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leukemia
immunotherapy

Combination Ficlatuzumab and Cytarabine Show Clinical Activity in Relapsed/Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Despite advances in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), only 29.5% of patients with the cancer are alive 5 years after diagnosis. Even with aggressive therapy, just 30% of patients achieve a complete remission with a median survival of 7.5 months, making it imperative to develop novel...

breast cancer
covid-19

Initial Pandemic-Related Disruptions in Breast Cancer Care May Result in Increased Mortality Over the Next Decade

During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, elective medical procedures, including screenings for breast cancer, were curtailed to prioritize urgent medical needs and reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus in health-care settings. A study showed that, as of May 2020, preventive...

multiple myeloma

Defining Cure in Multiple Myeloma

The past 2 decades have seen so many advances in the treatment of multiple myeloma; in addition, median patient survival has grown from just 3 years in the late 1990s to between 8 and 10 years today,1 with some patients exceeding that prognosis by many years. Although still considered a stubbornly...

leukemia

Being Both a Cancer Provider and a Cancer Survivor Is a Rare Privilege

Perhaps my 35-year career as a surgical oncologist and researcher specializing in soft-tissue sarcomas should have prepared me to recognize the signs of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) when they first appeared a few days before Christmas in 2016, but it did not. In fact, my symptoms were so...

global cancer care

Predicting Global Cancer Trends in 2021

Although we are just halfway through 2021, the outlook for improvements in global cancer trends looks grim. According to new estimates by the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s Global Cancer Observatory, the global cancer burden rose to 19.3 million cases and 10 million deaths in 2020...

prostate cancer

Reducing Prostate Cancer Disparity by Bringing Care to Underserved Populations

The dire cancer incidence and mortality statistics for Black patients compared with White patients are well known. Collectively, Black individuals have the highest mortality rate and shortest survival of any racial or ethnic group in the United States for most cancers. Black men also have the...

issues in oncology

Despite Gains in Breast Cancer Survival, Black Women Continue to Experience Significant Mortality Disparities

Although breast cancer continues to be the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, and remains the second-leading cause of cancer death, over the past several decades, the disease has affected Black and White women differently. According to the findings of a large retrospective...

issues in oncology

Survey Finds COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Many Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors

Despite recommendations from ASCO and other national organizations that cancer survivors, as well as patients on active treatment, receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they have no contraindications, a survey of adolescent and young adult cancer survivors finds many have vaccine hesitancy. According to...

supportive care

How to Talk With Teens and Young Adults About Their End-of-Life Goals

Although death rates for adolescent and young adults (AYAs) with cancer have been dropping 0.8% a year from 2009 to 2018, cancer remains a leading disease-related cause of death among this patient population. This year, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that 88,260 AYAs, defined by the...

breast cancer

Breast Cancer Has Taught Me Many Life Lessons

In 2016, 2 years before I was diagnosed with stage III estrogen and progesterone receptor–positive, HER2-negative, invasive ductal carcinoma in situ in my left breast, I had felt a mass in my right breast that turned out to be a benign fibroid. When I felt a mass in my left breast one morning while ...

geriatric oncology

Do Community Oncologists Have Access to Geriatric Specialty Care for Older Patients?

As our population rapidly ages, the burden of cancer incidence increases accordingly, creating an urgent need for greater and more incisive research on the diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship issues for older adults with cancer. Given the numerous challenges faced by today’s busy oncologists, a...

global cancer care
covid-19

Harnessing a Worldwide Effort to Combat COVID-19 and Cancer

This past October, in a virtually held ceremony of the General Assembly of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Anil K. D’Cruz, MBBS, MS, DNB, FRCS (Hon), Director of Oncology at Apollo Hospitals in Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi, India, began his 2-year tenure as President of the global...

colorectal cancer
genomics/genetics

How RAS Mutations in Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer May Impact Patient Survival

Although both incidence and mortality rates in colorectal cancer have been declining among people older than 65 by 3.3% and 3% annually, respectively, among individuals younger than age 50, the incidence rate has risen about 2% annually, and death rates have increased by 1.3% annually.1 Colorectal...

