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Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology

Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology provides physicians and academics with authoritative and topical discussions of key developments in the field.


Lung cancer: Tracing tumour evolution


One key hypothesis proposed to explain the resistance of tumours to otherwise effective therapies is the existence of an evolution process whereby cancer cells harbouring or acquiring resistance mechanisms escape selective pressure. Results of several studies have confirmed this hypothesis, which is reinforced by the

Immunotherapy: Nivolumab keeps HCC in check and opens avenues for checkmate


Annually, ∼750,000 new cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are diagnosed worldwide, mostly at an advanced stage, with dismal outcomes. Sorafenib, the only approved systemic therapy for advanced-stage HCC, is of limited benefit, and no standard second-line therapy exists. New data indicate the therapeutic potential of

Lung cancer: KEYNOTE-001 — combo improves melody


Immunotherapy-based approaches have become a treatment option for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Importantly, evidence from preclinical studies suggests that radiotherapy stimulates an antitumour immune response. In order to investigate this hypothesis, Percy Lee, Narek Shaverdian and collaborators undertook a secondary analysis of the

Immunotherapy: Exploiting PD-1 on TAMs for tumour cell kill


In patients with cancer, the presence of tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) portends a poor prognosis. Macrophages have been shown to express PD-1 in the context of pathogen infection; thus, the possibility that TAMs might also express PD-1 in the tumour microenvironment was explored in a new

Prostate cancer: AR mutations in plasma DNA indicate outcomes


An urgent need exists for predictive biomarkers that can be sampled noninvasively in men with prostate cancer. Towards this goal, an analysis of androgen receptor (AR) gene status was conducted using plasma DNA samples from androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT)-naive patients receiving ADT with either

Haematological cancer: Pembrolizumab is effective in multiple myeloma


Newly published data from a phase II study involving patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) indicate that the anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) antibody pembrolizumab can enhance the efficacy of pomalidomide plus dexamethasone. A total of 48 patients were included in this

Skin cancer: Mutational landscape of melanoma revealed


Most cutaneous melanomas have a distinct, UV-radiation-induced mutational signature, which is dominated by C>T nucleotide transitions. However, the mutational landscape of melanomas ocurring at ocular, acral, and mucosal surfaces remains less well understood. Now, a high-coverage whole-genome sequencing study has revealed that the noncutaneous subtypes

Immunotherapy: Macrophages hijack anti-PD-1 therapy


Anti-PD-1 antibodies (αPD-1) can provide long-term clinical benefit, but only for a minority of patients with cancer; our understanding of the mechanisms of response or resistance to these agents is limited. Mikael Pittet and co-workers sought to address this knowledge gap by studying the pharmacokinetics

Targeted therapies: J-ALEX hints at new first-line in NSCLC


A better understanding of the genetic landscape of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has improved the management of this disease. Crizotinib is the standard first-line therapy for patients with ALK rearrangements. Upon disease progression, second-generation ALK inhibitors are available, such as alectinib that targets certain

In the news: From ASCO 2017


Between the 2nd and 6th of June, more than 30,000 delegates descended on Chicago for the 53rd ASCO meeting. This meeting is an annual forum for discussion of recent clinical advances, which are testament to the dedication of the oncology community, not least the critical

Immunotherapy: Does adjuvant ipilimumab have little adverse effect on quality of life?


Adjuvant ipilimumab is associated with an 11% improvement in 5-year overall survival in patients with high-risk melanoma, but at the cost of considerable toxicity, with half of patients discontinuing treatment owing to adverse events. An analysis of quality-of-life (QoL) outcomes, however, showed little impact of adverse effects of this treatment on QoL, which is puzzling.

Gynaecological cancer: Novel molecular subtypes of cervical cancer — potential clinical consequences


The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network recently published the most comprehensive, multi-omic molecular characterization of cervical cancers performed to date. The data reveal novel disease subtypes, and provide new insights into the aetiology and pathogenesis of cervical cancer. Importantly, the information obtained has potentially major clinical implications.

Tumour-associated macrophages as treatment targets in oncology


Macrophages are crucial drivers of tumour-promoting inflammation. Tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) contribute to tumour progression at different levels: by promoting genetic instability, nurturing cancer stem cells, supporting metastasis, and taming protective adaptive immunity. TAMs can exert a dual, yin–yang influence on the effectiveness of cytoreductive therapies

Proteasome inhibitors in cancer therapy


The ubiquitin proteasome pathway was discovered in the 1980s to be a central component of the cellular protein-degradation machinery with essential functions in homeostasis, which include preventing the accumulation of misfolded or deleterious proteins. Cancer cells produce proteins that promote both cell survival and proliferation,

Advances in the molecular genetics of gliomas — implications for classification and therapy


Genome-wide molecular-profiling studies have revealed the characteristic genetic alterations and epigenetic profiles associated with different types of gliomas. These molecular characteristics can be used to refine glioma classification, to improve prediction of patient outcomes, and to guide individualized treatment. Thus, the WHO Classification of Tumours

Independent imaging biomarkers do not exist


Link to original article O'Connor, J. P. B. et al. Imaging biomarker roadmap for cancer studies. Nat. Rev. Clin. Oncol.14, 169–186 (2017).In their Consensus Statement published in the March 2017 issue of this journal (Imaging biomarker roadmap for cancer

Imaging biomarkers exist and they underpin clinical decision-making


We thank Dr Burke for his interest (Independent imaging biomarkers do not exist. Nat. Rev. Clin. Oncol.; 2017) in the international consensus statement on 'imaging biomarker' translation that we led on behalf of Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the European Organisation