2016-11-18The term ‘precision medicine’ is abundant in the medical literature. But, what do we understand by this term? In clinical oncology, an accepted definition of precision medicine refers to therapeutic decisions guided by the molecular or genomic features of a tumour rather than on the
2016-10-25Successes with the anti-PD-1 antibodies pembrolizumab and nivolumab in the second-line treatment of advanced-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have inevitably led to trials in the first-line setting. Results from three such trials were presented to packed crowds at the ESMO 2016 Congress.In the phase
2016-10-18The development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells has enabled the highly specific targeting of selected tumour antigens, and has improved the outcomes of patients with certain types of cancer. However, various limitations in the clinical effectiveness of CAR T cells remain, mostly owing
2016-11-02Head and neck cancer can evade the immune system by a number of mechanisms, including expression of PD-L1 and PD-L2. Positive data from phase I trials demonstrating responses to anti-PD-1 therapy of patients with a range of solid tumours triggered interest in investigating the anti-PD-1
2016-11-02Endocrine therapy, usually in combination with aromatase inhibitors, is the standard-of-care treatment of women with breast cancer harbouring oestrogen receptor (ER) and/or progesterone receptor expression (HR+) and no HER2 expression (HER2−); however, resistance to treatment often develops. Two phase III trials presented at ESMO 2016
2016-10-25The ESMO 2016 Congress, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, was attended by ∼20,000 members of the oncology community from >120 countries. This meeting provided an excellent forum for health-care professionals from a range of disciplines to discuss their work, share ideas, and build networks, with the
2016-10-25Despite substantial improvments in our ability to treat patients with clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC), several important questions, including how to manage patients with high-risk disease following surgery and how best to delay disease progression in those with metastatic disease, remain unanswered. Data from two
2016-10-11The SHIVA trial compared the efficacy of targeted agents selected on the basis of tumour molecular profiling (using an algorithmic approach) with that of physician's choice across multiple solid tumours; the trial was negative for the primary end point. We now discuss the challenges associated with precision medicine trial design and propose solutions learned from this trial.
2016-11-18The UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization recently announced a further delay before considering the subject of widespread human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in teenage boys, thereby excluding an estimated 2.9 million boys from receiving an effective treatment in this interim period. Vaccination of boys can offer significant clinical, economic and ethical advantages.
2016-11-08Most patients with cancer who develop brain metastases have a very poor prognosis, especially those with brain metastases from non-small-cell lung cancer. The short life-expectancy of these patients, which is typically measured in weeks or a few months, raises an important question: do they benefit from whole-brain radiotherapy, or are they appropriately treated with best supportive care alone? A recent randomized trial sought to answer this question.
2016-07-19The revolution in cancer genomics has uncovered a variety of clinically relevant mutations in primary brain tumours, creating an urgent need to develop non-invasive imaging biomarkers to assess and integrate this genetic information into the clinical management of patients. Metabolic reprogramming is a central hallmark
2016-07-26Much time, effort and investment goes into the diagnosis of symptomatic cancer, with the expectation that this approach brings clinical benefits. This investment of resources has been particularly noticeable in the UK, which has, for several years, appeared near the bottom of international league tables
2016-08-17Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the leading causes of cancer- related deaths. PDAC remains one of the most difficult-to-treat cancers, owing to its unique pathobiological features: a nearly impenetrable desmoplastic stroma, and hypovascular and hypoperfused tumour vessels render most treatment options largely ineffective.
2016-06-07The Internet is a valuable tool that continues to revolutionize many aspects of our lives; however, the ability to disseminate diverse data across populations and nations presents both opportunities and challenges. Online resources are increasingly used in health care, providing wider access to information for