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Does Chemotherapy Still Have a Role in Frontline CLL Treatment?

In the past, the standard first-line therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) was fludarabine-cyclophosphamide-rituximab (FCR). Because this regimen is both immunosuppressive and myelosuppressive, there has been a move away from FCR to novel combinations, such as venetoclax (brand name: Venclexta) plus obinutuzumab (brand name: Gazyva). Is there still a role for chemotherapy in the frontline treatment of CLL?

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CLL — Deciding Which BTK Inhibitor is Best in the Upfront Setting

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients now have several frontline treatment options available to them, including two FDA-approved Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors: ibrutinib (brand name: Imbruvica) and acalabrutinib (brand name: Calquence). How do you determine which of these medications is best for a particular patient?

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Venetoclax vs. BTK Inhibitors in CLL Treatment

In 2019, the FDA approved the combination regimen venetoclax (brand name: Venclexta) plus obinutuzumab (brand Name: Gazyva) as a frontline treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Though this combination significantly improves progression-free survival compared with obinutuzumab plus the chemotherapy drug chlorambucil, and it’s a time-limited regimen, the multiple infusions and potential side effects warrant careful consideration.

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The Evolution to BTK Inhibitors in CLL Treatment

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) treatment used to be one-size-fits-all. Today, the approach has shifted to more targeted therapies, thanks to the introduction of the Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors. Dr. James Gerson, hematologist-oncologist at Penn Medicine, tells SurvivorNet Connect that he prefers acalabrutinib (brand name: Calquence) because it has fewer side effects than ibrutinib in a similar patient population.

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BTK Inhibitors for CLL Patients: What Are the Risks?

Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors have provided us with a more targeted way to treat leukemia and lymphoma patients. But, as with any other therapeutic option, they do have side effects. In general, second-generation BTK inhibitors such as zanubrutinib (brand name: Brukinsa) and acalabrutinib (brand name: Calquence) tend to have fewer adverse effects than the first-generation therapy, ibrutinib (brand name: Imbruvica).

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‘Great Urgency’ to Understand KRAS as an Actionable Marker in Lung Cancer

As cancer treatment evolves into precision medicine, certain markers are emerging as actionable targets for therapy, including G12C inhibitors for the KRAS gene. KRAS is considered to be the most mutated oncogene in human cancers. At least three different mutations in this gene are associated with lung cancer.

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Is a CT Scan Always Needed After Chemoradiation for Lung Cancer?

For patients with stage IIIB non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), treatment may start with chemoradiation. If the cancer remains under control after two or three of these treatments, durvalumab (brand name: Imfinzi) therapy can help keep it from progressing. Is it always necessary to do a post-treatment CT scan before prescribing Imfinzi?

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Importance of Monitoring Lung Cancer Patients on Imfinzi for Possible Pneumonitis

Durvalumab (brand name: Imfinzi) is the standard of care following chemoradiation for patients with stage III unresectable lung cancer. Patients who receive this and other checkpoint inhibitors will need careful monitoring for potential adverse immune events.

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CAR T-Cell Therapy in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia May Achieve ‘Deep Remission’

The chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy tisagenlecleucel (brand name: Kymriah) is an FDA-approved treatment for children and young adults with relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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Managing Side Effects of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Induction Chemotherapy

With induction chemotherapy, the aim is to put acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients into complete remission. However, as these strong drugs kill cancer cells, they produce a number of side effects, some of which can be significant.

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Immune Therapies — The Future of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment

We have entered a new era of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) therapy. Targeted treatments use the patients’ own immune system to attack the cancer, and in the process, possibly avoid some of the side effects of chemotherapy. Three therapies in particular are having a significant impact on the treatment of ALL patients who have relapsed.

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Excitement Around Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in the Neoadjuvant Setting for Bladder Cancer

The standard treatment for locally invasive bladder cancer is neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radical cystectomy. Recently, a number of studies have found that immune checkpoint inhibitors such as pembrolizumab (brand name: Opdivo), atezolizumab (brand name: Tecentriq), and durvalumab (brand name: Imfinzi) in the neoadjuvant setting are equivalent, and sometimes better than chemotherapy alone.

