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issues in oncology

Navigating Cancer in the Era of Personalized Medicine: Rev 2014 Explores Emerging Issues, Ideas for Action

Diagnosed with stage IV non–small cell lung cancer in 2011, Stephen Wright turned to patient support groups where he learned about the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) mutation and a new drug that targeted it, crizotinib (Xalkori). He asked—then insisted—that he be tested for the mutation. He found ...

cost of care

Federally Funded Trials Praised—and Underfunded

All four studies presented at the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting Plenary Session were at least partially funded by federal dollars, bringing long overdue attention to the value of federally supported cancer research. Perhaps because of this high visibility, ASCO leaders took to the soapbox to sound the...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Stakeholders Are Uniting Around Value in Cancer Care

Judging from its visibility at the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting, the concept of “value” in cancer care has reached critical mass. “ASCO is leading this difficult discussion on value in cancer care. This had to happen,” said ­Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, Immediate Past President of ASCO and Chief of the ...

issues in oncology

Take-Home Messages From ASCO's Immediate Past President

The ASCO Post recently spoke with ASCO Immediate Past President Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, about his term as ASCO President. Dr. Hudis discussed his thoughts on ASCO today and shared his perspective on a number of important issues in oncology, including value in cancer care, big data, and more....

issues in oncology

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Approves QOPI® as Pathway for Federally Required Quality Reporting

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) as a pathway for oncologists to meet the agency’s quality reporting requirements. Starting in the fall of 2014, oncology practices registered with QOPI will have the opportunity to...

A World Free From the Fear of Cancer—Is It Possible?

By every definition, ASCO’s 50th Annual Meeting was a huge success. The halls were buzzing as nearly 35,000 attendees shared excitement about cancer research.   This was a banner year for federally funded clinical trials—all four of the abstracts selected for ASCO’s Plenary Session were backed by...

issues in oncology

ASCO Calls for New Action to Address Obesity and Cancer

ASCO has called for increased education, research, and advocacy to reduce the toll of obesity, both as a leading cause of cancer and a complication in the care of patients with cancer. The Society’s recommendations outline four critical priorities, including increased education and awareness about...

breast cancer

Guidelines and Care: What Comes Next?

The goal of clinical, translational, and basic research is, in the end, the betterment of life on earth. Advances in basic and clinical science ultimately should lead to information that, in turn, enables clinicians to make better treatment decisions for individual patients in order to improve...

2014 Featured Columnists

The ASCO Post wishes to acknowledge and thank all contributors to the publication during 2014. Here we recognize those who shared their personal thoughts in our Op-Ed department. If you are interested in contributing to The ASCO Post in 2015, write to editor@ASCOPost.com.   Robert Peter Gale, MD,...

breast cancer

Breast Cancer Research Foundation Commits Record $58.6 Million in Research Grants

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) announced its dedication of $58.6 million to breast cancer research at its annual Symposium & Awards Luncheon. Totaling $47 million, the 2014–2015 annual grants, awarded to more than 220 physicians and scientists on six continents, continue to fuel...

breast cancer

Enzalutamide Shows Encouraging Activity in Triple‑Negative Breast Cancer

The androgen receptor inhibitor enzalutamide (Xtandi) showed encouraging activity as a single agent in advanced triple-negative breast cancer patients expressing the androgen receptor, according to an international study presented at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1 Enzalutamide...

Researchers and Scientists Honored for Improving Cancer Prevention, Treatment, and Patient Care

The ASCO Special Awards recognize the dedication and significant contributions of researchers, patient advocates, and leaders of the global oncology community to enhancing cancer prevention, treatment, and patient care. Among this year’s awardees are an international leader in geriatric oncology...

breast cancer

Experts Debate: Can We Cure Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Can metastatic breast cancer ever be cured? This issue was debated at the 32nd Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference by two experts in the field: George W. Sledge, Jr, MD, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, California, and Clifford A. Hudis, MD, Chief of the...

issues in oncology

Precision Medicine Trials Bring Targeted Treatments to More Patients

At the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting, both ASCO and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) unveiled details of new precision medicine trials that will greatly expand the number of patients with cancer who are benefiting from targeted agents. The trials will match a patient’s tumor molecular profile with an ...

issues in oncology

Past President of ASCO Takes on New Role at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to Improve Patient Care and Public Health

In June, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (Memorial) in New York announced it had appointed ­Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, Chief of Breast Medicine Service, to a newly created position of Vice President for Government Relations and Chief Advocacy Officer. In addition to his new role, Dr. Hudis ...

Expert Point of View: Clifford Hudis, MD

Clifford Hudis, MD, Chief of the Breast Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, said the findings suggest there is essentially no meaningful benefit from chemotherapy in the recurrence score low-risk subset. “It is clinically appropriate to offer endocrine therapy...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Diet and Cancer: How Will We Make Progress?

