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issues in oncology

Understanding Patient-Reported Outcomes in Cancer Trials: A Beginner’s Guide

Patient-reported outcomes are measures used in clinical trials to capture aspects of a patient’s health condition, reported directly by the patient, without introduction of bias from third parties. They are distinct from the physical toxicities reported by clinicians1 and are collected using a...

issues in oncology

The Role of Adipose Tissue in Cancer Aggressiveness

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...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia
lymphoma
multiple myeloma
myelodysplastic syndromes
immunotherapy

Highlights From ASH 2019 Included New Data in Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma, and Myelodysplastic Syndromes

The 2019 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition featured a cornucopia of sessions. It was impossible to attend all the lectures, symposia, oral presentations, poster presentations, and special events because many were concurrent. Below, we have selected some...

American Cancer Society Awards New Research, Training Grants

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has approved funding for 79 research and training grants, totaling $36,165,100 in the first of two grant cycles for 2020. Grant applications were reviewed and approved remotely in light of the coronavirus epidemic. The grants will fund investigators at 59...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

Pooled Analysis Supports Benefit of Dual HER2-Targeted Therapy, but Questions Remain

In the treatment of HER2-positive early breast cancer, patients who receive dual HER2-targeted therapy in both the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings are less likely to experience recurrence than those who received dual therapy only as neoadjuvant treatment, according to a pooled analysis of...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

KEYNOTE-522: A Biomarker Resource for PD-1 Inhibition in Early Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

In the phase III KEYNOTE-522 trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine and reviewed in this issue of The ASCO Post, Schmid et al1 found that the addition of pembrolizumab to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in stage II or III triple-negative breast cancer significantly improved the pathologic...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

Neoadjuvant and Adjuvant Pembrolizumab Improves Outcomes in Early Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

As reported in The New England Journal of Medicine by Peter Schmid, MD, PhD, of Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues, analyses in the phase III KEYNOTE-522 trial have shown that the addition of pembrolizumab to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and the use of adjuvant...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Virginia Kaklamani, MD, DSc, and Minetta Liu, MD

Virginia Kaklamani, MD, DSc, Professor of Medicine and Head of the Breast Cancer Program at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, moderated a press conference where Milan Radovich, PhD, reported the robust ability of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and circulating tumor cells to predict...

breast cancer

Studies Show Circulating Tumor Material May Predict Outcomes After Neoadjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer

In early triple-negative breast cancer, the presence of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and circulating tumor cells after neoadjuvant chemotherapy may enable risk stratification of patients for disease recurrence and may predict outcomes, according to a preplanned correlative analysis of the phase II ...

hematologic malignancies
lymphoma
immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Basem M. William, MD, MRCP (UK), FACP, and Caron Jacobson, MD

Basem M. William, MD, MRCP (UK), FACP, Director of the T-Cell Lymphoma Program and Member of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, said many of the new-generation bispecific antibodies are “highly promising.” He said they “are...

hematologic malignancies
lymphoma
immunotherapy

Bispecific Antibodies Poised to Impact Treatment of Lymphoma and Other Blood Cancers

Studies of second-generation bispecific antibodies were among the highlights of the 2019 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition. The bispecific T-cell engager blinatumomab was the first such agent to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in...

issues in oncology

Actively Recruiting Clinical Trials Studying Cancer Prevention Measures

This Clinical Trials Resource Guide lists actively recruiting clinical trials evaluating strategies to improve cancer prevention measures, mostly through increased rates of screening. Some of the following trials also address cancer prevention through improving knowledge of tumor biomarkers,...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

Addition of Pembrolizumab to Docetaxel for Previously Treated Immunotherapy-Naive Patients With Advanced Lung Cancer

In the single-institution phase II PROLUNG trial reported in JAMA Oncology, Oscar Arrieta, MD, and Christian Rolfo, MD, PhD, and colleagues found that the addition of pembrolizumab to docetaxel improved objective response rates and progression-free survival in immunotherapy-naive patients with...

gynecologic cancers

Addition of Olaparib to Bevacizumab Maintenance in Advanced Ovarian Cancer: PAOLA-1 Trial

As reported in The New England Journal of Medicine by Isabelle Ray‑Coquard, MD, PhD, of the Centre Leon Berard, University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and Groupe d’Investigateurs Nationaux pour l’Etude des Cancers Ovariens (GINECO), Paris, and colleagues, the phase III PAOLA-1 trial has shown a...

breast cancer
genomics/genetics

Joint Guideline Sheds Light on Management of Hereditary Breast Cancer

As germline genetic testing becomes more widespread among patients with breast cancer, recommendations for the appropriate management of patients with hereditary breast cancer are needed. Until now, no ASCO guideline has addressed the management of hereditary breast cancer, even for carriers of...

breast cancer

Vascular Imaging for Detection of Breast Cancer: Best of Two Worlds?

For breast imaging, contrast-enhanced mammography, which uses the anatomic imaging of a mammogram in addition to imaging neovascularity, can offer the overall screening capability of standard mammography and the sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at a fraction of the cost of MRI,...