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The Latest Efforts to Preserve the Bladder

In solid tumors affecting organs, efforts have been made to preserve the organ while still eradicating the cancer. The same is true for bladder cancer. Radical cystectomy with pelvic lymph node dissection is a highly morbid procedure, which is often performed in patients who are already elderly and frail.

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Withdrawal of Durvalumab for Advanced Bladder Cancer “a Disappointing Loss”

On February 22, 2021, AstraZeneca announced that it was voluntarily withdrawing the checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab (brand name: Imfinzi) indication for previously treated patients with locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer.

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Should Surgery Be Considered for Oligometastatic Bladder Cancer?

Treatment for metastatic bladder cancer is well established. The majority of patients receive systemic therapies such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy. But for patients in the transitional oligometastatic bladder cancer state, the consideration may also include radical cystectomy.

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Why Don’t Checkpoint Inhibitors Work for More Bladder Cancer Patients?

The FDA's approval of the first checkpoint inhibitors for metastatic bladder cancer in 2014 ushered in a new era of treatment. This was the first class of new drugs to be approved for this indication in decades. Yet despite initial optimism about checkpoint inhibitors, they only produce response rates of 15 to 25% in any setting -- chemorefractory, metastatic, BCG-unresponsive.

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Progression-Free Survival With Olaparib (Lynparza) in SOLO-1 Study “Dramatic and Impressive”

Over the last few years, we have been more strategically targeting ovarian cancer treatment based on a patient’s BRCA or homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) status. “We’ve seen a complete transformation in how we think about ovarian cancer,” says Dr. Stephanie Wethington, gynecologic oncologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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Evaluating Risks versus Benefits of PARP Inhibitors for Ovarian Cancer Patients

Prescribing any medication or course of treatment involves weighing the risks versus the benefits to the patient, but balancing this equation is particularly crucial with cancer drugs which carry significant side effects and toxicity. As the data on treating ovarian cancer with PARP inhibitors becomes more promising and their use becomes more widespread, oncologists are looking for information on patient tolerance.

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Identifying Ovarian Cancer Patients for PARP Inhibitors

How to determine which ovarian cancer patients will benefit most from PARP inhibitors such as olaparib (brand name: Lynparza) is still a big question in oncology. “If you're going to use a selective strategy to identify patients for PARP inhibitors, there are different approaches, different pathways,” says Dr. Stephanie Wethington, gynecologic oncologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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Which Ovarian Cancer Patients Should Get PARP Inhibitor Maintenance Therapy?

PARP inhibitors are becoming an increasingly important part of the care for ovarian cancer. Professional medical societies have started to weigh in on how these drugs should be incorporated into clinical care, but providers still have many unanswered questions about their use.

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Individualizing Treatment for Asymptomatic Oligometastatic Bladder Cancer

Chemotherapy is the generally recognized frontline treatment for metastatic bladder cancer. But for patients who are in the transitional oligometastatic state between localized and metastatic cancer and are asymptomatic, what comes next can be somewhat unclear.

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Will Bladder Preservation Become More Common in the Future?

“For localized bladder cancer patients who have muscle invasive disease, a lot of departments across the country really do favor surgery,” Dr. Jeannie Hoffman-Censits, medical oncologist and bladder cancer specialist at Johns Hopkins, tells SurvivorNet Connect. Radiation has long been an option for selected patients who don’t have multi-focal disease, “who don’t have certain high-risk features."

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Immunotherapy is a ‘Powerful Tool’ for Treating Urothelial Cancer

Platinum-based chemotherapy remains the standard of care for the treatment of patients with metastatic urothelial cancer in the frontline setting. However, for patients who are not candidates for chemotherapy or who have PD-L1 positive tumors, immunotherapy may be considered for frontline use.

