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ELNEC Project Reaches Historic Milestone in End-of-Life Care

The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) project is ending 2020 by surpassing a goal established 20 years ago, reporting more than 1 million nurses and other professionals trained using the ELNEC curriculum. Administered through a partnership between the American Association of Colleges ...

Rogel Team at University of Michigan Receives $11.2M to Leverage the Microbiome Against Graft-vs-Host Disease

A team of researchers from the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center in Ann Arbor received an $11.2 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study how to use the microbiome to limit complications of stem cell transplants for blood cancers and other diseases....

colorectal cancer

U. S. Multisociety Task Force on Colorectal Cancer Offers Management Strategies for Malignant Colorectal Polyps

Early identification and removal of cancerous colorectal polyps are critical to preventing the progression of colorectal cancer and improving survival rates. The U.S. Multisociety Task Force on Colorectal Cancer has released new guidance for endoscopists on how to assess colorectal lesions for...

Global Cancer Institute Extends Programs to Bangladesh for Underserved Patients With Cancer

Global Cancer Institute (GCI), which is focused on improving survival rates for underserved patients with cancer worldwide, recently announced it has extended its programs to Bangladesh. The extension begins with the launch of monthly tumor boards, which help physicians and oncologists in...

Penn Medicine Researchers Receive $5.4 Million Grant to Find Genetic Drivers of Testicular Cancer

The international hunt to find more genetic risk markers for testicular cancer is expanding. A team of researchers led by Katherine L. Nathanson, MD, Deputy Director of the Abramson Cancer Center and the Pearl Basser Professor for BRCA-Related Research in the Perelman School of Medicine at the...

SIO and ASCO Collaborate to Develop Evidence-Based Guidelines for Integrative Therapies for Oncology

The Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) has announced its collaboration with ASCO in the development of a series of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for integrative therapies in oncology care. The guidelines, planned for publication in 2021 and 2022, will provide clinicians and...

Mount Sinai Receives $4 Million Gift to Support Prostate Health and Urology Department

Mount Sinai has received a $4 million donation from Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch to support prostate health and the Milton and Carroll Petrie Department of Urology at Mount Sinai. The prostate program—founded by Ash Tewari, MBBS, MCh, Kyung Hyun Kim, MD Professor and Chair of Urology—will be named the ...

South Florida Cancer Experts Make the Move to Sylvester

Four experienced oncologists who have been treating patients with cancer in South Florida for many years are joining Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Health System and the region’s only cancer center to achieve a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation....

FDA Offers Guidance to Enhance Diversity in Clinical Trials, Encourage Inclusivity in Medical Product Development

Stephen M. Hahn, MD, Commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recently issued a statement regarding an important step that researchers and medical product sponsors can take to make sure clinical trials for medical products are more inclusive of multiple populations. “We have...

health-care policy

Medicaid Expansion May Be Linked to Lower Mortality Rates for Three Major Types of Cancer

In states that have expanded Medicaid availability as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), mortality rates for three major types of cancer are significantly lower than in states that have not expanded Medicaid availability, according to a recent study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer...

The US Oncology Network Welcomes Two More Practices

The US Oncology Network, the largest organization of its kind dedicated to advancing local cancer care and better patient outcomes, continues to expand its reach into local communities by welcoming Alliance Cancer Specialists and Northwest Oncology. The addition of these two independent and...

Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, Joins Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of Miami

Hematologic oncologist Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, was recently appointed the inaugural leader of a new research program, Experimental Therapeutics, at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Health System and the Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Landgren, who was Chief of...

ACS Cancer Action Network Issues New Recommendations to Increase Access to Cancer Biomarker Testing

The American Cancer Society (ACS) Cancer Action Network has released new policy recommendations to increase the uptake of biomarker testing and to advance the use of precision medicine in cancer care. A recent report by the ACS Cancer Action Network and the LUNGevity Foundation found that although...