colorectal cancer

Survival of Patients With Colon Cancer Enrolled in the U.S. Military Health System

A study by Lin et al comparing patients with colon cancer enrolled in the U.S. Military Health System, which provides universal health-care to its beneficiaries, with those in the general population has found that patients in the Military Health System had an 18% lower risk of death compared with...

colorectal cancer
genomics/genetics

Alkylating Signature in Colorectal Cancer May Be Linked to High Red Meat Intake

The association between the consumption of red and processed meats and the development of colorectal cancer, as well as pancreatic and prostate cancers, has been known since 2015, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the consumption of red meat as probably...

colorectal cancer

Data Analysis on Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer Sheds Light on the Rising Rates in Young Adults

In May 2021, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced that it was updating its recommendation for when individuals at average risk of colorectal cancer should begin screening. Echoing the recommendation from the American Cancer Society in 2018, the USPSTF now recommends that those ...

head and neck cancer

I Was Given a ‘Death Sentence’ at Just 17

A minor car accident I had with my mother when I was 17 probably saved my life. We were taken to the hospital for a routine checkup, and a subsequent chest x-ray found multiple nodules on my lungs. I underwent dozens of other imaging and blood tests, and finally, my pediatrician suggested my...

issues in oncology

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden Assures the NCI of the Administration’s Commitment to Advancing Cancer Research

In a virtual visit to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on February 3, 2021, just 2 weeks after her husband, Joe Biden, was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, First Lady Jill Biden, EdD, recounted that, in her many years of travel across the United States, she learned that...

palliative care

Study Finds Need to Improve Knowledge About Palliative Care Among U.S. Adults

The use of palliative care in hospitals in the United States has steadily risen over the past decade, with almost universal access to services in large hospitals and academic medical centers. Despite this increased access and recommendations from ASCO that all patients with advanced cancer receive...

gastroesophageal cancer
immunotherapy

Nivolumab Plus Chemotherapy and Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab as First-Line Treatment for Patients With Advanced Esophageal Cancer

The first results from the phase III CheckMate 648 study represent significant progress in the treatment of patients with advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. The trial evaluated first-line treatment with nivolumab plus chemotherapy or nivolumab plus ipilimumab in patients with advanced...

gynecologic cancers

OUTBACK Trial: No Survival Benefit With Adjuvant Chemotherapy After Standard Chemoradiation for Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide, and the leading cause of cancer-related death among women in Eastern, Western, Middle, and Southern Africa. Globally, in 2018, approximately 570,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 311,000 women died. In the United...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Toripalimab Plus Gemcitabine/Cisplatin Extends Progression-Free Survival in Recurrent or Metastatic Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma: JUPITER-02

According to the results from the phase III JUPITER-02 study, the addition of toripalimab, a humanized IgG4K anti–PD-1 monoclonal antibody, to standard gemcitabine/cisplatin chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma provided superior progression-free...

leukemia
prostate cancer

Cancer Has Taught Me to Live With Purpose

I have had two life-threatening cancers over the past 3 decades and can say without equivocation that there is never a good time to get cancer. My first cancer diagnosis happened in 1992, just weeks after I had accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer of Hughes Electronics. The job meant a...

issues in oncology
palliative care

Balancing a Reverence for Life With a Belief That Patients Have a Right to a Dignified Death

The U.S. right-to-die movement took root in the mid-1970s, when Derek Humphry helped his wife, who was dying of breast cancer, take her own life. Five years later, Mr. Humphry founded the Hemlock Society, the first right-to-die organization in the United States,1 and set off a firestorm of...

global cancer care
covid-19
survivorship
issues in oncology

Celebrating 50 Years of Cancer Progress: The International View

Although the National Cancer Act of 1971 has resulted in tremendous advances in cancer research, which have led to sharp declines in cancer mortality in the United States—from 1991 to 2018, there has been a 31% decrease in overall cancer death rates—and more than 17 million cancer survivors,1 much...

palliative care

Machine Learning–Based Algorithm May Predict Short-Term Mortality in Patients With Cancer and Prompt Serious Illness Conversations

