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covid-19

ASCO/Friends of Cancer Research Joint Position Statement Encourages Enrollment of Patients With Cancer in COVID-19 Vaccine Studies

Individuals with cancer or a history of cancer should be eligible for clinical trials—including COVID-19 vaccine trials—unless there is safety justification for exclusion, ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) asserted in a recently released joint position statement. To date, clinical...

ASCO Calls for Increased Funding for Cancer Research in Fiscal Year 2022

ASCO is calling on Congress to continue its bipartisan support of federally funded research. Robust, sustained, and predictable funding growth for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) baseline budgets are critical in advancing our nation’s work toward...

gynecologic cancers

ASCO Publishes Resource-Stratified Guideline on Assessment and Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer carries a heavy morbidity and mortality burden, particularly in settings and regions of the globe that feature significant limitations in health-care resources. Given that ovarian cancer is more lethal than breast cancer, clinicians in resource-limited areas require guidance on the...

immunotherapy
skin cancer

Benefits of Adjuvant Pembrolizumab in Melanoma Reinforced by EORTC 1325/KEYNOTE-054 Updates

Adjuvant anti–PD-1 antibody therapy is widely used for stage III melanoma, given the approvals of pembrolizumab and nivolumab. These approvals were based on significantly improved relapse-free survival in the CheckMate 238 trial of nivolumab compared with ipilimumab and the EORTC 1325/KEYNOTE-054...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

Adjuvant Pembrolizumab Improves Distant Metastasis–Free Survival in Resected High-Risk Stage III Melanoma

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Alexander M.M. Eggermont, MD, of Princess Máxima Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands, and colleagues, the pivotal phase III EORTC 1325/KEYNOTE-054 trial has shown significant improvement in the secondary endpoint of distant metastasis–free survival, as well as...

lung cancer

Lorlatinib for Metastatic ALK-Positive NSCLC

On March 3, 2021, lorlatinib was granted regular approval for treatment of patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with ALK-positive tumors as detected by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved test.1,2 The FDA simultaneously approved the Ventana ALK (D5F3) CDx Assay ...

solid tumors
gastroesophageal cancer

Pembrolizumab Combined With Chemotherapy for Advanced Esophageal or Gastroesophageal Junction Carcinoma

On March 22, 2021, pembrolizumab was approved for use in combination with platinum- and fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy for patients with metastatic or locally advanced esophageal or gastroesophageal junction (tumors with epicenter 1 to 5 cm above the gastroesophageal junction) carcinoma who...

Expert Point of View: Shonta Chambers, MSW

According to Shonta Chambers, MSW, Executive Vice President of Health Equity Initiatives and Community Engagement, Patient Advocate Foundation, the social determinants of health that hinder people’s ability to access and adhere to cancer care cannot be ignored if health equity is to be achieved....

issues in oncology

Road Map to More Equitable Care From the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Created more than a decade ago, the Office of Minority Health (OMH) and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities have a mission to advance the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through policies, programs, and partnerships at the Centers for Medicare and...

covid-19

Lessons From the Pandemic: How COVID-19 Can Lead to Improvements in Cancer Care

The COVID-19 pandemic may have put the world on pause, but it also showed the medical community that rapid progress is possible with focus and collaboration. During the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Virtual Oncology Policy Summit, “Defining the ‘New Normal’ 2021 and the State of...

breast cancer

Breast Cancer in 2030: Predictions From a Breast Cancer Luminary

According to George W. Sledge, Jr, MD, FASCO, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Oncology at Stanford University Medical Center, by the beginning of the next decade, clinicians will be aided by the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in many facets of care and by the approval of a wave of new ...

Erica Sirrine, PhD, Named Director of Social Work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Clinical social worker, grief expert, and university dean Erica Sirrine, PhD, has been named Director of Social Work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For the past 14 years, Dr. Sirrine has worked in higher education, most recently serving as Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social...

Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center Recognizes Shilpa Gupta, MD, and Nima Sharifi, MD

Shilpa Gupta, MD, has been appointed Director of Genitourinary Medical Oncology at Taussig Cancer Institute and Co-Leader of the Genitourinary Oncology Program at Cleveland Clinic. Her research interests include novel drug development and understanding biomarkers in bladder cancer treatment. Nima ...

Fox Chase Cancer Center Welcomes Peter Abdelmessieh, DO, MSc

Fox Chase Cancer Center recently announced that Peter Abdelmessieh, DO, MSc, will be joining the staff of the Department of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapies. Prior to joining Fox Chase, Dr. Abdelmessieh was at Christiana Care Health System in Delaware, where he performed a majority of ...

Sarah Tasian, MD, Appointed Chief of the Section of Hematologic Malignancies, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The Division of Oncology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has appointed Sarah Tasian, MD, as Chief of the Section of Hematologic Malignancies. Dr. Tasian succeeds Richard Aplenc, MD, PhD, MSCE, who served in this role for 13 years. Dr. Tasian will oversee a group of faculty,...

Expert Point of View: Fabrice André, MD, PhD

Fabrice André, MD, PhD, Director of Research and Professor of Medical Oncology at Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France, commented on the two studies that used the MammaPrint 70-gene signature to identify patients for de-escalation or escalation of endocrine therapy.1,2 The push to...

breast cancer

MINDACT Trial Shows ‘Excellent’ Outcomes in Ultra-Low–Risk Breast Cancer

Patients with ultra-low–risk breast cancer, as classified by the MammaPrint 70-gene assay, had “excellent” long-term outcomes regardless of clinical risk or receipt of adjuvant therapy, a new analysis of the MINDACT trial has shown.1 In a separate study, a retrospective analysis of the National...

Public Comment on National Coverage Analysis of Screening for Lung Cancer With Low-Dose Computed Tomography

The following letter is adapted from comments made to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) by the American College of Radiology, the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. “The American College of Radiology, the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, and the...

breast cancer

I’m Alive by Sheer Force of Will—and a Lot of Luck

From the moment I felt a searing pain go through my right breast, I had a premonition that something was very wrong. Although I couldn’t feel anything unusual when I did a breast self-exam, I made an appointment with my gynecologist for a more thorough clinical breast exam and a mammogram. Because...

Expert Point of View: Lisa Horvath, PhD, MBBS

Invited study discussant Lisa Horvath, PhD, MBBS, a medical oncologist at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, University of Sydney, Australia, commented on the results of the EORTC 1333/PEACE III trial: “It was good to see the fracture rate in the radium-223 arm did, in fact, improve. However, what I found...

The Compelling Story of Cystic Fibrosis and the Dawn of Precision Medicine

Woe to the child who tastes salty from a kiss on the brow” was a forbidding prophecy from Medieval Europe, presaging unknown disease. Today, we know that salty skin is a telltale sign of cystic fibrosis in children, a disease that eluded medical identification until 1938, when an American...

prostate cancer

Bone-Protecting Agents Shown to Reduce Fracture Rate in Men With Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer experts have often stated it is important to add a bone-protecting agent for patients on treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Recent evidence in support of this recommendation comes from a study presented during the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting, confirming a...

kidney cancer

Tivozanib for Relapsed or Refractory Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

On March 10, 2021, the VEGF tyrosine kinase inhibitor tivozanib was approved for treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory advanced renal cell carcinoma following at least two prior systemic therapies.1,2 Supporting Efficacy Data Approval was based on findings in the open-label, phase III...

Expert Point of View: Jaishri O. Blakeley, MD

Invited study discussant Jaishri O. Blakeley, MD, Director of the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis Center, Baltimore, changed the title of her talk to “Finding Needles in Haystacks,” “because this is what we do with CNS [central nervous system] tumors,” she told listeners. “ALK...

solid tumors

Small Study Suggests ALK Targeting May Be of Benefit in Adult Neuroblastoma

Targeting mutations appears to be bearing fruit in the treatment of some difficult-to-treat tumors. For instance, in one study of adult-onset neuroblastoma, targeting ALK mutations in ALK-positive tumors demonstrated activity, even in patients who had not responded to their first ALK inhibitor. Of...

gynecologic cancers
immunotherapy

Dostarlimab-gxly for Mismatch Repair–Deficient Recurrent or Advanced Endometrial Cancer

On April 22, 2021, the PD-1 inhibitor dostarlimab-gxly was granted accelerated approval for treatment of adults with mismatch repair–deficient recurrent or advanced endometrial cancer, as determined by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved test, that has progressed on or following a...

