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The Anesthesia Era: 1845–1875

The text and photograph here are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology: Tumors & Treatment, A Photographic History, The Anesthesia Era: 1845–1875 by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS, and Elizabeth A. Burns. The photograph appears courtesy of Dr. Burns and The Burns Archive. To...

Forbes Magazine Names 2020 Class of 30 Under 30, Including Honorees in Science and Health Care

Forbes magazine released the ninth annual “30 Under 30” list Class of 2020 in December 2019, featuring the newest group of 600 young entrepreneurs, scientists, and innovative individuals who were recognized for their extraordinary accomplishments at early ages. A total of 30 honorees were selected...

Seven Haircuts

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the Art of Oncology as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. These articles focus on the experience of suffering from cancer or of caring for people diagnosed with cancer, and they include narratives, topical essays,...

breast cancer

FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Tucatinib in Combination Therapy for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Seattle Genetics recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to tucatinib, in combination with trastuzumab and capecitabine, for the treatment of patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

Tucatinib Combination Extends Survival in HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer, Including Patients With Brain Metastases

For patients with progressing HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer previously treated with trastuzumab, pertuzumab, and ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), no single regimen is an established standard of care. More than 50% of these patients will develop brain metastasis, and thus far, treatments...

prostate cancer

Enzalutamide for Metastatic Castration-Sensitive Prostate Cancer

On December 16, 2019, enzalutamide (Xtandi) was approved for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer.1,2 Supporting Efficacy Data The current approval was based on findings from the phase III double-blind ARCHES trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier...

Study Finds African Americans With Cancer Are at Higher Risk for Blood Clots

African Americans appear to be at higher risk for cancer-associated venous thromboembolism than patients with cancer of other races, according to a recent study by Vipul Chitalia, MD, PhD, of Boston University Medical Center, published in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.1 Several studies...

supportive care

Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium Emphasized Caring for the Whole Patient From Diagnosis to End of Life

The 2019 Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium: Advancing Palliative Research Across the Care Continuum, held this past October in San Francisco, marked the fifth anniversary of its inauguration and its last as a stand-alone ASCO thematic meeting. Since its launch in 2014 as the Palliative Care in...

gastrointestinal cancer
palliative care

2020 GI Cancers Symposium: Does Receipt of Palliative Care Increase Survival in Patients With Metastatic Esophageal Cancer Declining Chemotherapy?

Patients with metastatic esophageal cancer who declined chemotherapy but received palliative care had a numerically higher, but not statistically significant, difference in overall survival. These findings will be presented by Manguso et al at the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium (Abstract...

hepatobiliary cancer

2020 GI Cancers Symposium: Addition of Ramucirumab or Merestinib to Gemcitabine/Cisplatin for Biliary Tract Cancer

According to study results to be presented by Valle et al at the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium (Abstract 477), the addition of either ramucirumab or merestinib to the standard first-line therapy for biliary tract cancer—gemcitabine plus cisplatin—did not improve progression-free survival, ...

gastrointestinal cancer

Cancer No Longer Scares Me

Cancer was a disease I feared until 3 years ago, when I was diagnosed with gastric cancer. After receiving the diagnosis, I knew I didn’t have any time to indulge in fear; I had to take action if I was going to survive. In hindsight, symptoms of the cancer, including some fatigue and indigestion,...

cns cancers

Everolimus/Octreotide Shows Antitumor Activity in Recurrent Meningioma

According to the results from the small phase II CEVOREM trial, a targeted combination of the mTOR inhibitor everolimus and the somatostatin agonist octreotide showed antitumor activity in patients with recurrent meningioma not amenable to any type of surgery or radiotherapy. These findings were...

sarcoma

Pathologic Fracture and Prognosis in Adult and Pediatric Patients With High-Grade Osteosarcoma

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Kelley et al found that pathologic fracture was associated with poorer overall survival among adult—but not pediatric—patients with primary central high-grade osteosarcoma of the extremities. Study Details The study involved retrospective...

