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skin cancer
immunotherapy

Pembrolizumab Monotherapy as First-Line Treatment for Patients With Unresectable Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In the French phase II CARSKIN trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Maubec et al found that pembrolizumab monotherapy produced durable responses in the first-line treatment of unresectable cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Study Details In the multicenter trial, 39 patients (primary ...

gynecologic cancers

Effect of Molecular Classification of Endometrial Cancer on Adjuvant Therapy Outcomes

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Léon-Castillo et al identified outcomes associated with molecular subgroups of patients with high-risk endometrial cancer enrolled in the PORTEC-3 trial of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy vs radiotherapy alone. Study Details The study involved...

solid tumors

Update on Detecting and Treating Biologically Diverse Neuroendocrine Tumors

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...

skin cancer

10-Year Study Indicates Pembrolizumab Provides Long-Term Benefits for Patients With Metastatic Melanoma

A new 10-year analysis, led by Igor Puzanov, MD, MSci, FACP, Director of Early Phase Clinical Trials and Chief of Melanoma at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and recently published in JAMA Oncology,1 provides new insights into an important question: whether BRAF V600E/K–mutation status or ...

Managing the Cost of Cancer Care Can Be Overwhelming

A cancer diagnosis is often overwhelming in and of itself, and adding financial burdens to the mix can sometimes feel unmanageable. Provide your patients with practical guidelines with the Managing the Cost of Cancer Care booklet from ASCO Answers. It covers health insurance benefits, information...

CMS, CMMI Announce Flexibilities for Oncology Practices Impacted by COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced flexibilities for clinicians participating in the 2020 Quality Payment Program (QPP) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) who have been impacted by the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Affected clinicians may...

ASCO Conducting Open Search for Chief Medical Officer: Express Interest by August 21, 2020

ASCO is conducting an open search for the position of Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, as current Chief Medical Officer Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FSCT, FASCO, prepares to retire in February 2021. ASCO’s Chief Medical Officer applies medical and scientific knowledge and...

Conquer Cancer Donors Provide Key Resources for Patients and Providers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Before there was funding, there was a need.  “Patients with cancer needed to understand immediately what COVID-19 meant [for] their health. Providers and practices needed guidance on how to offer safe care,” recalled Howard A. Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO, Chair of the ASCO Board of Directors, of...

ASCO Special Report: Resuming Cancer Care Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemic

I’m very pleased to be joined by Piyush Srivastava, MD, Past Chair of ASCO’s Clinical Practice Committee. Dr. Srivastava is a practicing gastrointestinal oncologist, Regional Medical Director of the End of Life Options Program, and Director of Outpatient Palliative Care at Kaiser Permanente Walnut...

lung cancer

Having Cancer Has Not Affected Me in Any Negative Way

I have witnessed much sickness and death over my 35-year career as a medical oncologist. During the early years of my career, I had difficulty dealing with the sickness and death I witnessed on a regular basis. As a result, with help from the Hindu scripture of Bhagavad Gita, I have trained my...

Stand Up To Cancer Announces New Research and Education Effort to Improve Care for Underserved Patients With Lung Cancer

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) recently announced a $5 million grant from Bristol Myers Squibb to fund research and education efforts aimed at achieving health-care equity for underserved patients with lung cancer, including Black individuals and those living in rural communities. The disease remains...

New Effort to Address Health Disparities for Black Men

The Prostate Cancer Foundation and Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vista Equity Partners, have announced a new effort to reduce deaths from prostate cancer, one of the largest health disparities facing Black men today. “As African American men are at an...

A Health-Care Journalist Explores Breast Cancer in America, Through the Lens of Her Own Diagnosis

Great strides in research and clinical practice have decreased breast cancer mortality rates by more than 35% since 1990, yet about 40,000 American women die of the disease each year. In Radical: The Science, Culture, and History of Breast Cancer in America, health-care journalist Kate Pickert...

issues in oncology

Physicians, New Drugs, and Pharma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) have approved record numbers of new cancer drugs recently. This is extraordinarily good news for physicians, patients, and drug companies, but it raises important questions as to how effective these drugs are, whether...

skin cancer

Pembrolizumab for Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

On June 24, 2020, pembrolizumab was approved for treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma that is not curable by surgery or radiation.1,2 Supporting Efficacy Data Approval was based on findings in the multicenter, multicohort, open-label KEYNOTE-629 trial ...

Florida Cancer Specialists Appoints New Chief Executive Officer

Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute (FCS) announced its Chief Financial Officer, Nathan H. Walcker, MBA, has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Mr. Walcker succeeds the current CEO, Brad Prechtl, MBA, who is retiring but will continue to serve as a consultant. Mr. Prechtl has...

Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center Oncologists Earn National Recognition as Institution Expands Staff

Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center recently announced news about the following physicians, including the appointment of four new staff members: Shilpa Gupta, MD, received a 2-year, $573,850 grant from the Department of Defense to study biomarkers of response and resistance to immunotherapy and to apply ...

covid-19

NCI Funds Studies of Impact of Telehealth and Telemedicine Capacity for Rural Patients Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center–Jefferson Health (SKCC) a supplemental grant (P30) to study the role of telehealth in delivering cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will evaluate the impact of telehealth on health outcomes, patient...

colorectal cancer
immunotherapy

Pembrolizumab for First-Line Treatment of Unresectable or Metastatic MSI-H or dMMR Colorectal Cancer

On June 29, 2020, pembrolizumab was approved for the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic microsatellite instability–high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair–deficient (dMMR) colorectal cancer.1 Supporting Efficacy Data Approval was based on findings in the randomized,...

NRG Oncology Biospecimen Bank Awarded NCI Funding for Next 6 Years

The NRG Oncology Biospecimen Bank will be awarded an additional 6 years of funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This grant will provide biospecimen banking support for the NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) group NRG Oncology. During the peer-review grant-renewal process, the...

Flossie Wong-Staal, PhD, Molecular Biologist Who Uncovered the Secrets of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Dies at 73

The origin of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been traced back to Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, around 1920, when the virus crossed species from chimpanzees to humans. It wasn’t until the 1980s that epidemiologic data began to sum up the number of people who were...

cns cancers

A Pioneering Neurosurgeon Shares Hard-Earned Wisdom Gained Along the Road From the Segregated South

For this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, spoke with noted neurosurgeon Keith L. Black, MD, Chair of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Department of Neurosurgery and Director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute. During his career, Dr. Black has...

leukemia
immunotherapy

Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin in Pediatric Patients With Newly Diagnosed CD33-Positive AML

On June 16, 2020, the indication of gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg) for newly diagnosed CD33-positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML) was extended to include pediatric patients aged 1 month and older.1,2 Supporting Efficacy Data Approval was supported by findings from the phase III AAML0531 trial...

Fox Chase Cancer Center Welcomes New Staff Members

Fox Chase Cancer Center has announced the hiring of three new staff members who will begin their work with the cancer center this month. Brandon Bachert, MD, joins the Department of Diagnostic Imaging as Assistant Professor. He comes to Fox Chase from Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, where he...

American Cancer Society and Flatiron Health Announce Recipients of the Real-World Data Impact Award

Three American Cancer Society (ACS) researchers will receive the Real-World Data Impact Award. The joint grant-making program, supported by the ACS and Flatiron Health, seeks to accelerate cancer research and improve treatment and outcomes for patients. The researchers, already funded by the ACS,...

genomics/genetics

CICERO Software May Enable Detection of Cancer-Causing Gene Fusions

After years of development, engineering, and enhancement, researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis have made available a software system that enables better detection of gene fusions. The system, called CICERO, offers additional insights into cancers as well as new targets...

lymphoma

Selinexor in Relapsed or Refractory Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

On June 22, 2020, the oral nuclear export inhibitor selinexor was granted accelerated approval for treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), not otherwise specified, including DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma, after at least two lines of systemic...

Translated Tool From NCCN Measures Mental Health ‘Temperature’ of People With Cancer

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN) recently announced that the NCCN Distress Thermometer has been translated into 46 languages. This free resource helps providers worldwide identify and address the multifactorial aspects of distress patients with cancer can experience. The NCCN...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

Neoadjuvant Atezolizumab Plus Chemotherapy Produces High Major and Complete Pathologic Response Rates in Resectable NSCLC

In a phase II study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Catherine A. Shu, MD, of Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and colleagues found that neoadjuvant treatment with atezolizumab plus nab-paclitaxel/carboplatin produced a major pathologic response in 57% of patients and pathologic complete...

breast cancer

Fixed-Dose Subcutaneous Combination of Pertuzumab, Trastuzumab, and Hyaluronidase-zzxf in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

On June 29, 2020, a new fixed-dose combination of pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and hyaluronidase-zzxf (PHESGO) for subcutaneous injection was approved for the following indications1,2: Use in combination with chemotherapy as neoadjuvant treatment of patients with HER2-positive, locally advanced,...

Dr. Jimmie C. Holland’s Research Has Long Underscored the Importance of Caring for the Whole Patient

Jimmie C. Holland, MD, who served as the inaugural Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, died on December 24, 2017, at the age of 89. The ASCO Post paid tribute to Dr. Holland in its January 25, 2018, issue. Here, as part of our ...

lymphoma
immunotherapy

Highlights of Research in Lymphomas Presented During the EHA25 Virtual Congress

To complement The ASCO Post’s continued coverage of the virtual edition of the 25th European Hematology Association Annual Congress (EHA25 Virtual), here are a few abstracts selected from the meeting proceedings focusing on clinical research in Hodgkin and marginal zone lymphomas. Omission of...

lymphoma

Tazemetostat for Adults With Relapsed or Refractory Follicular Lymphoma

On June 18, 2020, the EZH2 inhibitor tazemetostat was granted accelerated approval for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) whose tumors are positive for an EZH2 mutation, as detected by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved test, and who have...

NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: 2020 Updates

In 1996, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) published its first set of Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology®, covering eight tumor types. Guidelines are now published for more than 60 tumor types and topics. During the NCCN’s 25th Annual Conference, which was held virtually during ...

Lost in Translation: A Fisherman’s Tale

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,...

NCCN Member Institutions

Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, NE Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH City of Hope National Medical...

National Comprehensive Cancer Network Celebrates Its 25th Year

It was February 1996, and the first annual meeting of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) was drawing to a close, when Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bruce R. Ross, MD, invited comments from the floor. An oncologist who had attended at the urging of a friend—somewhat reluctantly—stood ...

covid-19

Improving Communication Skills for Oncology Clinicians During the COVID Pandemic

Living in the era of COVID-19 has heightened fear and anxiety among patients with cancer. On the one hand, they are at higher risk of serious COVID-related illness. On the other hand, delaying cancer-focused treatment raises concerns of disease progression. This pandemic has led to dramatic...

genomics/genetics

Higher Prevalence of Germline Mutations Identified in Young Adults With Cancer

A new study has found that a higher-than-expected proportion of young adults with cancer harbor genetic germline mutations that have implications for treatment, surveillance, and other family members who may be at risk. Patients with “early-onset cancers”—cancers that typically do not occur in...

Mustafa Raoof, MD, MS, Recognized for Pancreatic Cancer Research

Mustafa Raoof, MD, MS, a surgical oncologist and researcher specializing in gastrointestinal cancers at City of Hope, was recently awarded a Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Career Development Award (PanCAN) and a Young Investigator Award from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN). “I’m ...

SABCS Teams With Tigerlily Foundation for #InclusionPledge to Improve Health-Care Equity for Black Women

In the midst of a global pandemic, while the entire country grapples with recent events highlighting systemic racism, national breast cancer patient organizations are committing to an unprecedented health-equity initiative that focuses on diversity and inclusion. As a result, the San Antonio Breast ...

Expert Point of View: Juan W. Valle, MD

Invited discussant Juan W. Valle, MD, of the University of Manchester/The Christie, United Kingdom, reiterated the 50% response rate, the median progression-free survival of 7.1 months, and the median overall survival of 16.0 months achieved with entrectinib in patients who had gastrointestinal...

gastrointestinal cancer
genomics/genetics

NTRK Fusions in Gastrointestinal Cancers: Rare but Responsive to Treatment

Although NTRK gene fusions occur in less than 5% of gastrointestinal cancers, it looks like they can be targeted successfully with NTRK inhibitors. In a pooled analysis of three clinical trials, 50% of such patients responded to entrectinib, in an updated analysis presented during the 2020 virtual...

Roswell Park Gynecologic Oncologists Awarded Leadership Roles

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center Deputy Director Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, announced the promotion of three staff members to leadership positions. “The dedication of this trio of physicians to their patients and Roswell Park’s mission is unmatched,” said Dr. Odunsi, who also...

Expert Point of View: David Sallman, MD

David Sallman, MD, an assistant member of the Malignant Hematology Department of Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida, commented on the IMerge and QUAZAR studies for The ASCO Post. As background, he noted the “predominant struggle” of patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic ...

Edward Chu, MD, MMS, to Lead Cancer Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System

Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System recently announced that Edward Chu, MD, MMS, has been named Director of the National Cancer Institute-designated Albert Einstein Cancer Center, Vice President for Cancer Medicine at Montefiore Medicine, Professor of Medicine and of...

myelodysplastic syndromes

Novel Treatments Emerge for Patients With Lower-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) who are dependent on red blood cell transfusions have limited options, especially if they are no longer responding to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents. Research presented during the virtual edition of the 25th European Hematology Association ...

Huntsman Cancer Institute Brings Home Cancer Care to Rural Utah

A $4.5 million gift from the Huntsman family will fund the expansion of a unique program at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah that brings specialty cancer care directly to patients in their homes. With this gift, HCI’s Huntsman at Home will extend to rural Utah. The goal is...

Expert Point of View: Stephen M. Ansell, MD, PhD

Stephen M. Ansell, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Department of Hematology at the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, underscored the importance of the HD17 trial results. “These data show, in a randomized fashion, that a PET-directed approach when using more intensive chemotherapy allows for the...

Geraldine Jacobson, MD, MPH, MBA, FASTRO, Elected as Future Chair of ASTRO

The members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) have elected four new officers to ASTRO’s Board of Directors. Geraldine Jacobson, MD, MPH, MBA, FASTRO, will begin her term as President-Elect in October during ASTRO’s 62nd Annual Meeting, alongside Gopal K. Bajaj, MD, MBA,...

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