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Predicting Which Lung Cancer Patients Will Benefit From Immunotherapy

Immune checkpoint inhibitors like pembrolizumab have been a major advancement in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but they need to be prescribed strategically to have the greatest benefit. That requires looking at the immune landscape of the cancer using PD-L1 immunohistochemistry, and specifically the Tumor Proportion Score (TPS).

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Targeted Therapies Offer Greater Precision in Advanced Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung cancer treatment is evolving from one-size-fits-all approaches to more targeted precision medicine. Understanding the molecular makeup of a patient’s tumor is essential to finding the treatment strategy that is most likely to produce a durable response.

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Could Durvalumab (Imfinzi) Improve Survival in Early-Stage NSCLC?

The PACIFIC trial revealed a clear survival benefit to giving durvalumab to patients with stage III unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following chemoradiation. With the PACIFIC-4 study, researchers want to learn whether patients might benefit from this checkpoint inhibitor in the earlier stages of the disease.

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The PACIFIC Trial Marks Major Breakthrough in Stage III Lung Cancer Treatment

Nearly one-third of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) present at stage III, most with unresectable tumors. Treatments up to now have had limited success with these patients, who have faced a median survival time of approximately two years. Thanks to durvalumab (brand name: Imfinzi), the outlook is finally looking up.

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Latest Outcomes from the PACIFIC Trial Suggest Overall Survival Improvement for Lung Cancer

“The most updated outcome of the PACIFIC trial, released a couple of months ago, shows the four-year overall survival data,” says Dr. Balazs Halmos, medical oncologist and director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at Montefiore Medical Center. That, he says, is continuing to look very impressive with each year’s update.

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Which BTK Inhibitor is Best Upfront for CLL?

Ibrutinib was once the only bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor. Now that acalabrutinib (brand name: Calquence) is available, you have a decision to make when choosing an upfront therapy for your chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. Which of these two drugs is best?

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Calquence (Acalabrutinib) Has an Advantage Over Other BTK Inhibitors in CLL Treatment

Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors have proven themselves highly effective for both treatment-naïve and relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The first-generation BTK inhibitor ibrutinib was followed by second-generation drugs such as acalabrutinib (brand name: Calquence), zanubrutinib and tirabrutinib, which have all shown good long-term efficacy and safety.

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What to Consider Before Prescribing a BTK Inhibitor Such as Calquence for CLL Patients

Bruton kinase (BTK) inhibitors have only emerged in recent years, but already they have become an established therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and other hematologic malignancies. Second-generation BTK inhibitors such as acalabrutinib tend to have a better safety profile than the first-generation drugs, but side effects are still a concern.

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The Pros and Cons of a Patient’s HRD Score

Homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) score is an emerging marker to predict an ovarian cancer patient’s response to PARP inhibitors. However, its use is complicated by a lack of standardization between the molecular diagnostic companies.

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Breaking Down the PAOLA Trial — Who Benefits from Olaparib (Lynparza)?

In the PAOLA trial, ovarian cancer patients received either bevacizumab alone or bevacizumab plus olaparib (brand name: Lynparza) after their frontline therapy. “And what they found in this trial was very interesting,” says Dr. John Nakayama, gynecologic oncologist with Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh.

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Decision Making Around PARP Inhibitors Such as Olaparib (Lynparza) in Frontline Maintenance

The typical treatment for patients with advanced ovarian cancer is surgery plus platinum-based chemotherapy. Although most patients go into remission following this regimen, an estimated 70% relapse within the next three years.

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PARP Inhibitors and Recurrent Platinum-Sensitive Ovarian Cancer

Treating Recurrence after PARP Therapy Maintenance therapy with PARP inhibitors is still relatively new There are no clear guidelines yet for how to treat women with platinum-sensitive tumors when they recur after PARP maintenance therapy New trials, such as MEDIOLA, suggest a triplet option Four years ago the FDA approved the first PARP inhibitor (niraparib) […]

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Managing a Patient with AML Who Also Has COVID-19, According to Dr. Mikkael Sekeres

Prevention and treatment of COVID-19 is not markedly different for patients with cancers of the blood and bone marrow than it is for anyone else, according to the University of Miami's Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, who formally practiced at the Cleveland Clinic. “When I have a patient who has a hematologic malignancy who also has a COVID-19 infection, I take it seriously. . . just as I would anybody who has a COVID-19 infection,” he tells SurvivorNet Connect.

