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ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series

Updated 8 days ago

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The ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series features interviews with panelists of recently published American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guidelines products highlighting key recommendations from the publication. Music:“Journeys” by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au, used under CC:BY.

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The ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series features interviews with panelists of recently published American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guidelines products highlighting key recommendations from the publication. Music:“Journeys” by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au, used under CC:BY.

iTunes Ratings

25 Ratings
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18
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Excellent Listen

By Jacobky - Feb 09 2020
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Very informative, with a remarkably good host!!

iTunes Ratings

25 Ratings
Average Ratings
18
4
1
1
1

Excellent Listen

By Jacobky - Feb 09 2020
Read more
Very informative, with a remarkably good host!!
Cover image of ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series

ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series

Latest release on Feb 14, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 8 days ago

Rank #1: Treatment of Multiple Myeloma Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement. Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin, and I'm interviewing Dr. Joe Mikhael from the City of Hope Cancer Center and International Myeloma Foundation, lead author on "Treatment of Multiple Myeloma: ASCO and CCO Joint Clinical Practice Guideline." Thank you for being here today, Dr. Mikhael. It's a pleasure to be with you. So first, can you give us some context as to why this guideline was developed? Well, we had a lot of ideas when we put together this guideline, but most importantly, multiple myeloma continues to be a rare disease in the cancer world. It really only accounts for about 1% to 2% of cancers. So for the practicing oncologist, they spend perhaps 3-ish percent of their time doing multiple myeloma. And when you add to that there has been really a revolution in myeloma with new drugs approved, new treatments, new approaches, it really leaves the general oncologist with a complexity of how to treat this disease. And so we wanted to create a very practical guideline that would give very precise advice to walk through how one would care for a multiple myeloma patient, right from their diagnosis to indeed relapse disease. We felt this approach was so important now, more than ever, because of the fact that myeloma has really changed so much, and now, thankfully, we're seeing our patients live so much longer that the treatment options can become a little bit more complicated over time. Furthermore, we partnered with Cancer Care Ontario, because this was really felt to be not just an American phenomenon, but really a full North American phenomenon of how we could work together to really give practical advice as to how to treat this disease. So what are the key recommendations of this guideline? In this guideline, we focused really on the treatment of the disease itself. There have been other guidelines that have focused on supportive care and bone disease and multiple myeloma, but we really focused on the treatment of patients really from induction therapy through to relapse. So we spend time helping guide the decision around whether or not a patient is transplant eligible or ineligible, because that's really the first dividing marker in myeloma, because we know that transplant still has a role in myeloma, and eligible patients should have a transplant, or at least have access to a transplant. And historically, this was really done on the basis of age. But the guidelines helps the clinician see that it's really not just an age phenomena. It's really a decision based on comorbidities and really what's best for the patient. So we spend time helping making that decision, and then provide very practical advice as to how to treat a patient who's going to transplant versus a patient who's not going to transplant. We also, then, after the transplant, or in lieu of a transplant, we discuss the importance of continuous therapy, or sometimes called, maintenance therapy in myeloma. Again, we've seen maintenance therapy, now, have an impact on both progression free and overall survival. And so we felt it was really important to be very practical in giving advice as to what maintenance therapy agents to use and how to use them. And then lastly, the guideline provides a lot of practical advice as to a patient who has relapsed with multiple myeloma. We have so many choices now with three major classes of drugs of proteasome inhibitors, immuno-modulatory drugs, and now newer monoclonal antibodies, it can be difficult sometimes to know which combination to use. We know that triplet combinations tend to be preferred. So we walk through a number of those triplets and provide advice as how to explicitly use them. We do emphasize the importance of supportive care and of risk factor analysis throughout the guideline, so that we can understand the difference between high risk and low risk myeloma, so that we can understand how important a patient's comorbidities, especially in a disease that primarily affects older patients, can be managed. And so we try to do so in a comprehensive way, but one that really distills down to the critical pieces to allow the practicing clinician some real advice. So why is this guideline so important, and how will it change practice? There are several kinds of guidelines for multiple myeloma, but I really think this is a critical guideline because it is so clinical and practical in its essence. It's really designed to not just give the utopian view or the clinical trial view of a disease, but practically in the trenches, how do we use the drugs that we know are going to benefit our patients. Myeloma is one of the few cancers where we have seen a doubling, if not a tripling of survival in the last decade, because of so many of these new agents. And so making sure that our patients are treated optimally really is important. And we want to be able to ensure that they receive the best therapy possible, so they can live a longer life, but also live it with a greater quality of life. And so finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect patients? Well, we really hope that this is going to help patients all across North America and the whole world, because it will give very concrete advice to the practicing clinician in how to approach the disease. And one of the things I think will directly impact patients, if you will, right away is one of the themes of these guidelines, which is that you don't treat a patient simply based on the biopsy or simply based on their age, but that it is really a complex network of comorbidities, risk factors from the disease itself, the potential side effects of certain drugs, and a patient's own very personal history. It really fits in with the ASCO modality that we have of ensuring that we bring personalized medicine to our patients. And so this will allow the person who's reading it and who's applying it to their patient to recognize the importance of general guidelines, but also of applying it to the specific patient they care for. Because as I like to say, we don't treat multiple myeloma, we treat people. And so hopefully, this will allow the clinician to have that precision to care for their patient in the best way possible. Great. Thank you for that overview of this guideline, and thank you for your time today Dr. Mikhael. It's been a real pleasure. Thank you very much. And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/hematologic-malignancies-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast, and refer the show to a colleague.

Apr 01 2019

7mins

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Rank #2: Antiemetics Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Paul Hesketh from Lahey Hospital and Medical Center on the antiemetics guideline update published in 2017. The guideline update expands the recommendations to include olanzapine and neurokinin 1 receptor antagonists. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines 

May 04 2018

9mins

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Rank #3: Disease Management for Patients With Advanced HER2 Positive Breast Cancer and Brain Metastases Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Naren Ramakrishna from University of Florida Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health on the guideline update which addresses management of brain metastases for patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–positive advanced breast cancer. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/breast-cancer-guidelines 

Jun 25 2018

7mins

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Rank #4: Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment in Patients with Cancer Guideline Update

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An interview with Dr. Anna Falanga on "Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment in Patients with Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update." The guideline revises several previous recommendations. Most notably, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have been added as options for VTE prophylaxis and treatment.

Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines

Find all of ASCO's podcasts at podcast.asco.org 

TRANSCRIPT

Hi, my name is Clifford Hudis and I am the CEO of ASCO and the host of the ASCO in Action Podcast. About twice a month, I interview thought leaders in health care and experts in oncology, and we provide analysis and commentary on a wide range of cancer policy and practice issues. 

 You can find the ASCO in Action Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you are listening to this show, and you can find all 9 of ASCO’s podcasts which cover a wide range of educational and scientific content and offer enriching insight into the world of cancer care at podcast.asco.org

Disclaimer: The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care, and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin. And today I'm interviewing Dr. Anna Falanga from the hospital Papa Giovanni XXIII in Bergamo, Italy. Senior author on "Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment in Patients with Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guidelines Update." Thank you for being here today, Dr. Falanga.

Yes, thank you. I am very happy to talk on the update of the ASCO VTE guidelines.

So this guideline was first published in 2007 with an update in 2013 and a reaffirmation in 2015. So what prompted this 2019 update?

Thanks for this first question. I think that an update was urgently needed at this time. You know, before, the ASCO guidelines were published in 2007. And then an update was made in 2013, and the second one in 2015. But in 2015 was basically a confirmation of the previous 2013 update. Now the update was urgently needed, because in the very recent years there has been even more evidence of the relevance and impact of a venous thromboembolism in the cancer patients. But in addition, and very importantly, new data from prospective randomized clinical trials with the new drugs for the management of VT in the oncological patients have become available. In particular, as you know, low molecular weight heparins were largely used in the setting of the treatment and trauma prophylaxis in the cancer patients. And actually, the low molecular weight tapering have been the standard of treatment for many years. However, recently the results of prospective randomized clinical trials of direct oral anticoagulant, particularly, the anti-Xa inhibitors, Edoxaban and Rivaroxaban, for cancer associated with [INAUDIBLE] treatment support the role of this new oral agent in the VT management in this setting. And this is related to new politics in the VT management in these patients.

So what are the key recommendations for this guideline update?

The main changes to the previous recommendations are first that Rivaroxaban and Edoxiban, the two anti-Xa inhibitors oral anticoagulants have been added as an option for routine treatment in cancer patients in this update. Also, now we may offer thrombo prophylaxis with Apixaban, Rivaroxaban, or low molecular weight tapering to selected high-risk outpatients with cancer. And about other changes of these new guidelines compared to the last one include that patients with brain metastases have been addressed in the VT type treatment sections, whereas before, only patients with the primary tumors were mentioned in the previous edition. And finally, the recommendation regarding long-term postoperative thromboprophylaxis with low molecular weight heparin expanded to patients undergoing a major open or laparoscopic abdominal or pelvic surgery. These are the main changes that all I think are very, very important.

Why is this guideline so important? And how does it affect practice?

Well, I think that the question how these changes affect our practice is a very important question, because I believe that these guidelines reflect the new evidence that we have from the new data. And this data clearly expand our possibility to choose now between the different treatment options in the single patient in the cancer population. For instance, the new data show that treatment with [INAUDIBLE] anticoagulants compared to low molecular weight heparin lower the risk of a recurrent thrombosis. But in some instances there's a higher risk of bleeding, particularly in the gastrointestinal and urinary tract cancer patients. So therefore it is evident that the patient selection and the individualization of a therapy based on the patient characteristics and the type of cancer-- all these become very important. And we have the possibility now to choose between different treatments, or in the same patients we can change from one treatment to the other according to the face of the disease or complications if the patient is in a phase that is assuming chemotherapy with many side effects like nausea and vomiting. Of course, in these cases a parenteral injection is preferable for the management of a venous thromboembolism. Whereas in other instances, a long-term and oral intake is surely more convenient. So it depends also from the level of risk. But now for the six months treatment we can offer different choice of the oral treatment and also for high-risk patients the primary prophylaxis with Apixaban Rivaroxoaban, and a low molecular weight tapering can be chosen.