Although most patients with terminal cancer, 87%, have end-of-life conversations with clinicians about their goals and preferences for care, on average, these discussions happen just 1 month before death and most often occur in acute care settings with clinicians who are not their treating...

global cancer care
covid-19

ASCO’s President-Elect Focuses on Advancing Equitable Cancer Care Through Innovation

Internationally renowned for his pioneering research in combining high-dose radiation therapy and chemotherapy in the treatment of locally advanced head and neck cancer to improve patient survival, ASCO’s President-Elect Everett E. Vokes, MD, FASCO, is dedicating his tenure as President to...

colorectal cancer

Study Investigates Nongenetic Factors Linked to Development of Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer

Early-onset colorectal cancer incidence rates in the United States have nearly doubled between 1992 and 2013—up from 8.6 to 13.1 per 100,000 individuals—with most of that increase due to early-onset cancers of the rectum. A new study published by Archambault et al in JNCI Cancer Spectrum focused on ...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

Does Adjuvant Atezolizumab Extend Disease-Free Survival in Patients With Resected Early-Stage NSCLC?

Patients with resected early-stage non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received the PD-L1 inhibitor atezolizumab following cisplatin-based chemotherapy had a 34% reduction in the risk of disease recurrence compared with best supportive care, according to the results from the phase III IMpower010 ...

issues in oncology
health-care policy
legislation

Study Finds Income Eligibility Limits for Medicaid May Be Associated With Worse Long-Term Survival Among Newly Diagnosed Patients With Cancer

A study investigating the association between state Medicaid income eligibility limits and long-term survival among newly diagnosed patients with cancer has found that patients living in states with lower Medicaid income eligibility limits had worse long-term survival compared with patients living...

issues in oncology
gynecologic cancers
head and neck cancer
colorectal cancer

With the Exception of Cervical Cancer, HPV-Related Cancers Are on the Rise, Especially in Older Adults

Although the incidence of cervical cancer has decreased by 1.03% a year over the last 16 years—likely due to screening or human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination—other HPV-related cancers are increasing in both men and women, according to a study by Liao et al presented at a presscast in advance of...

covid-19

What You Need to Know About Cancer and the Coronavirus

As a three-time breast cancer survivor, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States this past January, I knew I had to do everything I could to avoid getting the virus. A host of lingering side effects from my surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments have left me with cardiovascular...

solid tumors
bladder cancer
global cancer care

Oncologists Launch Global Society to Improve Clinical Research, Standardize Treatment, and Improve Patient Education About Rare Genitourinary Tumors

Late this past year, a group of oncologists led by Philippe E. Spiess, MD, MS, FRCS(C), FACS, Assistant Chief of Surgical Services and Senior Member in the Department of Genitourinary Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center and Professor in the Department of Urology at the University of South Florida;...

breast cancer

Grateful to Be Alive

Everything about my breast cancer diagnosis, from my presentation to diagnosis, was strange. In the spring of 2006, I was performing my monthly breast self-exam when I felt a hard lump in the upper left quadrant of my left breast. Having lost a good friend to breast cancer 4 years earlier, I was...

colorectal cancer

National Survey Finds Average-Risk Individuals Prefer Stool-Based Tests Over Colonoscopy for Colorectal Cancer Screening

A national survey conducted by Zhu et al to identify patient preferences among colorectal cancer screening modalities to improve population adherence to colorectal cancer screening has found, when presented with a choice, most individuals with an average risk of colorectal cancer prefer stool-based ...

solid tumors

I’m Living the Life I Was Destined to Have

At 33, I’m not living the life I had imagined for myself. If cancer hadn’t interrupted my plans, I would be serving in the United States Army Special Forces by now, a profession that was inspired by my father’s career as a military officer and helicopter pilot and one that I had dreamed about since ...

genomics/genetics
issues in oncology

How Exceptional Responders Are Providing Clues to Personalizing Cancer Treatment

The findings from a recent study of patients with cancer who had an exceptional response to chemotherapy are yielding new clues on the molecular changes in patients’ tumors. These findings may explain the genetic alterations contributing to these patients’ dramatic and long-lasting responses to...

issues in oncology

Despite Access to Clinical Trials, Patients From Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Areas Have Worse Cancer Outcomes

