New Cancer Survivor Guidelines Highlight Week in Cancer News


Recent advances and updates in oncology and cancer drug development.

New Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Guideline Published

A group of experts developed a comprehensive clinical practice guideline focused on 5 key areas of survivorship for a survivors of head and neck cancer, which are a group of patients who faces potentially significant physical, psychosocial, and practical effects from their cancer and its treatment. The areas focused on surveillance for recurrence, screening/detection of secondary cancers, support, health promotion, and care coordination.

Head and neck cancer will account for an estimated 61,760 new cancer cases in the United States in 2016, according to ACS, and tobacco use and alcohol consumption together account for an estimated 3 in 4 cases. HPV is also a risk factor, accounting for as many as 7 in 10 oropharyngeal cancers. The new head and neck cancer guideline marks the fourth in the series of ACS cancer survivorship care guidelines. The series also includes guidelines for breast and prostate cancer survivors, as well as recommendations for optimum nutrition and physical activity in survivorship.

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CMS Halts Potential PSA Penalty

Following a public comment period, CMS has temporary suspended the development of a measure that would penalize physicians for using PSA-based screening that was not in accordance with USPSTF recommendations, which currently recommend against routine screening. During the comment period, 58% of responses opposed limitations on PSA screening. Additionally, of the comments, 40% disagreed with the USPSTF recommendations, which currently list PSA screening as Grade D.

Of the responses, 34% contained personal stories and examples related to PSA screening or cancer screening in general. The report was compiled and sent to CMS in late January 2016. With the temporary suspension in place, CMS is currently determining whether a different or new PSA measure should be developed. The controversial USPSTF screening guidelines generated a great deal of debate and concern when they were first announced. This decision by CMS could represent a turning point in the dialogue.

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Hudis Named New ASCO CEO

Cliff Hudis, MD, has been named the new CEO of ASCO, replacing Allen Lichter, MD, who held the position for ten years. Hudis was the president of ASCO from 2013 to 2014, and has been a member since the early 90's. He has been very active with the organization since 2009, when he joined the Board of Directors, among other positions.

Hudis was selected for his scientific and clinical research experience, extensive experience caring for patients and dedication to teaching others, effective organizational leadership, and for his ability to operate a not-for-profit organization. He achieved several honors while at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he held several teaching, leadership, and administrative positions. Hudis will begin his new role as CEO on June 27, 2016.

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NCCN Adds Liposomal Irinotecan to Pancreatic Cancer Guideline

The combination of liposomal irinotecan, 5-FU, and leucovorin has been added to the 2016 NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology as a second-line treatment for patients with gemcitabine-refractory metastatic pancreatic cancer. The combination received a category 1 classification from NCCN, representing the highest level of evidence.

The FDA approved second-line liposomal irinotecan for patients with pancreatic cancer following progression on a gemcitabine-based regimen in October 2015, based on the primary analysis of the phase III NAPOLI-1 trial. In an updated analysis presented during the 2016 GI Cancers Symposium, median overall survival with liposomal irinotecan, 5-FU, and leucovorin was 6.2 months compared with 4.2 months for 5-FU and leucovorin alone (unstratified HR, 0.75; P = .0417).

After 12 months, 26% of patients treated with the liposomal irinotecan combination remained alive compared with 16% with 5-FU plus leucovorin alone. At approximately 20 months, survival was similar between the two groups. The median progression-free survival was 3.1 months for the combination compared with 1.5 months with the control (HR, 0.56; P = .0001). The objective response rate was 7.7% versus 0.8%, for the combination and control, respectively.

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