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Female Doctors Want the Same Level of Representation – and Respect – as Male Doctors

While male doctors still outnumber female doctors in the United States, the demographic is changing. In 2019, women made up 50.5% of medical school students. Some 80% of doctors age 65 and older are men, who may soon be retiring. In a few years, women may begin to dominate the medical profession. For now, they just want equal treatment from their colleagues.

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If You’ve Ever Worked in a Lab and Everyone Thought You Were Crazy, Here’s Some Inspiration from Nobel Laureate Jim Allison…

In 2018 Jim Allison, an immunology researcher at MD Anderson Cancer Center, won the Nobel Prize for Physiology of Medicine. The most prestigious recognition in the world was the result of years of painstaking research in immunology. His scientific contributions were seen as a breakthrough as he was the pioneer of a revolutionary cancer treatment called CTLA-4 checkpoint inhibitor drugs.

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Oral Azacitidine May Increase Survival in Older Patients with AML

Maintenance therapy with the oral version of azacitidine (brand name: ONUREG) significantly improves disease-free survival in older adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who have achieved complete remission on intensive chemotherapy, according to research published in the journal Blood. This is the first time a maintenance therapy has shown a survival advantage in older adults, who make up the vast majority of AML patients.

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Metastatic Lung Cancer — Deciding on Next Steps

Biomarker testing can guide you to the initial targeted treatment for patients with metastatic lung cancer, but what happens when that first-line treatment stops holding the cancer at bay? Dr. Patrick Forde, thoracic oncologist at Johns Hopkins, suggests retesting to find a new therapeutic target.

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Should CAR T-Cell Therapy be the Standard Third Line Treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?

“If you don’t think of CAR T-cell therapy as a third line of therapy, you’re malpracticing,” Dr. Stephen Schuster, Penn Medicine hematologist/oncologist, tells SurvivorNet Connect. His concern is that, “It’s not yet gelled in the mind of all practicing oncologists that this is a reality for their patients.” Dr. Schuster is eager to raise awareness of CAR T-cell therapy because its success as third line therapy depends in large part on earlier therapeutic choices.

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Blood Cancer Patients Face More Severe Illness and Death from COVID-19

Having cancer increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. The immune system, already compromised by cancer and its therapies, can't respond as effectively as it could in a healthy patient. The risk of worse outcomes is particularly high for patients with blood cancers. "When they get COVID-19, they tend to get more severe illness and to die more frequently," Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, chief of the Division of Hematology at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, who was formerly with the Cleveland Clinic, tells SurvivorNet Connect.

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Concrete Steps for Addressing Racial Disparities in Your Practice

Both anecdotal evidence and multiple studies have documented disturbing disparities in cancer care, morbidity, and mortality among various populations. “We’ve known that cancer disparities have existed for decades,” Dr. Karen Winkfield, radiation oncologist at Vanderbilt University, tells SurvivorNet Connect. She explains that CDC graphs and charts as far back as the 1970s show Blacks dying from cancers at a much higher rate than other racial or ethnic groups. “Black men, for example, are dying of prostate cancer at about twice the rate of white men,” she says.

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First Positive Trial in Early-Stage NSCLC in 15 Years, According to Dr. Patrick Forde

Osimertinib (brand name: TAGRISSO) significantly improves disease-free survival and reduces the risk of recurrence in patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-positive early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following a gross total resection when compared to placebo. The ADAURA trial, published this past October in The New England Journal of Medicine, suggests that osimertinib is an effective adjuvant treatment after complete tumor resection.

