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Elevations in Cancer Incidence Among Responders to the WTC Site After the September 11 Attacks

We’ll begin with a study that focused on elevations in cancer incidence among responders to the World Trade Center site after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. We’ll then turn to an analysis evaluating the effect of proton pump inhibitor use on decreased cognitive functioning among breast...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Steven J. Isakoff, MD, PhD

“It is encouraging that the invasive disease–free survival observed in the primary analysis is holding up, particularly in the node-positive population. With longer follow-up, the addition of pertuzumab to chemotherapy and trastuzumab appears to show benefit in hormone receptor–positive patients as ...

breast cancer

APHINITY Update Supports Benefit of Pertuzumab-Based Triplet in Early HER2-Positive, Node-Positive Breast Cancer

Six-year follow-up of the APHINITY trial found a modest, but not statistically significant, overall survival benefit for the addition of pertuzumab to chemotherapy plus trastuzumab vs chemotherapy/trastuzumab as adjuvant therapy in patients with early HER2-positive breast cancer. The benefit was...

Yale Cancer Center Launches Center for Community Engagement and Health Equity

Yale Cancer Center has announced the launch of the Center for Community Engagement and Health Equity (CEHE). Building on the commitment of the Yale Cancer Center to patient-centered cancer care, screening, and prevention across the state of Connecticut, the new center is dedicated to ensuring...

Expert Point of View: Virginia Kaklamani, MD, Steven Vogl, MD, Gary Lyman, MD, MPH, and Ginny Mason, BSN

For several breast cancer experts interviewed by The ASCO Post, the phase III oral paclitaxel study and the drug itself had some limitations. Virginia Kaklamani, MD, of UT Health San Antonio, moderator of a press briefing, thought that the dosing process and the 11 pills or so per day was a...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Charles L. Shapiro, MD

Charles L. Shapiro, MD, Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, commented on the Women’s Health Initiative update. “These trials involved more than 27,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79. The women with a uterus were randomly...

breast cancer

Oral Paclitaxel Outperforms Intravenous Formulation in Phase III Trial

In the first reported phase III study of an oral taxane, an investigational oral form of paclitaxel yielded a higher overall response rate and produced less neuropathy than standard intravenous paclitaxel, researchers reported at the 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.1 “Oral paclitaxel...

breast cancer

Studies Find Estrogen Alone Protective, Estrogen Plus Progestin Detrimental in Postmenopausal Women

In postmenopausal women without prior breast cancer, estrogen alone reduced the risk of breast cancer, not only during treatment, but for years after estrogen was stopped. It also reduced deaths as a result of breast cancer and deaths after breast cancer from all causes. However, in contrast,...

Elizabeth Fox, MD, Named Senior Vice President of Clinical Trials Research at St. Jude

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital announced recently that Elizabeth Fox, MD, has been named Senior Vice President of Clinical Trials Research. In this role, Dr. Fox will oversee clinical trials research administration and strategy at St. Jude. She will also serve as Associate Director for...

Dolores Hambardzumyan, PhD, MBA, Joins Neurosurgery Faculty at Mount Sinai

Dolores Hambardzumyan, PhD, MBA, has been appointed Senior Faculty in the Department of Neurosurgery and a member of The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her research focuses on developing novel therapeutic pathways for the treatment of glioblastoma. She is...

Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, Elected to Lead AACR Immunology Working Group

Chosen for his passion and leadership in immunotherapy research, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center Deputy Director Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, was elected as the Cancer Immunology Working Group (CIMM) Chairperson-Elect for 2020–2021. CIMM is a scientific working group within the...

lung cancer

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to Establish Chen-Huang Center for EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancers

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will create the Chen-Huang Center for EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancers to stimulate research, promote clinical trials, and strengthen the Institute’s capabilities for studying and treating lung cancer. The Chen-Huang Center is being established with a $5 million gift from...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Shelley Hwang, MD, MPH

Shelley Hwang, MD, MPH, the Mary and Deryl Hart Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine in North Carolina, discussed the APBI IMRT Florence trial in a meeting highlights session at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. She called physician-reported cosmesis “the...

global cancer care

Taking Action Against Cancer: Celebrating 20 Years of World Cancer Day

February 4, 2020, will mark the 20th anniversary of World Cancer Day, an annual event meant to raise cancer awareness and encourage governments, oncology societies, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, and individuals to take action against the global impact of the disease. Formed in...

breast cancer

Partial-Breast Irradiation Favored Over Whole-Breast in Early Breast Cancer

Patients with early breast cancer with small, node-negative tumors can safely be treated with accelerated partial-breast irradiation using intensity-modulated radiotherapy. According to the 10-year median follow-up of the randomized phase III APBI IMRT Florence trial, recurrence rates were low and...

