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COVID-19

Updated Guidance for COVID-19 Vaccination From NCCN Recommends Fifth mRNA Shot (Second Booster Dose) for Immunocompromised People

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has released the latest recommendations from the NCCN Advisory Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis. The updated recommendations point to two booster vaccine doses for people who are immunocompromised (meaning three...

Multiple Myeloma
COVID-19

Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Significantly Increases Immune Responses in Most Patients With Multiple Myeloma

Most immunocompromised people with multiple myeloma benefited from a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines—a promising sign after it was shown that two doses tended to not be sufficient for them. However, some people with multiple myeloma still remained vulnerable and may need a fourth dose or antibody...

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Novel COVID-19 Vaccine May Provide Protection for Patients With B-Cell Deficiencies

CoVac-1, a new vaccine against SARS–CoV-2, induced T-cell immune responses in 93% of patients with B-cell deficiencies, including many patients with leukemia and lymphoma, according to results presented by Tandler et al at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2022...

colorectal cancer
covid-19

Maria Elena Martinez, PhD, MPH, on Colorectal Cancer Screening in Underserved Populations: COVID, Silver Linings, and Challenges Ahead

Maria Elena Martinez, PhD, MPH, of the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center, provides an overview of the key components of the Accelerating Colorectal Cancer Screening and Follow-up through Implementation Science program, challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and opportunities for overcoming these challenges. Although screening and follow-up may reduce the incidence of and mortality from colorectal cancer, these disparities persist in medically underserved populations (Abstract SY30).

Global Cancer Care
COVID-19

Pediatric Patients With Cancer in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries Faced a Significantly Higher Mortality Risk During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the first 9 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, patients with pediatric cancer from lower- and middle-income countries faced a higher risk of all-cause mortality than those in high-income countries, according to data presented by Elhadi et al at the American Association for Cancer Research...

COVID-19

Conundrums of SARS–CoV-2 Infection in Cancer Care

The ASCO Post is pleased to present the Hematology Expert Review, an occasional feature that quizzes readers on issues in hematology. In this installment, Drs. Abutalib, Kröger, and Mikulska focus on the challenges of providing cancer care amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Here they present two...

COVID-19
Hematologic Malignancies

Research Finds COVID-19 Vaccine Protects Most Patients With Cancer, but Risk Remains Higher for Patients With Blood Cancers

Using the nation’s largest COVID-19 data resource, a research team found that the COVID-19 vaccine offered protection for most patients with cancer. However, patients with certain types of cancer—especially those with hematologic malignancies—had a higher and widely varied risk of breakthrough...

Breast Cancer
COVID-19

Study Finds COVID-19 Restrictions Delayed Breast Cancer Care at a Safety-Net Hospital

The 1-year local COVID-19 restrictions negatively impacted breast cancer stage at presentation, time to treatment, and time to surgery at an urban safety-net hospital, increasing the vulnerability of an already high-risk population. These findings were from a recent study presented by Kapp et al at ...

COVID-19

Protecting the Immunocompromised From COVID-19: Practical Information for Physicians

COVID-19 may have caught the world off guard in 2020, but in the 2 years since the pandemic began, several effective monoclonal antibodies and antiviral drugs have emerged to protect the most vulnerable patients. The ASCO Post spoke with Gunjan L. Shah, MD, a hematologic oncologist at Memorial...

COVID-19

Study Finds Black Patients With Cancer Diagnosed With COVID-19 Have Worse Outcomes Than White Patients

Black patients with cancer experienced significantly worse outcomes after a COVID-19 diagnosis than non-Hispanic White patients, according to findings published by Fu et al in JAMA Network Open. Investigators from the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19) studied the electronic health records of...

Lymphoma
COVID-19

Third COVID-19 Vaccine Dose May Improve Immune Response in Patients With Lymphoma

New research has found that the weakened immune systems of patients with lymphoma may improve after they receive a third COVID-19 vaccination. Patients with lymphoma have defects in their immune system that restrict its response to vaccination; despite this, a study published by Lim et al in Nature ...

COVID-19

Antibody Response to SARS–CoV-2 mRNA-1273 Vaccination in Patients With Cancer: Single-Institution Study

In a single-institution study reported in JAMA Oncology, Giuliano et al found that seroconversion after two doses of the SARS–CoV-2 mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine in patients with cancer was lower among patients with hematologic malignancies vs solid tumors and differed according to cancer treatment...