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Predicting Response to BCMA Therapies to Fine-Tune Multiple Myeloma Treatment

Despite great progress in multiple myeloma treatment, most patients will inevitably relapse. New targeted therapies are needed, especially in high-risk relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) is one such promising target, but we need to improve our ability to understand the makeup of myeloma at baseline, as well as the immune microenvironment, to predict which BCMA-focused therapies would provide the greatest benefit for each patient.

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Practical Guidance on Getting Your Patients Back Into Life With COVID-19 Still in the Picture

We've been living with the pandemic for nearly a year, and COVID-19 fatigue is real. That's especially true for some cancer patients, who mark every passing milestone -- holidays, the birth of a baby, or an engagement -- with a sense of fear and frustration that time is slipping away from them.

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Drug Combo Improves Survival in Older Adults With AML

The standard treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is intensive induction chemotherapy, followed by consolidation chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant, or a combination of both treatments. Yet the bulk of this patient population, who are in their late 60s or beyond, either aren't appropriate candidates for chemotherapy, or don't respond well to it.

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Why Physicians Should Prioritize Their Emotional Wellbeing

The issue of burnout has long plagued physicians given the many hours of physically and mentally draining work. But the past year of dealing with COVID-19 has ratcheted the demands on doctors even higher, and many may be experiencing profession-related mental health issues for the first time. Now more than ever it's important to pay attention to the idea of compassion fatigue, says Dr. Marianna Strongin, a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of Strong in Therapy, her Manhattan-based private practice.

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How to Find the Right Therapist When You Feel Burned Out — Advice from a Clinical Psychologist

Not surprisingly, doctors tend to be rather picky when choosing professionals to take care of their own health. And that’s true of both physical and emotional health needs. “Doctors happen to be really selective about finding therapists,” says Dr. Marianna Strongin, a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of Strong in Therapy, her Manhattan-based private practice. “I think it’s one of the reasons that they don’t get into therapy earlier.”

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The Message from Leading Voices in Cancer Care — Don’t Lose Yourself in Caring for Your Patients

Physician burnout is real. The mental and physical exhaustion that characterizes this condition affects up to half of doctors, and it can have both professional and personal implications. Even in times of great duress, like the COVID-19 pandemic, our instinct is to put patients first, and we may fail to recognize our own needs as a result.

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How Physicians Can Prevent Physical and Emotional Burnout

“One of the first things we look for with burnout is exhaustion, and it can happen in both a physical and emotional way,” explains Dr. Marianna Strongin, a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of Strong in Therapy, her Manhattan-based private practice. Physical exhaustion is often a precursor to emotional exhaustion, but complicating burnout diagnosis and treatment in physicians is the fact that they’ve been trained to work through physical exhaustion and even to ignore it.

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COVID-19 Energized the HCP Community in the Early Days

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, levels of HCP burnout had reached epidemic proportions. "Health care has been suffering from burnout for many, many years. All of the regulatory challenges, all of the insurance and administrative challenges that face health care has really sapped the joy for many providers," Dr. Ted Teknos, a head and neck cancer surgeon at University Hospitals in Cleveland, tells SurvivorNet Connect. According to Dr. Teknos, there was a silver lining when the pandemic first began as many health care workers felt reenergized with a purpose.

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COVID-19 Could Lead to Dangerous Levels of Physician Burnout — How Can We Change the Culture of Medicine?

Working to the extreme is a hazard of the medical profession. In January 2020, 42% of physicians surveyed reported feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, otherwise known as burnout. And that was before COVID-19 sent a flood of new patients into medical offices and hospitals.

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Black People are Dramatically Underrepresented in Clinical Trials

Black people have the highest death rates and shortest survival of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. Yet they are significantly underrepresented in studies evaluating the drugs that might improve their prognosis. A ProPublica analysis found that, in trials for 24 of the 31 cancer drugs approved between 2015 and 2018, less than 2% of participants were Black, even though Black Americans make up 13% of the population.

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What Physicians Can Do to Tackle Issues of Race in Cancer Screening and Treatment

Disparities in screenings among those with a family history of cancer are clearly documented in the medical literature. Still, little has changed in our practice to address them.