lymphoma

New NCCN Pediatric Cancer Guidelines for B-Cell Lymphomas

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has published new guidelines for treating children, adolescents, and young adults with pediatric aggressive mature B-cell lymphomas, including Burkitt lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. NCCN published the first pediatric NCCN Clinical...

colorectal cancer

2020 GI Cancers Symposium: Higher Concentration of Fusobacterium nucleatum Found in Colorectal Tumors in Patients Younger Than 45

A bacterium typically linked to periodontal disease, Fusobacterium nucleatum, could play an important role in the rising incidence of colorectal cancer in people younger than age 45. Another type of bacteria, Moraxella osloensis, has been found in colorectal cancer tumors at a nearly fourfold...

Radiation Oncologist Felix Y. Feng, MD, Strives for Balance Between Work and Family Life

In this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, FACP, spoke with Felix Y. Feng, MD, Professor of Radiation Oncology, Urology, and Medicine; George and Judy Marcus Distinguished Professor; Vice Chair of Translational Research in the Department of Radiation...

CancerCare to Provide Support for Patients With Cancer Impacted by the California Wildfires

As many California residents continue to deal with the aftermath of past wildfires and the advent of new ones, CancerCare is now offering a patient assistance program for both emotional and financial support to patients with cancer affected by the California fires. As a leading national nonprofit...

Steven N. Kalkanis, MD, Selected to Lead Henry Ford Medical Group

Following a national search, Henry Ford Health System has selected its own Steven N. Kalkanis, MD, as Chief Executive Officer of the Henry Ford Medical Group. He succeeds William A. Conway, MD, who is stepping down after more than 4 decades with the health system. Dr. Kalkanis will provide...

issues in oncology

Ten Oncology Practices in Underserved Communities Receive Funding to Participate in Quality Improvement Programs

Ten oncology practices from rural and urban centers in the United States that primarily treat underserved populations have received grant funding to participate in ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) and Quality Training Program. The grants are supported by the Stavros Niarchos...

issues in oncology

Optimizing Metabolic Discoveries

Obesity is a leading cause of cancer, and researchers are working to learn more about the biology behind the body’s metabolism and the promotion of cancer growth. “While we know that physical activity and a balanced diet are generally healthy, we don’t yet have the data to make personalized...

Start the New Year Right: Stock Your Practice With Trusted Patient Information Resources From ASCO

ASCO Answers’ award-winning guides, fact sheets, and booklets cover a broad range of important and popular topics in cancer care. ASCO Answers materials provide direct and easy-to-understand information on cancer types, diagnosis, treatment, side effects, and coping with the disease, making them...

Motivating Yourself for Exercise Goals in the New Year

The day after Christmas, I walked into the exercise studio and spent the next hour jogging, rowing, and doing exactly what that morning’s coach instructed the 20 or so participants of the class to do next. The hour passed quickly, and I had little or no time to think about anything other than the...

issues in oncology

ASCO Releases Major Update to Payment Reform Model

ASCO released a major update to its Patient-Centered Oncology Payment (PCOP) model, an alternative payment model designed to support transformation in cancer care delivery and reimbursement, while ensuring that patients with cancer have access to high-quality, high-value care. PCOP addresses an...

ASCO Announces Newly Elected Leadership

ASCO has elected Everett E. Vokes, MD, FASCO, a long-time member and volunteer, to serve as its President for the term beginning in June 2021. Dr. Vokes will take office as President-Elect during the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago in June 2020. Six members were also elected to open positions on...

FDA’s Pilot Project Patient Voice Website and Workshop With ASCO

Project Patient Voice (PPV) is a program that will gather and make available online, patient-reported outcomes from cancer clinical trials. Launched by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE), it is the first program of its kind to communicate...

issues in oncology

Value-Based and Patient-Centered Cancer Care: Looking at Closing Gaps in Perspectives of Value

Value-based care in oncology—a concept that emphasizes quality over quantity—has evolved over the past 2 decades to become a guiding principle of both public and private payers. The concept was part of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) of 2008; informed elements of...