COVID-19

New Research Measures Decrease in Cancer Detection Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Research published in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network examined data from the Ontario Cancer Registry from September 25, 2016, through September 26, 2020, to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the number of new cancer cases detected. The researchers found...

kidney cancer
bladder cancer
prostate cancer
genomics/genetics
immunotherapy
covid-19

Sumanta K. Pal, MD, on Advances in Genitourinary Cancer Treatment: Expert Perspective

Sumanta K. Pal, MD, of City of Hope National Medical Center, discusses some key research developments in kidney cancer, including data on nivolumab and ipilimumab with or without CBM588 in metastatic renal cell carcinoma; intestinal microbiome associated with the development of grade 3 or 4 adverse events in patients with metastatic disease who have been treated with nivolumab plus ipilimumab and probiotic support; the link between TERT promoter mutations and clinical outcome with immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy for advanced urothelial cancer; mutations in the androgen receptor gene in patients with prostate cancer receiving novel androgen deprivation treatments; and findings on waning antibody titers in patients who have received COVID-19 vaccinations (Roundup of Abstracts 371, 561, 374, Posters 38 and 48).

COVID-19

Report on COVID-19 Outlines the Pandemic’s Negative Impact on Patient Care and Clinical Research—and the Lessons Learned

Patients with cancer are not only at an increased risk for developing severe COVID-19, but also face cancer treatment delays and interruptions due to the pandemic, potentially worsening cancer outcomes, according to the AACR Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Research and Patient Care. In...

COVID-19
Survivorship

Risk of COVID-19 Infection and Complications Among Survivors of Childhood, Adolescent, and Young Adult Cancers

In a Canadian population-based study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Gupta et al found that survivors of childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancers were not at a greater risk of COVID-19 infection or severe complications of infection compared with matched controls without cancer....

COVID-19

Older Patients With Cancer and High-Risk Geriatric Profiles at Greater Risk for Death and Other Adverse Sequelae of COVID-19

In a large study of 5,671 older adults with COVID-19 and cancer, performed by the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19), the CCC19 geriatric risk index was associated with poorer outcomes, including clinical complications, hospitalization, and mortality. A higher CCC19 geriatric risk index was...

COVID-19

T-Cell Responses May Help Predict Protection Against SARS–CoV-2 Infection in Individuals With and Without Cancer

T-cell responses directed against the receptor-binding domain of the SARS–CoV-2 spike protein were associated with protection from SARS–CoV-2 infection in vaccinated individuals with or without cancer, with lower T-cell responses observed in patients with blood cancers, according to results from a...

COVID-19

Communication Is Key to Overcoming Resistance to COVID-19 Vaccination

The three most common reasons patients with cancer surveyed at an outpatient infusion therapy clinic gave for not having received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine were: My doctor has not told me to get the vaccine. I do not think it is safe for me because I have cancer. I’m afraid of the side ...

COVID-19

Why Some Patients With Cancer Are Reluctant to Receive COVID-19 Vaccination: Survey Shows Need to Improve Patient-Physician Communication

“My doctor has not told me to get the vaccine.” That was the number one reason patients with cancer gave in a survey at an outpatient infusion therapy clinic for not having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Rivalling that reason were concerns about safety and fear of vaccine side...

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Aggressive Supportive Treatment for COVID-19 May Be Needed in Patients With Hematologic Cancers

New research underscores the need for aggressive support of patients hospitalized with blood cancer and COVID-19, according to data presented at the 2021 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition. Two studies of one of the largest data sets of patients with blood cancer...

COVID-19

Are Patients Undergoing Active Cancer Treatment More Likely to Believe COVID-19 Misinformation?

Patients with cancer undergoing active treatment were more likely to believe misinformation related to COVID-19 than those without a history of cancer, according to a new study published by Guidry et al in Patient Education and Counseling. “These findings help us better understand the threat of...

Lung Cancer
COVID-19

Study Finds Patients With Lung Cancer Demonstrated Psychological Resilience in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Far from being hobbled by fears of COVID-19, patients with lung cancer actually showed less depression and anxiety during the pandemic than their healthy peers, according to results from a new study by Arrato et al published in JNCCN–Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Researchers ...

