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Preview: Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology - Issue - science feeds

Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology - Issue - science feeds

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


The high price of progress


The field of clinical oncology has never been more interesting than it is now. The past few years have seen notable improvements in the ability of oncologists to treat patients, even those who previously had a very dismal hope of survival. The opportunities provided by

Approvals in 2016: the march of the checkpoint inhibitors


In 2016, FDA Oncology approved five new molecular entities and 17 efficacy supplements, including six accelerated approvals, 17 priority reviews, and 11 approvals of breakthrough-designated therapies. The FDA also approved five companion diagnostics, including a liquid biopsy test. One new anti-PD-L1 antibody was approved, along with six supplementary approvals of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies.

Approvals in 2016: cost–benefit challenges of new anticancer agents


In 2016, four new anticancer drugs were approved by the FDA, and a further 12 existing agents were approved for 14 additional indications. Each one of these drugs is associated with important clinical benefits, but at an average monthly cost of ∼US$9,000. Here, I discuss the cost–benefit considerations related to these treatments and contemplate future economic prospects.

Approvals in 2016: questioning the clinical benefit of anticancer therapies


Patients with cancer expect to derive a meaningful clinical benefit from anticancer treatments, especially considering that such therapies are associated with adverse events and, often, substantial financial costs. We have evaluated new anticancer agents approved by the FDA in 2015 and 2016 using the ESMO Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale and ASCO Value Framework, and conclude that many agents only offer marginal value.

Prostate cancer: Improving diagnosis — can MP-MRI fulfil its PROMIS?


Prostate cancer remains a common cause of death in men. Early diagnosis is perhaps the key to reducing prostate cancer mortality; however, approaches to screening and diagnosis have been beset by problems related to overdiagnosis, on the one hand, and understaging, on the other, leading

Immunotherapy: Glioblastoma regression obtained with CAR T cells


Data from a case report published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicate the feasibility of using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells in patients with recurrent glioblastoma. In this report, a patient whose glioblastoma had progressed whilst participating in a clinical trial

Pancreatic cancer: Pancreatic cancer cells digest extracellular protein


The findings of a study using mouse models of pancreatic cancer indicate that malignant cells, unlike their non-malignant counterparts, are able to sequester extracellular proteins via macropinocytosis and then metabolize these proteins to meet metabolic demands. Researchers demonstrated this effect using fluorescently labelled albumin delivered

CNS cancer: Local chemotherapy favours antitumour immunity


The selection of the most-effective combinations of chemotherapy and immunotherapy can be challenging, owing to the immunosuppressive effects of certain forms of chemotherapy. Now, researchers have demonstrated that systemically administered carmustine results in severe and persistent lymphodepletion, while local delivery of the same drug from

Genetics: Oesophageal cancer — not all alike


The survival rates of patients with oesophageal cancers are low, and a limited number of targeted therapies are available for these patients. Two major subtypes of oesophageal cancers can be defined according to tumour histology: oesophageal adenocarcinomas (EACs), most frequently occurring in the lower oesophagus

Urological cancer: Atezolizumab: an alternative to cisplatin?


Cisplatin-based chemotherapy is an effective first-line treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma; however, many patients are ineligible to receive cisplatin, and other types of chemotherapy, although better tolerated, are not as effective. Now, data from a single-arm phase II trial indicate

Haematological cancer: Landmark survival achieved in MM


In 2007, the SWOG S0777 trial was initiated to compare two of the most active regimens available at that time for the treatment of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM): VRd, comprising the proteosome inhibitor bortezomib, the immunomodulatory drug lenalidomide, and dexamethasone; and Rd, consisting of

Immunotherapy: Platelets to the rescue


One of the main challenges in clinical oncology is the prevention of postsurgical cancer recurrence, which originates from residual microscopic tumour tissue and/or circulating tumour cells (CTCs) that remain after surgery. To address this problem, Zhen Gu and colleagues hypothesized that platelets might be able

Biomarkers: Aneuploidy and immune evasion — a biomarker of response


Many tumours are characterized by the presence of aneuploidy (an abnormal number of chromosomes), and somatic copy-number alterations (SCNAs). Immune evasion is another hallmark of cancer, with important implications for resistance to therapy. Studies have shown that cytolytic immune infiltrates correlate with the tumour mutational

Targeted therapies: Selumetinib MEKing differences in NF1


No effective therapies are available for children with inoperable neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) plexiform neurofibromas. These debilitating and painful tumours are characterized by elevated RAS and MAPK signalling. To date, therapeutic agents that target the RAS pathway have provided limited responses. This situation prompted the

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors in chronic myeloid leukaemia: which, when, for whom?


The therapeutic armamentarium for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) comprises mainly tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), with several agents available for frontline treatment, or for the treatment of disease resistance or intolerance to the first-choice or second-choice drug. The availability of different drugs is a major achievement,

Circulating and disseminated tumour cells — mechanisms of immune surveillance and escape


Metastatic spread of tumour cells is the main cause of cancer-related deaths. Understanding the mechanisms of tumour-cell dissemination has, therefore, become an important focus for cancer research. In patients with cancer, disseminated cancer cells are often detectable in the peripheral blood as circulating tumour cells

Imaging biomarker roadmap for cancer studies


Imaging biomarkers (IBs) are integral to the routine management of patients with cancer. IBs used daily in oncology include clinical TNM stage, objective response and left ventricular ejection fraction. Other CT, MRI, PET and ultrasonography biomarkers are used extensively in cancer research and drug development.

RECIST — learning from the past to build the future


Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumours (RECIST) remain an integral part of the assessment of tumour burden in many clinical trials in oncology; these criteria are used to evaluate the activity and efficacy of new cancer therapeutics in solid tumours. We aim to define the