Memorial Sloan Kettering Announces New Initiative to Focus on Lung Cancer Research

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) recently announced a $20 million gift from the Ge Li & Ning Zhao Family Foundation to support lung cancer research and the development of new therapies to treat this disease. Lung cancer is responsible for 25% of all cancer deaths and is the leading...

integrative oncology

American Ginseng

The ASCO Post’s Integrative Oncology series is intended to facilitate the availability of evidence-based information on integrative and complementary therapies sometimes used by patients with cancer. In this installment, Eugenie Spiguel, MSN, ANP-BC, and Jyothirmai Gubili, MS, focus on American...

global cancer care
health-care policy

Canadian Oncologists Report Costly Delays in Their Drug Regulatory Process

Canada’s publicly funded health-care system has a complex drug approval and funding process. Due to multiple assessment steps and bureaucratic processes, newly developed cancer drugs can often experience long delays before oncologists may use them to treat their patients with cancer. Several...

Expert Point of View: Amit M. Oza, MD, MBBS

Invited discussant of the FORWARD II trial,1Amit M. Oza, MD, MBBS, concluded that bevacizumab and mirvetuximab soravtansine was a “very well tolerated and effective” combination with “encouraging activity,” even in patients previously treated with bevacizumab and weekly paclitaxel. Dr. Oza is Head ...

lymphoma
immunotherapy

Axicabtagene Ciloleucel for Relapsed or Refractory Follicular Lymphoma

On March 5, 2021, the CD19-directed genetically modified autologous T-cell immunotherapy axicabtagene ciloleucel was granted accelerated approval for treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy.1,2 Axicabtagene ciloleucel is...

leukemia

B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Update on Clinical Trials

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” —Leonardo da Vinci To complement The ASCO Post’s continued comprehensive coverage of the 2020 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, here are several abstracts selected from the meeting proceedings focusing on treatments under study ...

gynecologic cancers

Early-Phase Trial Finds Mirvetuximab Soravtansine Plus Bevacizumab Active in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

In patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, the antibody-drug conjugate mirvetuximab soravtansine, given with bevacizumab, showed antitumor activity leading to durable responses in platinum-agnostic patients with strong expression of folate receptor alpha (FRα), researchers reported at the 2021 ASCO ...

UCSF Names Ajay Maker, MD, FACS, Chief of Surgical Oncology

Ajay Maker, MD, FACS, has been appointed Chief of the new Division of Surgical Oncology in the Department of Surgery and the Maurice Galante Distinguished Professor in Surgical Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He will lead surgical oncology services—including breast,...

Expert Point of View: Kostas Stamatopoulos, MD, PhD

In the phase III GLOW trial, the all-oral regimen of fixed-duration ibrutinib plus venetoclax as first-line treatment for older or unfit patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) showed superior efficacy compared with chlorambucil and obinutuzumab.1Kostas Stamatopoulos, MD, PhD, of the...

Sukhmani K. Padda, MD, to Direct Thoracic Medical Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Cancer Center

Thoracic medical oncologist Sukhmani K. Padda, MD, was recently selected to direct Thoracic Medical Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Cancer Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Padda’s appointment, following a national search, reflects her breadth of experience as a clinician and researcher in the field of thoracic...

palliative care

Bringing Palliative Care to Native American Patients With Cancer

Native Americans are among the most underserved minority populations in the United States and are disproportionately affected by cancer. They have the lowest survival rates for nearly all types of cancer of any minority population and much higher rates of certain types of cancer, including lung,...

leukemia

Phase III GLOW Trial: Improved Outcomes With First-Line Ibrutinib Plus Venetoclax in Elderly Patients With CLL

Fixed-duration ibrutinib and venetoclax as a first-line treatment yielded superior outcomes compared with chlorambucil plus obinutuzumab in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), based on the primary analysis of the phase III GLOW trial presented during the European Hematology...