Two New Grants to Support Transformative Cancer Research

Two grants for research that could transform cancer therapies have been funded through an innovative partnership between the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and MPM Capital through its management of the UBS Oncology Impact Fund. This unique grant program allows investigators to...

Stephanie Lee, MD, MPH, Begins Term as ASH President

Stephanie Lee, MD, MPH, an expert in graft-vs-host disease as well as blood and bone marrow diseases, will serve as President of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) for a 1-long term through December 2020. Dr. Lee is a member and Associate Director of the Clinical Research Division at Fred...

American Cancer Society Welcomes Three New Members to the Board of Directors

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has announced three new members to the Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2020. Joining the ACS board are Katie Eccles, Patrick Geraghty, and Oyebode Taiwo, MD, MPH. The ACS Board of Directors consists of 21 members, which include 5 officers (elected for a ...

prostate cancer
health-care policy
cost of care

Price Transparency and Variation for Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Trevor Royce, MS, MD, MPH, and colleagues found that publicly available information on pricing for radiation treatment for prostate cancer was complex and inconsistent, and that pricing varied widely among National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

2020 GI Cancers Symposium: Young Adults With Colorectal Cancer Living in Areas of Low Income, Education Likely to Have Worse Survival Outcomes

A retrospective analysis of 26,768 young adults with colorectal cancer aged 40 and under found that those who live in areas with lower income (a median income of less than $38,000) and less education (under 79% high school graduation rate), as well as those who live in urban areas, had worse...

hepatobiliary cancer
colorectal cancer

2020 GI Cancers Symposium: Patient-Reported Outcomes From IMbrave150, BEACON CRC

Patient-reported outcomes from two large studies show that quality of life is maintained longer with newer drug combinations compared with standard-of-care treatments in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma and BRAF V600E­–mutant metastatic colorectal cancer. The results, from...

gastrointestinal cancer

2020 GI Cancers Symposium: Detecting GI Tumors Using a Cell-Free DNA Test

A blood-based screening test using cell-free DNA to identify methylation signals of hard-to-detect gastrointestinal (GI) cancers could potentially help detect disease at earlier stages. This research will be presented by Brian M. Wolpin, MD, MPH, and colleagues at the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers...

Expert Point of View: Hope S. Rugo, MD, FASCO, and Laura J. Esserman, MD, MBA, FASCO

Hope S. Rugo, MD, FASCO, Professor of Medicine, Director of Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, said the residual cancer burden index is being increasingly used in medical oncology. “The...

breast cancer

Residual Cancer Burden Is Prognostic of Outcomes Across Breast Cancer Subtypes

Residual cancer burden after neoadjuvant chemotherapy can accurately predict disease recurrence and survival across all breast cancer subtypes, according to the findings from a meta-analysis presented at the 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium by W. Fraser Symmans, MD, Professor and Director...

Expert Point of View: Debra Patt, MD, MPH, MBA

Debra Patt, MD, MPH, MBA, Executive Vice President of Policy and Strategy for Texas Oncology and Clinical Professor at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, commented that the 10-year results of NSABP B-42 show “a substantial improvement” in disease-free survival, with an...

breast cancer

Extended Letrozole Boosts Disease-Free Survival in 10-Year Update of NSABP B-42 Trial

“In the 10-year analysis of the NSABP B-42 trial, the effect of extended treatment with 5 years of letrozole on disease-free survival persisted and reached statistical significance. There was no significant improvement in overall survival with letrozole, but letrozole continued to provide a...

Expert Point of View: Michael Jain, MD, PhD

Michael Jain, MD, PhD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida, commented on both studies with the combination of brentuximab vedotin/nivolumab. “For older patients, ABVD [doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine] is not easy to tolerate, and it would be good to find an easier...

immunotherapy
lymphoma

Brentuximab Vedotin Plus Nivolumab in Hodgkin Lymphoma

The combination of brentuximab vedotin and nivolumab is making headway as first-line therapy for older adults with Hodgkin lymphoma and as salvage therapy for adults with relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin lymphoma, according to separate studies presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting &...

breast cancer
survivorship

Does Proton Pump Inhibitor Use Affect Cognition in Breast Cancer Survivors?