Largest Single-Year Drop in Cancer Mortality Ever Reported: 2016–2017

The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017—the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported. These findings were reported in “Cancer Statistics, 2020,” the latest edition of the American Cancer Society’s annual report on cancer...

leukemia

Yale Cancer Center Study Suggests New Approaches Needed to Manage Ibrutinib-Related Toxicities in Patients With CLL

New findings by Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital researchers show that, as the use of ibrutinib increases in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), so do the rates of patients who stop taking the drug. The study was presented at the 2019 American Society of Hematology (ASH)...

leukemia
geriatric oncology

Oral CC-486 Maintenance Therapy Extends Survival in Older Patients With AML

Use of CC-486—an investigational oral form of azacitidine—as maintenance therapy significantly improved overall survival and relapse-free survival in older patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who were in remission following induction chemotherapy with or without consolidation ...

Innovator and Leader in Radiation Oncology, Eli J. Glatstein, MD, FASCO, Dies

Eli J. Glatstein, MD, FASCO, Morton M. Kligerman Professor, Radiation Oncology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, made a significant impact on how different cancers are diagnosed and treated. His research improved how physicians stage and treat cancer,...

Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute Recognizes New Staff, New Appointments

In a news release issued by Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, the following announcements were made. Center Adds Clinical Psychologist to Staff Melissa Walt, PsyD, a clinical psychologist, recently joined the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. She will focus on the psychological...

ACCC Project Focuses on Improving Care of Older Adults With Cancer

To prepare the multidisciplinary cancer care team for the growing prevalence of cancer and comorbidities among our nation’s graying population, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC)—in collaboration with The Gerontological Society of America and the International Society of Geriatric...

pancreatic cancer

Olaparib as Maintenance Therapy for Germline BRCA-Mutated Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

On December 27, 2019, the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor olaparib was approved for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, as detected by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration...

AACI Marks Milestone With New Member: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

The Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) welcomes its newest and 100th member—Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Cancer Center—one of seven National Cancer Institute–designated basic laboratory cancer centers. The CSHL Cancer Center has nine shared resources that facilitate cancer...

Community Oncology Alliance Elects Officers and New Board Members for 2020

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) has announced the election of new and re-appointed members to the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. The Board and Committee are comprised of volunteer representatives from community oncology, who direct the management of COA by its Executive ...

prostate cancer

Olaparib for Previously Treated, Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer With DNA Repair Gene Aberrations

In the phase II TOPARP-B trial—reported by Joaquin Mateo, MD, in The Lancet Oncology—investigators found that olaparib showed good activity in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and DNA damage response (DDR) gene aberrations who had received one or two prior taxane regimens....

leukemia

ADMIRAL Trial: More Than Standard Chemotherapy Needed for FLT3-Mutant Advanced AML

The important ADMIRAL trial, reported by Perl et al in The New England Journal of Medicine1 and reviewed in this issue of The ASCO Post, shows the efficacy of a specific FLT3 inhibitor in patients with advanced acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and enhances the era of personalized medicine in leukemia. ...

bladder cancer

TIVO-3: Third- or Fourth-Line Tivozanib vs Sorafenib in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Brian I. Rini, MD, and colleagues, the phase III TIVO-3 trial has shown a statistically significant increase in progression-free survival with tivozanib vs sorafenib as a third- or fourth-line treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma. Study Details The...

breast cancer

First-Line Atezolizumab Plus Nab-paclitaxel in Advanced Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Second Overall Survival Interim Analysis

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Peter Schmid, MD, and colleagues, the prespecified second interim analysis of overall survival in the phase III IMpassion130 trial has shown no overall survival benefit with the addition of atezolizumab to nab-paclitaxel as first-line treatment of...

breast cancer

Recurrence Risk in Black and White Women With Borderline Estrogen Receptor–Positive Breast Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Halei C. Benefield, PhD, and colleagues found that black women with borderline estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer had significantly poorer disease-free interval compared with those with ER-positive disease,...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Emerging Fertoprotective Therapeutic Options for Female Fertility Preservation

The trend toward delayed childbearing has meant that many women who plan to have children may be childless at the time they are diagnosed with cancer. The number of these women is likely to further increase concurrently with the increase in cancer survivors, making “the focus on fertility...

Fred Hutch Names Thomas J. Lynch, Jr, MD, as New President and Director

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center recently announced that Thomas J. Lynch, Jr, MD, will become the center’s new President and Director. Dr. Lynch, a cancer expert in solid tumor research, precision medicine, and immuno-oncology, will join Fred Hutch on February 1. Dr. Lynch will become the...

bladder cancer

Enfortumab Vedotin-ejfv for Previously Treated Advanced Urothelial Cancer

On December 18, 2019, the antibody-drug conjugate enfortumab vedotin-ejfv (PadcevTM) was granted accelerated approval for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who have previously received a programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) or programmed cell...

breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Debra A. Patt, MD, MPH, MBA, FASCO, and C. Kent Osborne, MD, FASCO