COVID-19

AMA: CDC Quarantine and Isolation Guidance Is Confusing, Counterproductive

“Nearly 2 years into this pandemic, with Omicron cases surging across the country, the American people should be able to count on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for timely, accurate, clear guidance to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities. Instead, the...

COVID-19

AACR Releases Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Research and Patient Care

On February 9, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) released the AACR Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Research and Patient Care. According to findings contained within the report, patients with cancer are not only at an increased risk for developing severe COVID-19, but...

COVID-19

Adverse Event Rates After Two Doses of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine in Patients With vs Without Cancer

New research published by Shulman et al in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network confirmed that mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 are just as safe for people with cancer as they are for cancer-free individuals. Researchers from a single institution tracked short-term side effects from ...

Lung Cancer
COVID-19

TERAVOLT Study Identifies Seven Factors That Increase Mortality Risk for Patients With Lung Cancer Infected With COVID-19

The risk of death for patients with SARS–CoV-2 infection and thoracic cancer is based on seven major determinants, according to research published by Alessio Cortellini, MD, in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. TERAVOLT Data The researchers analyzed data from the Thoracic Cancers International...

Issues in Oncology
COVID-19

Challenges for Oncologists as They Reach Retirement Age

In 2014, The ASCO Post spoke with Mark J. Clemons, MB BS, BMedSci, MSc, MD, FRCP, FRCPC, of Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, about the retirement challenges faced by many oncologists. With market demand expected to exceed supply of oncologists soon, it is clear retirement is...

COVID-19

FDA Approves Second COVID-19 Vaccine

On January 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a second COVID-19 vaccine, which has been known as the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals aged 18 years and older; the approved vaccine will be marketed as Spikevax. “The FDA’s approval of [the...

COVID-19
Issues in Oncology

Health Groups Make Recommendations to Strengthen the U.S. Drug Supply Chain During the Pandemic and Beyond

ASCO—along with the American Medical Association, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the United States Pharmacopeia—released a series of policy and marketplace recommendations to address the significant challenges in our nation’s drug...

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Aggressive Supportive Treatment for COVID-19 May Be Needed in Patients With Hematologic Cancers

New research underscores the need for aggressive support of patients hospitalized with blood cancer and COVID-19, according to data presented at the 2021 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition. Two studies of one of the largest data sets of patients with blood cancer...

COVID-19

Immunogenicity of COVID-19 BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccine Booster in Patients With Cancer Receiving Active Treatment

In an Israeli single-institution study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Ligumsky et al found that a booster dose of the SARS–CoV-2 Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine given in August or September 2021 was immunogenic in patients receiving active cancer treatment. Antibody levels prior to and...

COVID-19

FDA Shortens Interval for Booster Dose of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to 5 Months

On January 7, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to shorten the time between the completion of a primary series of the vaccine and a booster dose to at least 5 months for individuals aged 18 years and older....

COVID-19

NCCN Updates Recommendations on COVID-19 Vaccination and Preexposure Prophylaxis

Today, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) published significant updates to the expert consensus recommendations on vaccination and preexposure prophylaxis of COVID-19 for people with cancer. The NCCN Advisory Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination and Preexposure Prophylaxis meets...

COVID-19

Study Finds Fully Vaccinated Patients With Cancer and Breakthrough COVID-19 Infection Remain at High Risk for Severe Outcomes

A study evaluating the clinical characteristics and outcomes of fully vaccinated patients with cancer who had breakthrough COVID-19 infections indicated they remained at high risk for hospitalization and death. The report, published by Schmidt et al in Annals of Oncology, showed that fully...

multiple myeloma
covid-19

Nikhil C. Munshi, MD, PhD, on COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness in Patients With Multiple Myeloma

Nikhil C. Munshi, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the findings from a large nationwide Veterans Affairs study, which showed that, for patients with multiple myeloma, the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine is reduced, likely due to patients’ immunosuppression. Dr. Munshi describes what next steps should be taken (Abstract 400).

Solid Tumors
Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Study Finds Third COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Effectively Boosts Immunity for Patients With Solid Tumors

Nearly 100% of patients with solid tumors have antibodies effective against the SARS–CoV-2 delta variant after a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to results published as a correspondence by Fendler et al in Cancer Cell. The new findings also highlight a proportion of patients with blood...

COVID-19

FDA Takes Multiple Actions to Expand Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

On January 3, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to expand the use of a single booster dose to include use in individuals aged 12 to 15 years; shorten the time between the completion of primary...