And what should patients be aware of when it comes to VTE risks and treatments?

I think that patients should be educated about the risk of a cancer associated with VTE. You know, there is that evidence that they are educated about it. And they know a lot better about neutropenia, and the fever associated with this the neutropenic condition and the other side effect. But they know very little about the possibility that they can experience venous thromboembolism. s So I think they should be taught on how to recognize the symptoms and alert their physician. You know, sometimes the symptoms are indistinguishable It can be just a little pain in the calf. And patients must know that these are to be considered important. They must alert their physician to undergo some test-- objective test-- to see if there is a real thrombosis in the leg or not. This is extremely important, because one important consequence of venous thromboembolism of the extremities is a pulmonary embolism that can be also fatal. So they must know about that. Also, I think they should know about the risk of bleeding associated with the anticoagulant treatment, and also that this risk of bleeding can be different in the different type of tumors. Finally, I think that also they must be told about the once they have, for instance, and episode of venous thromboembolism they have to receive a treatment for that, and these are usually six months to the minimum, and then we'll decide. So they must know what these are the efficacy and the safety profiles of the different drugs. They must know the differences in the route of administration and the other characteristics of the drug. So I think that their shared decision with the patients of the type of treatment must be an integral part of the decision making and is certainly desirable.

Great. It sounds as though there's some important considerations for patients and important conversations which may be prompted by this guideline. So thank you for taking your time to discuss this with me today, Dr. Falanga.

I thank you very much for this interview and talk that our colleagues and also the patients will be happy with these new guidelines of ASCO. Thank you.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

Aug 05 2019

10mins

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Rank #5: Initial Diagnostic Workup of Acute Leukemia Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin and today I'm interviewing Dr. Valerie de Haas from Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in the Netherlands, lead author on "Initial Diagnostic Workup of Acute Leukemia: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Endorsement of the CAP and ASH Guideline.”

Thank you for being here today, Dr. de Haas.

Thank you.

So first, can you give us a general overview of what this guideline covers?

Well, yes. The laboratory evaluation of patients who are suspected of having acute leukemia is very complex, and it has evolved significantly with the incorporation of advanced laboratory techniques. The traditional backbone of initial workup of AL, of acute leukemia, is composed of ctyomorphology, cytochemistry, immunophenotyping, and molecular cytogenetics.

These techniques are the backbone of the initial diagnostic workup of acute leukemia. This is leading to risk stratification and fine tuning of the therapy by molecular signatures. The advanced molecular diagnostics, such as next-generation sequencing, has become more important in the diagnosis and in the risk stratification of acute leukemia.

This guideline is meant for both pediatric and adult patients, and it was initially published in 2017. This year, we reviewed this guideline, and we have taken into account two important developments.

First, since 2017, we've seen that there are major advances in molecular techniques and also that we can identify and validate new molecular markers. And those two events have contribute to a better risk stratification. And the second development is the effect that the WHO classification was revised in 2017 which also has led to new risk recoveries and refined subclassifications.

So what are the key recommendations of this guideline?

Well, in total, we have reviewed 27 guideline statements by the ASCO endorsement expert panelists. And discussion points are used to summarize issues that were identified from the updated literature. The ASCO expert panel determined that the recommendations from the guideline as published in 2016 are clear, thorough, and they are based upon the most relevant scientific evidences.

We fully endorse the CAP-ASH guideline on initial diagnostic workup of acute leukemia. And we decided to include some discussion points according to clinical practice and according to the updated literature. In fact, we identified four categories of key recommendations. The first one is the initial diagnostics focusing on basic diagnostics and determination of risk parameters.

This concerns, in total, about 11 guideline recommendations, and they give an overview of the initial workup varying from the collection of the clinical history of the patient to initial basic diagnostics by cytomorphology, flow cytometry and molecular cytogenetic analysis of peripheral blood, bone marrow, and cerebrospinal fluids.

Secondly, the second category were molecular markers and MRD detection, and they were addressed by 10 of the recommendations. And these recommendations give a structural overview of the molecular and cytogenetic workup for acute lymphoblastic leukemia versus acute myeloid leukemia identifying different prognostic markers.

Also, the detection of MRD is taken into account in this recommendation. There is a major difference between children and adults, and this part is given most attention in the discussion part as the developments have been major during the past few years.

The third one is the context of referral to another institution with expertise in the management of acute leukemia. This is addressed by four recommendations, emphasizing the point that referral to an institution with specific expertise is of major importance for the central workup of acute leukemia.

And finally, the final reporting and report keeping is reflected in three recommendations, mainly supporting conclusions from 2017 which were describing the fact that the complete report with basic diagnostics in one central report should be available within 48 to 72 hours. And this should be followed by complete, final, comprehensive report in one or two weeks.

So can you tell us about those discussion points that were made and why the panel decided to include these?

The discussion points include mostly issues regarding diagnostics that involve flow cytometry and molecular techniques as addressed in part one and two of the guidelines. We think that the cytomorphologic assessment is essential for initial diagnosis of acute leukemia.

Multicolor flow cytometry using 8 to 10 colors has led to a better distinction between myeloids, lymphoid, and mixed lineage blast origin. Even when the number of cells are limited, for instance in CNS involvement, fine needle aspirate of extramedullary leukemic infiltration, or skin biopsy for leukemic cutis.

Also, it was suggested to better assess the central nervous system involved in leukemia. The expert panel recommends the immunophenotyping studies as an additional detection technique next to the cytomorphological examination of cytospins and particularly for those with a low level involvement of acute leukemia that cannot be well addressed by a morphologic examination only.

The TDT immunohistochemistry staining of cytospins has alternatively been used for detection of CNS disease in AML and evaluation of CSF by multicolor flow cytometry has been recently adopted in some centers. Flow cytometry, using at least six, but we now use in some laboratories, even 8 to 10 colors has led to a much more specific in tentative diagnosis. And this has improved the detection of CNS involvement.

The use of molecular tools, for instance, polymerase change reaction, PCR, NGS for low-level CSF involvement is still under study, and therefore, we did not recommend this in our discussion.

Regarding the molecular markers and MRD detection, the discussion here was mainly based upon the results of translational research supported by better molecular detection techniques. And those molecular diagnoses have been developing in the past few years with the inclusion of many more molecular markers. And they included one of the key diagnostic criteria in the revised WHO classification, which was revised in 2017. And we made substantial changes that have been made in the ASH-CAP guidelines concerning molecular diagnostics.

Those newly identified targets by advanced molecular techniques give possibilities for better risk stratification. Some examples of better molecular characterization of acute lymphoblastic leukemia are, for instance, additional testing for MLL translocations. Furthermore, we can look in patients with T-ALL for NOTCH1, and FBXW7 mutations.

The Ikaros family zinc finger gene, the IKZF1 gene is frequently deleted in adults as well in children with B-ALL. And it was shown to have an independent prognostic significance and was also associated with poor clinical outcome.

In the current text of the current risk that the protocols IKZF1 should be regularly included in the screening panels for all ALL patients.

If we look for examples for better characterization of AML, acute myeloid leukemia, we have found an increasing number of additional cytogenetic aberrations, like for instance FLT3 ITD which is associated with poor outcome.

Another example is appropriate mutational analysis for kids, which can be detected both in adult patient as pediatric patients with a confirmed core binding factor acute myeloid leukemia. So this is myeloid leukemia with a translocation A21, RUNX1, or inversion 16.

This recommendation is very strong in adults, whereas in children, this prognostic fact impact remains unclear. So there have been proven several publications which refer to a similar prognosis for children and others who refer to a poor prognosis in comparison to known mutated genes. So we suggest to test for this mutation in adults, especially, but also in children to learn from it.

Finally, emerging evidence supports molecular studies as principle test for monitoring minimal residual disease of acute leukemia. And there are several key molecular markers that are included in the initial workup, which will be carried on for monitoring MRD, for instance, PML- RAR-alpha, RUNX1-RUNXT1, CBFB-MYH11, and NPM1, CEBP-alpha and others.

Beside those aforementioned markers, it's very important to screen for other molecular markers that have predictive or prognostic value in the individual. And it is possible to use them for MRD. We have found a recent consensus from the European Leukemia Net MRD Working Group, who was proposing that for detection of molecular MRD, and they refer the RT PCR platform to NGS and digital PCR platforms.

Although all those molecular techniques have been developed very quickly and it is very tempting to use them for initial diagnostics, currently, not all laboratories will have all those techniques available. So the expert panel strongly advises understanding to make distinction between diagnostic that are needed in the first phase to start treatment and subsequently, treatment stratification, in contrast to the usual dose findings in a broader research.

For instance, available karyotyping, FISH, PCR techniques, if possible, NGS can be used in the initial start of treatment, whereas techniques like whole exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, and epigenomic studies are meant for a broader research.

And finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect patients?

Well, in the end, the patients will receive better and especially, more personalized treatment. If we have results available within two weeks from diagnosis, it will be possible to better identify which basis will better benefit from more intensified and more personalized treatment, whereas others may need less intensive treatment with less toxicity.

If you use traditional techniques to do this supported by molecular techniques like karyotyping, FISH, and PCR techniques, and in the end, following MRD to see which patients are responding to treatment, MRD detection will help to identify these patients and stratify them finally to the best treatment.

Great. Thank you for your work on this important guideline, and thank you for your time today, Dr. de Haas.

OK. Thanks a lot.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning in to the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. If you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer this show to a colleague.

Dec 03 2018

12mins

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Rank #6: Estrogen and Progesterone Receptor Testing in Breast Cancer Guideline Update

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An interview with Dr. Kimberly Allison from Stanford University School of Medicine and Dr. Antonio Wolff from Johns Hopkins University on "Estrogen and Progesterone Receptor Testing in Breast Cancer Guideline: ASCO/CAP Guideline Update." This guideline updates key recommendations of the American Society of Clinical Oncology/College of American Pathologists estrogen and progesterone receptor testing in breast cancer guideline, and focuses on low estrogen receptor expression cases. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/breast-cancer-guidelines.

Jan 13 2020

20mins

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Rank #7: Integrative Therapies During and After Breast Cancer Treatment Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Gary Lyman from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington and Dr. Lorenzo Cohen from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center on the ASCO endorsement of the SIO guideline on use of integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment. The guideline addresses the use of integrative therapies for the management of symptoms and adverse effects. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines.