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Weighing the Risks of Multiple Myeloma Therapy in the Time of COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the country, cancer specialists had to weigh the risks of treating multiple myeloma to prevent morbidity and mortality, with the dangers of virus exposure in their patients. SurvivorNet's experts say treatment decisions often hinge on geographic location.

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Belamaf is ‘First-In-Class’ New Therapy for Relapsed/Refractory Myeloma, But What’s Its Role in the Toolkit?

In August, the FDA granted belantamab mafodotin (Belamaf) accelerated approval for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who've received at least four prior therapies, including an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody, a proteasome inhibitor, and an immunomodulatory agent.

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What We’re Learning About Isatuximab and How It’s Being Used to Treat Multiple Myeloma Patients

The recent FDA approval of isatuximab in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone has opened up another avenue of treatment for multiple myeloma patients who have already undergone two prior lines of therapy.

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How Would You Treat a 60-Year-Old Woman with Relapsed Refractory Myeloma?

A 60-year-old woman was previously treated with a standard VRD combination followed by a stem cell transplant on lenalidomide maintenance therapy, which was stopped due to diarrhea. Three years later she had an increase in her "M protein" and her myeloma has returned. How would you approach her treatment?

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How Top Institutions Are Working to Reduce Racial Disparities

Black Americans have a two- to three-fold incidence of multiple myeloma compared to whites, yet they are significantly underrepresented in clinical trials. Issues with access, eligibility, and a lack of information from providers prevent many Black patients from participating.

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Dexamethasone Use in Multiple Myeloma and COVID-19 Isn’t the Same

Corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone and dexamethasone have emerged as a valuable intervention to improve outcomes in critically ill patients with COVID-19. Randomized trials have indicated that these drugs reduce mortality in seriously ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation and supplemental oxygen.

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New CAR T-Cell Therapy “Very Exciting” Because it Gives Patients One Year Without Progression

In September, the FDA accepted idecabtagene vicleucel (bb2121) for priority review. This investigational chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy is designed to treat patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least three previous therapies, including an immunomodulatory agent, a proteasome inhibitor, and an anti-CD38 antibody.

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Should PARP Inhibitors Be Offered to All Women?

When it comes to PARP inhibitors, Dr. Rebecca Arend of the University of Alabama says, “The message is not that each patient should get a PARP inhibitor no matter what, but that it is an awareness that we need to put out into the community.”

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Practical Steps for Physician Burnout

Therapy for physicians is important. Providers can be consumers of therapy, and there should be no shame in seeking help. Dr. Elizabeth Jewell says to identify risk factors. “Middle-aged women, and associate professors tend to be high risk [for mental health issues]. A lot of it has to do with busier clinical practices, job expectations, and responsibilities at home. As a society, we need to figure that out.”

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Has COVID-19 Changed Treatment?

Many oncologists are wondering: How has COVID-19 changed treatment? Dr. Elizabeth Jewell of Memorial Sloan Kettering says, “You can safely get COVID-positive patients and cancer patients through treatment and through surgery.” Many are following ACS guidelines around how to stratify cases.

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Next Level HRD Testing and How to Make Better Decisions

Dr. Thomas Herzog notes the importance of an HRD test, “Getting an HRD for me would be important. I think the next gen sequencing doesn’t lead to new treatments all that often. My counter-argument to that is that we’re learning more and more. We really want to move the field forward and we need to get that information."

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Why Minorities Are Underrepresented in Clinical Trials and What Physicians Can Do About It

The idea that racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in clinical trials has been well documented. That disparity has meant that cancer therapies are not being tested in the full demographic of people who will one day make use of them in the clinical setting.

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Doctors Treating Minority Ovarian Cancer Patients May Not Be Aware of Their Own Implicit Biases

Evidence strongly suggests a higher mortality rate and lack of high-quality treatment among Black ovarian cancer patients than white patients. Although the exact reason for this disparity isn’t clear, factors ranging from socioeconomic inequality to access to health care may play roles.

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Selinexor Combo Effective For Relapsed Multiple Myeloma; Could it Benefit COVID Patients, Too?