Timothy Chan, MD, PhD, Named Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology

Timothy Chan, MD, PhD, has been appointed Director of the Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Chan will lead the new center to bring together multidisciplinary experts from across the Cleveland Clinic enterprise to advance research and treatment related...

breast cancer

Can Breast Cancer Surgery Be Eliminated in ‘Exceptional Responders’ to Neoadjuvant Therapy?

Can patients with breast cancer who achieve an “exceptional response” to neoadjuvant therapy safely forgo surgery? That is a question being seriously explored in multinational trials. “We’ve known for a long time that we can eliminate disease in many patients if they have chemosensitive tumors....

sarcoma
skin cancer
cns cancers

Early Signs of Activity With Immunotherapies in Low-Incidence Cancers

Immunotherapy is showing promise for patients with rare cancers, offering new treatment opportunities and clinical trials to those with previously limited options. At the 2020 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, presenters discussed the use of immunotherapy in three low-incidence cancers: ...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Omid Hamid, MD

Omid Hamid, MD, Chief of Research/Immuno-Oncology, The Angeles Clinic & Research Institute, and Co-Director of the Cutaneous Malignancy Program at Cedars-Sinai Cancer Center, Los Angeles, commented on these two studies for The ASCO Post. According to Dr. Hamid, the findings for the tumor...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

Novel Treatment Strategies Under Study in Advanced Melanoma

Several novel strategies for the treatment of patients with stage III or IV melanoma showed promise in studies presented at the 2020 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium.1,2 Vaccine for High-Risk Patients After Resection A tumor lysate, particle-loaded, dendritic cell (TLPLDC) vaccine was...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

New Guideline on Systemic Therapy for Melanoma Tackles Rapid Developments in Treatment Options

Systemic treatment of melanoma has changed rapidly since the introduction of ipilimumab in 2011. Newer therapies approved for melanoma since that time include immunotherapy, targeted therapy for mutation-bearing tumors, and injectional therapy for cutaneous or palpable lesions. ASCO has released...

gynecologic cancers

PARP Inhibitors in Maintenance Treatment for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Based on multiple phase III prospective trials, there is evidence that both PARP inhibitors and antiangiogenic therapies such as bevacizumab provide benefit when utilized in a maintenance strategy in the first-line treatment of advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (GOG 218, ICON7, SOLO-1, PRIMA,...

issues in oncology

Kimlin T. Ashing, PhD, on Tobacco and Vape Shops in Neighborhoods With Lower-Income and Minority Populations

Kimlin T. Ashing, PhD, of City of Hope National Medical Center, discusses analyses that showed neighborhoods with lower-income and minority populations had a greater number of tobacco and vape shops, increased use of electronic nicotine delivery systems, and lower-priced tobacco products. This...

solid tumors
immunotherapy

Ryan J. Sullivan, MD, on Advanced Solid Tumors: Antitumor Activity With COM701 Plus Nivolumab

Ryan J. Sullivan, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, discusses early results on COM701, a first-in-class immune checkpoint inhibitor, which showed preliminary antitumor activity as a monotherapy and in combination with nivolumab in a variety of heavily pretreated patients with...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

Grant A. McArthur, MBBS, PhD, on Melanoma: IMspire150 Trial of Atezolizumab, Cobimetinib, and Vemurafenib

Grant A. McArthur, MBBS, PhD, of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, discusses phase III results from a study of previously untreated patients with BRAF V600 mutation–positive advanced melanoma. His team evaluated whether combining vemurafenib and cobimetinib with atezolizumab improved the...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

Steven J. O’Day, MD, on Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Clinical Benefit With Pembrolizumab Plus Imprime PGG

Steven J. O’Day, MD, of the John Wayne Cancer Institute, discusses phase II results for the combination of pembrolizumab with a novel innate immune activator, Imprime PGG, as second-line treatment for patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer ( Abstract CT073).

covid-19
palliative care

Prioritizing Patients With Metastatic Disease for Palliative Radiotherapy

In anticipation of how the COVID-19 pandemic might impact oncology care as the coronavirus spread across New York City, radiation oncologists with expertise in the management of metastatic disease and inpatient oncologic emergencies at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) met in late winter ...

gynecologic cancers
immunotherapy

FDA Approves Olaparib Plus Bevacizumab as Maintenance Treatment for Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, or Primary Peritoneal Cancers

On May 8, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the indication of olaparib (Lynparza) to include its combination with bevacizumab for first-line maintenance treatment of adult patients with advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in...

myelodysplastic syndromes

Distinct New MDS Subtype Proposed Based on Presence of Genetic Mutation

In a special report published by Malcovati et al in the journal Blood, an international working group of experts in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) has proposed the recognition of a distinct subtype of MDS based on the presence of a nonheritable genetic mutation that causes the disease. The...

