The February issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON) features a variety of articles that specifically address topics of interest for nurses, navigators, and advanced practice providers caring for patients with cancer, including the latest results from clinical trials evaluating novel and FDA-approved therapies being used to extend survival and enhance quality of life.
We begin this issue with coverage of the ASH 2021 Annual Meeting and Exposition, where experts presented key data on drugs and combination regimens being used in the treatment of hematologic malignancies. In a noteworthy session, Frederick L. Locke, MD, and Manali Kamdar, MD, discussed encouraging findings from 2 trials showing the benefits of CAR T-cell therapies for patients with large B-cell lymphoma (see here).
“In my opinion, this is a breakthrough therapy, which has shown superiority over standard of care after decades, in terms of not just efficacy, but also an extremely favorable safety profile,” said Dr Kamdar, while discussing results from the phase 3 TRANSFORM study, which evaluated lisocabtagene maraleucel in patients with relapsed or refractory disease.
We also feature highlights from the 11th Annual Summit of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care in 2021, where stakeholders gathered to exchange their knowledge, insights, and real-world experience with the goal of making cancer care more affordable and accessible to patients. In a session on the impact of telehealth on quality, access, and costs in cancer care, a panel of experts discussed the benefits of using this technology, as well as shortcomings that still need to be addressed (see here).
Sara Dolcetti, MBA, MS, discussed the importance of acknowledging and addressing issues related to disparities and access, which existed before the COVID-19 pandemic occurred. “We believe there is a unique role that telehealth has in terms of eliminating disparities. It’s not only an opportunity, but an obligation that we have as a society,” she said.
During the 2021 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, investigators shared updates on effective treatments for patients with breast cancer, including results from a pivotal phase 3 trial, which showed that adding pembrolizumab to chemotherapy can lead to a clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival in women with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer whose tumors expressed PD-L1 with a combined positive score ≥10 (see here).
“In my opinion, the results of KEYNOTE-355 lend further support for pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy as a standard-of-care treatment regimen for this group of patients,” said Javier Cortés, MD, PhD, during a key presentation.
Readers can also gain insights on common misconceptions and knowledge gaps concerning biosimilars (see here).
“Approximately half of oncologists surveyed did not realize that biosimilars were not the same as generic medications. That might be a technical point, but we found it remarkable that something so basic would not be known by all oncologists,” noted John Devin Peipert, PhD, who discussed this topic during the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Care Symposium.
As always, we hope that you will enjoy this issue of TON, and we invite you to visit www.TheOncologyNurse.com to share your feedback with us. You can also send an e-mail with any questions or comments you may have to info@TheOncologyNurse.com.
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