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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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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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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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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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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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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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