solid tumors
immunotherapy

Chemoimmunotherapy for Pediatric Refractory or Relapsed Neuroblastoma

In an expansion of a Children’s Oncology Group trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Mody et al found that the combination of irinotecan, temozolomide, the anti–disialoganglioside GD2 antibody dinutuximab, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (I/T/DIN/GM-CSF) showed...

leukemia
supportive care

Benefit of Increased Dietary Antioxidants During Induction Therapy for Pediatric ALL

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ladas et al found that increased dietary intake of antioxidants was associated with reduced risk for bacterial infection and grade ≥ 3 mucositis during induction therapy in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Study...

gynecologic cancers

Expert Point of View: Alexandra Leary, MD, PhD

Alexandra Leary, MD, PhD, of the Gustave Roussy Institute of Oncology, Paris, underscored the controversy surrounding the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in advanced ovarian cancer, suggesting the discord may be “more cultural and emotional than scientific” to some degree. “Some countries, such as ...

gynecologic cancers

Advanced Ovarian Cancer: Use of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Increasing Along With Survival

The use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for advanced ovarian cancer may not have the negative impact on survival feared by many gynecologic oncologists. In fact, according to a pair of studies that were to have been presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) 2020 Annual Meeting on Women’s...

gynecologic cancers

SGO 2020: Wee1 Inhibition in Recurrent Uterine Serous Carcinoma

In a clinical trial in patients with recurrent uterine serous carcinoma, one-third of study participants responded to treatment with the Wee1 inhibitor adavosertib, according to data presented by Liu et al at a virtual session of the Society for Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) Annual Meeting on Women’s...

covid-19

Reduction in Cancer Diagnoses in the Netherlands During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In a commentary published in The Lancet Oncology, Dinmohamed et al detailed a nationwide reduction in cancer diagnoses in the Netherlands in the several weeks following the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country compared with the several weeks preceding the first documented case. This...

hepatobiliary cancer
immunotherapy

Nivolumab for Advanced Refractory Biliary Tract Cancer

In a phase II trial reported in JAMA Oncology, Kim et al found that nivolumab showed antitumor activity in patients with advanced refractory biliary tract cancer. As noted by the investigators, there currently is no established second-line systemic treatment for biliary tract cancer. Study Details...

leukemia
covid-19

Laura C. Michaelis, MD: In My Experience Question 5

For community oncologists treating patients with chronic myeloid leukemia or chronic lymphocytic leukemia during the COVID-19 pandemic, what resources and clinical pearls would you suggest? Recorded April 24, 2020.

leukemia
covid-19

Laura C. Michaelis, MD: In My Experience Question 4

At this time, would you consider pausing therapy—specifically signaling inhibitors and/or monoclonal antibodies—in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia? Recorded April 24, 2020.

leukemia
covid-19

Laura C. Michaelis, MD: In My Experience Question 3

leukemia
covid-19

Laura C. Michaelis, MD: In My Experience Question 2

Are you treating patients with advanced chronic myeloid leukemia (accelerated phase or blast crisis) any differently during the COVID-19 pandemic? Recorded April 24, 2020.

leukemia
covid-19

Laura C. Michaelis, MD: In My Experience Question 1

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed your approach to the selection of tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the treatment of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia? Recorded April 24, 2020.

lymphoma
covid-19

Mehdi Hamadani, MD: In My Experience Question 6

Are you proceeding with front-line autologous transplant in patients with mantle cell lymphoma or delaying it during the COVID-19 pandemic? Recorded April 21, 2020.

lymphoma
covid-19

Mehdi Hamadani, MD: In My Experience Question 5

For community oncologists treating patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma during the COVID-19 pandemic, what resources and clinical pearls would you suggest? Recorded April 21, 2020.

covid-19
hematologic malignancies

Mehdi Hamadani, MD: In My Experience Question 4

How have the activities of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? Recorded April 21, 2020.

lymphoma
covid-19

Mehdi Hamadani, MD: In My Experience Question 3

During the COVID-19 pandemic, would you still recommend immediate upfront autologous transplant in patients with T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma? Recorded April 21, 2020.

lymphoma
covid-19

Mehdi Hamadani, MD: In My Experience Question 2

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when and why would you consider delaying autologous transplant for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in second complete remission? Recorded April 21, 2020.

lymphoma
covid-19

Mehdi Hamadani, MD: In My Experience Question 1

Are you testing for COVID-19 before administering therapy on an outpatient basis for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma? Recorded April 21, 2020.

covid-19

William Dale, MD, PhD, on Best Practices for Special Populations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

William Dale, MD, PhD, of City of Hope National Medical Center, discusses vulnerable populations—older adults and those with psychosocial or mental health concerns—and reviews best practices for treatment decisions, social distancing, and maintaining emotional health. Recorded April 15, 2020.

lung cancer

FDA Approves Capmatinib for Patients With Metastatic NSCLC With Confirmed MET Exon 14 Skipping

On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to capmatinib (Tabrecta) for adult patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have a mutation that leads to mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) exon 14 skipping as detected by...

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