The Right Dose: Researching Cancer Treatment De-Escalation

Cancer researchers often focus on developing novel treatments or combining therapies in new ways, all with the goal of lengthening survival for patients. But some cancer research has a different goal: to reduce the amount and intensity of treatment patients receive while maintaining equally good cancer outcomes. In the summer 2019 issue of Cancer Today, digital editor Kate Yandell writes about the challenges and successes of this approach, called treatment de-escalation.

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Toward Achieving Health Equity – A Preview of the 12th AACR Cancer Health Disparities Conference

In recent decades, the cancer research community has made great strides by bringing new, targeted, safer, and longer-lasting treatments to patients dealing with a variety of cancers. While this achievement is truly remarkable and laudable, a glaring fact is that these groundbreaking advances have not translated into progress for everyone.

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Upcoming AACR Meeting Focuses on Recent Advances in Pancreatic Cancer Research

Pancreatic cancer is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States by 2030. The prognosis for this disease remains grim: The overall five-year survival rate is lower than 10 percent, and this rate drops to less than 3 percent if the disease is identified after the cancer has metastasized, a stage at which more than half of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed.

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Addressing Ovarian Cancer’s Unique Challenges

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. It’s an apt time for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Advances in Ovarian Cancer Meeting, scheduled for Sept. 13-16 in Atlanta.

Ovarian cancer is a fairly rare cancer, accounting for only 1.3 percent of new cancer diagnoses in 2019. However, it is a deadly cancer, with only 47.6 percent of patients surviving for five years or longer. Because there are no good diagnostic tests for ovarian cancer, most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when the disease is difficult to treat.

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Clonal Hematopoiesis: You Are Not the Same Person You Used to Be

When new cells are needed to replace old, worn-out cells in our organs and tissues, the DNA that encodes the blueprint for all cellular components from one cell must be replicated faithfully in each of the new cells. During replication, when one cell divides to create two cells, as many as 100,000 mistakes occur. Fortunately, the replicating cells fix almost all of the mistakes, though about 10 errors persist for each new cell formed. These errors are called mutations.

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AACR Welcomes First Science Policy Fellow

Policy plays a critical role in the fight against cancer, influencing the funding of cancer research and driving the approval of safe and effective anticancer therapies. With the increasing complexity of cancer-related policy issues, the need for active engagement of cancer researchers and physician-scientists in the policymaking process has never been greater.

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Second Targeted Therapeutic Approved for Use Based on Tumor Biomarker, Not Tumor Origin

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the second of a new wave of molecularly targeted therapeutics that can be used to treat patients with any type of cancer provided their tumor tests positive for a specific biomarker.

The therapeutic in question, entrectinib (Rozlytrek), was approved for treating adults and adolescents age 12 and older whose cancers have an NTRK gene fusion and who have no other effective treatment options.

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Recent Studies Tap Into AACR Project GENIE Registry

The AACR Project Genomics Evidence Neoplasia Information Exchange (AACR Project GENIE) is a unique registry that aggregates, harmonizes, and links clinical-grade cancer genomic data with clinical outcomes from tens of thousands of cancer patients. AACR Project GENIE recently released its sixth data set, increasing the database to nearly 70,000 de-identified genomic records. The database now has information spanning more than 80 major cancer types, including data from more than 11,000 patients with lung cancer, over 9,700 patients with breast cancer, and nearly 7,000 patients with colorectal cancer.

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FDA Approvals Provide Advances for a Range of Cancer Types

During late spring and early summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved four new molecularly targeted therapeutics—alpelisib (Piqray), polatuzumab vedotin-piiq (Polivy), selinexor (Xpovio), and darolutamide (Nubeqa)—for treating certain patients with a wide array of cancer types. Molecularly targeted therapeutics are the cornerstone of precision oncology. So, this flurry of approvals highlights that progress in this important area of cancer care is continuing unabated.

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