Most multiple myeloma patients eventually relapse and their cancers become unresponsive to therapy, leaving them with limited remaining options and a poor prognosis. For these patients, the combination of selinexor plus dexamethasone represents a "critical new direction" in treatment.

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In Head-to-Head Matchup with KRd, VRd Remains Gold Standard of Care in Multiple Myeloma

The three-drug combination of bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (VRd) has been the standard therapy for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. The ENDURANCE trial presented at ASCO was a head-to-head effort to determine whether adding the next-generation proteasome inhibitor on the block, carfilzomib, to lenalidomide and dexamethasone (KRd) might perform even better. In short, it didn't.

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Brentuximab Vedotin is ‘Great Stride’ Toward Improving Lymphoma Outcomes

Brentuximab vedotin has added considerably to the lymphoma treatment options available to oncologists. The drug was initially approved for the treatment of relapsed Hodgkin's lymphoma following a stem cell transplant or, in patients who could not have a transplant, for those who had already undergone two or more chemotherapy treatments.

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Overcoming Racial Disparities in Multiple Myeloma Research and Care

Multiple myeloma has one of the most dramatic racial disparities of any cancers. Black Americans are more than twice as likely to get this cancer than white Americans. They're also more likely to die from multiple myeloma.

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Addressing Work-Life Balance Essential for Doctors’ Mental Health

More than half of physicians surveyed say they've struggled to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the problem.

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Patients Need Careful Monitoring for CAR T-Cell Therapy Side Effects

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has become a major ally in the treatment of certain lymphomas and leukemias. However, this therapy is not without risks.

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PARP Inhibitors Boost Survival in Ovarian Cancer, Prompting New ASCO Guidelines on Their Use

PARP inhibitors are a class of drugs that inhibit one of the backup systems of DNA damage repair. Ovarian cancers with BRCA1, BRCA2, or certain other mutations have a defect in a major DNA damage repair pathway and are highly dependent on secondary pathways for their survival.

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The Promise of CAR T-Cell Therapy for Multiple Myeloma

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is showing great promise in multiple myeloma, with response rates in studies of 85% or more, and about half of patients going into complete remission for a year or longer.

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Bispecific Antibodies Offer Lymphoma Patients a Promising New Therapeutic Option

Bispecific antibodies have exciting potential as a cancer therapy, due to their ability to simultaneously bind to two targets. Right now, this treatment is only available in investigational trials, but it has shown promising outcomes for patients with relapsed-refractory lymphoma who have already undergone a transplant, CAR T-cell therapy, or other lines of treatment.

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How to Prevent COVID-19 From Taking a Toll on Your Mental Health

We often talk about COVID-19 in terms of infections and deaths. What sometimes remains unspoken is the emotional toll this virus has had, not only on patients, but also on the doctors, nurses, and other health professionals who care for them. Research finds that these frontline medical workers face high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress.

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COVID-19 Has Shifted Much of Ovarian Cancer Care to Telemedicine

COVID-19 has shifted much of oncology practice from the medical office to the computer screen. Fear of infection in an already vulnerable population has led to the rapid expansion of remote care delivery. When ovarian cancer visits are done remotely, do patients lose out?

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Obinutuzumab Plus Venetoclax Produces Significant Survival Benefits in CLL

For decades, chemotherapy was the foundation of treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Today, monoclonal antibodies like obinutuzumab have become part of the standard of care for CLL patients.

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CAR T-Cell Therapy Produces ‘Remarkable’ Results in Multiple Myeloma, but It’s Still Not a Cure

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is showing great promise in multiple myeloma, as evidenced by a trio of investigational therapies presented at this year's ASCO conference. 

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Nurturing the Relationship with Your Patients to Deliver Better Care

The strength of your relationship with your patients can have a significant impact on the quality of care you provide. Trust is one of the cornerstones of this relationship, but building that trust takes time and effort. And when you're juggling a heavy patient load, time can be a commodity in short supply.