HCI Researcher Receives Awards for Community Contributions and Neuroendocrine Tumor Research

Heloisa Soares, MD, PhD, gastrointestinal and neuroendocrine tumor medical oncologist and researcher at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah, received two awards from external organizations honoring her contributions to the field of...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Racial Disparities in Treatment of Common Lung Cancer Persist Despite Gains

Lung cancer continues to be the most deadly solid cancer in the world, despite the fact that survival rates have been improving over the past decade. However, Black patients have worse outcomes and shorter lifespans after being diagnosed with lung cancer. A study published in the Journal of...

UT Austin and MD Anderson Announce First Collaborative Projects in Improving Cancer Outcomes

The University of Texas (UT) MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Austin Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, and UT Austin Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) launched a new collaboration in oncologic data and computational science earlier this year. The strategic initiative...

Rutgers Awarded $1.5 Million FEMA Grant to Support Volunteer Firefighter Cancer Research and Prevention

The Rutgers School of Public Health has received a $1.5 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant to support volunteer firefighter cancer research. This grant will enhance the research currently underway in collaboration with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, which is geared...

MD Anderson Partners With Investment Fund to Generate Support for Investigational Therapies

In partnership with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, The Focus Fund GP, LLC, has launched the “Cancer Focus Fund,” to provide investment support to investigational therapies in late preclinical development through to phase I and phase IB/II clinical trials. Along with the fund’s...

Colorectal Cancer Alliance Launches Comprehensive Campaign to Increase Screening Rates During COVID-19 and Beyond

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance, a national nonprofit committed to ending colorectal cancer, has launched a comprehensive marketing campaign. The effort will alert the public to the continued risk of colorectal cancer and the necessity of life-saving screening, which can be conducted safely during...

This Year’s FDA-ASCO Workshop Focused on Collection of Patient-Reported Tolerability Data From Clinical Trials

OCE Insights is an occasional column developed for The ASCO Post by members of the Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this installment, Vishal Bhatnagar, MD, Associate Director for Patient Outcomes, Bellinda King-Kallimanis, PhD, Senior Staff...

New Leadership Elected to American Society of Hematology

The American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders, announced the election of four new members to its Executive Committee for terms beginning after the 2020 ASH Annual Meeting in December. Robert A. Brodsky,...

multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Ajay K. Nooka, MD, MPH

“Both KarMMa and CARTITUDE-1 trials presented during the ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program showed exceptional results, not only in obtaining higher responses in the majority of patients but also in attaining high-quality responses,” said Ajay K. Nooka, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of...

Adam Bass, MD, Named Director, Center for Precision Cancer Medicine at Columbia University

Adam Bass, MD, a physician-scientist in the field of cancer genomics and gastrointestinal cancer, will join the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian as the founding Director of the Center for Precision Cancer Medicine and Director of...

New Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Research Lab Established at Hackensack University Medical Center

New Jersey Brain and Spine has announced that Timothy Vogel, MD, PhD, Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, has cofounded a new laboratory for pediatric neuro-oncology with Derek Hanson, MD, at the Center for Discovery and Innovation at Hackensack University Medical Center. Dr. Vogel also serves as ...

AACR Announces Move to Virtual Meeting for 2021

The Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) brings together key stakeholders in all areas of cancer research to make connections, build collaborations, and explore and expand the frontiers of integrative cancer science and medicine. After careful consideration of...

Hairy Cell Leukemia Foundation and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Join Forces

The Hairy Cell Leukemia Foundation (HCLF) and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) recently announced they are teaming up to support a research grants program of up to $10 million over 5 years. Their goal is to build a more comprehensive understanding of hairy cell leukemia, develop better...

Daniel Sullivan, MD, Honored for Leadership in Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers

The Prevent Cancer Foundation recently honored Daniel C. Sullivan, MD, with the James L. Mulshine, MD Leadership Award for his work in founding and chairing the Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers Alliance (QIBA). The Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers Alliance is committed to attempting to transform...