Jun 11 2018

21mins

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Rank #8: Molecular Biomarkers in Localized Prostate Cancer Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Scott Eggener of University of Chicago Medicine on "Molecular Biomarkers in Localized Prostate Cancer: ASCO Guideline." This guideline provides recommendations for available tissue-based prostate cancer biomarkers geared toward patient selection for active surveillance, identification of clinically significant disease, choice of postprostatectomy adjuvant versus salvage radiotherapy, and to address emerging questions such as the relative value of tissue biomarkers compared with MRI. 

Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/genitourinary-cancer-guidelines

TRANSCRIPT

If you like what you hear from the ASCO podcast, please let us know. Take our listener survey and help shape the future of the ASCO Podcast Network. Visit podcast.asco.org, and click on the survey link. Once again, that's podcast.asco.org. The survey will just take a few minutes to complete and will help us get to know you better. Thank you so much for listening.

The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series brought to you by the ASCO Podcast Network, a collection of nine programs covering a range of educational and scientific content and offering enriching insight into the world of cancer care. You can find all the shows including this one at podcast.asco.org. My name is Shannon McKernin. And today I'm interviewing Dr. Scott Eggener from the University of Chicago Medicine, lead author on molecular biomarkers in localized prostate cancer ASCO Guideline. Thank you for being here today, Dr. Eggener.

Thanks for having me, Shannon, and covering the guideline.

So first, can you give us a general overview of what this guideline covers?

Yeah, this guideline has been two years in the making and is an overview of the available molecular biomarkers to help clinicians and patients make smart decisions for men with localized prostate cancer. And that's in the newly diagnosed setting, as well as for certain patients that have undergone surgery and are considering adjuvant radiation therapy.

And so what are the key recommendations for this guideline?

So there was a lot of data that the team looked through with the help of the ASCO home office, and a Herculean amount of work went into it. There's a lot of commercially available tests out there. Most of them are quite expensive. And we are trying to make sense of the available literature and provide a guide to clinicians on what these tests are, which patients they might be relevant for, and how to interpret them.

The key takeaways that the data that's been published for most of these biomarkers are purely prognostic. And there is good science and good data supporting them. But they have not been embedded in a rigorous fashion or within trials or validated to have the highest level of evidence. However, they can be used in certain situations to add additional info for the patient and clinician to try to make smart decisions based on prognostic information.

Another key recommendation is that there are select patients that these can be helpful for. And we dive into a lot of the details on who these patients may be. Number one is a patient newly diagnosed with prostate cancer who is trying to determine whether to do treatment of the prostate cancer or embark on active surveillance. And some of those decisions are relatively easy and straightforward.

But when the clinician and the patient are looking for all pieces of information to influence one way or the other, genomic or molecular biomarkers can be useful at that critical fork in the road. However, we made it very clear multiple times throughout the guideline that our group's recommendation is that the biomarkers should not be reflexively ordered for every individual newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. It seems wasteful and not an appropriate use of resources.

The other situation clinically where these can be used are for men that have had previous surgery and are considering secondary radiation therapy, which can be given in an adjuvant or salvage manner. And there are some data suggesting that a specific test by Decipher, a genomic classifier, can be used to help inform whether adjuvant radiation would be appropriate or not.

So that was a good overview. And this guideline also includes some special commentary sections with additional research questions that the expert panel wanted to address. So can you tell the listeners a little more about these important considerations?

Yeah, it's critically important to know that these tests are not black and white. And they don't always clarify a data-based path forward. But we tried to emphasize in many different areas that integrating genomic or molecular information can be integrated into optimizing decisions.

And the special commentary really dives into a lot of those details on working with the pathologists on selecting the appropriate biopsy sample to send to one of these laboratories. It gets into some of the specifics on interpreting the data, as well as the role of CLIA-approved labs and non-CLIA-approved labs for certain staining that's done internally within organizations or with biomarker panels.

And so would you be able to expand a little more about which patients may benefit from having molecular biomarkers?

Yeah, the sweet spot for some of these biomarkers include a couple different patient groups. The first one is what I alluded to earlier-- the man newly diagnosed with prostate cancer deciding whether to do active surveillance, which is a monitoring program, or to have treatment of the prostate typically by either surgery or radiation therapy.

Again, worth emphasizing-- these tests are not appropriate for every newly diagnosed patient. And I would argue even for the man deciding between surveillance and treatment, there are specific men, perhaps those with higher volume low risk prostate cancer or lower volume favorable intermediate risk prostate cancer, that provides the ideal patient that may benefit from some of these tests.

The second clinical scenario that was discussed amongst the group were patients where treatment intensification might be valuable. Again, these biomarkers are purely prognostic, and there's no high level evidence suggesting that treatment intensification leads to better outcomes. Although intuitively, the higher risk profile a patient has, either by clinical factors or biomarkers, there is a conceptual rationale that treatment intensification might prove beneficial.

And the third category of patients that may benefit are those who have had prostatectomy where the pathology shows some adverse features, and there's a high likelihood of recurrence, and the clinician's decision is to guide the man on whether pure adjuvant radiation in the setting of an undetectable PSA or early salvage therapy at the time of biochemical recurrence would be more valuable. And there is one test that is commercially available that can help inform that decision.

Great, so finally, what do you envision as the future of molecular biomarkers for localized disease?

As we took an overview of the landscape in 2018 and 2019 of these molecular biomarkers, much of the group thought this was version 1.0 or 2.0 in this space.

And it is our hope and likely scenario that not only will we have better data on some of the currently available biomarkers with higher levels of evidence from either correlative science from randomized trials or formally embedded into randomized trials, but also that there's a large amount of work being done to improve the quality of biomarkers and that, in the future, we'll see improvements on the currently available ones or newer biomarkers coming around that will be valuable for these men as they make decisions along their prostate cancer course.

Great. Thank you for your work on this important guideline. And thank you for your time today, Dr. Eggener.

Thank you, Shannon.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series. To read the full guideline and find additional resources such as the guideline's pocket card, go to www.asco.org/genitourinary-cancer-guidelines. And you can find many of our guidelines and interactive resources in the free ASCO guidelines app available on iTunes or in the Google Play Store. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode.

Dec 12 2019

9mins

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Rank #9: Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy for Women with Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin and today I'm interviewing Dr. Jennifer Griggs from the University of Michigan, senior author on "Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy for Women with Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Focused Update." Thank you for being here, Dr. Griggs.

And thank you for the opportunity to talk about this focused update to the guidelines on extended adjuvant therapy. I would, of course, like to thank all my co-authors in the ASCO guidelines team for their contribution to this effort.

So first, can you give us a general overview of what this guideline covers and their research which informed this focus update?

Yes. First of all, the goal of the guideline was to give an update to the previous guidelines on this topic. And we specifically focused on extended adjuvant therapy. In particular, the aromatase inhibitors in women who had completed five years of adjuvant endocrine therapy. And it goes without saying, but it's worth reminding our listeners that the guideline is restricted only to post-menopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. And, of course, our guidelines are only as good as the data upon which we rely. So for this guideline, six phase III randomized controlled trials met the pre-specified eligibility criteria for the updated systematic review and provide the evidence base for the guideline recommendations on the duration of aromatase inhibitor therapy. Each of the trials used the standard doses of the drugs that we use in practice today. So I'm not going to say the doses of each of the medications. So I'm going to go briefly over those six trials and just describe them so everybody's up to date with how the studies were designed.

So briefly, the first trial I'll describe is MA17R, which compares letrozole to placebo for five years in over 1,900 women who had already received 4.5 to six years of adjuvant therapy with an AI, proceeded in most women by treatment with tamoxifen. The second study is NSABP B-42. And this also compares letrozole to placebo in nearly 4,000 women who'd completed five years of endocrine therapy with either five years of an aromatase inhibitor or up to three years of tamoxifen followed by an aromatase inhibitor, for a total of five years.

The third study that we looked at is the DATA trial, which stands for the Different Durations of Adjuvant Anastrozole Therapy. This trial compared six years of adjuvant anastrozole with three years of adjuvant anastrozole in over 1,600 women after two to three years of adjuvant tamoxifen. The fourth trial out of the six is the IDEAL trial, the Investigation on the Duration of Extended Adjuvant Letrozole. This study randomized over 1,800 women to either 2 and 1/2 or five years of letrazole after five years of tamoxifen, an AI, or a combination in sequence of tamoxifen and an AI. So very similar study designs.

The fifth study is the ABCSG-16 trial, the Austrian Breast Cancer Study Group Trial 16, which randomized nearly 3,500 women following four to six years of adjuvant therapy with tamoxifen and AI or a sequence of tamoxifen and then an AI, to either two or five years of anastrozole as extended therapy. And finally, the study of letrozole extension, or the SOLE trial, randomized over 4,800 women with node-positive breast cancer who had completed five years of adjuvant endocrine therapy to receive either continuous letrozole for five years or five years of an intermittent schedule of letrozole given nine months on and three months off in years one to four and on continuously for a year or five.

So I know that's a lot to take in, but I do think it was important for our audience to understand the six trials that were included. These were all large studies, randomized, and patients had completed five years of adjuvant endocrine therapy. And then, were randomized either to placebo or different durations of an aromatase inhibitor or a placebo. For all of these studies, it's important to know that the primary outcome was disease-free survival. Overall survival and adverse events where secondary outcome.

Great. So given that research and those trials, what are the key recommendations for this guideline update?

Five key recommendations are included in this focused update to the previous guidelines. And they are for women with node-negative breast cancer, extended adjuvant aromatase inhibitor therapy can be offered for up to a total of five years of adjuvant therapy. Recommendations are based on considerations of recurrence risk using our usual established prognostic factors. However, since the recurrence risk is lower, the benefits are likely narrower in node-negative patients.

The guidelines panel recommends that women with low-risk, node-negative tumors should not routinely be offered extended adjuvant therapy. Now, that might sound vague. We did not make recommendations using genomic profiling results because we don't have sound data to support such views that we felt were strong enough to integrate genomic testing results. Our second recommendation is that women with node-positive breast cancer should be offered extended AI therapy for up to a total of 10 years of adjuvant endocrine therapy. And that means combined tamoxifen and aromatase endocrine therapy. That's the total that we meant to recommend.