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Delaying Treatment to Protect Ovarian Cancer Patients from COVID Has Benefits and Risks

Determining the most appropriate cancer treatment for your patients usually involves finding a delicate balance between the risks and benefits. How effective will the treatment be? Can a patient tolerate it? COVID adds one more factor into the equation.

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Could Ibrutinib Combined With Other Targeted Therapies and Chemo Be ‘the Future’ of B-Cell Lymphoma Treatment?

New research is enhancing our understanding of ibrutinib -- a Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor used to treat several different types of lymphoma, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), small lymphocytic leukemia (SLL), and mantle cell lymphoma. It has also produced positive responses in B-cell lymphoma, but is so far only used in patients with relapsed/refractory disease.

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Cytokine Release Syndrome: The Downside of CAR T-Cell Therapy

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has had great success thus far, producing lasting responses and even remissions in patients with relapsed or refractory hematologic cancers such as B-cell lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

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Improving Diversity in the Medical Community Key to Increasing Trust Among Black Patients

Having a doctor with the same racial background builds trust, and makes patients more likely to comply with medical advice, follow through with recommended screenings, and take their prescribed medications.

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CAR T-Cell Therapy is a ‘Revolution in Cancer Immunotherapy’

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is "paradigm changing" -- a "revolution in cancer immunotherapy." This treatment has ushered in a new era of therapy for blood cancer patients.

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What COVID-19 May Have Changed Forever About Multiple Myeloma Care — Telemedicine

COVID made oncologists rethink how to deliver care to their multiple myeloma patients, who are already at higher risk for infection. Providers increasingly shifted to telemedicine, and quickly realized its long-term benefits -- particularly for patients living far from major cancer centers.

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To Treat Ovarian Cancer With PARP Inhibitors or Not: Factoring the Progression-Free Survival Benefit and Side Effects Into the Decision

PARP inhibitors like niraparib (Zejula) are an effective tool against ovarian cancer. The NOVA trial established that niraparib as maintenance therapy in platinum-sensitive patients significantly improved progression-free survival compared to placebo, regardless of women's BRCA or homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) status. Then, the PRIMA study found the treatment extended PFS in patients with newly diagnosed ovarian cancer, with or without HRD deficiency.

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Cancer Affects Communities of Color Differently; How Providing Information on Prevention Can Help Level the Playing Field

Myeloma is just one example of a cancer that disproportionately impacts communities of color. Black Americans are twice as likely to have the precursor condition, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) than are white Americans.

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Practical Advice for Physicians Struggling with Mental Illness

A mental health crisis is going on right now, and acknowledging it is a first step in addressing the problem. The demanding pace of the industry puts physicians at high risk for burnout, particularly in the midst of the high-stress environment that a global pandemic brings.

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‘Exciting’ New Therapies, Including BTK Inhibitors and Monoclonal Antibodies, Promising for CLL

In recent years, the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has undergone a seismic shift, with chemotherapy being replaced by a new and more effective generation of drugs. One of the "really exciting" therapies to emerge is the Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

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The Clinical Trial Disparity: Why So Few Black Patients Enroll

In trials for 24 of the 31 cancer drugs approved since 2015, fewer than 5% of participants were Black. As a result of this disparity, Black patients aren't getting access to experimental, and possibly lifesaving new therapies.

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COVID-19 Pandemic Reinforces the Need to Care for Your Mental Health

Fear of being perceived as weak or unable to do their jobs has created a stigma that prevents many physicians from accessing the mental health care they need. Inadequate treatment may be one reason why the risk for suicide is so much higher among doctors than it is in the general population.

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CAR T-Cell Therapy is ‘Exciting,’ But Also ‘Overwhelming’ for Patients

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has been transformative in blood cancer therapy, particularly for patients with previously poor outcomes; however, producing the CAR T cells can be a complex process.

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How to Bridge the Information Gap and Overcome Distrust When Treating Women of Color

People of color face the highest rates of cancer, and of cancer mortality, than any other racial or ethnic group. Black women in particular have higher death rates, despite having a lower incidence of cancer overall.

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