Debra A. Patt, MD, MPH, MBA, FASCO, Clinical Professor at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin and Executive Vice President of Public Policy and Strategy Initiatives for Texas Oncology, told attendees in a symposium highlights talk, “We all identify and follow some patients who ...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

Fam-trastuzumab Deruxtecan-nxki for Previously Treated Unresectable or Metastatic HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

On December 20, 2019, the antibody-drug conjugate fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki was granted accelerated approval in the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have received two or more prior anti–HER2-based regimens in the metastatic setting.1,2...

breast cancer

Breast Cancer Chemoprevention Effect Maintained Long After Stopping Anastrozole Therapy

For postmenopausal women at high risk for developing breast cancer—largely based on family history—anastrozole taken for 5 years maintained a preventive effect for at least an additional 7 years after stopping the drug in the IBIS-II trial, which included nearly 4,000 subjects. Women randomly...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

Atezolizumab With Chemotherapy for Metastatic Nonsquamous NSCLC Without EGFR/ALK Aberrations

On December 3, 2019, atezolizumab in combination with nab-paclitaxel and carboplatin was approved for first-line treatment of metastatic nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumore aberrations.1,2 The approval was based on findings in the open-label phase III...

issues in oncology

Practicing Wellness to Reduce Burnout

Numerous wellness strategies are accessible to busy physicians and oncologists, which can be incorporated into their daily routine. Here we discuss such aspects as stress reduction, mindfulness, eating well, sleeping well, and spirituality for the wellness of oncologists. Those who regularly adhere ...

ASH Honors Member of Congress and Leaders of NIDDK and NCI

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) recognized representative Tom Cole (R–OK); the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Hematology and Training Program Director Terry Bishop, PhD; and National Cancer Institute (NCI) Program Director William Merritt, PhD,...

A Deeper Understanding of the Miracle of the Human Body

Despite millennia of anatomic and biomedical search and discovery, there are parts and functions of the human body that remain a mystery. For years, medical students were taught that there are 78 organs in the human body. In February 2017, that number was revised, with the announcement of a new...

A Caregiver’s Tale of Struggle and Lingering Questions

The role of caregiver in the cancer scenario is complicated by various emotions and circumstances beyond the control of the caregiver and the person with cancer. Caregiver stress occurs when there isn’t the time to do all that’s asked or expected of one. Caregiver stress evolves into burnout when...

The Anesthesia Era: 1845–1875

The text and photograph 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 Dr. Burns and The Burns Archive. To...

Forbes Magazine Names 2020 Class of 30 Under 30, Including Honorees in Science and Health Care

Forbes magazine released the ninth annual “30 Under 30” list Class of 2020 in December 2019, featuring the newest group of 600 young entrepreneurs, scientists, and innovative individuals who were recognized for their extraordinary accomplishments at early ages. A total of 30 honorees were selected...

Seven Haircuts

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the Art of Oncology as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. These articles focus on the experience of suffering from cancer or of caring for people diagnosed with cancer, and they include narratives, topical essays,...

breast cancer

FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Tucatinib in Combination Therapy for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Seattle Genetics recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to tucatinib, in combination with trastuzumab and capecitabine, for the treatment of patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

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...

prostate cancer

Enzalutamide for Metastatic Castration-Sensitive Prostate Cancer

On December 16, 2019, enzalutamide (Xtandi) was approved for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer.1,2 Supporting Efficacy Data The current approval was based on findings from the phase III double-blind ARCHES trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier...

Study Finds African Americans With Cancer Are at Higher Risk for Blood Clots

African Americans appear to be at higher risk for cancer-associated venous thromboembolism than patients with cancer of other races, according to a recent study by Vipul Chitalia, MD, PhD, of Boston University Medical Center, published in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.1 Several studies...

supportive care

Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium Emphasized Caring for the Whole Patient From Diagnosis to End of Life

The 2019 Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium: Advancing Palliative Research Across the Care Continuum, held this past October in San Francisco, marked the fifth anniversary of its inauguration and its last as a stand-alone ASCO thematic meeting. Since its launch in 2014 as the Palliative Care in...

gastrointestinal cancer
palliative care

2020 GI Cancers Symposium: Does Receipt of Palliative Care Increase Survival in Patients With Metastatic Esophageal Cancer Declining Chemotherapy?

Patients with metastatic esophageal cancer who declined chemotherapy but received palliative care had a numerically higher, but not statistically significant, difference in overall survival. These findings will be presented by Manguso et al at the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium (Abstract...

hepatobiliary cancer

2020 GI Cancers Symposium: Addition of Ramucirumab or Merestinib to Gemcitabine/Cisplatin for Biliary Tract Cancer

According to study results to be presented by Valle et al at the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium (Abstract 477), the addition of either ramucirumab or merestinib to the standard first-line therapy for biliary tract cancer—gemcitabine plus cisplatin—did not improve progression-free survival, ...

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