Third recommendation is that women receiving extended adjuvant endocrine therapy should receive no more than 10 years of total treatment. The fourth recommendation is when given as prevention of secondary or contralateral breast cancer, the risk of second breast cancers based on prior therapy should inform the decision to pursue extended therapy. So what this means is specifically, a woman who has had a bilateral mastectomy will not reap the benefit of preventative therapy with endocrine therapy.

The fifth recommendation is that extended therapy carries ongoing risks and side effects, and these should be weighed against the potential absolute benefits of longer treatment in a shared decision-making process between the clinical team and the patient. Specifically, to date, none of the studies have shown improvement in overall survival with longer duration aromatase inhibitor therapy. As such, the recommendations, therefore, an extended adjuvant AI therapy are based on benefits that include prevention of distant recurrence and prevention of second breast cancers.

So why is this guideline so important and how will it change practice?

The importance of this guideline rests in the fact that it supports what many clinicians and patients are already doing in practice. The second is it recommends against durations of endocrine therapy longer than 10 years in the absence of data supporting such a practice. So it's our thought that doctors and patients and other care providers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, primary care doctors, are already practicing what we're recommending, and it supports doing so. And the second is that for those providers and patients who aren't sure that 10 years is enough, this guideline suggests that 10 years is sufficient. We don't have any data supporting giving more than 10 years.

And the third recommendation is that this guideline really supports the need for shared decision-making, given the absence of data supporting an improvement in overall survival.

So finally, since you did mention shared decision-making, how does this guideline recommendation affect patients?

Well, the panel strongly believes that the tailored decision-making process is key in the decision to recommend extended adjuvant therapy. So tailoring on disease factors plays a role in the recommended duration of therapy. Obviously, since we stratified by high-risk and low-risk and what treatment's been received specifically. And if a woman's had bilateral mastectomy, she's not going to benefit from the risk reduction that's achieved with giving somebody extended therapy.

But in addition to disease factors, patient preferences and tolerance of therapy should inform clinician and patient decision-making. Again, since none of the studies have shown improvement in overall survival with longer duration of AI therapy, patients and their medical providers need to make decisions based on an awareness that the benefits include, specifically prevention of distant recurrence and prevention of second breast cancers. And the importance of those benefits is going to vary according to a patient and how she views her life going forward and how bad her side effects have been, how well she tolerates the therapy.

From my own personal point of view, as a breast oncologist, I believe two things. Number one, we should provide aggressive support for managing symptoms in patients who are most likely to benefit from extended therapy. That is, we should not stop therapy early if she is very likely to benefit if we haven't maximized control of her symptoms. There are many things we can do to improve symptoms and we shouldn't just stop therapy because she's not tolerating treatment if we haven't done the most that we can to improve her quality of life and her symptoms.

Conversely, my hope is that we are not doggedly persisting in recommending prolonged therapy in a patient who has a fear of recurrence but who has little to gain from extended therapy. In the latter case, high quality information support is more therapeutic than extended therapy with a medication that's proven, in randomized controlled trials and in her own personal experience, to decrease her quality of life with marginal, if any, medical benefit.

Thank you so much for the overview of this guideline today and thank you for your time.

Thank you.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. If you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer this show to a colleague.

Nov 19 2018

12mins

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Rank #10: Selection of Optimal Adjuvant Chemotherapy and Targeted Therapy for Early Breast Cancer Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Neelima Denduluri from US Oncology, Virginia Cancer Specialists, on the key recommendations of the ASCO guideline adaptation of the Cancer Care Ontario guideline on the selection of optimal adjuvant chemotherapy regimens for early breast cancer and adjuvant targeted therapy for breast cancer. Read the full guideline on www.asco.org/breast-cancer-guidelines

May 22 2018

12mins

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Rank #11: Systemic Therapy for Patients with Advanced HER2 Positive Breast Cancer Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Nancy E. Davidson from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington on the guideline update which provides recommendations on systemic therapy for patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)–positive advanced breast cancer. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/breast-cancer-guidelines 

Jun 25 2018

8mins

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Rank #12: HER2 Testing in Breast Cancer Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Antonio Wolff from Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center on the ASCO/CAP guideline update which addresses IHC and ISH testing for HER2 in breast cancer.  Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/breast-cancer-guidelines 

May 30 2018

12mins

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Rank #13: Management of Osteoporosis in Survivors of Adult Cancers with Nonmetastatic Disease Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Charles Shapiro from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and Dr. Joan Neuner from Medical College of Wisconsin, co-chairs of "Management of Osteoporosis in Survivors of Adult Cancers with Nonmetastatic Disease: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline." This guideline includes recommendations on assessing risk factors and interventions, including pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic options. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/survivorship-guidelines

TRANSCRIPT

Hi. My name is Clifford Hudis, and I am the CEO of the American Society of Clinical Oncology as well as the host of the ASCO in Action podcast. About twice a month, I interview thought leaders in healthcare care and experts in oncology, and we provide analysis and commentary on a wide range of cancer policy and practice issues. You can find the ASCO in Action podcast on Apple podcasts or wherever you are listening to this show, and you can find all nine of ASCO's podcasts, which cover a wide range of educational and scientific content, and offer enriching insight into the world of cancer care at podcast.asco.org.

The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care, and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series, brought to you by the ASCO Podcast Network, a collection of nine programs covering a range of educational and scientific content, and offering enriching insight into the world of cancer care. You can find all of the shows, including this one, at podcast.asco.org. My name is Shannon McKernin and today on the ASCO Guidelines Podcast, I'm interviewing Dr. Charles Shapiro from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and Dr. Joan Neuner from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, co-chairs of management of osteoporosis in survivors of adult cancers with non-metastatic disease ASCO clinical practice guideline. Thank you for being here, Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Neuner.

Thanks a lot.

Pleasure to be here.

So first, can you give us a general overview of what this guideline does cover?

This guideline covers very important topics, that of osteoporosis and that of cancer survivorship. It's the coalescence of these two common problems that is the impetus for this guideline. It covers risk factors and what you can do as a cancer survivor to mitigate your risk. It covers screening and identification of the best test to use to measure your bone density, and it covers how to treat or pull the trigger for anti-osteoporosis drugs based on the guidelines that are contained within the document.

And what are the key recommendations for this guideline?

So we developed this guideline with three key guideline questions in mind. And they really required a fairly extensive search of the literature to address them. And we did that by looking to some of the literature outside of cancer in osteoporosis screening in other patients as well. So I'll sort of talk about it in terms of the three key questions. So the first question we had was, which patients with non-metastatic cancer are at increased risk for developing osteoporotic fractures? So that first question was, which patients are we really addressing in this guideline? And how do we assess whether they're at potentially increased risk? So in response to that, we strongly recommend that oncologists teaming with other physicians, including primary care doctors like myself, evaluate their patients to determine whether they're high risk. And so we provide a lot of details in an extensive document. But in our bottom line, we have a summary of the most common and the most severe risk factors. And those include things like advanced age, current smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a history of prior fractures, so already showing that they're at high risk for fractures. So we recommend you look to that list. And then add in your own clinical judgment, particularly about patients who have added risks from their cancer treatments. And so we do also talk about those patients. And in particular, we call out patients with specific anticancer therapies, for example, aromatase inhibitors given to breast cancer patients, antiandrogens or GnRH agonists given to breast cancer and prostate cancer patients and call out how they're at particular risk. And finally, in response to this question, we also recommend that you consider using a risk assessment tool. And here, I mention that we had to look to the non-cancer literature. So here, the WHO actually developed something called the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool, or FRAX. And we do recommend that you use this tool or something like it to help you to assess whether your patient is at high risk. And those are readily available on the web. Search FRAX-- F-R-A-X-- to use it. And, of course, we have links in the guideline. So that addresses the first question, which again was, which patients are at increased risk? And we have a list of risk factors that you should be considering and some references, particularly FRAX, to help you with thinking about those risk factors and how important any specific risk factor is. Our second question really dovetailed right on that. And that was, how should patients who are at increased risk, you've identified as part of that first question, to be at increased risk for osteoporotic fractures be screened? And here again, we look to the standard recommendations for patients who don't have cancer as well. And there are two ways that you could move towards, should you screen your patient or not? One could be your patient had one of those risk factors that we talked about and are listed in the document. The other is you use that FRAX tool and patients are more than average risk. And then we recommend patients be screened using one of the standard screening tools. The most common one, is called dual X-ray absorptiometry. And I want to specifically mention central dual X-ray absorptiometry, which means that the test is done on the hip and the lumbar spine. Those are readily available. All major medical centers have them, and many clinics have them as well. And so we do recommend that for screening. And then we offer some specifics about how frequently you might screen, because that's another question that often comes up. And so then our final question is once you determine that your patient is at high risk because their bone density test and/or their FRAX test shows that patients are at high risk, we do encourage talking to them about treatment options. And the first thing I want to say is essentially everyone that our guideline addresses, which is all patients who currently have or who are survivors of non-metastatic cancer, that they should consume a diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D. And so that's generally considered to be 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium and at least 800 to 1,000 IUs, international units, of vitamin D. We also strongly recommend exercises and call out some specifics. That you want to work on balance, flexibility, and resistance, if possible. And that you quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption. All very good things for the body generally, but also very good for the bones. Obviously, the meat of this guideline is also about pharmacologic intervention specifically. And since Dr. Shapiro treats so many patients with this, I'm going to ask him if he wants to comment further on specifics about pharmacologic treatments, when you think patients should get them.

So thanks, Joan. So pharmacologic interventions include RANK ligand inhibitors, like Denosumab or IV or oral bisphosphonates. So clearly, if your patients are at risk, that means a hip fracture predicted at 3% or more or a non-hip vertebral fracture at 20% or more-- and you get these numbers from the FRAX calculator and other calculators in common usage-- then you pull the trigger and use one of these agents. Now we couldn't distinguish between the agents in terms of what's one was preferred. It depends on patient preference, comfort with the doctor in terms of how comfortable the doctor is using the agent, and other factors that go into the decision about which biphosphonate to use. Generally, the IV Zoledronic Acid and sub-cu Denosumab are used in the cancer populations. But oral biphosphonates can be used as well.

