Pembrolizumab Approved in Metastatic Small Cell Lung Cancer

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda®, Merck) has received accelerated FDA approval for patients with metastatic small cell lung cancer (SCLC) experiencing disease progression during or after platinum-based chemotherapy following at least one other previous line of therapy. Metastatic SCLC, or extensive-stage SCLC, comprises around 15% of all lung cancers and occurs primarily in heavy smokers. It carries a dismal outlook; only 5% of patients with extensive-stage SCLC live for two years after diagnosis. Appro...
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Cancer Immunotherapy Collaborative Learning With Latha Shivakumar, PhD, CHCP

​ In the constantly evolving field of cancer immunotherapy, it is crucial that community practitioners keep abreast of the latest advances. In this interview with i3 Health, Latha Shivakumar, PhD, CHCP, discusses her poster presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting concerning the initiative she led at the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC): collaborative learning workshops focused on best practices for immunotherapy in the community setting. What...
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Ruxolitinib Approved for Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease

​ The FDA has approved ruxolitinib (Jakafi®, Incyte Corporation), a JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor, for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in adults and in children age 12 and older. Graft-versus-host disease is a complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), a procedure involving the transfer of stem cells from a healthy donor to a patient with a hematologic malignancy following high-intensity chemotherapy or radiation. In GVHD, the dona...
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Avelumab/Axitinib Approved: Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

​ The FDA has approved avelumab (Bavencio®, EMD Serono, Inc.) in combination with axitinib (Inlyta®, Pfizer Inc.) as first-line treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Avelumab is an anti–programmed death ligand 1 (anti–PD-L1) antibody, a type of immune checkpoint inhibitor. Axitinib, a vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), improves tumor infiltration by immune cells. It has antiangiogenic activity, meaning that it prevents tumors from gr...
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CAR T-Cell Therapies: Survey of Oncology Nurses Reveals Much to Be Learned

​ Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a form of immunotherapy in which a patient's own T cells are collected and genetically altered to target cancer cells. Although CAR T-cell therapies have shown encouraging results in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and B-cell lymphomas, they are associated with several serious adverse events, including cytokine release syndrome, neurotoxicity, tumor lysis syndrome, and graft-versus-host disease.  In light of the growing use of C...
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