Nagi S. El Saghir, MD, FACP, FASCO, Receives Lebanon’s National Cedar Medal Award

One of Lebanon’s highest national awards, the National Cedar Medal (Commander Rank), was recently bestowed upon Nagi S. El Saghir, MD, FACP, FASCO, in recognition of his extensive contributions to the fields of medicine, education, and science—and most particularly, for his efforts in the fight...

genomics/genetics

Analysis Seeks to Identify Characteristics of 'Exceptional Responders' to Cancer Therapy

In a comprehensive analysis of patients with cancer who had exceptional responses to therapy, researchers identified molecular changes in the patients’ tumors that may explain some of these outcomes. The results, published by Wheeler et al in Cancer Cell, demonstrated that genomic characterizations ...

lung cancer
immunotherapy

ESMO Asia 2020: Phase III GEMSTONE-302 Trial Finds CS1001 Plus Platinum Chemotherapy Prolongs Progression-Free Survival in NSCLC

The addition of CS1001, an anti–PD-L1 monoclonal antibody, to platinum-based chemotherapy significantly prolonged progression-free survival vs chemotherapy in treatment-naive patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to phase III findings presented by Zhou et al at the...

thyroid cancer

ESMO Asia 2020: Phase II Study Investigates Efficacy of Anlotinib in Radioiodine-Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

Patients with locally advanced or metastatic radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid carcinoma demonstrated a statistically significant progression-free survival benefit when treated with anlotinib, a novel tyrosine kinase inhibitor, vs placebo, as well as higher response rates, according to...

hepatobiliary cancer
immunotherapy

ESMO Asia 2020: First-Line Sintilimab Plus Bevacizumab Biosimilar for Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Sintilimab, an anti–PD-1 antibody, in combination with a bevacizumab biosimilar as first-line therapy significantly improved survival compared to sorafenib in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, according to findings presented by Ren et al at the ESMO Asia Virtual Congress 2020...

hepatobiliary cancer

ESMO Asia 2020: Futibatinib for Patients With Refractory Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma and FGFR2 Fusions/Rearrangements

Clinical benefit was provided by the FGFR1–4 inhibitor futibatinib in patients with refractory intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma harboring FGFR2 gene fusions or other rearrangements, including those enrolled in Asian countries. These findings were presented by Furuse et al at the ESMO Asia Virtual...

solid tumors
immunotherapy

ESMO Asia 2020: Novel PD-L1 Antibody Shows Activity in Advanced MSI-H/dMMR Tumors

Envafolimab (also known as KN035), a novel PD-L1 antibody, demonstrated antitumor activity and was safe in patients with diverse, advanced microsatellite instability–high/mismatch repair–deficient (MSI-H/dMMR) tumors, according to findings presented by Shen et al at the ESMO Asia Virtual Congress...

solid tumors

ESMO Asia 2020: Early Detection and Localization of Cancer Using a Blood-Based Assay

The ELSA-seq assay was able to detect diverse cancer types at early stages with high specificity and was able to provide information regarding the tissue of origin, according to findings presented by Gao et al at the ESMO Asia Virtual Congress 2020 (Abstract LBA3). Qiang Gao, MD, PhD, of the Liver...

breast cancer

ESMO Asia 2020: Baseline Characteristics of Asian Patients Enrolled in the monarchE Trial

A comparison of baseline characteristics in patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative early breast cancer revealed that a higher proportion of patients enrolled from Asia had risk factors for disease recurrence than those enrolled from non-Asian countries, reported Jiang et al at...

