NCCN 2019 Annual Conference Includes Focus on Patient Experience with Innovative Therapies, Plus Updates on Biomarkers, Biosimilars, and the Latest Research on Cancer Care

Excerpt:

“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.”

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Structural and Clinical Barriers Keep 3 of 4 Cancer Patients from Participating in Trials

Excerpt:

“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.”

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Targeted Radiation Therapy Yields High Response Rates in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“The targeted radiation therapy Lutetium-177 PSMA-617 produced high response rates among men with prostate-specific membrane antigen-positive metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer, according to results of a single-arm, phase 2 trial scheduled for presentation at Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

“The treatment also appeared well-tolerated among these men, whose disease had progressed after multiple standard therapies.”

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Yale Cancer Center Scientists Advise Caution in Immunotherapy Research

Excerpt:

“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.”

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ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research Applaud NCI’s Expansion of Clinical Trial Eligibility Criteria

Excerpt:

“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.”

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How Can We Unleash the Immune System?

Excerpt:

“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.”

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Vitamin D and Fish Oils Are Ineffective for Preventing Cancer and Heart Disease

Excerpt:

“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.”

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Prostatectomy Plus Radiotherapy May Improve Survival in Advanced Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Patients who underwent primary radical prostatectomy followed by radiotherapy for locally or regionally advanced prostate cancer had better survival outcomes than patients treated with radiotherapy plus androgen deprivation therapy, according to findings from a population-based, retrospective study published in Cancer.

” ‘There is a lot of debate about whether to remove the whole prostate and follow-up with radiation therapy or, as a second option, spare the prostate and treat it using radiation therapy plus hormone-blocking therapy,’ Grace Lu-Yao, PhD, associate director of population science at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health, said in a press release. ‘Our study suggests that removing the prostate followed by adjuvant radiotherapy is associated with greater OS in men with prostate cancer.’ ”

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The Link Between Apalutamide and QOL in Non-Metastatic CRPC

Excerpt:

“Adding apalutamide to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) does not appear to harm health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in men with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), according to new research published in Lancet Oncology.

“Previous research has showed that men in this patient population who received apalutamide had longer metastasis-free survival and a longer time to symptomatic progression compared with those who received placebo. This new study found that adding apalutamide still preserves HRQOL. Specifically, the group mean patient-reported outcome scores over time demonstrated HRQOL was maintained from baseline (initiation of apalutamide), and it was similar over time among men receiving apalutamide versus placebo.”

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