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prostate cancer
genomics/genetics

FDA Expands Approval of Companion Diagnostic for Olaparib in Prostate Cancer

On November 9, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved FoundationOne Liquid CDx to be used as a companion diagnostic for olaparib. As a companion diagnostic, FoundationOne Liquid CDx will use a blood-based biopsy to identify patients with BRCA1, BRCA2, and/or ATM alterations and...

lung cancer

David Yankelevitz, MD, on Early-Stage Lung Cancer: Renewed Interest in Combined-Modality Treatment

David Yankelevitz, MD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, discusses the renewed interest in applying adjuvant and neoadjuvant targeted treatments to earlier-stage lung cancer, given the promising results in more advanced disease. The challenges, he says, include identifying patient...

covid-19

Impact of COVID-19 on Well-Being in the Oncology Workforce: COVID-NOW Survey Results

The results of a survey of 1,038 doctors, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, and allied health professionals (such dietitians and physiotherapists) working in oncology in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) during the spring wave of COVID-19 were presented by Susana N. Banerjee,...

covid-19

UK-Based Study Finds Evidence of COVID-19 Infection, Antibody Presence in Oncology Health-Care Staff

A study of oncology staff carried out immediately after the spring peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom indicated that many had been infected with the coronavirus, including those who did not show any symptoms. The study—presented by Favara et al at the NCRI (National Cancer Research ...

Erratum

An article in the September 25, 2020, issue of The ASCO Post, “Enthusiastic Response to Novel Therapies on the Horizon in Multiple Myeloma,” contained a couple of errors in its discussion of cereblon E3 ligase (CEL) modulators. The CEL modulator CC-92480 was misidentified (as CC-92380), and the...

CancerCare Welcomes J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, MD, MACP, to Board of Trustees

CancerCare, a leading national nonprofit organization providing free support services to anyone affected by cancer, welcomed new board member J. Leonard (Len) Lichtenfeld, MD, MACP, who most recently served as Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the American Cancer Society at its global headquarters...

LUNGevity Launches New Lung Cancer Advocacy Program

LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer–focused nonprofit organization, recently announced the launch of the LUNGevity Action Network, a new engagement program that enables lung cancer advocacy at many levels. The Action Network empowers advocates to engage in awareness and policy...

Cancer in Older Adults: The History of Geriatric Oncology, Part 3

In the preceding two issues of The ASCO Post, we explored the overall history of geriatric oncology from 1980 to 2020. In this concluding part of the series, we focus on the invaluable contributions made by oncology nurses to the field. Over the past several decades, geriatric oncology has...

National Academy of Medicine Elects New Members

The National Academy of Medicine recently announced the election of 90 regular members and 10 international members during its annual meeting. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated...

AACI President Knudsen to Focus 2-Year Term on Mitigating Health Disparities

Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD, is the new President of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI). She began her 2-year term at the close of the virtual 2020 AACI/Cancer Center Administrators Forum (CCAF) Annual Meeting. A member of AACI’s Board of Directors since 2016, Dr. Knudsen chaired ...

Huntsman Cancer Institute Names New Chief Academic Officer and Senior Director of Basic Science

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah recently announced leadership appointments for two long-standing cancer center members. Brad Cairns, PhD, has accepted an appointment as Chief Academic Officer at HCI, and Alana Welm, PhD, has accepted an appointment as Senior Director of...

breast cancer
lung cancer
gynecologic cancers

FDA Approves Companion Diagnostic for Three Targeted Therapies for Advanced Ovarian, Breast, and Non–Small Cell Lung Cancers

On October 27, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the FoundationOne Liquid CDx test for three new companion diagnostic indications to help match patients who may benefit from treatment with specific FDA-approved targeted therapies. The new indications are for alpelisib...

lung cancer

Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, on Early-Stage Lung Cancer: Targeted Treatment and Screening

Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, of The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, discusses lung cancer screening for aggressive early-stage lung cancer; adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatment, including the ADAURA study of EGFR-positive tumors; and how cell-free DNA analysis might be used in the future to...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Daniel G. Petereit, MD, on Disparities in Lung Cancer Care for Northern Plains American Indians

