August 2014, Vol 3, No 5

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PMO: Advancing the Practitioner’s Ability to Provide Customized Care to Patients

Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO

Letter to Our Readers

Dear Colleague,

Until recently, cancer treatment relied solely on histological diagnosis for determining systemic therapy. Aside from considerations related to a patient’s underlying comorbidities and performance status, there was minimal deviation from an organ-of-origin–based treatment strategy. This relatively primitive understanding of malignancy failed to exploit biological and molecular differences within each cancer type to allow for selection of a more rational therapy and thereby improve patient outcomes. However, exciting strides are currently being made in the field of cancer research and treatment, both with solid tumors and hematologic malignancies, and the available treatment options and physician’s ability to tailor therapies to individual patients have markedly expanded.

Our quest is to advance the practitioner’s ability to provide customized care to his or her patients. We will accomplish this by focusing on technologies and therapeutics available to clinicians and their impact on diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive medicine.

In this issue, you will find an in-depth article on immune checkpoint blockades in metastatic melanoma as well as an update on RAS analysis in colon cancer. The information presented in both articles is critical to oncologists on the front-lines of treating these diseases.

Also in this issue, you’ll hear from the president of the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), Dr Edward Abrahams – the new host of our department The Last Word. Dr Abrahams provides an overview of the signature document of the PMC, The Case for Personalized Medicine.

Thank you for your loyal readership. On behalf of the entire editorial board, it is our pleasure to serve you.

Sincerely,

Al B. Benson III, MD
Coeditor in Chief
Personalized Medicine in Oncology

The Last Word - August 18, 2014

The Case for Personalized Medicine: Defining the Field and Envisioning the Future of Healthcare

“In a time of unprecedented scientific breakthroughs and technological advancements, personalized health care has the capacity to detect the onset of disease at its earliest stages, pre-empt the progression of disease, and, at the same time, increase the efficiency of the health care system by improving quality, accessibility, and affordability.” [ Read More ]

Uncategorized - August 18, 2014

Enthusiasm High for Anti­–PD-1 Agents

Judging by the high attendance at sessions where data on the anti–PD-1 antibodies were presented, oncologists can hardly wait to have these immunotherapies in the clinic. The key ASCO data in stage III/IV melanoma are presented here. Data on Nivolumab Maturing The long-term follow-up of the pivotal phase 1 trial [ Read More ]