Oncology Community Mourns the Loss of Investigator Angelo Di Leo, MD, PhD

Oncologist Angelo Di Leo, MD, PhD, recently died after a long struggle with neurodegenerative disease. He was 58 years old. Dr. Di Leo was devoted to breast cancer research for more than 25 years. He first trained with Gianni Bonadonna, MD, in Milan, followed by postdoctoral research at Jules...

issues in oncology

Bridging the Gender Gap in Oncology

Women account for a growing proportion of the oncology workforce. Multiple studies, however, show that women oncologists are underrepresented in leadership positions, may have significantly lower salaries than men, and may be subjected to discriminatory practices stimulated by a medical culture...

hematologic malignancies

Avapritinib for Advanced Systemic Mastocytosis

On June 16, 2021, avapritinib was approved for the treatment of adult patients with advanced systemic mastocytosis, including patients with aggressive systemic mastocytosis, systemic mastocytosis with an associated hematological neoplasm, and mast cell leukemia.1,2 Avapritinib is not recommended...

Expert Point of View: Philip McCarthy, MD

Commenting on the updated results of the MAIA trial1 for The ASCO Post was Philip McCarthy, MD, Professor of Oncology and Internal Medicine and Director of the Transplant and Cellular Therapy Center at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York. Dr. McCarthy described how the...

lymphoma

Role of PI3K Inhibition in Indolent Lymphomas

As reported by Fowler et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology1—and summarized in this issue of The ASCO Post—the international phase IIb UNITY-NHL trial of 208 patients with marginal zone lymphoma (MZL; n = 69), follicular lymphoma (FL; n = 117), and small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL; n = 22)...

hematologic malignancies

MAIA Update: Overall Survival Benefit Reported With Daratumumab Plus Lenalidomide in Myeloma

In an updated analysis of the phase III MAIA trial, the addition of the monoclonal antibody daratumumab to the immunomodulatory agent lenalidomide and the corticosteroid dexamethasone (D-Rd) significantly improved overall survival over lenalidomide/dexamethasone alone in patients newly diagnosed...

lymphoma

Dual PI3Kδ/CK1ε Inhibitor Umbralisib in Relapsed or Refractory Indolent Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Nathan H. Fowler, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and colleagues, a phase IIb trial (UNITY-NHL) has shown that the dual PI3Kδ/casein kinase (CK)1ε inhibitor umbralisib produced durable responses in patients with relapsed...

breast cancer

Factoring Fertility Preservation Into Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women of reproductive age. Approximately 10% of breast cancers are diagnosed in this age group.1 Young age at diagnosis is an adverse prognostic factor, and most young women will be offered chemotherapy and/or endocrine therapy, both of which ...

gynecologic cancers

Addition of Adavosertib to Gemcitabine Improves Outcomes in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer

In a phase II trial reported in The Lancet, Stephanie Lheureux, MD, of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, and colleagues, found that the addition of the oral Wee1 inhibitor adavosertib to gemcitabine significantly improved progression-free and overall survival in...

Recommendations on the Use of Liquid Biopsy for Lung Cancer

On this episode, we’re reviewing recommendations from the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer on the use of liquid biopsy for lung cancer. We’ll also hear about a study that compared two regimens added to radiotherapy for pancreatic cancer.

covid-19

Expert Point of View: Clifford Goodman, PhD

Moderator of the session at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Virtual Oncology Policy Summit, Clifford Goodman, PhD, Senior Vice President at The Lewin Group, said he was struck by the diverse impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic had on cancer care. One area that remained relatively...

covid-19

Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Treatment and Early Detection: Data-Driven Insights

From a dramatic drop in caseloads to missed screenings and diagnoses as well as the emergence of telemedicine, COVID-19 turned the world of oncology upside down. During the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Virtual Oncology Policy Summit, “Defining the ‘New Normal’ 2021 and the State of...

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