Cancer Commons Participates in Lively Discussion of Precision Medicine at PMWC 2017

Update 3-1-17: A video of this event has now been released. Watch it below.

This year’s Precision Medicine World Conference in Mountain View, California, was well-attended by many members of Cancer Commons, who shared in the scientific discoveries that will lead the way to more personalized, accurate, and effective cancer care. Precision medicine is a rapidly evolving field with many breakthroughs in science, technology, and diagnosis that is transforming the way cancer care is practiced at the bedside.

A special session was co-chaired by Cancer Commons board member Larry Marton and Lincoln Nadauld, director of the personalized oncology program at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah. The session also featured Cancer Commons medical director Kevin Knopf, Mountain View oncologist Edmund Tai, and Tim Collins, who is corporate vice president of operations and research at Scripps Health in San Diego. Continue reading…

Making Immunotherapy Available in the Community

“With immunotherapy fast becoming part of oncology practice, one group is taking measures to ensure that community cancer care is not left behind.

“Later this month the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) will launch the Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology (ICLIO), an initiative directed to preparing community cancer teams and centers to deal with the clinical as well as coverage and reimbursement aspects of the emerging therapy. Initial funding was provided through a contribution from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

“ICLIO is chaired by Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, who spoke with MedPage Today about the program’s origins and goals.

“Schwartzberg, a professor of medicine who heads the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and who serves as medical director of the West Clinic in Memphis, said that ICLIO grew out of ACCC members’ concern about how to integrate immunotherapy into their practices, especially with the ‘remarkable outpouring of clinical data and drug approvals in immunotherapy,’ which Schwartzberg called an ‘almost new discipline of oncology.’ “

Race, Hospital, Insurance Status Affect Lung Cancer Treatment

“African Americans, Hispanics and those who receive care at a community hospital are all significantly less likely than other patients to receive treatment for early stage non-small cell lung cancer, according to a report in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

“ ‘We found significant disparities for treatment of a curable cancer based on race, insurance status and whether or not treatment was at an academic or community hospital,’ said Dr. Matthew Koshy, a physician in the department of radiation oncology at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and lead author of the study. ‘Reducing these disparities could lead to significant improvements in survival for many people with inoperable early stage lung cancer.’

“The study is the largest to date looking at treatment received by patients with stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer, an early stage of lung cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes and is characterized by a small nodules in the lung tissue. Treatment during this early stage offers the best chance for long-term survival.

“Surgery to remove cancerous nodules in the lungs is the standard treatment for patients with stage 1 NSCLC. But many patients cannot undergo surgery, due to complicating medical conditions such as poor lung function or heart disease.

“For those patients, radiation therapy has been the standard treatment, but outcomes are much poorer than for surgical treatment. Many patients deemed inoperable are only monitored, because the benefits of conventional radiation are regarded as minimal.”