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issues in oncology
covid-19

Black Patients With Cancer May Be at Increased Risk for Hospitalization Related to COVID-19 Infection

A study of more than 500 patients with cancer infected with COVID-19 at a large cancer center in Boston found that Black patients with cancer and COVID-19 were twice as likely to be hospitalized due to complications related to the virus as compared to White patients. Black patients were also more...

issues in oncology
covid-19

Study Finds Black and Hispanic Patients With Cancer Used Telehealth Less Often Than White Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer Black and Hispanic patients with cancer used telehealth (including phone encounters and video visits) compared to White patients, according to findings from an analysis of data from New York City hospitals. Significant disparities in the use of...

breast cancer

Novel Indications and New Drugs for the Treatment of Patients With Breast Cancer

Over the past year (December 2019–September 2020), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval to several novel drugs and new indications for therapeutic agents used in breast cancer. Pertuzumab/Trastuzumab/Hyaluronidase-zzxf On June 29, 2020, the FDA approved a new fixed-dose...

breast cancer

Emerging Alternatives in the Third-Line Setting for Metastatic HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

In the post-trastuzumab era, a number of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved targeted agents for metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer are available, but there is no preferred option for third-line treatment and beyond. At the 2019 Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium, Shanu Modi, MD,...

breast cancer

Tucatinib Combination in Previously Treated HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer With Brain Metastases

In an analysis of the pivotal phase III HER2CLIMB trial reported at the ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program, Nancy U. Lin, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and colleagues found that tucatinib, a small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is highly selective for HER2, plus...

breast cancer

Local Recurrence With Radiation Boost in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer: HERA Trial Analysis

In a retrospective analysis reported in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics, Joseph Abi Jaoude, MD, of the American University of Beirut Medical Center, and colleagues found that a radiation boost did not reduce the risk of local recurrence among women with...

breast cancer

Advanced HER2-Positive Breast Cancer: All Eyes on These Novel Agents

New agents for the treatment of advanced HER2-positive breast cancer should be coming soon to your clinic, according to Sara A. Hurvitz, MD, Director of the Breast Cancer Clinical Research Program and Associate Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of...

breast cancer

Updates From Additional Clinical Trials in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Here we present summaries of several additional clinical trials in HER2-positive breast cancer reported over the past year. Jame Abraham, MD, Chair of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the Taussig Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, shared his perspective on several of these trials presented ...

breast cancer

Phase III SOPHIA Trial Evaluates Margetuximab/Chemotherapy vs Trastuzumab/Chemotherapy for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

The second interim analysis of the phase III SOPHIA trial demonstrated a significant, though modest, improvement in progression-free survival, response rate, and clinical benefit with the addition of margetuximab to chemotherapy vs trastuzumab plus chemotherapy in patients with HER2-positive...

breast cancer

Abemaciclib/Fulvestrant/Trastuzumab for Patients With Previously Treated HR-Positive, HER2-Positive Advanced Breast Cancer

In the phase II monarcHER trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Sara M. Tolaney, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and colleagues, found that the combination of abemaciclib, fulvestrant, and trastuzumab prolonged progression-free survival vs trastuzumab plus standard-of-care...

hepatobiliary cancer

2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Awarded to Team Who Discovered Hepatitis C Virus

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three scientists who have made a decisive contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world. Harvey J. Alter, MD; Michael Houghton, ...

genomics/genetics

Pilot Study Finds Liquid Biopsy Delivers Results Faster Than Tissue Biopsy

A pilot study comparing liquid biopsy with tissue-based testing showed that liquid biopsy delivered results approximately 10 days faster than tissue biopsy, according to research presented by Nir Peled, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)...

lung cancer
genomics/genetics

Liquid Biopsy May Be a Timely and Effective Testing Method for Patients With NSCLC: Findings From Canada

Next-generation sequencing of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) obtained from blood samples may improve diagnostic testing in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and may also be faster and less expensive than standard tissue profiling, according to research presented by Natasha B. Leighl, ...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

