Failure in Advanced Melanoma

Charlotte Bath  /  July 10, 2021

Despite new and effective treatments for melanoma with checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapies, patients with metastatic melanoma who progress on frontline treatment generally do very poorly. “We really need to make sure we give these patients access to drugs that we know have some efficacy,” J...

Skin Cancer
Immunotherapy

A Shift in the Treatment of Advanced Melanoma

Charlotte Bath  /  July 10, 2021

Answers to questions about first-line treatment of metastatic melanoma are “going to be shifting,” Jason J. Luke, MD, told The ASCO Post, with the change coming on the heels of the phase III RELATIVITY-047 trial reported at the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting.1 That abstract reported that using two immuno...

Lymphoma

Adding Targeted Agent to Treatment Shows Significant Benefits in Pediatric Patients With High-Risk Hodgkin Lymphoma

Charlotte Bath  /  June 10, 2021

Integrating the antibody-drug conjugate brentuximab vedotin into the front-line treatment of pediatric patients with high-risk Hodgkin lymphoma “facilitated significant reduction in radiation exposure and yielded excellent outcomes,” Monika Metzger, MD, MSc, Director for the Central and South Americ...

COVID-19

Surge of Patients With Advanced Cancer Expected Due to Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment During Pandemic

Charlotte Bath  /  May 10, 2021

Pent up demand for cancer screenings, diagnostic workups, and treatments delayed or curtailed since the start of the pandemic is expected to result in a surge of patients—some with more advanced disease as a result of delays—seeking appointments with oncologists. “We are starting to see...

Integrative Oncology
Cost of Care

How Interested Are Patients in Integrative Therapies, and How Much Are They Willing to Pay for Them?

Charlotte Bath  /  April 25, 2021

The top two barriers to accessing complementary and integrative therapies, according to a survey of 576 patients with cancer and caregivers, were cost, cited by 56%, and a lack of knowledge about the therapies, cited by 52.1%. “Other barriers included a lack of time (29.2%), location of the services...

Integrative Oncology
Cost of Care

Clinician Recommendations May Pique Patients’ Interest in Complementary and Integrative Therapies

Charlotte Bath  /  April 25, 2021

Patients with cancer expressed more interest in complementary and integrative medicine services when these services were recommended by an oncologist or other medical professional or were provided for free in a clinical trial, according to a survey reported in JCO Oncology Practice.1 The survey incl...

Breast Cancer

Older Breast Cancer Survivors May Consider Discontinuing Screening Mammography in the Setting of Limited Life Expectancy

Charlotte Bath  /  March 25, 2021

Newly issued mammography screening guidelines for breast cancer survivors aged 75 and older recommend discontinuing routine mammography for those with a life expectancy of less than 5 years and considering discontinuation of routine screening for those with a life expectancy between 5 and 10 years. ...

Survivorship
Issues in Oncology

When to Start a Conversation With Patients About Subsequent Primary Cancers

Charlotte Bath  /  February 25, 2021

Among patients who survive a primary cancer, concern about recurrence, especially metastatic disease, is extremely common; however, information about future risk for subsequent primary cancers is seldom communicated to these patients, leading to missed opportunities to prevent or detect subsequent p...

Survivorship
Issues in Oncology

Ongoing Surveillance and Efforts to Reduce Smoking and Obesity Needed to Lower Cancer Survivors’ Risks of New Cancers

Charlotte Bath  /  February 25, 2021

The risk of developing or dying of a new primary cancer, particularly those cancers associated with smoking and obesity, was greater among survivors of adult-onset cancers than the expected risk in the general population, according to an analysis of data from more than 1.5 million cancer survivors.1...

Breast Cancer

Significant Survival Benefit From Chemotherapy for Older Women With Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  January 25, 2021

Women older than age 70 diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer had significantly improved overall survival if they received adjuvant and/or neoadjuvant chemotherapy, according to an analysis of data from more than 16,000 women enrolled in the National Cancer Database. The estimated 5-year over...

Gynecologic Cancers

Study Shows Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy to Be 'Viable Option' for Surgical Staging of Endometrial Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  December 25, 2020

Sentinel lymph node biopsy “had similar diagnostic accuracy and prognostic ability as lymphadenectomy in patients with high-grade endometrial cancer at greatest risk for nodal metastases,” according to the SENTOR trial, a prospective cohort study of 156 patients with clinical stage I disease. Using ...

Skin Cancer

Mohs Surgery vs Wide Local Excision for Trunk and Extremity Melanomas: Comparable Overall Survival Rates

Charlotte Bath  /  November 25, 2020

A cohort study of 188,862 cases of all-stage melanomas of the trunk and extremities found no differences in overall survival between patients treated with Mohs micrographic surgery or with wide local excision.1 “These findings add to the existing body of evidence demonstrating that wide local excisi...

