Medical oncology is the branch of medicine that uses chemotherapy, hormone therapy and other drugs to treat cancer. It also includes radiation and surgical oncology.
Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a five-hour lab test that could detect certain breast tumors in their early stages. They have also shown a less-invasive treatment method for pancreatic adenocarcinoma using high-intensity focused ultrasound.
1. Drugs Approved by the FDA in December
Every year, the FDA approves hundreds of new medications, some of which are groundbreaking drugs that offer innovative therapies. Others are repurposed existing drugs that have been reformulated to deliver improved efficacy and safety or expanded indications.
In 2023, BeiGene expects an FDA decision on tislelizumab (BGB-3202) for the treatment of second-line unresectable, locally advanced, or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). This is an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody. OncLive is tracking the latest regulatory developments and pivotal research across solid and hematologic malignancies.
In 2022, CDER approved 37 novel drugs – including first-in-class treatments – with many based on findings from clinical trials that demonstrated significant improvement over existing therapy. For example, niraparib (Zejula) received accelerated approval for maintenance treatment of epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer that has progressed after first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. It was based on the PRIMA study (NCT02655016). Dupilumab (Dupixent) was also approved for eosinophilic esophagitis, a chronic inflammatory condition involving a type of white blood cells called eosinophils.
2. Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute
Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) is the country’s leading medical oncology and hematology practice with more than 100 locations. They specialize in delivering advanced cancer treatment, using cutting edge technology and research to care for patients in community settings so that they can be close to home and surrounded by family and loved ones.
FCS also provides clinical trials, giving patients ‘first access’ to emerging cancer therapies in a community setting. In fact, the majority of new cancer treatments approved by the FDA in the last four years were studied through FCS clinical trials programs.
When Mark Henning Anderson was diagnosed with leukemia and failed to respond to several standard treatments, he turned to Florida Cancer Specialists for clinical trial options. He credits the team for a successful outcome, which led to his current remission. He now encourages others to be proactive with their health and to seek second opinions. “If you’ve got cancer, don’t give up!”.
3. The 2023 ESMO Congress
The 2023 ESMO Congress took place onsite in Madrid, Spain and online through the ESMO Virtual Congress Platform. The meeting featured several practice-changing studies, including new research into how to use personalised medicine in NSCLC and other cancers.
Researchers found that targeting tumour cell mutations with targeted therapies is more effective than using chemotherapies alone. This can help patients with advanced NSCLC, while reducing treatment toxicity and improving outcomes.
In a keynote presentation, ESMO President Andres Cervantes emphasised the need for better organisation and more academic input to speed up drug development for the benefit of patients with rare cancers. He also highlighted the importance of fostering collaboration, both on local and global levels, to improve cancer care.
In the Presidential Symposium and Proffered Paper sessions, invited speakers are asked to present data of exceptional quality followed by expert discussion and perspectives. This year, a number of Trial in Progress abstracts will be included as well.
4. OncLive On Air
OncLive On Air is a podcast that shares interviews with academic oncologists on the thought-provoking oncology presentations they give at OncLive State of the Science Summits. Episodes include abstracts in the areas of myeloma, lymphoma, and leukemia.
In a new episode of OncLive On Air, Abraham Chachoua, MD, from NYU Langone Health Perlmutter Cancer Center discusses his organization’s lung cancer screening program. He explains how the program uses electronic medical records to identify patients who are eligible for low-dose CT scans.
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