Issue 26 - Jun 29, 2018
  • Senate committee proposes $2 billion raise for NIH, signaling fourth good year in a row

    When the Senate Committee on Appropriations marked up the fiscal 2019 spending bill, NIH came out ahead—$2 billion ahead.

  • NCI Director’s Report

    What NCI did with the money: Sharpless boosts funding for RPGs, centers, SPOREs, NCTN, and NCORP

    In addition to a $147 million increase to the Research Grant Project pool, NCI has added $60 million to targeted research opportunities and a $20 million increase for centers and SPOREs, and $10 million for the National Clinical Trials Network and the NCI Community Oncology Research Program.

  • Turkish oncologist Murat Tuncer jailed

    A. Murat Tuncer, a pediatric oncologist and former rector of Hacettepe University, has spent the past two months in a very uncomfortable place—the Sincan Prison in Ankara.

  • In Brief

    • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center earns “exceptional” rating, $31.9M in NCI grants
    • UPMC to advise cancer treatment center in Beijing
    • UPMC and Pitt open genome center for precision medicine, immunotherapy
    • MSKCC expands its presence in Northern New Jersey
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  • Clinical Roundup

    • Lynparza delays disease progression in phase III trial in first-line ovarian cancer
    • Tecentriq + chemo increase OS, PFS in untreated extensive stage small cell lung cancer
    • Trifluridine and tipiracil meet OS endpoint in phase III trial
    • ONS develops hazardous drugs safe handling toolkit for oncology nurses
  • Drugs & Targets

    • FDA approves Braftovi + Mektovi combination in a melanoma indication
    • Kymab, Roche agree to evaluate KY1044, anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy in solid tumors
    • FDA grants orphan drug designation for CPI-613 for Burkitt lymphoma
  • CTEP Protocol

    NCI Trials for June

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

    For further information, contact the principal investigator listed.

Issue 25 - Jun 22, 2018
  • Vinay Prasad, oncologist and Twitter star, locked in debate over precision medicine

    In recent years, Vinay Prasad, a young hematologist–oncologist at Oregon Health and Science University, has emerged as a premier critic of new directions in cancer medicine.

    In his view, cancer drugs are aimed at miniscule populations, approved way too easily, and priced too high.

  • Reviews of Prasad’s “thought experiment”

    As a reporter, I have no standing in settling scientific disputes.

    So, when Vinay Prasad and I hit the wall in our discussion of the assumptions he and a group of colleagues made in their provocative “thought experiment,” I decided to do what journals do—send the paper to peer reviewers.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Prasad: FDA has confused merely approving drugs with making the world a better place

    have been following Vinay Prasad’s work for several years, agreeing with some of what he said, but never quite finding time to look carefully at his argumentation.

  • In Brief

    • Norman Coleman, Gay Crawford to receive NCCS Stovall Award for advancing patient-centered care
    • Marc Lippman, breast cancer expert, returns to Georgetown Lombardi
    • Laura Hutchins named interim director of UAMS Rockefeller Cancer Institute
  • Funding Opportunity

    DOD Prostate Cancer Research Program opportunities

    The FY18 Defense Appropriations Act provides $100 million to the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program to support innovative, high-impact prostate cancer research.

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  • Clinical Roundup

    • Kymriah shows more than one-year durable responses in relapsed or refractory DLBCL
    • Lonsurf improves OS in metastatic gastric cancer
    • Greater levels of vitamin D associated with decreasing risk of breast cancer
    • Diabetes diagnosis later in life may signal early pancreatic cancer in African-Americans and Latinos
    • Study finds emergency colon cancer surgery performed on weekends more likely to lead to complications
  • Drugs & Targets

    • FDA to review BRACAnalysis CDx sPMA as companion diagnostic for Talazoparib
    • China’s drug agency approves Opdivo for previously treated NSCLC
    • Natera, Institut Jules Bordet to collaborate on neoadjuvant breast cancer assay
Issue 24 - Jun 15, 2018
  • Guest Editorial

    The Trump administration “American Patients First” plan to reduce drug prices—Are American cancer patients first?

    In May 2018, President Trump announced his plan to lower drug prices. “We will have tougher negotiation, more competition, and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter. And it will start to take effect very soon,” he promised. The plan is outlined in a 40-page document by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services titled “American Patients First—The Trump Administration Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Cost.”

  • Change in culture needed to prevent sexual harassment at academic institutions, NASEM says

    To prevent and effectively respond to sexual harassment of women, institutions of higher education need to promote a system-wide change to the culture and climate on campus, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

  • In Brief

    • NCI’s Rosenberg receives Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons
    • Penn State Health and Highmark Health to create health care network
    • NCI renews City of Hope’s support grant with outstanding rating
    • AAP recognizes COH’s Forman for physician-led science and scientific leadership
    • COH’s Rosen inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
    • Prostate cancer expert Dorff joins COH
    • COH’s Djulbegovic directs Medicine and Comparative Effectiveness Research Program
  • Funding Opportunities

    NCI Community Oncology Research Program issues three RFAs: Community Sites, Minority/Underserved Community Sites, and Research Bases

    This Funding Opportunity Announcement solicits applications from institutions/organizations to participate in the National Cancer Institute’s NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).

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  • Letter to the Editor

    MammaPrint has remained consistent and credible since introduction more than a decade ago

    To the Editor:

    One of the biggest questions that early-stage breast cancer patients face is whether they will benefit from chemotherapy treatment. Two large scale randomized clinical trials that implement genomic testing have positively addressed this question.

  • Clinical Roundup

    • Study shows low-fat diet significantly reduced risk of death after breast cancer
    • Some African-American men with advanced prostate cancer do better than whites
    • African-American men show stronger response to hormone therapy for prostate cancer
    • Loxo announces positive interim data from dose escalation trial in RET-altered cancers
    • Tecentriq, Avastin plus chemo improved OS in non-squamous NSCLC
    • Alecensa reduced risk of disease progression or death in Alk-positive metastatic NSCLC
    • Checkpoint inhibitor shrinks advanced squamous cell skin cancer
    • Kisqali combination therapy improves PFS in HR+/HER2- breast cancer
    • PARP inhibitor improves overall response rates in small cell lung cancer patients
    • Study links blood vitamin D levels to colorectal cancer risk


  • Drugs and Targets

    • FDA approves Avastin in combination with chemotherapy for ovarian cancer
    • FDA approves Keytruda for relapsed or refractory PMBCL
    • FDA approves Keytruda for previously treated patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer whose tumors express PD-L1
    • TESARO, Genentech to study Zejula with anti-PD-L1 agent, MEK inhibitor in ovarian cancer
    • FDA approves Venclexta with rituximab as a fixed duration treatment for CLL or SLL after one prior therapy
    • FDA approves first Neulasta biosimilar
    • FDA, EMA accept application for talazoparib in metastatic breast cancer with inherited BRCA mutation
  • The Cancer Letter wins investigative, design awards

    The Cancer Letter won four 2018 Dateline Awards from the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.