COVID-19

Mitigating the Spread of COVID-19 and Its Impact on Cancer

Jo Cavallo  /  April 10, 2020

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) took the step it had been avoiding for weeks and declared that the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the virus that causes it, now identified as SARS-CoV-2, had reached global pandemic levels, the first pandemic sparked by a coron...

Skin Cancer

Expect Questions About Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Charlotte Bath  /  November 25, 2020

A recent study finding similar overall survival rates for patients with melanomas of the trunk and extremities treated with Mohs micrographic surgery or wide local excision1 raises questions about why and when physicians might recommend, and patients opt for, one or the other procedure. “The most i...

Breast Cancer

Focus on Preventing Invasive Recurrence in Women With DCIS Does Not Sufficiently Address Breast Cancer Mortality

Charlotte Bath  /  October 25, 2020

A study published recently by Giannakeas et al looked at the risk of death from breast cancer for women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).1 The investigators anticipated that treatment would eliminate the risk of invasive ipsilateral recurrence and prevent subsequent mortality from brea...

Breast Cancer

Expect Questions About Increased Cancer Mortality Risk Among Patients Diagnosed With DCIS

Charlotte Bath  /  October 25, 2020

A large cohort study1 finding that the risk of dying of breast cancer was increased threefold after a DCIS diagnosis may cause patients diagnosed with DCIS to ask what they can do to reduce that risk. Currently, there is little that most patients can do. “The lifetime risk of death following DCIS is...

Pancreatic Cancer

Study Finds Recent-Onset Diabetes With Unintentional Weight Loss Linked to Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  September 25, 2020

A large cohort study with close to 160,000 men and women reported that “recent-onset diabetes accompanied by weight loss was associated with a substantial increase in risk for pancreatic cancer and may represent a high-risk group in the general population for whom early detection strategies would be...

Pancreatic Cancer

Recognizing the Coexistence of Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  September 25, 2020

Incidence rates for pancreatic cancer were 6-fold to 10-fold higher among participants in a study who had recent-onset diabetes and weight loss.1 This led the study authors to write: “The coexistence of these symptoms should be recognized by clinicians given that both the relative and absolute risks...

Solid Tumors
Supportive Care
Immunotherapy

Physician-Patient Partnership Is Key to Recognizing and Managing Side Effects of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Charlotte Bath  /  April 10, 2018

“Immunotherapy has a completely different side-effect profile than chemotherapy, and that has caught physicians off guard,” noted Drew Pardoll, MD, PhD, in an article published earlier this year in The Washington Post.1 Since then, efforts have moved forward on several fronts to bring physicians, as...

Breast Cancer

One in Six Premenopausal Women With Invasive Breast Cancer Is Nonadherent to Tamoxifen Therapy

Charlotte Bath  /  August 25, 2020

Measuring serum levels of tamoxifen among premenopausal women being treated for invasive breast cancer identified a “worryingly high proportion of patients, one in six, who were nonadherent to therapy at only 1 year after treatment prescription,” researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncol...

Gynecologic Cancers

Higher Risk of Disease Recurrence and Death With Minimally Invasive vs Open Surgery for Early-Stage Cervical Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  July 10, 2020

Women with early-stage cervical cancer treated with minimally invasive radical hysterectomy had a 71% increased risk of recurrence and a 56% increased risk of death compared with those treated with open radical hysterectomy, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of 15 studies involving ...

Issues in Oncology

Extended-Fraction Radiation Therapy for Bone Metastases Represents Low-Value Care but Continues to Be Widely Practiced

Charlotte Bath  /  June 25, 2020

An analysis of radiation therapy patterns among more than 12,000 Medicare patients treated for bone metastases found that 23.4% received extended-fraction radiation therapy, “wasting both health-care dollars and precious patient time,” according to the investigators.1 One-third of the treating physi...

Issues in Oncology

Initiate Conversations About Radiation Therapy for Bone Metastases

Charlotte Bath  /  June 25, 2020

Although the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has recommended extended-fraction radiation therapy (more than 10 fractions) not be routinely used for palliation of bone metastases,1 a recently published retrospective cohort study using Medicare data for more than 12,000 patients found ...

Breast Cancer

Cognitive Impairment in Women Treated for Early Breast Cancer: Chemoendocrine Adjuvant Therapy vs Endocrine Therapy Alone

Charlotte Bath  /  June 10, 2020

Women with early-stage breast cancer who received adjuvant chemoendocrine therapy reported greater cognitive impairment at 3 and 6 months than women receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy alone, according to the results from a subgroup of women participating in the TAILORx trial.1 By 12 months, the de...

