The Lynx Group

April 2020, Vol 11, No 2

The challenges of managing cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic raise new concerns for oncologists, nurses, and the entire cancer care team. The management of patients with cancer, who are at increased risk from this new respiratory infection, has rapidly become even more urgent.

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San Francisco, CA—Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning targeted to detect prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is poised to overtake conventional imaging, according to presentations at the 2020 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

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San Antonio, TX—The investigational oral drug tucatinib reduced the risk for death by 33% and the risk for disease progression or death by 50% when added to trastuzumab (Herceptin) plus capecitabine (Xeloda) in patients with heavily pretreated advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, with or without brain metastasis.

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San Francisco, CA—De-escalating chemotherapy based on a negative positron- emission tomography (PET) scan after 2 cycles of treatment is safe and feasible in most patients with low-volume metastatic seminoma, the most common type of testicular cancer, according to results presented at the 2020 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

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San Francisco, CA—Delivering the keynote address at the 2020 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, David F. Penson, MD, MPH, MMHC, Hamilton and Howd Chair in Urologic Oncology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, highlighted the need to move toward patient-centered decisions beyond survival, focusing on patient-centered outcomes by integrating quality of life (QOL) and financial toxicity into the shared, treatment-related, decision- making process.

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On March 10, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of the immunotherapy combination of nivolumab (Opdivo; Bristol-Myers Squibb) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy; Bristol-Myers Squibb) for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have previously received sorafenib. Nivolumab and ipilimumab have been previously approved by the FDA for several indications. This new indication was previously granted a breakthrough therapy designation.

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On March 2, 2020, the FDA approved isatuximab-irfc (Sarclisa; Sanofi- Aventis), a CD38-directed cytolytic antibody, for the treatment of adults with multiple myeloma, for use in combination with pomalidomide (Pomalyst) and dexamethasone, in patients who had received at least 2 therapies that include lenalidomide (Revlimid) and a proteasome inhibitor. The FDA granted isatuximab an orphan drug designation.

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San Francisco, CA—MicroRNAs have all the characteristics to be a potential game changer as a biomarker in germcell tumors (originating in the testes, ovaries, and a few other sites), with high sensitivity, specificity, and clinical validity in pilot studies, said Lucia Nappi, MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist, British Columbia Cancer, Vancouver Centre, Canada, at the 2020 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

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Every infusion center needs to understand what resources it has (or will have) available at any given time during any particular day—whether it is open chairs, treating registered nurses, or pharmacy staff. This knowledge is vital to decision-making that affects the patient experience, as well as staffing decisions, operations, and, ultimately, revenue.
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San Francisco, CA—Combining cabozantinib (Cabometyx) with atezolizumab (Tecentriq) induced responses in 32% of patients with metastatic castration- resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) who had soft-tissue progression after previous novel hormonal therapy.

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