ONCOLOGY Vol 35 Issue 2 | Oncology

Utility of the 21-Gene Recurrence Score in Node-Positive Breast Cancer

February 11, 2021

Review Article

ABSTRACT The 21-gene Recurrence Score (RS) assay has been validated as both a prognostic and predictive tool in node-negative (pN0), estrogen receptor–positive (ER+), HER2-negative (HER2–) breast cancer. A large body of evidence supports the clinical utility of the RS in the node positive (pN+) population as well. Retrospective analyses of archived tissue from multiple clinical trials have found the RS to be prognostic in both endocrine therapy (ET)-treated and chemotherapy-treated patients with pN+ disease. Distribution of RS results in pN+ patients have also been consistent with those of pN0 populations. Data from the SWOG 8814 trial and large population-based registries further support the prognostic and potential predictive value of the RS. Specifically, patients with 1 to 3 positive nodes and RS less than 18 derived negligible benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy in these studies. In the prospective West German Study Group PlanB and ADAPT trials, pN+ patients with RS less than 11 and RS ≤25, respectively, who were treated with ET alone experienced excellent outcomes. Finally, 5-year results of the RxPONDER clinical trial randomizing patients with 1 to 3 positive nodes and RS ≤25 to ET alone vs ET plus chemotherapy confirmed an absence of chemotherapy benefit in postmenopausal patients. Clinical practice guidelines support use of the RS in the pN+, ER+/HER2– population, and many institutions have adopted the RS to guide clinical decision-making, resulting in a net reduction of adjuvant chemotherapy use. This review highlights the existing data supporting the prognostic and predictive ability of the RS in pN+ disease, current practice patterns related to RS use in this population, and emerging applications.

Guidelines for Palliative Treatment of Spinal Metastases: Choosing Between Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy and Conventional Fractionation

February 11, 2021

Review Article

ABSTRACT Symptomatic spinal metastasis is a frequent complication of cancer that had been treated, until relatively recently, with primitive techniques to modest radiation dose levels, with a baseline assumption of limited survival and poor patient performance in that setting. In the era of targeted and personalized therapies, many patients are living longer and more functionally and are able to manage their disease on the model of chronic illness. Given these developments, an attractive option is the use of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to deliver high biologically effective doses of radiation conformally to maximize the palliative gains of treatment. However, randomized data to guide practice are scarce. We review the extant literature and present an algorithmic approach to selecting patients with metastatic disease for palliative spinal SBRT favoring the results of available randomized studies and remaining within the safety constraints supported by evidence from randomized trials.

Pediatric Locally Advanced Synovial Sarcoma: What Would Be the Best Treatment Option?

February 11, 2021

Clinical Quandaries

KEY POINTS • Synovial sarcomas are often mistreated with unplanned tumor resection. • Attention from specialists early in the course of SS can minimize the risk of recurrence, metastases, and the necessity for resurgery, all of which are increased with unplanned tumor resection. • Chemotherapy alone does not provide sufficient local control of the tumor. • Resurgery, in conjunction with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, is the best choice of management for this patient.

Redefining Prostate Cancer Care

February 11, 2021


ONCOLOGY® sat down with Leonard G. Gomella, MD, professor and chair of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Department of Urology and clinical director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Network, to discuss 10 years of breakthroughs for patients with prostate cancer and the hope that continued research will fully transform prostate cancer from a deadly disease into a chronic, manageable condition.

WANTED: An “All-Out” National Vaccination Program

February 02, 2021


Unprecedented efforts from researchers and pharmaceutical engineers have brought about safe, effective vaccines, in record development times; now the focus must be on a federally coordinated program to administer those injections in the most efficient manner possible.