Prostate Cancer

Statins With or Without Metformin Are Associated With Increased Survival in Patients With High‑Risk Prostate Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  April 25, 2020

A population-based retrospective cohort study involving 12,700 patients found that men with high-risk prostate cancer who took a statin alone or in combination with metformin had reduced all-cause and prostate cancer–specific mortality. The associations between the medications and reduce...

EXPECT INTEREST AND QUESTIONS ABOUT STATINS AND METFORMIN

The ASCO Post  /  April 25, 2020

A study showing that statins used alone or in combination with metformin was associated with reduced prostate cancer mortality and all-cause mortality among men with high-risk prostate cancer may raise more questions about these already commonly used drugs.1 “Metformin is the first-line therapy for...

Breast Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Addressing the Needs of Transgender Patients for Breast Cancer Screening in Comfortable and Inclusive Environments

Charlotte Bath  /  March 25, 2020

An analysis of breast imaging center websites and a literature search for research articles on transgender breast health found that “issues related to transgender breast imaging are not well addressed in the radiology literature or in the radiology community, even though more transgender patients ar...

Breast Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Don’t Expect Transgender Patients to ‘Out’ Themselves

Charlotte Bath  /  March 25, 2020

Although more transgender patients are presenting to breast centers for imaging, many “report significant social stigma when seeking care,” according to a study in the Journal of Breast Imaging.1 Reported verbal abuse and other forms of harassment “can lead to transgender patients concealing their g...

Bladder Cancer
Immunotherapy

Early Data Show Activity for Enfortumab Vedotin Plus Pembrolizumab in Advanced Bladder Cancer

Alice Goodman  /  March 25, 2020

It may be possible to use a platinum-free combination as first-line treatment for advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma in cisplatin-ineligible patients, if results of the phase Ib/II EV-103 trial hold up. The combination of the newly approved antibody-drug conjugate (enfortumab vedotin) and a...

Breast Cancer

Using Antioxidants and Other Supplements With Chemotherapy May Increase Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence and Mortality

Charlotte Bath  /  February 25, 2020

Using antioxidants and other dietary supplements before and during adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer may increase the risk of recurrence and “to a lesser extent, death,” according to an analysis of dietary and nutritional data from a phase III trial, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncolo...

Geriatric Oncology
Issues in Oncology

‘Slow, Incremental Changes’ Are Increasing Participation of Older Adults in Clinical Trials

Charlotte Bath  /  August 25, 2017

Older adults continue to be proportionally underrepresented in oncology clinical trials, but the participation rate of adults aged 65 and older is increasing by “slow, incremental changes,” Stuart M. Lichtman, MD, FACP, FASCO, noted in an interview with The ASCO Post. Prompting those changes are the...

Solid Tumors

Incidence of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anus Has ‘Increased Dramatically’ in Older Women and Young Black Men

Charlotte Bath  /  December 25, 2019

“Squamous cell carcinoma of the anus incidence has increased dramatically in elderly women and young black men,” according to a study of recent trends in incidence and mortality. “Advanced-stage [anal squamous cell carcinoma] incidence tripled with a prominent rise in … mortality,” researchers repor...

Issues in Oncology

A Call to Action for Oncology Clinicians to Help Patients ‘Move Through Cancer’

Charlotte Bath  /  November 25, 2019

“There is clear evidence that patients are more likely to exercise if their oncologist tells them to do so,” reported representatives from 17 organizations participating in the Second Roundtable on Exercise and Cancer Prevention and Control. In an article published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinic...

Issues in Oncology

Oncology Clinicians Play A Role in Telling Patients About the Importance of Exercise

Charlotte Bath  /  November 25, 2019

New exercise guidelines for patients with cancer can “improve physical and psychological outcomes from cancer diagnosis and for the balance of life,” concluded representatives from 17 organizations participating in the Second Roundtable on Exercise and Cancer Prevention and Control.1 Attention focus...

Colorectal Cancer

Physical Activity Delays Disease Progression and Lowers Risk of Adverse Events in Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  October 25, 2019

Patients who were being treated with chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer and who reported engaging in physical activity had a significantly longer progression-free survival and reduced risk for treatment-related adverse events than did those reporting less physical activity, according to a...

Prostate Cancer

Active Surveillance for Early-Stage Prostate Cancer Requires Active Participation by Patient and Clinician

Charlotte Bath  /  July 25, 2019

Active surveillance of patients with early-stage prostate cancer “is tackling the problem of overtreatment” and, with rigorous monitoring, “is safe and allows us to treat only patients who need treatment when their cancer progresses,” Ronald C. Chen, MD, MPH, affirmed in an interview with The ASCO P...