ASCO Announces Julie R. Gralow, MD, FACP, FASCO, as New Chief Medical Officer

Julie R. Gralow, MD, FACP, FASCO, Professor of Medical Oncology and Director of Breast Medical Oncology at the University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, has been named the next Chief Medical Officer of ASCO. Dr. Gralow will succeed...

covid-19

FDA Announces Advisory Committee Meeting to Discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has scheduled a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) for December 10, 2020, to discuss the request for emergency use authorization (EUA) of a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, in partnership with BioNTech. “The...

covid-19

Emergency Use Authorization Request to Be Submitted to FDA Today for COVID-19 Vaccine

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE announced they will submit a request today to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization of their mRNA vaccine candidate, BNT162b2 against SARS-CoV-2, which will potentially enable use of the vaccine in high-risk populations in the United...

leukemia
immunotherapy

4-Year Findings From MURANO Trial: Venetoclax Plus Rituximab for Relapsed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Arnon P. Kater, MD, PhD, of Amsterdam University Medical Centers, and colleagues,1 the 4-year progression-free and overall survival rates were significantly higher with venetoclax plus rituximab vs bendamustine plus rituximab in the phase III...

leukemia
immunotherapy

Acalabrutinib Improves Progression-Free Survival vs Idelalisib Plus Rituximab or Bendamustine Plus Rituximab in Relapsed or Refractory CLL

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Paolo Ghia, MD, PhD, of the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy, and colleagues, the phase III ASCEND trial showed significantly prolonged progression-free survival with acalabrutinib monotherapy vs investigator’s choice of either...

multiple myeloma

Carfilzomib vs Bortezomib, Each Combined With Lenalidomide/Dexamethasone, in Newly Diagnosed Patients With Multiple Myeloma

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Shaji K. Kumar, MD, of the Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, and colleagues,1 the phase III ENDURANCE trial has shown no improvement in progression-free survival with carfilzomib plus lenalidomide/dexamethasone (KRd) vs bortezomib plus...

multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Ajay K. Nooka, MD, MPH

“Both KarMMa and CARTITUDE-1 trials presented during the ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program showed exceptional results, not only in obtaining higher responses in the majority of patients but also in attaining high-quality responses,” said Ajay K. Nooka, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of...

multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

Support Builds for Anti-BCMA CAR T-Cell Therapy in Multiple Myeloma

Based on early results in clinical trials, interest in the use of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in multiple myeloma has been high, especially for products targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA). During the ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program, further support for CAR T-cell...

multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Philip McCarthy, MD

Philip McCarthy, MD, Professor of Oncology and Internal Medicine and Director of the Transplant and Cellular Therapy Center at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York, found the results of the DREAMM-6 study to be “exciting and promising.” He commented: “The overall response...

multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

Responses Achieved With Belantamab Mafodotin in Relapsed or Refractory Myeloma

The antibody-drug conjugate belantamab mafodotin yielded responses as a single agent and in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone in the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, according to two reports from the DREAMM team at the ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program.1,2 In the...

leukemia
lymphoma
multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

Novel Therapies and New Indications for Use in Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies

Daratumumab and hyaluronidase-fihj: On May 1, 2020, the FDA approved daratumumab and hyaluronidase-fihj (Darzalex) for adult patients with newly diagnosed or relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Ibrutinib: On April 21, 2020, the FDA expanded the indication of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) to include...

multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

Novel Treatment Approaches on the Horizon in Multiple Myeloma

Clinicians who treat multiple myeloma can anticipate a host of new treatments: melflufen, cereblon E3 ligase modulators (CELMoDs), antibody-drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies, and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies. Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, FASCO, Director of the Jerome Lipper...

leukemia
lymphoma
multiple myeloma
immunotherapy

Novel Therapies and New Indications for Use in Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies

Venetoclax: On October 16, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved venetoclax (Venclexta) in combination with azacitidine, decitabine, or low-dose cytarabine for newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in adults aged 75 or older. See page 32 for more on this approval....

issues in oncology

Does Supplementation With Vitamin D Reduce the Risk of Developing Advanced Cancer?

The Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL), which was completed in 2018, found that vitamin D did not reduce overall incidence of cancer, but it hinted at a decreased risk of cancer deaths. Now, in a secondary analysis of VITAL, a research team focused on the connection between taking vitamin D...

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