2016-10-11Cytosine mutations within TCA and TCT motifs, which are caused by the APOBEC cytosine deaminases, are common in tumours described in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Genetic studies have identified associations with cancer risk for common germline variants close to a gene cluster that encodes
2016-09-27Data from a phase II trial indicate that avelumab, an anti PD-L1 monoclonal antibody, is safe and effective in patients with advanced-stage Merkel-cell carcinoma. In a cohort of 88 patients, who were not selected for PD-L1 expression, 28 (31.8%) had an objective response to treatment,
2016-09-27Data from a whole-genome sequencing analysis of 129 patients with oesophageal adenocarcinoma reveal the existence of three distinct molecular subtypes of this heterogeneous cancer: tumours enriched with BRCA mutations, with defective homologous recombination; those dominated by T>G mutations, with a high mutational load and
2016-09-27Results of a clinical correlation study indicate that patients with papillary thyroid cancer harbouring mutations in established oncogenes have inferior survival outcomes compared with patients harbouring wild-type forms of these genes. The genotypes of 1,051 patients with papillary thyroid cancer were investigated for the presence
2016-09-27Despite the availability of evidence from clinical trials on the optimal treatment of patients with metastatic, clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma (RCC), only limited data are available on the treatment of those with non-clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma (ncRCC) or unclassified renal-cell carcinoma (uRCC). Now, data from a phase
2016-10-11Immune-checkpoint blockade is a breakthrough in anticancer therapy, with dramatic sustained responses observed across a range of tumour types. Nevertheless, response rates are modest and acquired resistance can occur. IFNγ is a hallmark cytokine of an antitumour immune response, and disruption of the IFNγ pathway
2016-09-27In the words of Denis Lacombe, co-Chair of the Innovation and Biomarkers in Cancer Drug Development (IBCD) meeting, “we need to adapt quickly to the rapidly evolving field of precision medicine.” These opening remarks set the agenda for this meeting, a joint project from the
2016-09-13Patients with metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma generally receive platinum-containing doublet chemotherapy as a first-line treatment; however, the effectiveness of this approach, even in comparison with supportive therapy alone, has not been directly compared. Now, data from an open-label phase III trial indicate that the efficacy of
2016-09-13Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) from patients with hormone-receptor-positive (HR+) and HER2-negative (HER2−) breast cancer acquire HER2 expression, but how these changes affect tumour progression and response to therapy remains unclear. This question was addressed by Shyamala Maheswaran and Daniel Haber in
2016-10-11Patients with relapsed and/or refractory acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) have a poor prognosis; allogeneic stem-cell transplantation is potentially curative, but many patients are ineligible. A novel approach involving adoptive transfer of preactivated natural killer (NK) cells might enable the 'graft-versus-host' response to be harnessed without
2016-09-20A theoretical radiobiological rationale supports the use of hypofractionated radiotherapy (higher radiation doses per fraction over a shorter period of time compared with conventional fractionation) for the treatment of prostate cancer. The investigators of two recently published phase III clinical trials with different designs have come to opposing conclusions regarding whether hypofractionated radiotherapy should be considered a new standard of care.
2016-09-27Eaton et al. report a very strong association between institutional clinical trial accrual volume and the survival of patients with stage III NSCLC. The observed volume effect might have been exaggerated by artefact. More work is required to quantify the volume effect and understand its causes, before rushing to centralize care.
2016-07-26In a paper published recently in Cell, Guarnerio et al. suggest that circular RNAs derived from cancer-associated chromosomal translocations have an oncogenic role; however, the experimental approach that the authors used was inadequate to generate sufficient evidence to prove this role, calling their study into question.
2016-05-17Metronomic chemotherapy describes the close, regular administration of chemotherapy drugs at less-toxic doses over prolonged periods of time. In 2015, the results of randomized phase III clinical trials demonstrated encouraging, albeit limited, efficacy benefits of metronomic chemotherapy regimens administered as adjuvant maintenance therapy for the
2016-05-17Chemotherapy is the primary established systemic treatment for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in both the early and advanced-stages of the disease. The lack of targeted therapies and the poor prognosis of patients with TNBC have fostered a major effort to discover actionable molecular
2016-06-07Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (GEP-NENs) constitute a heterogeneous group of tumours associated with variable clinical presentations, growth rates, and prognoses. To improve the management of GEP-NENs, the WHO developed a classification system that enables tumours to be graded based on markers of cell proliferation in biopsy
2016-06-28In the clinical setting, the term 'unwarranted variation' refers to variations in patient outcomes that cannot be explained by the patient's underlying illness or medical needs, or the dictates of evidence-based medicine. These types of variations persist even after adjusting for patient-specific factors. Unwarranted variation