Not only is breast cancer among the most common cancers in women, but it is also one of the most common causes of premature death. Rates of death from the disease vary widely around the world, reflecting variations in risk, screening, and access to highest quality treatment. Although female gender...

issues in oncology

TAPUR: ASCO’s First Clinical Trial Addresses Critical Gaps in Understanding of and Access to Targeted Therapies

ASCO is preparing to expand the boundaries of precision medicine with the launch of its first clinical trial. At a press briefing during the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting, the Society formally announced its plans for the Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR) study. At a time when...

Expert Point of View: Clifford Hudis, MD

Discussant Clifford Hudis, MD, Chief, Breast Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, highlighted the obvious clinical advantages of APF530 over the current standard of care. “If this drug were simply the same in price and availability, why wouldn’t you use it? It’s...

Expert Point of View: Clifford Hudis, MD, Shanu Modi, MD, and Richard Gelber, PhD

Discussant Clifford Hudis, MD, Chief of Breast Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, highlighted neratinib’s benefits while also advocating caution in interpreting the results due to incomplete data, the serious side effect of diarrhea, and the potentially...

breast cancer

Patients With Incomplete Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Benefit From Capecitabine

Treatment with capecitabine increased disease-free and overall survival in breast cancer patients with residual disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, according to a study reported by researchers from Japan and Korea at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1 “It has been unclear whether...

breast cancer

Clifford Hudis, MD, and Joseph Sparano, MD, on Results from DBCG778: Expert Perspective

Clifford A. Hudis, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Joseph A. Sparano, MD, of Montefiore Medical Center, discuss this study of high-risk premenopausal luminal A breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy (Abstract S1-08).

breast cancer

Clifford Hudis, MD, and Carlos Arteaga, MD, on Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity in Breast Cancer

Clifford A. Hudis, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, of Vanderbilt University, discuss the roles of IGF/insulin signaling, adipokines and inflammation, and metformin and lifestyle change in breast cancer and risk for the disease.

breast cancer

Clifford Hudis, MD, and Julia White, MD, on Early-Stage Breast Cancer: Hypofractionated Radiotherapy

Clifford A. Hudis, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Julia R. White, MD, of Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, discuss a meta-analysis on efficacy and safety of hypofractionated radiotherapy for the treatment of early-stage breast cancer (Abstract P3-12-15).

breast cancer

Clifford Hudis, MD, and William Gradishar, MD: Expert Perspective

Clifford A. Hudis, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and William J. Gradishar, MD, of the Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, discuss the most important papers and results at this year's San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

issues in oncology

ASCO Announces Progress in the Development of CancerLinQ, With the First Version Due in Late 2015

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) announced today that it will use SAP HANA®, a data management and application platform, in the development of CancerLinQ, the Society’s health information technology platform that will harness Big Data to deliver high-quality care to...

breast cancer

ASCO 2014: Adding Lapatinib to Adjuvant Trastuzumab Does Not Improve Outcomes in Early-Stage HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

A large phase III study, ALTTO (Adjuvant Lapatinib and/or Trastuzumab Treatment Optimisation), found no statistically significant differences in 4-year disease-free survival among women with early HER2-positive breast cancer who received adjuvant treatment that combined the HER2-targeted drugs...

prostate cancer

ASCO 2014: Adding Docetaxel to Androgen-Deprivation Therapy Significantly Improves Survival in Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer

The addition of docetaxel to androgen-deprivation therapy extended survival for men with newly diagnosed hormone-sensitive prostate cancer by more than 13 months in the National Cancer Institute–led phase III E3805 study. The survival benefit was even greater for men with high-volume disease. ...

breast cancer

Obesity Substantially Increases Breast Cancer Mortality Only in Women With Premenopausal Estrogen Receptor–Positive Disease

A new study of 80,000 women with early breast cancer in 70 clinical trials finds that obesity is associated with a 34% higher risk of breast cancer–related death only among the 20,000 premenopausal women who had estrogen receptor–positive disease. Obesity had little effect in...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Study Projects Nationwide Low-Dose CT Screening Will Identify More—and Earlier-Stage—Lung Cancers, but Comes With Substantial Medicare Costs

A new model projects 5-year outcomes of implementing the recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations for annual low-dose computed tomography (CT) lung cancer screening in a high-risk Medicare population. The model estimates that gradual implementation of the screening...

Novel Targeted Drug May Provide a New Treatment Option for Patients With Recurrent Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis

According to early results from a phase I study, a new targeted drug, PLX3397, appears remarkably active against a rare neoplastic joint disorder known as pigmented villonodular synovitis. The study evaluated patients whose disease had progressed despite all other available therapies. More than...

issues in oncology
issues in oncology

First Comprehensive Report on U.S. Cancer Care Finds Patient Access Threatened by Growing Demand, Physician Shortages

The first-ever comprehensive assessment of challenges facing the U.S. cancer care system suggests that patient access to cancer care will be threatened as growing demand for care outstrips the supply of oncologists, and as cost pressures force the closure of small physician practices that form the...

head and neck cancer

Obesity Linked to Poor Survival in Patients With Tongue Cancer

Cancer experts from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College are collaborating to understand the link between obesity and cancer. Most recently, their research has yielded an interesting association: Obesity prior to diagnosis is associated with a fivefold increase...

issues in oncology
issues in oncology

ASCO Issues New Recommendations for Family History-Taking in Oncology Setting

When oncologists see a new patient, they should emphasize careful documentation of first- and second-degree cancer family history, according to new recommendations published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The recommendations are the first to focus on family history-taking...

lung cancer
issues in oncology
issues in oncology

Major Decline in Lung Cancer Reported

“Eliminating tobacco use is the most important thing we can do to prevent lung and other cancers, as well as the many other diseases its use causes. Today’s news confirms that we are making progress. However, the global health challenges from tobacco are still growing. “This new...

issues in oncology
issues in oncology

New ASCO Choosing Wisely® List Details Five Cancer Tests and Treatments Routinely Performed Despite Lack of Evidence

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today announced its second “Top Five” list of opportunities to improve the quality and value of cancer care. Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), ASCO’s second Top Five list was released as part of the Choosing...

ASCO Releases Statement on the Impact of the Government Shutdown on Cancer Care

All nonessential government services were suspended at midnight after Congress failed to reach a budget compromise to keep the government funded before the start of the new fiscal year beginning on October 1, 2013. ASCO issued a statement today in response to the government shutdown and will be...

breast cancer

ECC 2013: Strong Showing for Ado-Trastuzumab Emtansine in Heavily Pretreated Advanced HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Results of the phase III TH3RESA trial show that the antibody-conjugate ado-trastuzumab (Kadcyla, previously known as T-DM1) extends progression-free survival in women with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer that progressed on two or more previous HER2-directed therapies including trastuzumab...

health-care policy

Statement by ASCO President Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, in Support of the Rally for Medical Research Hill Day

“With the unprecedented scientific opportunities now promising significant progress against cancer and other life-threatening diseases, it is a tragedy that we are even considering cuts to our nation's investment in biomedical research. Yet, such cuts are already happening because of the...

ASCO Issues Statement on National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Today, as many as 23 million children and teens are obese or overweight, and it is estimated that more than one-third of U.S. adults (more than 72 million people) are obese, according to a statement released by ASCO to help raise awareness of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month....

supportive care
issues in oncology

New Report Examines Trends in End-of-Life Care for Patients With Advanced Cancer

Although fewer Medicare patients with cancer died in the hospital in 2010 than in the years 2003–2007, aggressive treatment continues at the end of life, according to a new report from the Dartmouth Atlas Project. The findings also show that a significant number of patients were likely to...

ASCO Launches New Site to Seek Feedback From Cancer Community on Clinical Practice Guidelines

ASCO has launched a new wiki site to engage the cancer community in its clinical practice guideline development process. The new site will provide oncologists, practitioners, and patients with an opportunity to provide feedback or submit evidence on individual published guidelines. “Cancer...

solid tumors

ASCO 2013: Surveillance Sufficient Follow-up for Most Patients with Stage I Seminoma

Surveillance appears to be sufficient for men with stage I seminoma treated with orchiectomy, sparing patients from side effects of adjuvant radiation or chemotherapy. In a long-term study presented at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting (Abstract 4502), 99.5% of men followed by surveillance alone...

issues in oncology

ASCO President Clifford Hudis, MD, on the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting

This year’s ASCO Annual Meeting was really exciting in two specific ways. First, we saw the development of high-tech novel therapies and combinations that effectively manipulate the immune system and extend survival in historically difficult-to-treat diseases, like metastatic melanoma (eg,...

lymphoma

ASCO 2013: Routine Surveillance Imaging Scans Add Little to Detection of Relapse in Patients with Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma

A large study reports that the vast majority of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma relapses are detected based on symptoms, abnormal blood tests or abnormal findings on physical exam, suggesting that CT scans, which are currently a routine part of follow-up, may be unnecessary. Researchers found that...

solid tumors
solid tumors

ASCO 2013: Surveillance Following Surgery Is Sufficient for Men with Stage I Seminoma

A long-term study of men with stage I seminoma, a common form of testicular cancer, suggests that surveillance for cancer recurrence, rather than additional chemotherapy or radiation therapy, is sufficient for the vast majority of men who have undergone successful surgery for their cancer....

ASCO 2013: Anti–PD-L1 Drug Shows Promising Anticancer Effects in a Variety of Advanced Cancers

A phase I expansion study of the investigational drug MPDL3280A— an engineered PD-L1 targeted antibody—shows impressive tumor shrinkage rates in patients with several different cancers—including lung, melanoma, kidney, colorectal, and gastric cancers—that had progressed...

issues in oncology

ASCO Completes Prototype for CancerLinQ™, Marking First Demonstration of a “Learning Health System” to Transform Cancer Care

The American Society of Clinical Oncology announced yesterday that it has completed a prototype of CancerLinQ™, the Society’s groundbreaking health information technology (HIT) initiative to achieve higher quality, higher value cancer care with better outcomes for patients. The...

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