Daniel G. Petereit, MD, of the John T. Vucurevich Cancer Care Institute and Monument Health, discusses the Walking Forward health-care program designed for a South Dakota–based Native American population, whose members have high smoking and death rates from lung cancer as well as limited access to...

lung cancer
gastroesophageal cancer
gastrointestinal cancer
immunotherapy

FDA Pipeline: Priority Reviews in NSCLC, Gastric Cancer

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Priority Review to a PD-1 inhibitor for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and also granted Priority Review to a HER2-directed antibody-drug conjugate for patients with...

immunotherapy
supportive care
genomics/genetics

Study Identifies Genetic Variants Linked to Bevacizumab-Induced Adverse Events

Researchers have found two common genetic variants that may be used to predict whether patients with cancer may have severe adverse events when treated with the anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody bevacizumab. A genome-wide association study—according to researchers, the largest such study in patients...

pancreatic cancer

An Integrated Framework for Improving Outcomes in Pancreatic Cancer

Drawing on several lines of ongoing research, David A. Tuveson, MD, PhD, has created a theoretical framework to consider while developing clinical trials in pancreatic cancer. In his keynote lecture at the 2020 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Special Conference on Pancreatic Cancer, ...

genomics/genetics

Study Finds Universal Genetic Testing Uncovers More Inherited Mutations vs Guideline-Based Genetic Testing

Universal genetic testing may uncover inherited genetic mutations, and could individualize cancer therapies, improve survival, and strengthen the use of precision medicine. In a new study published by N. Jewel Samadder, MD, and colleagues in JAMA Oncology, researchers conducted genetic testing in...

cns cancers

Jeff M. Michalski, MD, MBA, on Medulloblastoma and Radiation Treatment in Pediatric Patients

Jeff M. Michalski, MD, MBA, of the Washington University School of Medicine, discusses a Children’s Oncology Group study that confirmed data previously reported: Involved-field radiotherapy is noninferior to posterior fossa radiotherapy in patients with average risk-medulloblastoma. However,...

prostate cancer

Justin Oh, MD, on Prostate Cancer: Brachytherapy vs External-Beam Radiation Therapy

Justin Oh, MD, of the University of British Columbia, discusses results from the ASCENDE-RT trial, which compared a low-dose–rate brachytherapy boost to a dose-escalated external-beam boost for patients with high- and intermediate-risk prostate cancers (Abstract 127).

solid tumors

Is a High-Dose Intermittent Sunitinib Regimen for Advanced Solid Tumors Linked to Improved Survival?

A strategy for giving intermittent, high doses of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib seemed to be well tolerated by patients with advanced cancer and increased drug concentrations in solid tumors, which was associated with improved survival. This research was presented by Gerritse et al at the ...

hematologic malignancies
issues in oncology

Are Neighborhood Poverty, Public Insurance Linked to Poorer Outcomes in Children With Cancer Undergoing Stem Cell Transplant?

Despite the increasing use of hematopoietic stem cell transplant as curative therapy for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases, new research suggests that children who undergo a transplant for cancer may be more likely to die of treatment-related complications if they live in...

breast cancer
genomics/genetics

Breast Cancer Risk and Disease-Causing Genetic Mutations in Women Older Than 65

Women with breast cancer onset after age 65 often do not qualify for genetic testing, yet little is known about the frequency of disease-causing mutations in breast cancer predisposition genes in this population. In a new study, researchers investigated the prevalence of disease-causing variants in ...

colorectal cancer

Should Patients With a Complete Response to Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation for Rectal Cancer Also Undergo Surgery?

