Four Oncology Articles Worth Reading

HER2 As a Target in Colorectal Cancer. Approximately 5% of RAS wildtype colorectal cancers (CRC) are driven by mutations or amplification of human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2), providing an opportunity for HER2-targeted therapy in this subset of patients. Presence of this biomarker can potentially predict lack of benefit to anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies. This review article discusses the role of HER2 as an oncogenic driver of CRC, including its role as a prognostic and predictive biomarker and specific HER2 testing recommendations for CRC. Results from clinical trials investigating HER2-targeted therapies in CRC are discussed. Ann Oncol.

2018 April 6. [Epub ahead of print].Immunotherapy for Patients With HIV and Advanced Lung Cancer. Patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were excluded from the clinical trials of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors in cancer, so relatively little is known about the effects of these agents in patients with HIV. In this interesting article, the authors report 7 cases of patients with HIV and advanced NSCLC who were treated with anti-PD-1 therapy, (either pembrolizumab or nivolumab). Three partial responses were observed in patients with high PD-L1 expression and treatment was well tolerated, though authors highlighted that further investigation is needed with respect to the to the incidence of serious immune-related adverse events, and immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome in particular, in patients who are receiving antiretroviral therapy. J Thorac Oncol. 2018 April 6. [Epub ahead of print].

New Treatment Guidelines for Metastatic Noncastrate Prostate Cancer. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released updated treatment guidelines regarding use of abiraterone or docetaxel in combination with androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) in men with newly diagnosed metastatic noncastrate prostate cancer. These guidelines review results from several recent clinical trials investigating the combination of these agents with ADT, and discuss the considerations that should be made before determining when and if to use either docetaxel or abiraterone in addition to ADT in this setting. The authors highlighted that fitness for chemotherapy, comorbidities, toxicity profiles, quality of life, drug availability, and cost should be considered in treatment decision making. J Clin Oncol

Preservation of fertility is an important but sometimes overlooked component of cancer management, particularly in younger patients and children. These guidelines provide an update to the 2013 ASCO guidelines on fertility preservation in patients with cancer. An expert panel conducted a systematic review of publications since the previous guidelines and provide updated recommendations on patient communication, use of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonists and other fertility-preservation methods in women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer, and the emerging potential for ovarian tissue cryopreservation as a method for fertility preservation.

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