“More than 1,500 cancer care professionals are meeting in Orlando, Florida, March 21-23, for the NCCN 2019 Annual Conference, presented by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®)—an alliance of 28 leading cancer centers. The conference offers more than 25 sessions presenting the latest treatment recommendations for lung, breast, prostate, colon, and other cancers, including new and emerging therapies. Other key topics include coordination of care, pain management during an opioid crisis, biosimilars, cancer-associated distress, biomarkers, genetic testing, and appropriate transition to end-of-life care. The keynote session highlights the benefits and challenges of treatment with new and innovative therapies (e.g. CAR T-cell) from the perspective of the patient and the clinicians caring for them.”
“A new meta-analysis led by Dr. Joseph Unger of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has revealed that structural and clinical barriers prevent more than 3 out of 4 cancer patients from participating in clinical trials.
“The study is part of an ongoing effort to understand why patient participation is so low in cancer clinical trials. Unger, a health services researcher and biostatistician who focuses on disparities in cancer research, published his findings today in JNCI, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.”
“In a new study by Yale Cancer Center, scientists suggest that as the number of clinical trials in cancer immunotherapy grows exponentially, some caution should be exercised as we continue to better understand the biology of these new therapeutic targets. The findings are published today in the journal Cell.
“Researchers around the world have been racing to create therapies that unleash the power of our immune systems against cancer. The most successful of these immunotherapies, which target a molecular pathway known as PD-1/PD-L1, have brightened the landscape for many people suffering with lung cancer and other types of tumors.”
“ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) applaud the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) recent revision of its clinical trial protocol template to broaden eligibility criteria for cancer clinical trials. The protocol template was expanded to help increase the opportunity for participation in NCI-funded clinical trials for patients with certain health-care conditions, as well as to provide an opportunity for patients younger than age 18 to participate in adult clinical trials in certain circumstances.”
“Cancer has an insidious talent for evading the natural defenses that should destroy it. What if we could find ways to help the immune system fight back?
“It has begun to happen. The growing field of immunotherapy is profoundly changing cancer treatment and has rescued many people with advanced malignancies that not long ago would have been a death sentence.”
“In recent years, many Americans have embraced vitamin D and fish oil pills, their enthusiasm fueled by a steady trickle of suggestive research studies linking higher levels of vitamin D with lower rates of cancer and other ills, and fish consumption with reduced heart disease.
“Now a large and rigorous government-funded randomized trial — the only such study of omega-3 fish oils ever carried out in healthy adults, and the largest trial ever done of high-dose vitamin D — has found the supplements do not lower cancer rates in healthy adults. Nor do they reduce the rate of major cardiovascular events, a composite of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from cardiovascular disease. The trial is of the kind considered the gold standard in medicine.”
“ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) have submitted recommended language to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for five guidance documents on ways to broaden eligibility criteria for cancer clinical trials. The recommendations are part of an ASCO and Friends collaboration to broaden eligibility for participating in clinical trials by addressing five specific areas: minimum age requirements for trial enrollment, HIV/AIDS status, brain metastases, organ dysfunction, and prior and concurrent malignancies.”
“Midgut neuroendocrine tumors are a rare type of cancer that develops in the small intestine and colon. Roughly 12,000 people are diagnosed with this disease each year. In January, the United Stated Food and Drug Administration approved Lutathera, a first-of-its-kind peptide receptor radionuclide therapy. The injection consists of a somatostatin analog combined with a radioactive isotope that directly targets neuroendocrine tumor cells.
“Dr. Jonathan Strosberg, head of Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at Moffitt ‘Treatment options have been limited for patients with neuroendocrine tumors and toxicities of treatment can often outweigh the benefit. Our studies have shown Lutathera is an effective option to treat tumor progression and also provide patients with a better quality of life,’ said Jonathan R. Strosberg, M.D., head of the Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at Moffitt Cancer Center.”
“Healthcare informatics firm Massive Bio has enrolled its first patient in a global registry it launched as part of a new clinical trial matching system that seeks to connect patients to appropriate biomarker-based clinical trials using information such as clinical history and genomic testing results.
“Previously, Massive Bio offered its clinical trial matching capability as part of a broader oncology clinical decision support system through which it provides treatment guidance and expert recommendations primarily to oncologists working in community practices. By separating the clinical trial matching component, the company hopes to broaden its market reach, said Massive Bio CEO and Cofounder Selin Kurnaz. The company also hopes the new tool will appeal to contract research organizations, molecular diagnostics companies, and patients themselves.”