Proton pump inhibitors, which are sometimes recommended to ease stomach problems during cancer treatment, may have an unintended side effect: impairment of breast cancer survivors' memory and concentration. These findings were published by Madison et al in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship....

skin cancer

Using T-Cell Fraction to Predict Melanoma Recurrence

In a paper published by Pruessmann et al in Nature Cancer, investigators presented a new, quantitative technique that leverages DNA sequencing to make more sophisticated and accurate predictions about which primary melanomas are likely to recur and spread. "As recently as 10 years ago, the outlook...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

Immune-Related Adverse Events and Recurrence-Free Survival With Adjuvant Immunotherapy vs Placebo in Stage III Melanoma

In an analysis of the EORTC 1325/KEYNOTE-054 trial of adjuvant pembrolizumab vs placebo in stage III melanoma reported in JAMA Oncology, Alexander M.M. Eggermont, MD, PhD, and colleagues found that patients treated with pembrolizumab who experienced immune-related adverse events had improved...

lung cancer

Impact of the NCI Cell-Line Database: A Testament to Patient Altruism

In an homage to the gracious patients who provided biospecimens and to the dedicated researchers who have tended and studied the derived cell lines, James L. Mulshine, MD, of the Center for Healthy Aging, Department of Internal Medicine, Rush University, and colleagues have described the impact of...

breast cancer

Mixed Results With Weekly Nab-paclitaxel, Denosumab in Primary Breast Cancer

A weekly schedule of nab-paclitaxel as part of neoadjuvant chemotherapy significantly improved pathologic complete response compared with nab-paclitaxel given 2 weeks out of every 3 weeks (2/3) in patients with primary breast cancer, with a greater magnitude of benefit in patients with...

issues in oncology
prostate cancer
thyroid cancer
leukemia

Cancer Incidence in World Trade Center Responders to the September 11 Attacks

A study published by Shapiro et al in JNCI Cancer Spectrum showed that responders to the World Trade Center site after the attacks on September 11, 2001, have statistically significant elevations in cancer incidence for all cancer sites combined, and for prostate and thyroid cancer and leukemia....

immunotherapy
skin cancer
sarcoma
kidney cancer

Three Studies Examine Relationship Between B-Cell Enrichment and Response to Immunotherapy

The likelihood of a patient responding to immune checkpoint blockade may depend on B cells in the tumor, located within specialized immune-cell clusters known as tertiary lymphoid structures, according to three studies all recently published in Nature. The studies showed that enrichment of B cells...

solid tumors

Relapse and Outcomes in Men Receiving Adjuvant Bleomycin/Etoposide/Cisplatin for Clinical Stage I Nonseminoma

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Fischer et al found different patterns of relapse and associated outcomes among men with relapse after treatment with adjuvant bleomycin/etoposide/cisplatin for clinical stage I nonseminoma. The study included data on 51 patients from 18...

lung cancer

Entrectinib in Advanced ROS1 Fusion–Positive NSCLC

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Alexander Drilon, MD, and colleagues, an integrated analysis of three phase I/II trials has shown high activity of the TRK and ROS1 inhibitor entrectinib in ROS1 fusion-positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This analysis supported the August 2019 U.S....

Luspatercept in Transfusion-Dependent Lower-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes

We’ll start off this week by discussing results from the MEDALIST trial of luspatercept in transfusion-dependent lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes. Then, we’ll move to a study that’s been covered a lot in the news: does the use of powder in the genital area increase a woman’s chance of ovarian...

integrative oncology

Society for Integrative Oncology’s 16th International Conference

The Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) hosted its 16th International Conference in New York City, October 19-21, 2019, in partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). The conference theme, “Advancing the Science and Art of Integrative Oncology,” focused on deepening the...

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