And why is this guideline so important? And how will it change practice?

Well, this guideline is so important because we know from survey studies that osteoporosis and preventing osteoporosis and treating osteoporosis in the cancer survivor population is underutilized. And this is an important point, because many people, especially with breast and prostate cancer and colorectal cancer and bone marrow transplants, will be long-term survivors. And we don't want to cure a patient just to have them fracture 10 or 20 years later. So that's the importance of the guideline. So it's the recognition that osteoporosis is treated the same, whether you're a cancer survivor or not. But the cancer treatments we use in routine practice can cause osteoporosis and bone loss. And that's the importance of this recommendation, as well as the particulars of who's at risk, the risk factors, screening, and pulling the trigger for treatment. So that's basically in a nutshell, why this guideline is so important and how it will change practice, because we hope that the guideline stimulates us, as health practitioners, to screen our patients for osteoporosis, recognize risk factors, and how to pull the trigger on treatment to prevent or treat osteoporosis in this population. It doesn't matter who follows patient, but the patient has to know who's going to follow the bone density and treatment for osteoporosis, whether it's comfort that an oncologist has with the whole process of screening and risk factors and pulling the trigger for bisphosphonates or Denosumab or endocrinologists, the rheumatologist, the primary care physician. The patient's got to know who's going to be responsible for what aspects of care, survivorship care. And this is a big part of survivorship care. So the treatment summary, which is a document that the patients get and is given to the primary care provider, should specify who will take responsibility for what aspects of survivorship care. And this is a big aspect of survivorship care, osteoporosis screening and treatment, if necessary. So it doesn't matter who does it, as long as it gets done.

I would jumped in if I could, Charlie.

Yes, so please jump in.

So I guess the only other point that I wanted to make about how it might change practice is osteoporosis guidelines have been out since the late '90s, early 2000s. And so many patients probably have thought about osteoporosis and their risk in the past. But I did want to note that there have been a number of studies in the last five years showing that in primary care-- so family medicine and general internal medicine, like I practice-- that we're actually ordering fewer bone densities than we did in the past. And all the reasons for that aren't clear. Perhaps it's because of some concerns about the rare side effects of some of these medicines. Perhaps it's because the guidelines aren't clear because the data is not clear about how often we should test people who don't seem to be at high risk once they've had a first test. But nonetheless, there seems to already be some effects of this that the hip fractures, which had been decreasing are starting to look like they're rising again.

So it really is important then if we're not going to screen very frequently everybody, that we are screening the people who really need it. And so then this guideline it calls that out that these are patients who because either their cancer treatment and the debilitating nature of that in some cases or the specific medications puts them at particular risk. Those are the ones that we can't omit this.

Great. Finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect patients?

You know, I think we're hoping that this will help in the care of cancer survivors and spark people to use things like survivorship care plans. Or if those don't work in your institution, other ways to make clear what the patients who are survivors are at risk for, both related to their cancer and outside their cancer, so that we can all work as teams of health care providers to make sure all of the things on those lists addressed. So we're hoping that with some very clear recommendations about how to address bone health that we can help those teams serve patients that they can. Obviously, it can also provide some really essential information for patients who are wondering what the things that need to be wondering about in this new phase of survivorship after cancer that they're dealing with.

Dr. Shapiro, did you have anything to add to that question?

Hopefully, we can prevent fractures in our cancer survivors by following these guidelines. It's really important that we prevent osteoporosis and hip fractures and vertebral fractures, because we don't want to cure the patient just that saddle them with osteoporosis and breaking a hip or breaking vertebral body 10 or 20 years down the line. So this will hopefully affect patients positively. And we intended the guideline to be for patients in terms of risk factors. And if you need a biphosphonate or anti-osteoporosis drug, then it's clear indications in the document who gets it and who doesn't. So I think that the effect we hope would be great on patients, that part of general health is osteoporosis screening. And just because you're a cancer patient doesn't absolve you from participating in all the health recommendations, including osteoporosis screening.

As with all ASCO Survivorship Guidelines, we do hope that this one informs many conversations between patients, survivors, and providers. Thanks to your overview here today and your work on this guideline, more clinicians will be informed of the risk factors and possible interventions for osteoporosis and survivors of non-metastatic cancers. So I want to thank you both for coming on the podcast to discuss this guideline with me today.

Thanks for having us.

Yes, thank you.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/survivorship-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast. And be sure to subscribe, so you never miss an episode.

Sep 18 2019

15mins

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Rank #14: Use of Endocrine Therapy for Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Kala Visvanathan from Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on the guideline update. This update adds anastrozole to the options of pharmacologic interventions for breast cancer risk reduction based on recent practice changing data. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/breast-cancer-guidelines

TRANSCRIPT

Hi. My name is Clifford Hudis, and I am the CEO of the American Society of Clinical Oncology as well as the host of the ASCO in Action podcast. About twice a month, I interview thought leaders in health care and experts in oncology. And we provide analysis and commentary on a wide range of cancer policy and practice issues. You can find the ASCO in Action podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you are listening to this show. And you can find all nine of ASCO's podcasts, which cover a wide range of educational and scientific content and offer enriching insight into the world of cancer care at podcast.asco.org.

The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin, and today I'm interviewing Kala Visvanathan from the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, co-first author on "Use of Endocrine Therapy For Breast Cancer Risk Reduction: ASCO Clinical Practice Guidelines Update." Thank you for being here, Dr. Visvanathan.

Thank you as well for having me.

So can you tell us about the phase III randomized trial, which provided the signal for this update?

Yes. This was the IBIS-II trial that was reported out by Cuzick, et al in 2014. It was a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial that assessed the safety and efficacy of Anastrozole, the aromatase inhibitor Anastrozole, at 1 milligram per day for five years. And the primary endpoint was the reduction of the incidence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women at increased risk of developing breast cancer. The trial itself was reported out with a median follow up of five years and the intention-to-treat analysis actually revealed that 85 women in the placebo group and 40 women in the Anastrozole group had developed both invasive and noninvasive breast cancer. What it showed was that there was a reduction in the incidence of breast cancer of 53% overall. It included both invasive and non-invasive breast cancer after a seven-year followup. And importantly, in subgroup analysis, similar to the other hormone endocrine therapy prevention trials, it also showed that the reduction in breast cancer risk among invasive cancers was limited to those individuals with ER-positive and PR-positive tumors. And the reduction in breast cancer incidence was among hormone-positive breast cancers. Another interesting point to mention here was that the five-year adherence was only slightly less in the Anastrozole arm compared to placebo. So it was well tolerated. And that was 68% in the Anastrozole group compared to 72% in the placebo group. And in all the subgroup analysis, there was no significant difference, except when they stratified by hormone replacement, women who had no prior hormone replacement, they saw a clear risk reduction. And this was not seen in women with prior hormone replacement therapy.

And so what are the key recommendations for the update of this guideline?

So based on these results, the update really adds Anastrozole as another option for endocrine prevention in women at increased risk. So specifically, we say that Anastrozole 1 milligram per day orally for five years should be discussed as an alternate to tamoxifen, raloxifene or exemestane in postmenopausal women for the reduction of breast cancer in women at increased risk. We also clarify further who are the women most likely to benefit from Anastrozole or the other endocrine prevention drugs. And these are women diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia, either ductal or lobular, or lobular carcinoma in situ or women with an estimated five-year risk of at least 3% based on the NCI Breast Cancer Risk Assessment tool or a 10-year risk of at least 5% based on the IBIS Tyrer-Cusick Risk Calculator. But we also give parameters for other risk models, and that is a relative risk of at least four times the population risk for women in the age group 40 to 45 and two times that of the population age group from 45 to 69. I think this is an important part of the recommendations, because up till now, the recommendations for women at increased risk have really followed the eligibility criteria for these trials, which were often a five-year risk, for example, of 1.7% in the NSABP trials. And here, we're trying to really highlight the importance of considering this women at higher risk where there is a clear benefit when you look at benefit-risk ratios. We also talk about the fact that Anastrozole should not be prescribed in women who are premenopausal and that it is really important that both patients and health care providers discuss the benefits and risks of Anastrozole along with the other risk-reduction agents when they are considering prescribing this. And then lastly, the importance of talking about specific adverse effects of Anastrozole, because here we're talking about a population of women at increased risk who are cancer free. And that includes baseline fracture risk, a measurement of bone mineral density as well as other adverse effects like joint stiffness, arthralgias, vasomotor symptoms, hypertension, dry eyes and vaginal dryness. So we think it's important that they have this discussion with women before the study.

So what are some of the clinical considerations for the use of endocrine prevention pharmaceutical agents for breast cancer risk reduction?

