February 2015, Vol 4, No 1

Enthusiasm Mounts in the Personalized Medicine Movement

Dear Colleague, It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2015 volume of Personalized Medicine in Oncology (PMO). We are extremely enthusiastic about the forthcoming, much anticipated advances in the personalized medicine movement this year. And we’re not the only ones. Of course, those of us in the oncology [ Read More ]

Letter to Our Readers

Novel Therapeutics Targeting CD19 and CD22 in Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Outcomes in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) remain poor, with long-term disease-free survival (DFS) rates of 30% to 40%.1 Salvage chemotherapy regimens demonstrate limited success in inducing and maintaining a second remission, and consequently overall survival (OS) at 5 years after relapse is as low as 7%.2 Therefore, novel agents [ Read More ]

Jessica K. Altman, MD


Case Presentation: International Focus on the Management of Acral Lentiginous Melanoma

The management of melanoma from the perspective of 3 regions of the world was exemplified through the presentation of a case study at the Third Annual World Cutaneous Malignancies Congress. The case, because it was managed in Latin America, was presented by HĂ©ctor MartĂ­nez-Said, MD, Melanoma Clinic and Soft Tissue [ Read More ]


Case Report: Intense Maintenance in a Woman with High-Risk Multiple Myeloma

Tremendous progress has been made in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) over the past 2 decades. The 5-year relative survival ratio increased from 26.3% in 1975 to 45.1% in 2006, when only 3 drugs were approved for the treatment of MM. The arsenal of drugs approved by [ Read More ]


Personalizing Myeloma Treatment Can Limit the Use of Expensive Drugs

For patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, clinicians are moving from doublet to triplet regimens. Cleveland Clinic myeloma specialists, however, have found that most patients can be sufficiently – and less expensively – treated with 2 drugs, reserving the use of the third agent for patients who respond insufficiently to [ Read More ]


Genomic Panel Likely to Be Cost-effective in AML

Genomic sequencing methods are likely to be more cost-effective than stepwise addition of single mutational testing in patients with intermediate-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML), found Sonya Cressman, PhD, a health economist at the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control, Vancouver. “Genomic sequencing costs have decreased in recent years [ Read More ]


Scientific Exploration of Obesity and Breast Cancer Link

Investigators at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical Center, Rockefeller University, and the National Cancer Institute are moving forward in their understanding of the adverse association between obesity and breast cancer. Preliminary studies show associations between adipocytes, aromatase, proinflammatory cytokines, low-grade chronic inflammation, and breast tumors. Improved understanding [ Read More ]


PARP Inhibitors in Gynecologic Cancer: More Questions Than Answers

PARP inhibitors are an area of intense interest in gynecologic cancers. At least 8 PARP inhibitors are currently in various stages of development, with olaparib and veliparib the most studied, but to date, there are no FDA approvals of these agents. Ongoing phase 1-3 trials should shed light on best [ Read More ]


Basket Trials Based on Genomics Hold Promise

The concept of “basket trials” is gaining traction as a strategy for studying cancers according to driver mutations rather than by tumor type. These studies are made possible by the dramatically reduced cost of performing next-generation sequencing platforms that characterize the landscape of individual cancer genomes across a wide variety [ Read More ]


FACT SHEET: President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative

Building on President Obama’s announcement in his State of the Union Address, today the Administration is unveiling details about the Precision Medicine Initiative, a bold new research effort to revolutionize how we improve health and treat disease. Launched with a $215 million investment in the President’s 2016 Budget, the Precision [ Read More ]


To Regulate or Not to Regulate Laboratory-Developed Tests, That Is the Question

No issue in personalized medicine has drawn more attention during the past 10 years than how laboratory-developed tests (LDTs) should be regulated, nor has any other so divided proponents of personalized medicine more than competing opinions on how best to protect the public’s health while encouraging innovation in diagnostics. With [ Read More ]

Edward Abrahams, PhD

The Last Word