COVID-19

Positive Practice Changes After the COVID-19 Pandemic: From the Advanced Practice Provider Perspective

The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed some aspects of health care forever. At the 2021 JADPRO Live Virtual event, a panel discussion focused on how several cancer centers faced challenges, and what changes the participants view as positive.1 JADPRO Live is an annual educational conference for...

COVID-19

European OnCovid Registry Analysis of Time-Dependent COVID-19 Mortality in Patients With Cancer

As reported in JAMA Oncology by researchers from the OnCovid Study Group, an updated analysis of the European OnCovid registry indicated that mortality due to COVID-19 infection has decreased over time for patients with cancer during the pandemic. Study Details The study included real-world data on ...

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

Antibody Response to COVID-19 Vaccination in Patients With Myeloid and Lymphoid Neoplasms

According to a German study by Rotterdam et al presented at the 2021 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition (Abstract 218), about 15% of people with blood cancers and other blood disorders had no vaccination-related antibodies after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine....

Hematologic Malignancies
COVID-19

ASH RC COVID-19 Registry for Hematology: Risk Factors for Hospitalization and Death Among Patients With Hematologic Malignancies Infected With COVID-19

Patients with blood cancers, particularly those with more advanced disease, are at increased risk for serious COVID-19 outcomes, including an elevated chance of severe illness or death from infection, according to an analysis of more than 1,000 patients in the ASH Research Collaborative (RC)...

Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Leukemia
COVID-19

Antibody Response to Second Dose of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine in Patients With AML and MDS

In one of the largest studies to date of the antibody response to vaccination against COVID-19 in people who had been treated for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), patients responded well to two doses of the Moderna mRNA vaccine and saw a pronounced increase in levels ...

COVID-19

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements for Medicare, Medicaid Facilities, and Employers of 100 or More Staff Released

On November 4, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule requiring COVID-19 vaccination of eligible staff at health-care facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)...

Issues in Oncology
COVID-19

Telemedicine Use Among U.S. Patients With Newly Diagnosed Cancer: Impact of Socioeconomic Status

In a study reported in a research letter in JAMA Oncology, Katz et al found that higher socioeconomic status was associated with greater use of telemedicine among patients with newly diagnosed cancers in the United States between January and August 2020. As stated by the investigators, “The...

COVID-19

COVID-19 Infection After SARS–CoV-2 Messenger RNA Vaccination in Patients With Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Wu et al found that vaccination with SARS–CoV-2 messenger RNA vaccines reduced the incidence of COVID-19 infection vs no vaccination in Veterans Affairs (VA) patients with cancer. Vaccine effectiveness varied according to time between last systemic therapy and...

Multiple Myeloma
COVID-19

Fully Vaccinated Patients With Multiple Myeloma: Rates of SARS–CoV-2 Breakthrough Infection and Hospitalization

In a U.S. cohort study reported in JAMA Network Open, Wang et al found that fully vaccinated patients with multiple myeloma were at increased risk of breakthrough SARS–CoV-2 infection, and that those with breakthrough infection were more likely to be hospitalized vs fully vaccinated persons without ...

Multiple Myeloma
COVID-19

COVID-19 Vaccination: Patients With Multiple Myeloma May Lack T-Cell Response

Patients with multiple myeloma lacking an antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination may also fail to mount a T-cell response, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have reported. This scenario seemed to be most common among patients actively treated with anti-CD38 and...

Solid Tumors
COVID-19

Response to Third Dose of SARS–CoV-2 BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccine in Patients With Solid Tumors Undergoing Active Treatment

In a single-institution Israeli study reported in a research letter in JAMA Oncology, Rottenberg et al found that a booster dose of the SARS–CoV-2 BNT162b2 mRNA resulted in increased spike protein antibody titers in patients with solid tumors undergoing active treatment. Study Details The study...

immunotherapy
covid-19

Jeffrey Weber, MD, PhD, on Coronavirus, Cancer, and Immunotherapy: Navigating Clinical Trials and Treatment

Jeffrey Weber, MD, PhD, of NYU Langone Medical Center, offers his perspective on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on oncology care and cancer clinical trials, as clinicians strive to provide optimal treatment to patients while reducing their risk of contracting the coronavirus. The steep decline in trial enrollment has recovered, with many of the changes in how research was conducted as a result of the pandemic still in place and improving the process going forward.

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