So in this guideline, we have introduced this section called Clinical Considerations to try to tackle some of the challenging questions that providers have when considering prescribing endocrine prevention. So I urge people to have a look at this section, because it's really a question-answer format. So one of the things we talk about first is what I just alluded to, how do you identify women at risk, where the benefit of endocrine prevention outweighs the risks? And we go through different risk calculations, and we give examples of clinical patients who fit into these risk categories. The second thing, which I think is an important thing, is we talk about a new study that came out while we were preparing this guideline update. And this was by De Censi, et al. And it's been published in the JCO on low-dose tamoxifen. This was a randomized trial in women with intra-epithelial neoplasia. So this includes women with atypical hyperplasia, lobular carcinoma, or ductal carcinoma in situ. So slightly different population. And the women were randomized to tamoxifen at 5 milligrams a day-- so this is 1/4 of the standard 20-milligram dose-- or placebo for three years. So remember-- or endocrine prevention trials were for five years. So this was a shorter duration. And then a median followup of five years, they reported out the results, and they saw half the number of neoplastic events, so DCIS or invasive cancer, compared to placebo. So the results were very comparable to the original NSABP-P1 trial and very promising. So the further I think, what has been a sometimes prevented uptake of these agents, has been the adverse effects of tamoxifen, for example, equal to uterine cancer. And in this study, they did not see an increase in the number of serious adverse effects, including deep venous thrombosis and endometrial cancer. They still saw an increase in hot flashes. So I think this is very promising data and could be an alternate option for some patients, where side effects are a problem or they're reticent to take prevention given the side effects. Another thing we tackle is the question of age when you start recommending hormone prevention. And here, this relates to we talk about at 70, not so much that you would stop it at 70, but at that age or 70 or above, you would actually make sure you're taking into consideration their life expectancy. So they should have a life expectancy of 10 years or greater. And you're also taking into consideration their breast cancer risk. So the question there was, is there an upper age limit for endocrine risk reduction therapy? And we think that, at least the panel thought that, in women 70 years of age or older, you should actually consider both the short-term risk. It should be at least in the range of 1% or more per year. So that would be women with atypical hyperplasia, a family history, or some with carcinoma in situ. We want to make sure they're active and that they have a life expectancy of 10 or more years. Another question we tackled here was, what is the duration of endocrine therapy in this setting for breast cancer risk reduction? And this comes in the context that now, in the treatment setting, a subset of women are given, for example, tamoxifen for more than five years. In terms of data, with the exception of raloxifene, where we do have longer-term data that is greater than five years, in women at increased risk of breast cancer from the osteoporosis prevention trial, where we see that even with women taking raloxifene for more than five years still have a benefit in terms of the breast cancer risk reduction. We don't really have data for any of the other agents in the preventive setting. So there is currently no data from randomized trials that any of these agents, except for raloxifene, should be given for longer than five years. And that is in the setting of women with osteoporosis. And then the last question that we tackle is to look at how you decide between taking an aromatase inhibitor endocrine prevention therapy or a SERM. And this is really only in postmenopausal women, because we still only have one option for premenopausal women, and that is tamoxifen. Here, we just go through step by step sort of the process of thinking about the side effects for each of these agents. And in the context of the woman who is considering endocrine therapy and tailoring it to their age, what symptoms they have, or other comorbidities.

Finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect conversations between providers and women at increased risk for breast cancer?

So I think, firstly, these guidelines, again, bring attention to breast cancer prevention and the need for us as a community, both providers and women, to move this field forward. And what do I mean by that is we need to be more systematic about identifying women who are truly at increased risk and then subsequently having these discussions with them about the options available. And so I think this guideline adds another agent to the list of agents we now have that can be used to reduce breast cancer risk or breast cancer incidence and also provide the opportunity to-- we look at this and think about how we might incorporate discussions on breast cancer risk reduction into clinical practice. We do also want to stress the importance of discussions on lifestyle factors or risk reduction in addition to these agents. So I think hopefully this guideline helps to, again, refocus attention on the issue and encourage both women to ask their providers about their breast cancer risk and then providers to re-look at this question about breast cancer prevention and how to identify those who are at risk and then discuss endocrine prevention in those at higher risk. I think this is particularly important as we think about our aging population and the increase we are expecting in breast cancer over the next 10 to 20 years. And then also, as we think about breast cancer is now the number-one cancer diagnosed, well, the prevention becomes even more important.

Great. Thank you for your work on this guideline. It sounds like there may be many important conversations which happen between women and their providers based on the work and the research about breast cancer risk reduction. So thank you again for coming on the podcast to share with us today, Dr. Visvanathan. Thank you. I would like to thank ASCO for having these podcasts and also shining a light on breast cancer prevention and getting this information out to its listeners.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/breast-cancer-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

Sep 03 2019

14mins

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Rank #15: Adjuvant Therapy for Resected Biliary Tract Cancer Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin, and today I'm interviewing Dr. Rachna Shroff from the University of Arizona Cancer Center, lead author on "Adjuvant Therapy for Resected Biliary Tract Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline." Thank you for being here today, Dr. Shroff.

Thank you so much for having me.

So what does this guideline recommend?

This is a guideline that is basically looking at the role of post-operative therapy in patients who undergo surgical resection for biliary tract cancers. Biliary tract cancers are a somewhat heterogeneous group of malignancies that include intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, and gall bladder cancer. And so the question always in most cancers are, if you are able to undergo surgical and curative treatment, is there a role for post-operative chemotherapy or radiation therapy to help improve the chance of cure and decrease the risk of recurrence? So that is exactly what we investigated as an expert panel. So our recommendations are actually twofold. The first one is that we are clearly recommending that patients with resected biliary tract cancer should be offered adjuvant chemotherapy with capecitabine for a total of six months. Within that recommendation, we do acknowledge that this is based on the BILCAP phase III randomized controlled trial and that there was a specific dosing and treatment schedule that was done in that study, but that we are allowing for institutional and regional variances that we've noted in terms of dosing of capecitabine. And so as a result, we're recommending adjuvant capecitabine, and we're allowing practitioners to determine what the best and safest dosing would be, based on their experience. The second recommendation is more specifically for patients with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma or gallbladder cancer who undergo resection and have a microscopically positive surgical margin, which is an R1 resection. And in those patients, we are recommending that we could consider offering these patients chemoradiation therapy. Now, again, this is not as strong of a recommendation, because we do not have prospective randomized phase III data to support it. This was based more on a prospective single-arm study out of the Southwest Oncology Group, as well as some other retrospective studies. And so we do go on to qualify that that recommendation should really be made in a shared decision-making approach, with a multidisciplinary conversation to decide the risks and benefits of radiation in these patients-- and that we acknowledge that a prospective study would really help clarify that question a little bit more.

So can you tell us about the research that informed these recommendations?

There have been a number of studies that have looked at the role of adjuvant therapy in biliary cancers. And up until very recently, a lot of these studies were small retrospective series, single-institution or multi-institution, but everything in retrospect-- no prospective or randomized data. And so I think a lot of the reasons that we decided to have these guidelines come out now is that in the last two to three years we do finally have prospective randomized data that helps guide the recommendations. And the majority of the recommendations that we made are based on one randomized phase III, which is BILCAP study. This was a study that was done in the UK and was presented at ASCO in 2018 and is currently in press. And it is basically a randomized controlled trial that compares adjuvant capecitabine by itself versus surveillance alone in patients who undergo surgery for biliary tract cancers. And so our recommendations, which include that study as well as a couple others, is primarily hinged on that, since that is the largest prospective data we have so far. And based on that study, we did in fact recommend that there was a role for adjuvant chemotherapy with capecitabine after complete resection for biliary tract cancers. And based on that research that was done in that trial that was completed, we do believe that the role for capecitabine for six months is pretty strong and that the data supports that now.

So why is this guideline so important, and how will it change practice?

Well, I think it's going to be practice-changing because up until now there has not been a clear consensus on how we approach these patients. And I will say that even now, it's really just this one study that has helped guiding these recommendations. There were a number of other studies that we looked at as part of the expert panel. And these were all prospective studies as well that looked at things like gemcitabine and oxaliplatin in the adjuvant setting, or single-arm phase II studies that came out of the Southwest Oncology Group that also explored the role of radiation. But really, nothing was a positive study other than the BILCAP study. And so up until now, I would say it was a little bit all over the place in terms of how medical oncologists approached resected biliary cancers. I think the majority of us felt that there was probably a role for adjuvant chemotherapy or perhaps chemoradiation. But there was no rules that we could follow, and there was no clear study that we could turn to that would tell us what we should give, how long we should give it for, and whether it should be a combination of chemotherapy or chemoradiation. And so I think it will be practice-changing because now, as part of the expert panel, we are making a very clear recommendation that patients with resected biliary tract cancer should be offered adjuvant capecitabine chemotherapy for a total of six months, hopefully eliminating that kind of regional or specialist-based variation that has been happening up until this point.

And finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect patients?

Again, I think that the main way it's going to affect them is that there's going to be a little bit less gray area, in terms of medical oncologists having conversations with the patients and saying, well, you know, I think that there's probably a role for agent therapy here, but I can't show you the data that supports why I think that. And as a result, I would hope that patients will have a little bit more faith and confidence in knowing that there is a large study that has looked at and proven the benefit of adjuvant capecitabine and that that decreases the chance of recurrence and improves overall survival. The improvement in overall survival was dramatic in this study. And we had not seen a survival of 51 months, which is what we saw in this study, in a very long time. So for patients, not only does it make clear what they should be doing after surgery, but I would hope it also gives them additional hope that we have really changed the bar by doing this adjuvant capecitabine, and that the chance for cure is even higher when we can offer adjuvant chemotherapy. I think the only other thing that may still be a gray area, and that is kind of what we allude to in our second recommendation, and that is in patients who undergo resection and have a microscopically positive margin or an R1 resection. And that's typically patients with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma or gall bladder cancer. In those patients, we suggest that they could be offered chemoradiation therapy, but the evidence is not as strong there. Again, it's more retrospective studies that we looked at. There is no prospective study that answers the question of whether or not there's a role for radiation. And so as a result for patients, I think that is still the one area that's a little bit of a gray zone in terms of knowing whether chemoradiation would benefit them if they undergo surgery and have a microscopically positive resection. But I do think that there is a definitive benefit to giving adjuvant chemotherapy, and that, hopefully, will clarify things not only from the physician perspective but also from the patient perspective. Great.

Thank you for your work on these important guidelines, and thank you for your time today, Dr. Shroff.

Thank you.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/gastrointestinal-cancer-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer this show to a colleague.

Mar 11 2019

8mins

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Rank #16: Use of Biomarkers to Guide Decisions on Adjuvant Therapy for Early-Stage Invasive Breast Cancer Guideline Update

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An interview with Dr. Fabrice Andre from Institute Gustave Roussy, Paris Sud University, in Paris, France on "Use of Biomarkers to Guide Decisions on Adjuvant Systemic Therapy for Early-Stage Invasive Breast Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Integration of Results from TAILORx." This update provides updated recommendations on chemoendocrine therapy for patients who present with a hormone receptor positive, HER2 not overexpressed, axillary node negative early breast cancer.

