Issue 37 - Oct 5, 2018
  • Guest Editorial

    When your harmonica player wins the Nobel Prize

    THE CHECKPOINTS were born in 2007 on an escalator in Chicago. Here’s the story…

    Back then, in an oncology era that we’ll fondly call “The Dark Ages,” no one, except a small gaggle of Don Quixotes, believed that the immune system could cure cancer. Immunotherapy stalwarts (like my friends and I) were such outcasts that our presentations at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting were scheduled for the last day of the conference (when just about everyone had already gone home) and assigned to a lecture hall that was too remote for anything but sensible shoes.

  • Guest Editorial

    Thank you, Jim Allison

    The year was 1998, location, Italian Alps. Jim and I were attending an intimate Pezcoller meeting organized by David Livingston. At that meeting, Jim presented something I had never seen in the entirety of my career—the eradication of cancer in mice following treatment with an antibody designed to inhibit a T cell checkpoint mechanism.

  • Craig Thompson resigns from two corporate boards as MSK crisis shifts to board roles

    Craig Thompson, president and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, resigned from two corporate boards of directors—the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., and Charles River Laboratories International Inc., a company focused on early-stage drug development and manufacturing of novel compounds.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Roy Jensen: “In general, I think cancer center directors still enjoy a certain amount of respect”

    As the new president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes, Roy Jensen will focus on public policy at the state and local level as his presidential priority.

  • An Appreciation

    Philip DiSaia, former head of Gynecologic Oncology Group, dies at 81

    The grandson of Italian immigrants, Philip John DiSaia was born on Aug. 14, 1937 in Providence, Rhode Island. He earned his Bachelor’s in Science at Brown University and his MD at Tufts University.

  • In Brief

    • Ruth O’Regan named chief scientific officer of Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium
    • Peter Wiklund named director of the Bladder Cancer Program at Mount Sinai
    • 2018 NIH Director’s awards for high-risk, high-reward research program announced
    • Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Leeds researchers win the 2018 European Health Award
    • Shirley Mertz elected chair and Christine Benjamin vice chair of Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance
  • TCCL Logo

  • Trials & Tribulations

    How tumor-specific modulation frequencies were discovered

    In the spring of 2001, I visited a longtime friend and collaborator, Alexandre Barbault, to share with him my vision of using low levels radiofrequency electromagnetic fields for the treatment of cancer.

  • Clinical Roundup

    • Aspirin lowers risk of ovarian and hepatocellular cancer
    • Genentech’s Entrectinib showed durable response of more than two years NSCLC
  • Drugs & Targets

    • FDA releases draft guidance on master protocol studies
    • FDA approves Kyprolis with dexamethasone for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma
    • FDA authorizes first next-gen sequencing-based test in patients with ALL, MM
    • FDA approves Libtayo as first and only treatment for advanced CSCC
Issue 36 - Sep 28, 2018
  • Oregon flirts with—and quickly abandons—plan to deny Medicaid payment for next-generation sequencing

    The Oregon Health Authority did a considerable amount of work to prepare a plan that would deny Medicaid coverage for next-generation sequencing tests in the state.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    UIC’s Stewart: Oregon draft guidance is “an assault on the treatment of underrepresented populations”

    The unwillingness to provide patients with targeted therapies based upon their genetic profile, I think, is unconscionable. The logic to me behind that is, “It’s okay to be elderly and sick, but it’s not okay to be poor and sick.” That’s how the draft guidance reads to me, because you won’t have access to state-of-the-art diagnostics.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    WVU’s Goldberg: Oregon draft guidance would widen disparities for low-income cancer patients

    My opinion is that patients should have equal access to technology that is becoming useful in improving outcomes, regardless of which insurer they are covered by. I can tell you that every week, we’re doing NGS tests on Medicaid patients in West Virginia as well as on patients with every other kind of insurance.

  • In Baselga’s wake: Debate focuses on COIs of academics on boards of for-profit firms

    As the fallout from the ethics scandal at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center continues, cancer center officials are investigating allegations contained in an anonymous letter from a group that identifies themselves as “Concerned Employees of MSKCC.”

  • In Brief

    • NIH receives $2B raise as House passes FY19 spending package
    • NIH memorial service for Alan Rabson scheduled for Oct. 30
    • Heidi Nelson named medical director of the American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs
    • American Cancer Society honors John Ruckdeschel with St. George Award
    • Carlos Arteaga awarded $600,000 to study breast cancer therapy resistance
    • ASCO recognizes Rep. Kevin Yoder with 2018 Congressional Leadership Award
    • NCCN moves global headquarters to Plymouth Meeting
    • Cuomo announces U.S.-Cuba venture to develop new cancer treatments
  • TCCL Logo

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Anne-Marie Langevin receives Harry Hynes Award

    Anne-Marie Langevin, of the South Texas Pediatric Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program site in San Antonio, won the 2018 Harry Hynes Award, which is given annually to the PI who reflects the outstanding contribution to clinical trials and community research.

  • Clinical Roundup

    • CT screening reduces lung cancer mortality, NELSON study finds
    • Imfinzi significantly improves OS in unresectable, stage III NSCLC
    • Tecentriq + chemo significantly improves OS as initial treatment for ES-SCLC
    • Atezolizumab + carboplatin & pemetrexed improves PFS in stage IV non-squamous NSCLC
    • Myriad’s Variant Reclassification Study published in JAMA
    • Alunbrig improves PFS by over 50% vs. crizotinib in first-line advanced ALK+ NSCLC
    • Cancer patients have lower risk of opioid-related death than general public
    • Breast cancer patients prefer knowing costs prior to starting treatment
    • CIMAvax-EGF well tolerated for NSCLC, initial findings show
  • Drugs & Targets

    • FDA approves Vizimpro for NSCLC indication
    • FDA approves Copiktra for CLL/SLL indications
    • FDA grants QIDP and Fast Track Designations to Cidara
    • Blincyto approved In Japan for relapsed or refractory B-cell ALL
    • European Commission approves Coherus’s Udenyca
  • NCI Trials

    NCI Trials for September

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

Breaking News - Sep 26, 2018