FDA Approves Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab for the First-Line Treatment of Unresectable Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

On October 2, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) as first-line treatment for adult patients with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma. CheckMate 743 Efficacy was investigated in CheckMate 743, a randomized,...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, on Melanoma: Adjuvant Nivolumab vs Ipilimumab

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, of the Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone, discusses the 4-year recurrence-free and overall survival results from the CheckMate 238 study, which showed adjuvant nivolumab continues to be an effective treatment, vs the comparator ipilimumab, for patients with resected...

immunotherapy
multiple myeloma
lymphoma
gastroesophageal cancer
gastrointestinal cancer
breast cancer

FDA Pipeline: Priority Review for Agents in Multiple Myeloma, Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Priority Review to therapies for pretreated patients with multiple myeloma and pediatric patients with ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma; granted Fast Track designation to novel agents in gastric/gastroesophageal junction...

issues in oncology

Is Cancer Mortality Higher in Counties That Experience Persistent Poverty?

Residents of counties that experience persistent poverty face a disproportionately high risk of cancer mortality, according to a study published by Jennifer L. Moss, PhD, and colleagues in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Persistent Poverty Areas of persistent poverty are defined...

issues in oncology

Ending Systemic Racism in Oncology Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Five years ago, as Rachel B. Issaka, MD, MAS, was beginning her second year as a gastroenterology fellow and feeling proud of the progress she was making in her training, she was suddenly confronted with an all-too-familiar slight that underrepresented minority providers may often experience. As...

gastrointestinal cancer
genomics/genetics

Genetic Testing May Be Cost-Effective for Newly Diagnosed Patients With GIST

In a paper published by Banerjee et al in JAMA Network Open, researchers reported that genetic testing is cost-effective and beneficial for newly diagnosed patients with metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), a type of soft-tissue sarcoma that develops in specialized nerve cells in the...

breast cancer
symptom management

Monika K. Krzyzanowska, MD, MPH, on Early-Stage Breast Cancer: Ambulatory Toxicity Management in the AToM Study

Monika K. Krzyzanowska, MD, MPH, of the Princess Margaret University Health Network, discusses study findings on remote proactive telephone-based toxicity management for patients with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy. Although the telehealth program was associated with fewer grade 3 toxicities...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

Lisa A. Carey, MD, on Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Paclitaxel, Nab-paclitaxel, and Atezolizumab in IMpassion Trials

Lisa A. Carey, MD, of the University of North Carolina, discusses phase III results from two IMpassion trials, 130 and 131, which explored, respectively, atezolizumab plus nab-paclitaxel vs placebo plus nab-paclitaxel in previously untreated locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast...

solid tumors
immunotherapy

First-in-Class Human IgG4 Monoclonal Antibody Shows Activity Alone and Combined With Pembrolizumab in Advanced Solid Tumors

MK-4830—a novel, first-in-class human IgG4 monoclonal antibody targeting the myeloid-specific anti–immunoglobulin-like transcript 4 (ILT4) receptor—administered either as a single agent or in combination with pembrolizumab was well tolerated and showed activity in heavily pretreated patients with...

kidney cancer
genomics/genetics

Is ctDNA Effective in Detecting Genomic Alterations in Patients With Metastatic Kidney Cancer?

Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) analysis is a minimally invasive genomic assessment tool utilizing targeted next-generation sequencing of peripheral blood. At the ESMO Virtual Congress 2020, Zengin et al reported genomic results from a large cohort of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

Alexander M. Eggermont, MD, PhD, on Melanoma: Pembrolizumab vs Placebo After Complete Resection

Alexander M. Eggermont, MD, PhD, of the Princess Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, discusses final results of the phase III EORTC 1325-MG/Keynote 054 trial, which confirmed a sustained recurrence-free survival benefit of pembrolizumab vs placebo in patients with resected high-risk stage III...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

Aditya Bardia, MD, MPH, on Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Sacituzumab Govitecan vs Treatment of Physician’s Choice

Aditya Bardia, MD, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, discusses results from the phase III ASCENT trial, which showed the antibody-drug conjugate sacituzumab govitecan-hziy improved progression-free and overall survival more than standard single-agent chemotherapy in patients...

issues in oncology
supportive care

Malnutrition Among Patients With Cancer Admitted to the Hospital May Increase the Risk for Infection

Upon hospital admission for cancer, many patients already demonstrated a high prevalence of malnutrition per Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) criteria, which was associated with the risk of developing a nosocomial infection, according to findings presented by Nuñez Abad et al at...

thyroid cancer

Pralsetinib in RET-Mutated Medullary Thyroid Cancer

Pralsetinib (also known as BLU-667) showed activity in patients with advanced RET mutation–positive medullary thyroid cancer, including high rates of durable response, disease control, and 18-month progression-free survival. These findings were presented by Hu et al at the ESMO Virtual Congress...

covid-19

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Launches First Clinical Trial in Patients With Hematologic Malignancy and COVID-19

In response to studies showing that between 30% and 60% of patients with blood cancer are at risk of death if infected with COVID-19 compared with patients who are cancer-free, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has announced its launch of the first clinical trial dedicated solely to this...

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Receives $126 Million Gift

A gift of $126 million to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine will accelerate advances in finding cures for cancer and expand innovative treatment options. The donation is the single largest in the University of Miami’s 95-year...

lymphoma
immunotherapy

NCCN Adds Tafasitamab-cxix to Its Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for B-Cell Lymphomas

MorphoSys and Incyte have announced that tafasita­mab-cxix, a humanized Fc-modified cytolytic CD19-targeting monoclonal antibody, has been included in the latest National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines®  (NCCN Guidelines®) in Oncology for B-Cell Lymphomas. Specifically,...

Leading Cancer Treatment Recommendations From NCCN Available in Several Languages

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has announced the availability of multiple non–English-language versions of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology® (NCCN Guidelines®) for numerous high-incidence cancer types. These treatment recommendations can be accessed for free at...

Cleveland Clinic Appoints New Chair of Head and Neck Institute

Cleveland Clinic has appointed Patrick J. Byrne, MD, MBA, as Chair of the Head & Neck Institute. Dr. Byrne joins Cleveland Clinic from The Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he served as Director of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology/Head...

Cancer Center at Brown University Established

The Corporation of Brown University has approved the establishment of the Cancer Center at Brown. The center takes a broad-spectrum approach to research, from working to understand how cancer develops, grows, and metastasizes, to developing new therapeutics for patients in a personalized way that...

covid-19

COVID-19 Pandemic Delays Cancer Care and Strains Resources

Delays and cancellation of cancer treatments and other safety measures undertaken to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 have generated a huge backlog in oncology care and research. The threat of delayed diagnoses looms while oncology professionals face burnout, according to new studies...

National Survey Shows Decline in Overall Youth E-Cigarette Use, Uptick in Use of Disposable Products

In september, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released new data from the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). The results, published by Wang et al in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), showed 1.8 ...

Eric P. Winer, MD, Recipient of Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award

In September 2020, Eric P. Winer, MD, was honored with the William Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award, presented by the Office for Diversity, Inclusion & Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Winer is Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Director of the...

Karmanos Receives $630,000 CATCH-UP Grant to Recruit Minority, Rural Patients to Clinical Trials

Researchers at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute have secured a 1-year, $630,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to help support the Institute’s clinical trials, which target underserved populations in Detroit and in the rural areas that Karmanos serves. The NCI P30 Cancer...

IU Cancer Center Researcher Awarded $5.7 Million to Study Chemotherapy-Induced Hearing Loss, Toxicities

A researcher at the Indiana University (IU) Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center has been awarded a 5-year, $5.7 million National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant to evaluate long-term health outcomes for patients with cancer who receive platinum-based chemotherapies. An internationally...

Irish Boy With His Scapula

The text and photograph here are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology: Tumors & Treatment, A Photographic History, The Antiseptic Era 1876–1900 by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS, and Elizabeth A. Burns. The photograph appears courtesy of Stanley B. Burns, MD, and The Burns...

NYGC Launches Collaborative Cancer Genomics Research Projects Focused on Underserved Populations

Leading cancer scientists working with the New York Genome Center (NYGC) announced that grants are being awarded to fund six projects that address the role of ethnicity in several major cancer types, taking advantage of the diversity of patients being treated at health-care institutions throughout...

covid-19

City of Hope Leads Novel Clinical Trial to Treat Patients With Cancer and COVID-19

City of Hope is investigating an innovative treatment for patients with cancer and COVID-19 by repurposing leflunomide, an anti-inflammatory drug for rheumatoid arthritis that is inexpensive and has few serious side effects, in a new clinical trial. Patients treated for cancer in the past 2 years...

covid-19

Corticosteroids Improve Survival in Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19, According to International Trial

In a demonstration of global collaboration, clinician-scientists have pooled data from 121 hospitals in 8 countries to find that inexpensive, widely available steroids may improve the odds that very sick patients with COVID-19 will survive the illness. The findings were made through the Randomized...

World Gynecologic Oncology Awareness Day: Turning the World Purple

Advocates for patients with cancer and medical professionals in more than 20 countries planned activities for World Gynecologic Oncology Day (World GO Day). A project of the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO) and the European Network of Gynaecological Cancer Advocacy Groups...

breast cancer

Erica L. Mayer, MD, MPH, on Early Breast Cancer: Palbociclib With Endocrine Therapy vs Endocrine Therapy Alone

Erica L. Mayer, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses an initial analysis of phase III findings from the PALLAS trial, which suggested the benefits observed in the metastatic setting with palbociclib plus endocrine therapy did not translate into the earlier adjuvant setting for...

immunotherapy

Meta-analyses of Quality of Life in Patients Treated With Checkpoint Inhibitors

Findings from two meta-analyses designed to summarize quality-of-life data on patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy for cancer were presented at the ESMO Virtual Congress 2020 (Abstract 1568O). These meta-analyses found that patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors had...

issues in oncology

Efforts to Broaden Eligibility Criteria for Clinical Trials Seek to Include More Racial and Ethnic Minority Patients

A review of the 2019 Drug Trials Snapshots Report1 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that although female participation in clinical trials grew to 72% from 56% in the FDA’s 2018 Drug Trials Snapshots Report,2 ethnic minority participation in clinical trials actually declined...

colorectal cancer
geriatric oncology

Elderly Patients With Advanced Colorectal Cancer Treated With Adjuvant Oxaliplatin Plus Fluoropyrimidines: Tolerability and Benefit

Among patients with stage III colon cancer, patients aged 70 or older were less tolerant of adjuvant oxaliplatin/flouropyrimidine therapy, in addition to having poorer relapse-free interval rates on the regimen, according to findings from a large subgroup analysis of the phase III TOSCA trial...

genomics/genetics
immunotherapy

Nivolumab Shows Activity in edPOLE-Mutated, MMR-Proficient Advanced Cancers

Nivolumab monotherapy showed high response and disease control rates in patients with pathogenic exonuclease domain POLE (edPOLE)-mutated, mismatch repair (MMR)-proficient advanced tumors containing confirmed pathogenic mutations, according to findings presented by Benoit J.C. Rousseau, MD, PhD, of ...

issues in oncology
legislation
health-care policy
covid-19

AACR Releases 10th Edition of Annual Cancer Progress Report

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has released the 10th edition of its annual Cancer Progress Report. The report highlights how cancer research, largely supported by federal investments in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is...

skin cancer
immunotherapy

Adjuvant Nivolumab vs Ipilimumab in Resected Advanced Melanoma: Long-Term Follow-up of CheckMate 238

Long-term findings from the phase III CheckMate 238 study showed that nivolumab improved 4-year recurrence-free survival compared with ipilimumab in patients with resected stage IIIB to C or IV melanoma in the overall population as well as across subgroups of patients stratified by disease stage...

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