Karen Honey, PhD

As senior managing editor, science communications, Karen Honey, PhD, helps the AACR communicate scientific information to the public and educate the public about the importance of lifesaving cancer research. Before joining the AACR, Honey spent eight years working as an editor for two peer-reviewed scientific journals, first Nature Reviews Immunology and then The Journal of Clinical Investigation. During this time, she focused on communicating scientific discoveries to readers with all levels of knowledge, from the lay reader to the scientific expert. Before entering the world of science communication, Honey was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of world-renowned immunologist Alexander Rudensky. She was born in the United Kingdom and received her doctorate in transplantation immunology from the University of Oxford. Honey currently lives in the Philadelphia suburbs.

AACR Annual Meeting 2019: PD-1 Pandemonium

“Do you want to have fun?” Richard Pazdur, MD, director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Oncology Center of Excellence, asked the audience as he opened the “PD-1 Pandemonium: FDA Speaks with Industry on the Past, Present, and Future of PD-1 Drugs” regulatory science and policy session at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2019 on Monday, April 1.

Pazdur explained that he and AACR staff in the Science Policy and Government Affairs Office thought that it would be informative to convene representatives from all the companies who have an FDA-approved PD-1– or PD-L1–targeted immunotherapeutic for a heart-to-heart conversation about the past, present, and future of this group of revolutionary cancer treatments.

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AACR Annual Meeting 2019: Preclinical Steps Toward a Cancer Preventive Vaccine for Lynch Syndrome

Cancer prevention refers to measures that people can take to reduce their risk of developing cancer. These measures can include lifestyle changes, like eliminating tobacco use, maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and limiting exposure of skin to ultraviolet light. As our scientific knowledge of cancer etiology and the biology of premaligancy has grown, so too has our ability to rationally develop targeted and immunotherapeutic interventions for cancer prevention, in particular for those who inherit genetic mutations that predispose them to developing cancer.

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Prostate Cancer Disparities: Race-related Biological Differences

Non-Hispanic black men in the United States are much more likely to develop prostate cancer and to die from the disease than their non-Hispanic white counterparts. Many factors contribute to this striking disparity, including access to and use of health care, social and economic status, and biology. As discussed by Steven R. Patierno, PhD, and colleagues in a recent perspective article in the AACR journal Clinical Cancer Research, alternative RNA splicing is one biological factor contributing to prostate cancer disparities.

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FDA Approves First Immunotherapeutic for Breast Cancer

Last Friday, March 8, 2019, marked another milestone in immuno-oncology: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the first approval of an immunotherapeutic for use in the treatment of breast cancer.

The immunotherapeutic in question is atezolizumab (Tecentriq). It was approved for use in combination with a cytotoxic chemotherapeutic called nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) for treating adults who have unresectable locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer that expresses the protein PD-L1.

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Meet John D. Carpten, PhD, Program Chair of the AACR Annual Meeting 2019

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2019 will soon be upon us. It begins in the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 29. The Friday start, which is a day earlier than usual, is to ensure that meeting attendees have the maximal ability to participate in the expanded slate of educational sessions and methods workshops included in this year’s program. The content of these and the other AACR Annual Meeting 2019 sessions can be viewed through the Online Itinerary Planner starting later today.

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Gauging Progress Against Cervical Cancer

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Given that January was named after the Roman god Janus, whose two faces allowed him to look both backward into the old year and forward into the new one, it seemed a good time to look back at the progress we made against cervical cancer in 2018 and to look for ways to build on the progress and further reduce the incidence and mortality of the disease in the future.

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FDA Approves Three New Treatments for AML

The past two weeks have seen a flurry of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals of new treatments for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). On Nov. 21, 2018, the FDA approved both glasdegib (Daurismo) and venetoclax (Venclexta) for treating patients with newly diagnosed AML who are age 75 or older, or who have chronic health conditions or diseases that prevent them being treated with the standard intensive chemotherapy. A week later, on Nov. 28, 2018, the agency approved gilteritinib (Xospata) for treating patients whose AML tests positive for a mutation in the FLT3 gene.

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FDA Approves First Targeted Therapeutic Based on Tumor Biomarker, Not Tumor Origin

On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the highly anticipated approval of the molecularly targeted therapeutic larotrectinib (Vitrakvi) for use based on whether a patient’s tumor tests positive for a specific genetic biomarker and not where in the body the tumor originated.

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FDA Approvals Provide Advances in Precision Medicine and Immunotherapy

During the early part of November, we saw the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve a new molecularly targeted therapeutic, lorlatinib (Lorbrena), and expand the use of the immunotherapeutic pembrolizumab (Keytruda). These new approvals, which are for the treatment of certain patients with lung cancer and liver cancer, respectively, highlight that progress in the fields of precision medicine and immunotherapy is continuing unabated.

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