Nivolumab Shows Durable Benefit for Advanced Melanoma

Excerpt:

“Patients with surgically resected stage III or stage IV melanoma at high risk for recurrence maintained longer RFS after adjuvant treatment with nivolumab then standard ipilimumab, according to long-term efficacy results from the CheckMate 238 clinical trial presented at ASCO Annual Meeting.

“‘These more mature data continue to demonstrate durable clinical benefit with nivolumab and further support its use for resected stage III or IV melanoma,’ Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, deputy director of Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health, said during his presentation.”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.


Pembrolizumab Reduced the Risk for Recurrence of Stage 3 Melanoma

Excerpt:

“A one-year course of 18 doses of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) significantly reduced the risk of recurrence for patients with stage 3 melanoma who were at high risk of recurrence after surgery, according to data from the KEYNOTE-054/EORTC 1325-MG phase III clinical trial, presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2018, April 14–18.

“This study is being published simultaneously in The New England Journal of Medicine.”

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FAQs After Diagnosis: Early Stage Hormone-Positive Breast Cancer


This post is written by ASK Cancer Commons Scientist and Product Team Member Amanda Nottke, PhD. Dr. Nottke regularly provides guidance to patients through our ASK Cancer Commons service.

After a diagnosis of early stage, hormone-positive breast cancer, you may find yourself facing several daunting decisions, such as choosing between the extensive surgery of mastectomy versus a more minor lumpectomy procedure paired with radiation (with all its challenging side effects). And once surgery is complete, what next? Hormone therapy is clearly indicated for many women, but which drug, and how long to take it? And what about chemo—how to know if the tough side effects are worth the possible reduction in risk of recurrence?

Fortunately, there are a wealth of quality datasets available to inform these decisions. Below are some of the questions we get most frequently from patients using our ASK Cancer Commons service, answered according to the latest thinking from scientific literature and our expert physician network. If you are facing your own cancer treatment decisions and would like free one-one-one expert support, please submit your case here.

1. If my doctor has said either mastectomy or lumpectomy plus radiation are appropriate for me, how do I choose?

Many studies have looked at this, and overall the outcomes for mastectomy versus lumpectomy plus radiation are extremely similar (both are effective treatments, so you can instead weigh the side effects of radiation versus the more intensive surgery of the mastectomy). This webpage provides a helpful summary of the pros and cons of mastectomy compared to lumpectomy. Continue reading…


Traditional vs Targeted Chemotherapy in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Traditional neoadjuvant chemotherapy along with dual HER2-targeted blockade yielded significantly better response rates than a novel approach using HER2-targeted chemotherapy plus HER2-targeted blockade, according to a randomized phase III trial.

” ‘Despite the improvements in outcomes associated with HER2-directed therapy, approximately a quarter of patients who receive treatment for their early breast cancer remain at risk of relapse after 8–10 years, and around 15% will die within a decade,’ wrote study authors led by Sara A. Hurvitz, MD, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. A need for new strategies in this setting led the investigators to test a neoadjuvant regimen of the antibody–drug conjugate trastuzumab emtansine along with pertuzumab in comparison with traditional systemic chemotherapy along with trastuzumab plus pertuzumab.”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.


Breast Cancer May Return Even 20 Years Later, Study Finds

Excerpt:

“Breast cancer can ‘smolder’ and return even 20 years later unless patients keep taking drugs to suppress it, researchers reported Wednesday.

“They were looking for evidence that at least some breast cancer survivors might be able to skip the pills that reduce the risk of the breast tumors coming back, but found that even women with ‘low-risk’ cancers had a small rate of recurrence 15 and 20 years later.”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.


TGEN-UCSF Study Uses Genomics to Make Treatment Recommendations for Recurrent Glioblastoma Patients

Excerpt:

“Several patients with recurring glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer, survived for more than a year in a clinical trial believed to be the first to use comprehensive DNA and RNA sequencing of a patient’s tumor to inform treatment for these patients in real-time. The study was led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), UC San Francisco (UCSF) and the Ivy Foundation Early Phase Clinical Trials Consortium.”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.


Gene Therapy Shows Early Efficacy Against Recurrent Brain Cancer

Excerpt:

“More than a quarter of patients with recurrent high-grade glioma, a form of brain cancer, treated with the retroviral vector Toca 511 and the prodrug of the chemotherapy 5-fluorouracil, Toca FC, were alive more than three years after treatment, according to data from a subset of patients in a phase I clinical trial presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, held Oct. 26-30.”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.


Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Stress Drugs Taken Before Surgery May Reduce Metastatic Recurrence

Excerpt:

“Most cancer-related deaths are the result of post-surgical metastatic recurrence. In metastasis, cells of primary tumors travel to other parts of the body, where they often proliferate into inoperable, ultimately fatal growths.

“A new Tel Aviv University study finds that a specific drug regimen administered prior to and after surgery significantly reduces the risk of post-surgical cancer recurrence. These medications, a combination of a beta blocker (which relieves stress and high blood pressure) and an anti-inflammatory, may also improve the long-term survival rates of patients. The treatment is safe, inexpensive—two medications similar in price to aspirin—and easily administered to patients without contraindications.”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.


FDA Approves New Treatment to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer Returning

Excerpt:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Nerlynx (neratinib) for the extended adjuvant treatment of early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer. For patients with this type of cancer, Nerlynx is the first extended adjuvant therapy, a form of therapy that is taken after an initial treatment to further lower the risk of the cancer coming back. Nerlynx is indicated for adult patients who have been previously treated with a regimen that includes the drug trastuzumab.”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.