A nonsurgical treatment option for rectal cancer that preserves quality of life may be safe for selected patients, according to a new study comparing it with standard surgical treatment. These findings were published by Beard et al in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons and were...

supportive care

Jing Li, MD, PhD, on Brain Metastases: Stereotactic Radiosurgery vs Whole-Brain Radiation Therapy

Jing Li, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses phase III results showing the use of stereotactic radiosurgery in patients with 4 to 15 brain metastases, compared with whole-brain radiotherapy, may better preserve cognitive function and minimize the interruption of ...

immunotherapy

Effect of Angiotensin II Inhibition on Response to Immunotherapy

Researchers have found that a class of commonly used heart drugs may also improve patients’ responses to PD-L1 inhibitors, according to preliminary findings presented by Strauss et al at the 32th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics (Abstract 7). Angiotensin...

bladder cancer

Gemcitabine and Daily Radiation for Patients With Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer

Bladder preservation with trimodality therapy may be a safe and effective alternative to cystectomy for selected patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer, according to results from a phase II trial presented by Coen et al at the virtual 2020 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)...

cns cancers

Vinai Gondi, MD, on Glioblastoma: Dose Intensification, IMRT, Standard Radiotherapy, and Temozolomide

Vinai Gondi, MD, of Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center and Northwestern Medicine Proton Center, discusses the preliminary results of an NRG Oncology study of radiotherapy dose intensification using intensity-modulated radiotherapy vs standard-dose radiotherapy with temozolomide in patients with...

breast cancer

Alphonse G. Taghian, MD, PhD, on Irradiation for Breast Cancer: Defining the Optimal Dose

Alphonse G. Taghian, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, reviews the 10-year follow-up of a dose-escalation trial studying accelerated partial-breast irradiation and discusses the optimal dose, adverse effects, and cosmetic outcomes (Abstract 25).

survivorship

Sexual Health Often Overlooked in Cancer Survivorship Care

A new study points to a need for oncologists to ask their patients about sexual health after chemotherapy, radiation, and other cancer treatments. In a survey of nearly 400 cancer survivors, 87% said they experienced sexual side effects, but most also said their oncologist had not formally asked...

issues in oncology

Geographic Access to Radiotherapy Facilities in the United States

The number of radiation therapy facilities in the United States has grown by 17% over the past 15 years, according to a new study presented by Maroongroge et al at the 2020 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting (Abstract 203). However, this growth has disproportionately...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Further Efforts Needed for Inclusion of Underrepresented Populations in Radiotherapy Clinical Trials

A new study finds that the racial composition of clinical trials involving radiation therapy does not match that of the U.S. population. Examining trials from the past 23 years, researchers found that roughly 12% of trial participants were Black, which is less than the 13% population composition of ...

prostate cancer

Daniel E. Spratt, MD, on Prostate Cancer: Relugolix vs Leuprolide

Daniel E. Spratt, MD, of the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, discusses phase III results of the HERO trial, which suggested benefits of the oral medication relugolix: a substantially faster time to castration with longer duration, fewer cardiac events, and a faster return to normal...

prostate cancer

Cynthia Menard, MD, on Prostate Cancer: PSMA PET- and CT-Guided Intensification of Radiotherapy

Cynthia Menard, MD, of the University of Montreal, discusses a study on the use of prostate-specific membrane antigen PET and CT to guide treatment. The scans led to high rates of new lesion detection and therefore intensification of radiotherapy for patients with prostate cancer, without an...

genomics/genetics

Next-Generation BRAF Inhibitor Shows Activity in Phase I/II Trial

A new drug designed to treat cancers in patients with an altered BRAF gene showed activity and had a favorable safety profile in an early-phase trial. These findings were presented by Janku et al at the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics (Abstract LBA-05)....

colorectal cancer

USPSTF Issues Draft Recommendation on Screening for Colorectal Cancer

On October 27, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) posted a draft recommendation statement on screening for colorectal cancer. For the first time, the Task Force is recommending that screening start at age 45. This is a B recommendation, meaning the USPSTF recommends the service; that...

breast cancer

Youssef Zeidan, MD, PhD, on HER2-Positive Breast Cancer: Deintensifying Radiation Therapy

Youssef Zeidan, MD, PhD, of the American University of Beirut Medical Center, discusses study findings showing that breast-conserving surgery, whole-breast irradiation, and trastuzumab offer effective local tumor control for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. An additional radiation boost...

prostate cancer

Paul Sargos, MD, on Prostate Cancer: Adjuvant or Early Salvage Radiotherapy Plus Androgen Deprivation

Paul Sargos, MD, of the Institut Bergonié, discusses phase III findings from the GETUG-AFU 17 study, which compared adjuvant vs early salvage radiotherapy, both combined with short-term androgen-deprivation therapy after radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer. Although lacking...

