Total Neoadjuvant Therapy, A Standard of Care for High-Risk Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer

For patients with locally advanced rectal cancer, the current treatment involves chemoradiation (chemoRT) followed by surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy with fluorouracil and oxaliplatin. While this treatment strategy results in excellent local control, many patients eventually develop distant recurrence. Total neoadjuvant therapy (TNT), in which induction chemotherapy prior to chemoRT is given in place of postoperative […]

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Long-Term Clinical Benefit With Ponatinib in Heavily Pretreated Chronic Phase Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Ponatinib is a potent third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) with activity against both native and mutant BCR-ABL kinases, including T315l, which is resistant to other TKIs. Based on results from the pivotal phase II PACE trial (N = 449) ponatinib was approved in 2012 for treatment of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia […]

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Should TACE and External Beam Radiotherapy Become a New Standard for Locally Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma With Macroscopic Vascular Invasion?

For patients with locally advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with macroscopic vascular invasion, sorafenib is the only evidence-based treatment option. However, responses to sorafenib are typically poor in this population, and sorafenib offers only a 47-day improvement in survival compared to placebo. External beam radiotherapy (RT) is a potentially attractive treatment option for patients with locally […]

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Weekly Docetaxel, Platinum, and Cetuximab Tolerable and Effective in Recurrent Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer

The EXTREME regimen, which includes 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), platinum-based chemotherapy, and cetuximab, is a standard of care for patients with recurrent, metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Unfortunately, this regimen is often associated with high-grade toxicity that may lead to treatment discontinuation. In an attempt to identify a potentially less toxic treatment […]

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No Benefit of PD-1/PD-L1 Inhibitors in Metastatic EGFR Mutated Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In patients progressing on first-line therapy, immunotherapy with the PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors pembrolizumab, nivolumab, and atezolizumab has become standard second-line therapy. While these agents are associated with durable responses and long-term improvements in overall survival (OS), only a small proportion of patients […]

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EMA Recommendations for Oncology/Hematology Approval in February

On 22 February, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued positive opinions for granting marketing authorization for four agents in oncology and hematology. All of these agents have previously been approved for similar indications by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin as First-Line Therapy for AML. A CD-33-targeting antibody-drug conjugate, gemtuzuamb ozogamicin (Mylotarg™, […]

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Impressive Activity of Larotrectinib in TRK Fusion–Positive Cancers

Fusions of the NTRK genes, which encode tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) proteins, occur in up to 1% of cancers and are found in more than 20 tumor types. These fusions result in constitutively active downstream singling and oncogene addiction regardless of tissue of origin. Larotrectinib (LOXO-101) is an oral, highly selective, potent inhibitor of TRK […]

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Four Oncology Agents Approved in the United States in February

Abemaciclib Indication Expanded to Include Previously Untreated Metastatic Breast Cancer. Abemaciclib (Verzenio®, Eli Lilly and Company), a cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (CDK4/6) inhibitor, was approved for use in combination with an aromatase inhibitor (AI) for first-line treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor (HR)–positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)–negative metastatic breast cancer. This Food […]

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