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Joseph A. Unger, PhD, and colleagues, a large retrospective observational study investigating the association between socioeconomic deprivation and outcomes among patients with cancer enrolled in clinical trials has found that compared to patients...

breast cancer

I Want to Live Long and I Want to Live Well

I’m a person who doesn’t like uncertainty. I’m also a worrier. So, when my hand kept going to the same spot on the upper part of my left breast near my chest wall, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t quite right, which persisted even after a routine mammography failed to find any...

issues in oncology

Overcoming Gender Disparity in Evaluating Sexual Health Following a Cancer Diagnosis

The results from a recent study showcase the disturbing prevalence of sexual dysfunction as a treatment side effect of cancer and gender disparity in how the problem is addressed by physicians.1 The study, conducted by James Taylor, MD, MPH, Chief Resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at ...

survivorship

Study Finds Cancer Survivors With Poor Ambulatory Function May Be at an Increased Risk of Death

A study by Salerno et al published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention investigating the association of a cancer diagnosis and poor ambulatory function of survivors and subsequent mortality has found that cancer survivors with poor ambulatory function had a two to three times...

Machine Learning Algorithm Is Successful in Predicting Malignancy in Patients With Multiple Pulmonary Nodules

Although guidelines exist for the use of several clinical prediction models based on logistic regression to help estimate the risk of lung cancer before treatment decision-making, they almost all focus on solitary pulmonary nodules, and have not shown accuracy in predicting malignancy in multiple...

covid-19

ASCO’s Road to Recovery Report Outlines Lessons Learned From the COVID-19 Pandemic to Improve Oncology Care

In 2020, ASCO established the Steering Group on Cancer Care Delivery and Research in a Post-Pandemic Environment to evaluate the changes made in oncology care delivery, clinical research, and regulatory oversight in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to make recommendations on how to...

breast cancer
immunotherapy

I Let Science, Not Emotion, Dictate My Treatment

I had my first experience with cancer when I was just 3 or 4 years old and complained to my mother that my “tummy hurt.” I was diagnosed with Wilms tumor, the same cancer my 18-month-old brother died of before I was born. I remember being in the hospital for weeks at a time and being known by...

Conversations With the Pioneers of Oncology: Emil J Freireich, MD, FASCO

To hear an interview with Dr. Freireich by Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FASCO, of the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center and Past President of ASCO, visit the Journal of Clinical Oncology’s podcast, Cancer Stories, wherever you get your podcasts. In this episode, the Cancer Stories podcast reflects ...

Oncology Community Mourns the Death of Chemotherapy Pioneer Emil J Freireich, MD, FASCO

Legendary oncologist Emil J Freireich, MD, FASCO, died from COVID-19 on February 1, 2021, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he had worked for 50 years. He was 93. During a career that spanned more than 6 decades, Dr. Freireich was relentless in pursuing cures...

prostate cancer

I Credit Cancer Research With Saving My Life

In December 2015, I thought I was through with cancer. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 after a routine blood test showed that my prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level was high. I underwent prostatectomy, and although it was clear the cancer had breached the capsule of the prostate, for ...

Looking Back on the 40-Year Career of Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FSCT, FASCO

The medical career of Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FSCT, FASCO, spans more than 4 decades and includes a roster of nearly unprecedented accomplishments in patient care, research, and mentoring. He has held leadership positions in academia, first at the University of Chicago, where he spent the...

lymphoma
covid-19
immunotherapy

Patients With Lymphoma Receiving B-Cell–Depleting Therapies May Be at Greater Risk for Persistent COVID-19 Infection

B-cell–depleting immunotherapy may cause B-cell aplasia and impair the body’s immune response. A retrospective, multicentric French study of patients with lymphoma and persistent COVID-19 infection has found that those treated with B-cell–depleting therapies within the previous 12 months had nearly ...

covid-19

Patients on Active Chemotherapy May Not Be at Increased Risk for COVID-19 Infection

Due to concerns that patients with cancer may be at higher risk for contracting the coronavirus—and may have more severe complications if infected—during the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and clinical practices have changed protocols to routine cancer care to reduce patients’ exposure to the virus....

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