Addressing the Highs and Lows in Cancer Treatment

January 16, 2020
Mike Hennessy Sr

While the development of immunotherapy and targeted agents has advanced treatment options for a variety of malignancies, there is still the reminder that not all regimens work in treating cancer.

Dear Reader,

While the development of immunotherapy and targeted agents has advanced treatment options for a variety of malignancies, there is still the reminder that not all regimens work in treating cancer.

The melanoma field, in particular, has seen the ups and downs over the years. Earlier in the decade, oncologists felt the excitement of initial data being presented on drugs like nivolumab (Opdivo), pembrolizumab (Keytruda), and ipilimumab (Yervoy). However, in recent years, researchers have struggled while investigating combination therapies to treat the disease.

In this issue of ONCOLOGY, we spoke with Jeffrey Weber, MD, deputy director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center and the codirector of the Melanoma Research Program at NYU Langone Health, on these ups and downs in the field, and newer phase II and III studies in the pipeline. Moreover, the expert is hopeful and had one piece of advice for his peers: “Be open-minded and nimble and agile on your feet. And as soon as the data look really promising, adopt new ideas. Be open to new ideas, no question about it.”

Also in this issue, you will read of 2 patient scenarios: a 39-year-old male demonstrating symptoms of locally advanced rectal cancer and a 40-year-old woman with newly diagnosed, advanced EGFR-mutated non–small cell lung cancer. How do we treat them? Keep reading to find out. In addition, we feature a review article on approaches to retroperitoneal vascular leiomyosarcoma, one of the most common soft tissue sarcomas where location is key.

Within these pages, you will also find highlights from the 61st American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition, and a breakdown of the FDA’s recent approval of enfortumab vedotin for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who received prior treatment with a PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor and platinum-containing chemotherapy.

I hope you find our journal helpful in caring for your patients through what is likely one of the most challenging times in their lives. As always, thank you for reading.

- Mike Hennessy, Sr.
Chairman and Founder of ONC’s
parent company, MJH LIfe Sciences

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