Pancreatic Cancer

Lifestyle Modifications and Screening of Patients at High Risk Can Reduce Deaths From Pancreatic Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  May 25, 2019

After disclosing that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, Alex Trebek, longtime host of the popular television game show Jeopardy!, vowed that he would beat the disease despite the low associated survival rate. His statement has brought pancreatic cancer back into the public spotl...

Supportive Care

Are Your Patients Using Complementary and Alternative Therapies? You Might Not Know If You Don’t Ask

Charlotte Bath  /  June 25, 2019

Nearly one-third of patients with cancer who reported that they used complementary and alternative therapies in a nationwide survey did not tell their physicians about the use of those therapies, and the most frequently cited reason for not telling their physicians was that their physicians did no...

Pancreatic Cancer

Expect Questions About Screening for Pancreatic Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  May 25, 2019

Although the detection of pancreatic cancer at early stages would offer an improved chance for successful treatment and survival, symptoms of pancreatic cancer are usually vague or absent, and screening to detect pancreatic cancer earlier is not recommended for average-risk asymptomatic patients. Th...

Issues in Oncology

Rising Rates of Six Obesity-Related Cancers Among Younger Adults

Charlotte Bath  /  April 25, 2019

PHYSICIANS SHOULD routinely assess the body mass index (BMI) of their patients and offer counseling and/or referrals to a nutritionist or dietician to patients with a BMI of > 30 kg/m2, Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD, told The ASCO Post. Those actions plus community-level policies designed to increase o...

Issues in Oncology

Assess and Address Weight Issues to Curtail Rise in Obesity-Related Cancers

Charlotte Bath  /  April 25, 2019

THE RISK FOR developing several obesity-related cancers is rising more rapidly in people aged 25 to 49 than in those older than 50, with the magnitude of the rise steepest in the youngest age group, according to a study published in Lancet Public Health.1 In an interview with The ASCO Post, the stud...

Issues in Oncology

Knowing Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation of Patients Is a Vital Aspect of Medical Care

Charlotte Bath  /  March 25, 2019

A survey of oncologists from National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers found that 95.3% of oncologists who responded are comfortable with treating lesbian, gay, and bisexual patients with cancer, and 82.5% are comfortable treating transgender patients with cancer.1 Just...

Solid Tumors
Colorectal Cancer

Following Guidelines for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity May Improve Survival in Patients Treated for Colon Cancer

Charlotte Bath  /  June 10, 2018

Following guidelines for proper nutrition, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying physically active may improve survival among patients treated for colon cancer, according to the results of a study with nearly 1,000 patients followed for a median of 7 years.1 “The study suggests that if patie...

SIDEBAR: Expect Questions from Your Patients and Colleagues

Charlotte Bath  /  June 15, 2011

Patients of the Women’s Cancer Center at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia often ask about ovarian cancer risk, the center’s Director, Robert A. Burger, MD, told The ASCO Post. Moreover, the recent study showing that bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy reduced that risk generated discussion among ...

Gynecologic Cancers

Hormone Replacement and Ovarian Cancer: Competing Risks in Decisions about Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy

Charlotte Bath  /  June 15, 2011

Recently reported findings that bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and hysterectomy decreased the risk of ovarian cancer compared to ovarian conservation and hysterectomy, without increasing cardiovascular, fracture, and other cancer risks, should “challenge” current thinking about bilateral salpingo-o...

Gynecologic Cancers

Cervical Cancer Screening Study Should Reassure Physicians and Patients that a 3-Year Screening Interval Is Safe and Effective

Charlotte Bath  /  July 15, 2011

Results of a large-scale cervical cancer screening study using concurrent human papillomavirus (HPV) and Pap testing should “reassure” women over 30 who test negative for HPV and have normal Pap tests that “it is extremely safe to go 3 years” before being tested again, Barnett S. Kramer, MD, MPH, sa...

Prostate Cancer

Optimizing Treatment for Advanced Prostate Cancer Requires Shifting Focus from Individual Drugs to Integrated Therapies

Charlotte Bath  /  August 15, 2011

Newer drugs, including sipuleucel-T (Provenge), cabazitaxel (Jevtana), and abiraterone (Zytiga), can extend survival modestly and ease symptoms for men with advanced prostate cancer. Maximizing the benefit to patients will require shifting the focus from developing individual drugs to developing int...

Breast Cancer

Many Women Treated for High-risk Breast Cancer Do Not Receive Recommended Postmastectomy Radiation Therapy

Charlotte Bath  /  September 15, 2011

Despite major studies showing that postmastectomy radiation therapy improves survival for women with high-risk breast cancer and evidence-based guidelines supporting the use of postmastectomy radiotherapy, 45% of these patients do not receive such treatment, according to an analysis of data from mor...

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