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Joan How and Gabriela Hobbs

Interferons are cytokines with immunomodulatory properties that have been used in the treatment of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) for decades. However, their widespread use has been hampered by their adverse effect profile and difficulty with administration. Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in the use of interferons in MPNs given the development of pegylated formulations with improved tolerability. Currently, treatments for polycythemia vera (PV) and essential thrombocythemia (ET) are targeted toward decreasing the risk of thrombotic complications, because there are no approved therapies that are known to modify disease. However, recent data on interferons in MPNs have suggested the potential for disease-modifying activity, including the achievement of molecular remission and sustained clinical response. This development has led to the question of whether interferons should move forward as the preferred frontline cytoreductive agent for ET and PV, and challenges the criteria currently used to initiate therapy. We review randomized controlled trial data evaluating interferon’s efficacy and tolerability in patients with ET and PV. We then consider the data in the context of interferon’s known advantages and disadvantages to address whether interferons should be the first choice for cytoreductive treatment in patients with ET and PV.

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Rongbo Lin, Jinfeng Zhu, Yushuang Luo, Xia Lv, Mingqian Lu, