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palliative care

Behavioral Nudges Combined With Machine Learning Mortality Estimates May Improve Rate of Advanced Cancer Care Conversations

An electronic nudge to clinicians—triggered by an algorithm that used machine-learning methods to flag patients with cancer who would most benefit from a conversation around end-of-life goals—tripled the rate of those discussions, according to a new prospective, randomized study of nearly 15,000...

bladder cancer

Neoadjuvant Dual Checkpoint Blockade in Certain Patients With Localized Bladder Cancer

Neoadjuvant combination therapy with the anti–CTLA-4 therapy tremelimumab and the anti–PD-1 therapy durvalumab was well tolerated and showed early signs of activity in patients ineligible to receive cisplatin-based chemotherapy, all of whom had tumors with high-risk features that are associated...

lung cancer

Fragment Analysis as a MET Exon 14 Screening Strategy in NSCLC Tumors

Comparison of two techniques used in screening non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumor samples demonstrated that fragment analysis could detect large MET exon 14 skipping deletions that were missed by next-generation sequencing, according to findings presented at the Molecular Analysis for...

symptom management

Anne M. Barry-Weers, RN, on Decreasing Hospitalizations for Patients Receiving IV Chemotherapy

Anne M. Barry-Weers, RN, of Aurora Health Care/Aurora Cancer Care in Milwaukee, discusses strategies that helped patients with cancer to better manage their chemotherapy-related symptoms at home, thus reducing visits to the emergency department and inpatient admissions, and improving treatment...

geriatric oncology
symptom management

Marie A. Flannery, PhD, and Eva Culakova, PhD, on Managing Symptoms in Older Adults With Advanced Cancer

Marie A. Flannery, PhD, and Eva Culakova, PhD, both of the University of Rochester, discuss a geriatric assessment tool that helped reduce symptomatic toxicities, as measured by Patient-Reported Outcomes Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (Abstract 138).

issues in oncology

Katherine Enright, MD, MPH, on Improving the Quality of Oral Cancer Drug Delivery

Katherine Enright, MD, MPH, of Trillium Health Partners in Ontario, discusses a model of quality improvement, which potentially could be adapted across health systems to improve oral systemic cancer care (Abstract 184).

issues in oncology

Joseph M. Unger, PhD, on Patient Interest in Clinical Trial Enrollment: A New Analysis

Joseph M. Unger, PhD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses study results showing that more than half of all patients with cancer, regardless of race or ethnicity, agree to take part in clinical trials, a finding that upends conventional beliefs. He talks about removing the barriers...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Limited English-Language Proficiency May Affect Frequency of Screening Mammograms

Limited English-language proficiency may be a risk factor for receiving screening mammograms less often, according to new study results using national data. These findings, concerning women age 40 and older living in the United States, were presented at the American College of Surgeons Clinical...

geriatric oncology

FDA Approves Venetoclax Combination Regimen for Certain Adult Patients With AML

On October 16, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted regular approval to venetoclax (Venclexta) in combination with azacitidine, decitabine, or low-dose cytarabine for newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in adults age 75 or older or who have comorbidities precluding intensive ...

bladder cancer

Urine-Based Liquid Biopsy May Perform Similarly to Urine Cytology in Detecting Urothelial Carcinoma

Analysis of DNA copy number variants in the cells exfoliated in urine showed improved sensitivity and similar specificity in detecting urothelial carcinoma compared to urine cytology, according to results published by Zeng et al in Clinical Cancer Research. “Urine cytology, which is widely used to...

colorectal cancer
cost of care

Veena Shankaran, MD, on Colorectal Cancer: Cumulative Financial Hardship of Treatment

Veena Shankaran, MD, of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, discusses study findings from a national sample of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who are on systemic therapy. A year into their treatment, nearly three out of four patients had major financial hardships despite access to health...


FDA Extends the Approval of Pembrolizumab for Patients With Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma

On October 14, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended the approval of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for the following indications:   Adult patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma Pediatric patients with refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma or classical Hodgkin...

breast cancer

Melissa K. Accordino, MD, on Breast Cancer Care Delivery: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Melissa K. Accordino, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center, discusses findings showing nearly half of the patients with breast cancer treated at an academic center in New York City experienced a change or delay in their workup or treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Race and socioeconomic...

issues in oncology
breast cancer

Do Hospitals That Primarily Serve Minority Patients Offer Standard Surgical Care for Patients With Breast Cancer?

Among accredited cancer centers in the United States, hospitals serving primarily minority patients are as likely as other hospitals to offer the standard of surgical care for early-stage breast cancer, according to results presented at the virtual American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress...


New Study Offers a Global Review of the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Treatment and Research

A recent review of scientific literature showed that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of cancer care and research—from introducing new risks for patients to disrupting the delivery of treatment and the continuity of research. The report, published by Ziad Bakouny, MD, and...

breast cancer
symptom management

Can Routine Scans Help Predict Which Patients With Breast Cancer May Be at Risk for Heart Disease?

Automated analysis of the routine scans of patients with breast cancer may help to predict which women have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to research presented by Gal et al at the 12th European Breast Cancer Conference (Abstract 7). Women who have been treated for...


Identifying Characteristics of Infused CAR T Cells Associated With Efficacy and Toxicity in Patients With Large B-Cell Lymphoma

Researchers have identified molecular and cellular characteristics of anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell infusion products associated with how patients with large B-cell lymphoma respond to treatment and develop side effects. The research team also found that early changes in...

head and neck cancer
pain management

Oral Cancer Pain May Predict Likelihood of Metastasis

Oral cancer may be more likely to spread in patients experiencing high levels of pain, according to a team of researchers who found genetic and cellular clues as to why metastatic oral cancers are so painful. These findings were published by Bhattacharya et al in Scientific Reports. Researchers...


Matti S. Aapro, MD, on Curing Sarcomas: An Expert Review

Matti S. Aapro, MD, of the Genolier Cancer Center, reviews the state of the science in sarcoma treatment: specialized surgery, disease diversity, emerging therapies, and the diagnostic approach to soft-tissue disease.

hematologic malignancies
gastroesophageal cancer
gastrointestinal cancer

FDA Pipeline: Designations for Treatments of Rare Blood Cancer, B-Cell Malignancies, and Gastric Cancers

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to an antibody-drug conjugate for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN); gave Fast Track designation to a novel chimeric antigen...

prostate cancer
supportive care

New Study Finds Low Rates of Bone Mineral Density Testing in Men Treated With ADT for Prostate Cancer

A report published by Hu et al in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network found the rate of bone mineral density testing in people with prostate cancer undergoing androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) has improved in recent years, but remains low. ADT is considered a cornerstone of...

breast cancer

NeoALTTO Trial: Final Analysis Examines Neoadjuvant Lapatinib/Trastuzumab in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Final analysis of results from a randomized clinical trial of lapatinib and trastuzumab given before surgery in patients with early HER2-positive breast cancer has found that women who had a pathologic complete response survived longer without cancer recurrence than patients who did not. This was...

Dana-Farber Opens Clinical Trial to Evaluate Simple Blood Test for Many Types of Cancer

Recent advances such as immune, cellular, and targeted therapies have provided new and effective means to treat a variety of cancers. Despite this considerable progress, cancer caught in its earliest stages remains the most curable. That is why Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is opening a new clinical ...

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to Establish Benderson Family Program for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has received a $5 million gift from the Benderson Family of Sarasota, Florida, that will accelerate research in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and strengthen Dana-Farber’s capabilities for treating this disease. The gift establishes the Benderson Family Program...

Debbie’s Dream Foundation Launches New COVID-19 Resources and Support Program

Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer (DDF) recently announced its new COVID-19 Resources and Support Program. The program’s primary goal is to support, educate, and protect the already vulnerable stomach cancer community during the pandemic. The new initiative will help patients with...

Immunologist Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti, PhD, Receives NCI Outstanding Investigator Award

Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti, PhD, Vice Chair of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Department of Immunology, has received a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Outstanding Investigator Award to build on her discoveries related to the innate immune system, inflammation, and cell death in health and ...

issues in oncology

Mobilizing for Greater Equity in Health Care Despite the Challenges of COVID-19

The lockdown phase of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and continued measures, such as social distancing, while necessary, are disrupting cancer care in ways that will have consequences for months, if not years, to come. Studies are showing that delayed or suspended cancer treatments,...

$111 Million NIH Grant Awarded to Prevent and Treat HIV-Associated Cancers

The widespread use of antiretroviral therapy to suppress the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has helped tens of millions of people with HIV live healthier, longer lives—but an unfortunate consequence of people living longer with HIV is an increased risk of cancer. For 25 years, the AIDS...

LUNGevity Foundation Recognizes Recipients of 2020 Career Development Awards

LUNGevity Foundation, a nonprofit organization, recently announced three recipients of its 2020 Career Development Awards for lung cancer research. These awards were presented to Kathyrn Arbour, MD, Assistant Attending at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Carl Gay, MD, PhD, of The University...

City of Hope Hires Stephen Gruber, MD, PhD, MPH, to Head Its Center for Precision Medicine

Cancer geneticist Stephen Gruber, MD, PhD, MPH, has joined City of Hope as Director of its newly founded Center for Precision Medicine. He will lead a team of more than 14 researchers who will work across the institution to pioneer personalized cancer prevention and treatment plans. As a medical...

2020 Class of Giants of Cancer Care Announced

The Eighth Annual Giants of Cancer Care class of inductees was recently announced by OncLive, a multimedia resource focused on providing oncology professionals with relevant information on patient care. The virtual awards ceremony will be held on November 5 at 7.30 PM EST and will be available...

issues in oncology
colorectal cancer

Study Finds Racial Disparities in Management of Colorectal Cancer Spreading to the Liver

Colorectal cancer is more prevalent among Black people, a group with the highest rates of death for an illness that is curable if caught early. “The unfortunate reality is that minorities, especially Black people, have a much lower chance of getting life-saving cancer treatment. Health care works...

solid tumors
head and neck cancer

Neck Tumor

The text and photographs here are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology: Tumors & Treatment, A Photographic History, The Anesthesia Era 1845–1875 by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS, and Elizabeth A. Burns. The photograph appears courtesy of Stanley B. Burns, MD, and The Burns...

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Names Ruth O’Regan, MD, Chair, Department of Medicine

Ruth O’Regan, MD, Chief of Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care at the University of Wisconsin, has been named the next Charles A. Dewey Professor and Chair of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s (URMC) School of Medicine and Dentistry, pending approval by the...

Cedars-Sinai Announces Addition of New Researchers, Physicians to Faculty

In a news release issued earlier this month, Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, Director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer Center in Los Angeles, welcomed several new researchers and physicians to the faculty of the institution. “I am very grateful to the institutional leadership that our efforts to expand the breadth ...


A Young Oncologist Cares for Patients With Cancer Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the face of U.S. health-care services in such rapid fashion that many providers were caught off guard, learning and preparing on the fly. Patients with cancer, given their multiple physical and emotional challenges, were especially vulnerable. To get a sense of the...

breast cancer

Phase III NALA Trial Meets Primary Endpoint in Previously Treated HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Cristina Saura, MD, of Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, and colleagues, the phase III NALA trial has shown significantly prolonged progression-free survival with the irreversible pan-HER tyrosine kinase inhibitor neratinib plus...


City of Hope Scientists Explore Combination Immunotherapy for Solid Tumors

City of Hope scientists have combined two immunotherapies—an oncolytic virus and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy—to target solid tumors that are otherwise difficult to treat with CAR T-cell therapy alone, according to a recent study in Science Translational Medicine.1 In preclinical...

breast cancer

Tucatinib Combination Extends Survival in HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer, Including Patients With Brain Metastases

For patients with progressing HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer previously treated with trastuzumab, pertuzumab, and ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), no single regimen is an established standard of care. More than 50% of these patients will develop brain metastasis, and thus far, treatments...

Wesley Family Donates $10 Million to Seidman Cancer Center

In honor of a transformational $10 million gift from Kimberly and Joseph Wesley, University Hospitals is establishing the Wesley Center for Immunotherapy at University Hospitals (UH) Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland. This gift will further enable physician-scientists to engage in groundbreaking...

Deirdre J. Cohen, MD, MS, Appointed Director of Mount Sinai Health System’s GI Oncology Program

Deirdre J. Cohen, MD, MS, an expert in pancreatic and other gastrointestinal cancers as well as an accomplished clinical trial leader, has joined Mount Sinai Health System as Director of the Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology Program and Medical Director of the Cancer Clinical Trials Office at The...

breast cancer

High-Risk, HER2-Positive Breast Cancer: Neoadjuvant and Adjuvant Treatment Options

Although most patients with breast cancer are considered to have an overall excellent prognosis, 600,000 people still die annually of the disease around the world. Even in HER2-positive breast cancer, a subtype that has seen a transformation of outcomes in the past 2 decades, there’s still room for ...

Dana-Farber Researcher Receives Victoria Mock New Investigator Award

Robert Knoerl, PhD, RN, Instructor in Medicine and Nurse-Scientist at the Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has been awarded the 2020 Oncology Nursing Society’s Victoria Mock New Investigator Award. This prestigious award is ...


Cancer Centers Nationwide Join to Address the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Prevention and Treatment

A consortium of 17 cancer centers in the United States, including the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), have come together to better understand the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in delaying cancer detection, care, and prevention. The cancer ...

Emmanuelle Charpentier, PhD, and Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, Honored With Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020

On October 7, 2020, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 would be awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier, PhD, and Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, “for the development of a method for genome editing,” the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. “There is enormous power...

breast cancer

Long-Term Evaluation of Treatment Efficacy After Primary DCIS Diagnosis

A long-term study of women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) has shown that surgery to remove the tissue followed by radiotherapy may lower the risk of subsequent cancer compared to surgery alone. The study, presented at the 12th European Breast Cancer Conference by van Seijen et al (Abstract...


Cancer Therapy Based on Molecular Tumor Board Recommendations: Improvement in Outcomes?

Patients receiving care for advanced cancer based on the recommendations of a molecular tumor board were more likely to survive or experience a longer period without disease progression, according to results from a study published by Kato et al in Nature Communications. Razelle Kurzrock, MD,...

breast cancer

Breast Cancer Risk After Benign Breast Disease

Benign breast disease is known to increase the chances of subsequent breast cancer. According to Spanish researchers, the way benign breast disease is detected may be an indication of how likely it is to become cancerous. The findings from the team led by Xavier Castells, MD, PhD, Head of the...

gynecologic cancers

Andreas du Bois, MD, PhD, on Ovarian Cancer: Niraparib, Trabectedin Plus Doxorubicin, Platinum, and Carboplatin

Andreas du Bois, MD, PhD, of Kliniken Essen Mitte, discusses the NORA and INOVATYON studies of patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, detailing the findings for women in China with platinum-sensitive disease and women internationally who received trabectedin and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin...

issues in oncology

CancerLinQ Data Reveal Black and Hispanic Patients With Cancer Face Greater Risk of COVID-19 Infection

Black and Hispanic patients with cancer were more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than White patients, based on the findings of a study of more than 477,000 patients to be presented by Potter et al at the upcoming virtual 2020 ASCO Quality Care Symposium (Abstract 84). About the Study...