Issue 35 - Sep. 18, 2020
Issue 34 - Sep. 11, 2020
  • NCI will form an ad hoc committee to review screening trials

    The future of ECOG-ACRIN’s slowly-accruing TMIST is in question

    NCI’s cancer screening trials may be falling victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Last week, the institute asked the National Cancer Advisory Board to form an ad hoc group that would provide guidance on screening trials, starting with the Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial, TMIST for short (The Cancer LetterSept. 4, 2020).

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Mitch Schnall: “We don’t want to lose momentum as this review is happening”

    NCI’s publicly announced move to create an ad hoc working group that would review the feasibility and viability of the TMIST trial threatens to undercut this trial, said Mitchell Schnall, co-chair of ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, the group conducting the study.

  • Guest Editorial

    Toward individualized breast cancer screening strategies—TMIST

    Breast cancer screening is beset with controversy, despite strong evidence from multiple randomized trials that screening mammography, in conjunction with modern therapies, reduces breast cancer mortality and treatment morbidity.

  • A reminder: The real goal is saving lives

    Dear Editor,

    was disappointed to see that you reported on the results of the IMpassion 131 trial, without context. [The Cancer LetterSept. 4, 2020]

  • Guest Editorial

    An open letter to Sen. Kamala Harris

    Honorable Sen. Harris and colleagues,

    write this letter to you as an advocate for women with malignant uterine soft tissue tumors—and to commend you on the introduction of The Uterine Fibroids Research and Education Act in the United States Congress.

  • In Brief

    • Mays Cancer Center receives renewal of NCI designation
    • Justin Leung receives $1.9 million in funds to research DNA damage response
    • Surupa Sen Gupta joins Maryland Oncology Hematology
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  • Clinical Roundup

    • JNCCN study sheds light on multi-organ adverse events from immunotherapy
    • City of Hope scientists combine oncolytic virus and CAR T in solid tumors
    • Phase II study of Tabrecta shows positive ORR for NSCLC
  • Drugs & Targets

    • Pralsetinib receives FDA approval for lung cancer with RET gene fusions
    • Oncomine Dx Target Test receives FDA approval as first NGS-based companion diagnostic for RET fusion + NSCLC
    • FDA issues alert about efficacy and potential safety concerns with atezolizumab in combination with paclitaxel for treatment of breast cancer
    • Oncocyte receives final pricing decision for DetermaRx Molecular Test for lung cancer from CMS
    • MD Anderson, Xencor collaborate on investigational XmAb drug candidates
Issue 33 - Sep. 4, 2020
  • Sharpless lays out a scenario for achieving 15% payline for RPGs

    NCAB approves ad hoc group to review TMIST, other detection trials impacted by COVID

    Budget increases in 2020 enabled NCI to boost funding for research project grants, pushing the payline up by two percentage points from last year’s level.

  • NCI: Targeted therapies for NSCLC drove sharp reduction in lung cancer mortality rate

    Sharp declines in mortality rates for non-small cell lung cancer in recent years are driven primarily by advances in treatment, NCI researchers concluded in a study published Aug. 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

  • Guest Editorial

    Delivering a cancer-free frontier during COVID-19

    As the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West—a region that includes Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming, covering 17% of the landmass of the continental United States—Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) has a longstanding focus on improving cancer research, prevention, and treatment strategies for our patients and communities.

  • Mojo Sharpless, “world’s smartest dog,” shows off her talent to kids at NCI’s Camp Fantastic

    Earlier this summer, NCI Director Ned Sharpless faced a big challenge: produce a video for kids with cancer at Camp Fantastic.

  • In Brief

    • Patrick Hwu named president and CEO at Moffitt
    • Sylvester receives $120 million anonymous gift for cancer research
    • Tracy Onega named senior director of population sciences at Huntsman
    • Deirdre J. Cohen named director of GI Oncology at Mount Sinai, medical director of Cancer Clinical Trials Office at Tisch
    • $10.6 million federal grant to expand national proteomics resource at UAMS
    • Baylor receives SPORE renewal for breast cancer research
    • Charles Brenner named chair of City of Hope Department of Diabetes and Cancer Metabolism
    • Henry A. Pitt named chief of oncologic quality at Rutgers and RWJ
    • George Simon named executive director of Moffitt Cancer Center-AdventHealth joint Clinical Research Unit
    • Dorina Avram named vice chair of Immunology Department at Moffitt
    • CPRIT awards $114.7 million in grants
    • Ranjithmenon Muraleedharan receives $225,000 SebastianStrong grant for childhood brain cancer research
    • UArizona receives $2.2 million from NCI grant to study use of MRI to  find CRC metastases to the liver
    • Kristen Gonter-Aubin joins Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute
    • Gulden Mesara named chief communications and marketing officer at City of Hope
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  • Clinical Roundup

    • NCCS survivorship data demonstrates prevailing “doctor knows best” mindset
    • Phase III VIALE-A trial of venetoclax combination meets OS endpoint in AML
    • Opdivo + Yervoy demonstrate durable survival benefit vs. chemotherapy in mesothelioma
    • Opdivo meets OS, PFS endpoints in phase III CheckMate-649 trial
    • Opdivo meets DFS endpoint in phase III CheckMate-577
    • Phase III IMpassion131 trial evaluating Tecentriq + paclitaxel does not meet PFS endpoint in metastatic TNBC
    • City of Hope clinical trial tests efficacy of delivering chemotherapy into the abdomen via a fine spray
    • Phase I/II relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma studies demonstrate high rate of durable complete responses
    • Study may refine predicted survival outcomes and treatment in younger adults with acute leukemia
    • CRUK-funded researchers use AI to analyze genetics of cancer
    • Genomic markers can identify brain tumor patients most likely to benefit from chemotherapy
    • ALK+ targeted therapy could prolong life for lung cancer patients
    • Real-world data analysis confirms sequential Gilotrif followed by osimertinib provided a median OS of nearly four years in NSCLC indication
    • Hormone therapy could treat small, T1a breast cancers
    • University of Kansas researchers launch COVID-19 study
    • University of Minnesota opens clinical trial for treatment of COVID-19
  • Drugs & Targets

    • Onureg oral therapy receives FDA approval for continued treatment for adults in first remission with AML
    • Kyprolis and Darzalex receives FDA approval for combination therapy for multiple myeloma
    • Blenrep receives FDA approval in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma
    • Guardant360 CDx assay receives FDA approval as first liquid biopsy NGS companion diagnostic test
    • ClonoSEQ assay receives expanded FDA clearance to assess MRD in CLL
    • Melflufen receives FDA Priority Review for triple-class refractory multiple myeloma
    • FDA to evaluate cancer therapies in patients with brain metastases
    • FDA updates analysis of medical device reports of breast implant illness and breast implant-associated lymphoma
    • Dragonfly Therapeutics, BMS agree to exclusive global license for IL-12 investigational immunotherapy program
    • Thermo Fisher Scientific, Hengrui Therapeutics to develop companion diagnostic in NSCLC indication
  • NCI Trials

    NCI Trials for September 2020

    The National Cancer Institute approved the following clinical research studies last month.