TRANSCRIPT

The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement. Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series. My name is Shannon McKernin, and today I'm interviewing Dr. Fabrice André from the Institute Gustave Roussy in Paris, France, lead author on "Use of Biomarkers to Guide Decisions on Adjuvant Systemic Therapy for Early Stage Invasive Breast Cancer. ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Integration of Results from TAILORx." Thank you for being here today, Dr. André. Thank you. So based on the title of this guideline, we know that this update was prompted by the results of the TAILORx trial. So can you tell us more about that trial and what its results were? Yes. So the TAILORx trial was a trial that randomized two treatment modalities, endocrine therapy versus chemotherapy endocrine therapy in patients who presented what we call an intermediate recurrence cohort. So before moving to the results, maybe we can discuss a little bit the background. What we knew from the past is the fact that patients who present a recurrence score below 11 should be treated with endocrine therapy alone, because they have the good outcomes. And patients who present recurrence score that is high, 31 but also can be more on 25, should receive chemotherapy. And we are talking about patients with hormone-receptor receptor positive, HER2-negative early breast cancer without lymph node involvement. And this is extremely important. So to summarize, it's a clinical trial that includes patients with hormone-receptor positive HER2-negative lymph node negative in early breast cancer, who present with recurrence score between 11 and 25. And the question is whether we can avoid adjuvant chemotherapy in these patients who present this intermediate score. So this is the general design and the question. In terms of research, what we have learned. We have learned that for patients above 50 years old, there is no difference between endocrine therapy and chemotherapy followed by endocrine therapy. So it means that this patient or these patients, we would consider endocrine therapy alone. Then, for patients below 50 years old, there was some difference. And I think we go further into the detail. There was some difference favoring the use of chemotherapy in the group of patients who presented with recurrence score from 16 to 25. And so what changes were made to the recommendations in this update of the guideline? So first, what were [INAUDIBLE] the previous guidelines. The previous guidelines were telling the clinician which genetic tests they could use in patients with hormone-receptor positive, HER2-negative early breast cancer. Now, the big change is that we are making guideline to explain how to use the test. And what is new is that we have made three important decisions. So first, for the patient is at the age above 50, now it is recommended clinician may recommend endocrine therapy alone for women older than 50 who present a recurrence score below 26. Before, the recommendation to use endocrine therapy alone was for patient's who present with low recurrence score. So it means now we have broadened-- we have increased the number of patients who could receive endocrine therapy alone and not receive chemotherapy. Then, for patients who present a recurrence score between 16 to 25 and who are below 50 years old, the clinician may offer chemotherapy followed by endocrine therapy, meaning that we are moving from [INAUDIBLE]. This intermediate score between 11 to 25 was what we call a [INAUDIBLE]. There was no recommendation on how to use the recurrence score. So right now, the update from the ASCO guideline is to provide recommendation on which treatment to administer in case a patient presents with intermediate recurrence score, and there are two different situations above 50 years old and below 50 years old. So why are these changes so important and how will they affect practice? So they will affect practice because for many reasons, I will say. In the US, they would affect practice because they increase the number of patients who will not receive adjuvant chemotherapy, because right now, we have an answer from randomized trial that we can avoid chemotherapy in women above 50 and from 11 to 25 recurrence score. So the impact in terms of public health would be that we could have a decrease in the use of chemotherapy or at least a better precision about who should receive adjuvant chemotherapy. Globally, this trial is going to provide an incentive and increase the level of evidence supporting the use of genetic tests. So it's important to remember that in a large number of countries, genetic tests are not reimbursed. But now, because lack of evidence, and here we have a randomized trial showing a level 1 evidence supporting the use of genetic tests. So we have two direct impacts of this trial. The first, inside US, where [INAUDIBLE] colleagues already use genetic tests, it provides better precision on who will receive adjuvant chemotherapy. And it's going to broaden the number of patients who will not receive. And globally, it's prospective randomized trial that we hope is going to incite payers to reimburse the genetic test in patients with early breast cancer. And so what does this all mean for patients with early stage invasive breast cancer? And what should they talk to their doctors about? So for patients with early breast cancer, so what are the messages for the patient? I think for the patient, the key message is that we are moving to precision medicine. We need a medicine that is extremely precise in terms of who should receive which treatments. And now, thanks to this trial, we are going to decrease the number of patients who receive chemotherapy, but also for the ones who will receive adjuvant chemotherapy, the value of the treatment, we need what the treatment provides to the patient is going to be very, very high. So what is important for patients is to understand that because of this trial, when we give them chemotherapy, we will know that the value of this treatment and the expected benefit is going to be higher than what we used to do in the past. So it's really fast forward and more precise medicine that consists in using molecular tests in order to provide or administer treatment with very high value. Great. Thank you Dr. André for your overview of this guideline update. This has been very informative. It's really good to hear that the expert panel has incorporated the latest research into the guideline and has carefully considered the implications for the patients. So thank you for coming on the podcast to discuss the "Use of Biomarkers to Guide Decisions on Adjuvant Systemic Therapy for Early-Stage Invasive Breast Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Integration of Results from TAILORx" Thank you. What people don't realize is we did hard work that ASCO doing with all these guidelines, and people are very committed, and they are [INAUDIBLE]. I mean, it's very reassuring for ASCO member to know that there are highly professional people who provide guidelines and it is also reassuring for the patients, for everyone. And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/breast-cancer-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast, and refer the show to a colleague.

May 31 2019

9mins

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Rank #17: Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Davendra Sohal from the Cleveland Clinic on the guideline update regarding second-line therapy for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/gastrointestinal-cancer-guidelines

May 23 2018

6mins

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Rank #18: Potentially Curable Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Guideline Update

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An interview with Dr. AloK Khorana from Cleveland Clinic on "Potentially Curable Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update." This guideline update adds another treatment regimen to the options for patients with resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma who did not receive preoperative therapy. 

Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/gastrointestinal-cancer-guidelines

See all of ASCO's podcasts at www.asco.org/podcasts

The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement. Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin, and today I'm interviewing Dr. Alok Khorana from The Cleveland Clinic, lead author on "Potentially Curable Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update." Thank you for being here today, Dr. Khorana. Thank you for having me. So this guideline was first published in 2016. And then we saw an update in 2017. And now we've just updated it again. So can you tell the listeners what has prompted these updates? In the world of pancreatic cancer, this has been an evolution in adjuvant treatment, which is sort of a surprise, because we've been treating pancreatic cancer in a very similar fashion over the past several decades. And between the 1990s and until just a few years ago, there hasn't really been much progress in terms of what to do with pancreatic cancer patients after they've had their cancer resected. It's pretty clear that these patients should not have just the surgery, that they should have additional treatment after the surgery. And for decades, the standard treatment after surgery was either 5-fluorouracil or gemcitabine, but most oncologists are opting for gemcitabine. The two recent updates of the ASCO Guidelines reflect two large randomized trials that have been published in this area. The first changed-- added a new standard of care, which was a doublet adjuvant therapy with gemcitabine and capecitabine. And the reason for this most recent update is the publication of a large randomized trial of adjuvant FOLFIRINOX for patients with pancreatic cancer that was published in December 2018 in "The New England." And we felt that the results were so compelling that we needed to update the guidelines so oncologists and practitioners would have the most current data to help them make decisions for patients. So for our listeners who may not now, can you tell us what changes have been made to the recommendations in this newest version of the guideline? So this is a guideline on a potentially curable pancreatic adenocarcinoma, which is we are saying these are resectable pancreatic cancer patients. And the guideline update changes primarily one recommendation, recommendation 4.1, which is a listing of additional adjuvant therapy options. As I mentioned earlier, the most common monotherapy option used to be the gemcitabine 5-fluorouracil. And that recently changed to doublet therapy. And we've kept those recommendations, but we've added the modified combination regimen of 5-fluorouracil, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan, which is known as the FOLFIRINOX regimen. And we are making this the preferred regimen for patients in the absence of concerns for toxicity or tolerance. We are still keeping the recommendations for the doublet therapy with gemcitabine capecitabine as well as monotherapy with gemcitabine alone or fluorouracil with cholanic acid. But those are not the preferred regimens, because the data for FOLFIRINOX is much better than prior regimens. Having said that, there are concerns about using such an aggressive regimen and in patients who have undergone a major surgery. So patients have not recovered from operation, then it's reasonable to consider one of the other regimens. But the update primarily focuses on adding adjuvant FOLFIRINOX as the preferred option in the adjuvant setting. And how has this guideline and its updates affected care for patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma? I think since the results of this trial, the PRODIGY 24 trial came out of post-operative FOLFIRINOX. Almost every oncologist I know that focuses on treating patients with pancreatic cancer has suddenly added its use in patients that respected pancreatic cancer who are healthy enough to tolerate adjuvant FOLFIRINOX therapy. So it's definitely a practice-changing landmark paper. The results of the study were really quite impressive. The use of adjuvant therapy with FOLFIRINOX led to much longer survival than we've seen in any trial of adjuvant therapy of pancreatic cancer, almost 54 months-- or actually just over 54 months, almost 55 months-- in patients who are randomized to the modified FOLFIRINOX group and about 35 months in the gemcitabine alone group. The overall survival at three years was 63% in FOLFIRINOX and nearly 49% in the gemcitabine group. So that's a big difference at three-year survival as well. The one thing clinicians should be aware of is that this adjuvant therapy trial used a modified dose of FOLFIRINOX. They initially started off at the full those, which is 85 milligrams per meter squared of oxaliplatin, 400 mg per meter squared of leucovorin, and 180 milligrams per meter square of irinotecan. But the dose of iriniotecan was reduced part way through the study to 150 milligrams per meter squared, along with, of course, the conventional 2.4 grams or 5-fluorouracil over 46 hours. This modification of the irinotecan dose from 180 down to 150 is what many patients on the study received and was the more tolerable regimen and allowed the study to be completed. So the Guidelines Panel felt quite strongly that when using FOLFIRINOX in the adjuvant setting, we should stick with this modified dose, which is a lower dose of irinotecan at 150 milligrams per meter squared. And I think it's important that clinicians be aware of this distinction. And so taking this into account, many of us have made this recommendation to patients who are healthy enough to tolerate adjuvant FOLFIRINOX. And the hope is that this guideline will inform this ongoing practice as it changes in response to new data. And finally, what trials or new research are you keeping an eye on that may prompt an update for this guideline in the future? The results of another large adjuvant therapy trial are expected, hopefully at ASCO this year. This trial is the APAC trial that utilizes gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel or Abraxane. This doublet combination is quite widely used in patients with metastatic pancreas cancer, particularly those patients for whom we feel FOLFIRINOX may not be appropriate because of their performance status or functional status. And the hope was that the doublet combination would also have good success in the adjuvant therapy setting and perhaps be a better option than the gem-cape doublet. There has been a press release from the sponsor of that trial, and it looks like the trial was not successful, although the way the press release is worded is rather confusing. So we wait for the full results of that trial to be presented at ASCO before we have an understanding of whether that is an appropriate regimen to use or not in the adjuvant setting. So that's certainly one large trial that many of us have been looking forward to complete sort of the set of ongoing adjuvant therapy trials in this setting. Great. It sounds like there's some really exciting things happening in pancreatic cancer right now. And I look forward to seeing this guideline evolve with the research. So Dr. Khorana, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today and summarizing the Potentially Curable Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update. Thank you, Shannon. And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/gastrointestinal-cancer-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