supportive care
pain management

Arjun Sahgal, MD, on Reducing the Pain of Spinal Metastases: SBRT vs Palliative Radiotherapy

Arjun Sahgal, MD, of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, discusses results of the first phase III trial to suggest that dose escalation with stereotactic body radiotherapy may be superior to conventional palliative radiotherapy in improving pain outcomes for patients with spinal bone metastases...

prostate cancer

Neha Vapiwala, MD, on Prostate Cancer: Imaging and the Decision to Treat With Radiation

Neha Vapiwala, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, who served as a discussant for LBA1, summarizes her review of this study of patients with prostate cancer who had biochemical recurrence in the post-prostatectomy setting, who were candidates for salvage radiotherapy, and who received either...

breast cancer
gynecologic cancers
prostate cancer
genomics/genetics

FDA Approves Companion Diagnostic for Three Targeted Therapies for Advanced Ovarian, Breast, and Non–Small Cell Lung Cancers

On October 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the FoundationOne Liquid CDx test for three new companion diagnostic indications to help match patients who may benefit from treatment with specific FDA-approved targeted therapies. The new indications are for alpelisib (Piqray) in ...

genomics/genetics

Targeted Inhibitor of Mutant KRAS Gene Shows Activity in Early Trial

Adagrasib (MRTX849), a novel agent that targets a mutated form of the KRAS gene—the most commonly altered oncogene in human cancers, and one long considered “undruggable”—caused tumor shrinkage in most patients in a clinical trial, with manageable side effects, researchers reported at the 32nd...

solid tumors
genomics/genetics

Companion Diagnostic to Identify NTRK Fusions in Patients With Solid Tumors Eligible for Treatment With Larotrectinib Approved by the FDA

On October 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the next-generation sequencing–based FoundationOne CDx test as a companion diagnostic to identify fusions in the neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase (NTRK) genes NTRK1, NTRK2, and NTRK3 in DNA isolated from tumor tissue specimens ...

covid-19

Survey Shows Many Patients With Cancer Willing to Take Part in Clinical Trials Despite Coronavirus

Patient Power, a patient-driven cancer news organization, reported that a majority of patients with cancer still want to participate in clinical trials despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent survey of 1,485 patients. The Patient Power COVID-19 Cancer Trial Survey, the second Patient...

SHP2 Inhibition May Counter Resistance Mechanisms in Lung Cancer

Recent preclinical research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and BridgeBio Pharma, an affiliate of Navire Pharma, found that the novel SHP2 inhibitor IACS-13909 may be able to overcome therapeutic resistance mechanisms in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The data, which...

colorectal cancer

Becoming Acquainted With Cancer

Editor’s Note: The ASCO Post learned of the death of Patrick Beauregard due to colorectal cancer on September 6, 2020.  Just weeks after my wedding in late summer of 2017, I had a sudden bout of abdominal pain so severe that it sent me to the emergency room. I was just 29 years old and in great...

Remembering Patrick H. Beauregard: ‘Selfless in His Efforts to Raise Awareness’ of Colorectal Cancer in Young Adults

The editors of The ASCO Post are sad to report the death of Patrick H. ­Beauregard on September 6, 2020. The cause was colorectal cancer. Diagnosed with stage IV disease in 2017 at the age of 29, Mr. Beauregard dedicated the last 3 years of his life to raising awareness of colorectal cancer in...

Early-Career ASCO Member and Breast Medical Oncologist, Tomas Lyons, MB BCh, BAO, MRCPI, Dies at 38

Tomas Lyons, MB BCh, BAO, MRCPI, a medical oncologist at the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, died suddenly on September 29 at the age of 38. During his career at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), he was a celebrated collaborator on multidisciplinary ...

Joan H. Marks, Pioneer in Genetic Counseling, Dies at 91

Joan H. (Rosen) Marks, a pioneer in genetic counseling, died on September 14, 2020. She was 91. Ms. Marks received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, in 2019, in recognition of her contributions and leadership to the College and to society, the ...

breast cancer

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

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...

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