Jun 10 2019

7mins

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Rank #19: Management of Cancer-associated Anemia with Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement. Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series. My name is Shannon McKernin, and today I'm interviewing Dr. Alejandro Lazo-Langner from Western University in London, Ontario, senior author on Management of Cancer-Associated Anemia with Erythropoeiesis-stimulating Agents, ASCO/ASH Clinical Practice Guidelines Update. Thank you for being here today, Dr. Lazo-Langner. Thank you very much for the invitation to present the new guidelines. So this guideline has been updated now three times since its original publication in 2002. So how has this guideline changed over time? Since initial publication in 2002, this guideline has undergone a number of different changes. If you look at the initial series of recommendations in the 2002 guideline, it was really limited and it was fairly upfront recommending the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents in this setting. But during the last two updates in 2007 and 2010, that has changed significantly. And in the current guidelines, we have added some additional evidence that has been published in the last eight years. And now, in general, what we can tell is that the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents is now more restrictive than in the original guideline and is basically recommended for only one or two situations. There has been some other updates in the last iteration of the guideline that I can certainly discuss in more detail later. But basically, in general, the guideline has now, in the last iterations, restricted the recommendations that were much more general during the first edition of this guideline, almost all of them based on available and emerging evidence regarding the onset of their side effects with these medications. And can you give us a general overview of what this new guideline update covers, especially that new evidence that's emerged? Yeah. So the new guideline has changed a few items. And indeed, we-- the committee did a little bit of an overhaul in the recommendations that are not in the same order as they were in the previous editions. We can say that there is a couple of important updates. The first one would be addressing the use of biosimilars, which were not available in the previous guidelines. And we have addressed that in the current edition. The biosimilars have not been extensively studied in cancer, but they have. And so far, the committee considered that they were equivalent in terms of effectiveness and safety to the originator agents, both epoetin and erythropoietin. And the second most important update on the guideline is the recommendation of the concurrent use of iron supplementation in patients who are receiving erythropoietin-stimulating agents. The previous versions of the guideline just recommended the use of iron supplementation in patients with documented iron deficiency. However, in the last eight years, there's been a number of studies that have suggested that the concurrent use of iron supplementation, irrespective of the baseline iron status, does increase the efficacy of the agents. Third point is that, although this is not new, there's been more emerging evidence supporting the notion that all of the erythropoietin-stimluating agents increase the risk of thromboembolism. And this has been very consistent across all studies, and in particular derive from Julia Bohlius's systematic review and meta-analysis that was published a few years ago. And she's the lead author on these guidelines now. This has been confirmed, and I think that at this point this is probably the main limiting factor on the use of these medications. And the final minor update was that regarding the use of erythropoietin in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome. This guideline now suggests baseline serum erythropoietin level cut-off that might actually increase the chances of the erythropoietin-stimluating agents of being effective. This has been updated from the previous guidelines based on recent research. And what are the key takeaways of this guideline update? Well, the key takeaways is that if a clinician is deciding to use erythropoietin-stimluating agents, in agreement with the previous guidelines, the first thing that you have to consider is that you should not use these agents in patients that are receiving chemotherapy with a curative intent. And it should be reserved to patients in whom the chemotherapy is being given with a palliative intent. It should be only used to decrease the use of red blood cell transfusions. And if a clinician is to make a decision as to whether to use these agents or not, they should consider concurrent use of iron supplementation. But basically, the other consideration that needs to be made is that because of the confirmed increase in the risk of thromboembolic complications, in the last eight years, there's been a myriad of new treatments that may potential increase the risk of these complications, specifically and most importantly in patients with myeloma in whom the use of immunomodulators such as lenalidomide or thalidomide does increase the risk of thromboembolic events per se. And in those patients, if they were to be considered for treatment with erythropoietin-stimluating agents, that should be done in a very, very careful fashion. The risk of thrombosis is significantly high in these patients, and the concurrent use of erythropoietin-stimluating agents is probably not a very good idea. So if one were to summarize the guidelines, I would say that, one, consider very carefully whether your patient actually needs these agents, and if they do need the agents, whether they should be receiving them, specifically if they are only being given chemotherapy with palliative intent with a short time life expectancy. Some patients would be considered to be in palliative. However, in conditions such as myeloma, for instance, although they are not curable, the patients may go on living for many years. So that's probably not a very good idea to use these agents if they increase the risk of complications. And if one is going to be considering these, they should consider also the concurrent use of iron to improve the efficacy of these agents. And finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect patients? Well, the guideline recommendations won't have a particularly high impact on patients. The most important thing is that, if patients require ongoing transfusional support due to the palliative chemotherapy or the nature of the disease they have, the use of erythropoietin-stimluating agents might decrease the need for these transfusions at the cost of increasing the risk of complications. The new updated guidelines are probably going to result in-- if they are considered when a clinician is using these agents, they are probably going to result in lower complications for patients due to the more restrictive nature of the recommendations. And in general, the only other consideration would be that under special circumstances related to, for instance, access to transfusional support or other personal considerations from certain patients and groups, these guidelines might actually help to overcome those barriers for transfusional support. But those were the two major impact points that would be considered based on this updated guideline. Great. Thank you for your work on this important guideline and thank you for your time today, Dr. Lazo-Langner. Thank you for the invitation. And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague. 

Apr 10 2019

9mins

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Rank #20: Human Papillomavirus Testing in Head and Neck Carcinomas Endorsement Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care, and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin, and today I'm interviewing Dr. Carole Fakhry from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, lead author on Human Papillomavirus Testing in Head and Neck Carcinomas: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Endorsement of the CAP Guideline. Thank you for being here today, Dr. Fakhry.

Thanks for having me.

So first, can you give us a general overview of what this guideline covers?

Sure. This guideline serves to guide multi-disciplinary clinicians in the evaluation of head and neck cancers. And it really starts to clarify which HPV tests to order and when. Also discusses some of the imitations of using surrogate HPV testing in specific situations.

The College of American Pathology Guidelines were recently published and we are providing an endorsement with certain classifications and discussions of nuances that we as a committee felt were important and clinically significant, specifically, aspects that could alter clinical care.

So what are the key recommendations of this guideline?

So first and foremost, the key recommendation is that HPV tumor detection should be performed in oropharynx tumors and not for non-oropharynx tumors. An important aspect of that is that HPV tumor testing should not be altered based on sex, race, age, or smoking history. Another important recommendation is that the term "high-risk" only be used when HPV-specific testing is performed.

That would establish the tumor is ideologically related to the infection human papillomavirus. In the absence of HPV-specific testing, we recommend that the term HPV-related tumors be used, and that p16 deserving for oropharynx tumors only.

And can you tell us a little bit about the qualifying statements made on some of these recommendations, and why the expert panel decided to include these?

Sure. So one of the qualifying statements that we did make was a generalized one, and the one that I kind of just touched upon, that the term "high-risk HPV" should only be used in situations when HPV-specific testing was performed. And that's because sometimes things are p16 positive but not necessarily HPV-related or etiologically related to the infections.

So as a committee, we wanted to make sure that that was clear. In light of that, one of the recommendations from the CAP Guidelines was that for tissue specimens presenting with medistatic squamma cell carcinoma of unknown primary and cervical upper, or mid-jugular, chain lymph nodes, pathologists should perform p16 in situ hybridisation.

They also had added a note saying that additional high-risk HPV testing on p16-positive cases should be performed for tumors located outside of level two or three in the neck, and/or for tumors with keratinizing morphology. So in the qualifying statement, our committee felt that p16 immunohistochemistry alone was not sufficient in the scenario of an unknown primary cancer.

We can get false positives and tumors that are p16-positive but not related to HPV. Can arise in situations of metastasis from the skin cancers, salivary gland malignancies, or even lung primaries. Therefore, in the case of an unknown primary, we would recommend HPV-specific testing. What other important consideration that our committee felt was important to clarify was that in the unknown primary, whether or not a tumor is felt to have keratinizing or non-keratinizing morphology, that HPV-specific testing should be done.

And the reason for that is that the pathologists acknowledge that considering a tumor keratinizing or non-keratinizing may be a difficult distinction for most pathologists, and that discerning HPV status may actually be easier and may help hone in on the diagnosis. And as part of this, what we did was we created an algorithm which simplified the College of American Pathologists algorithm for HPV detection. So there are fewer nodes in terms of HPV detection.

And in general, for oropharynx tumors, we recommend starting a p16 immunohistochemistry. We endorse the 70% cutoff used on immunohistochemistry for p16. And if it's an oropharynx tumor with greater than 70% p16 staining, then that can be considered an HPV-related squama cell carcinoma. For non-oropharynx tumors, we don't ever recommend HPV tumor status evaluation. And then for unknown primary, whether or not it's a level 2 or 3, starting with p16 is adequate, but if it is p16-positive, that needs to be followed up with HPV-specific testing to be deemed HPV-related.

In the College of American Pathology algorithm, acknowledging that determining HPV status can be complex, there are more nodes and more decisions that could be made in terms of discerning what's HPV-related and what's not. And so our committee tried to distill it down and simplify the algorithm.

And finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect patients?

So it is recommended that patients with oropharynx cancer be tested for HPV. And so this really helps their clinicians determine how to best test their tumors. In cases that are not so clear that are not oropharynx tumors, it also helps to guide their clinicians in terms of the when and how to test their tumors.

Great. Thank you for your work on this important guideline, and thank you for your time today, Dr. Fakhry.

Thanks for having me.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning in to the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. If you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

Sep 06 2018

7mins

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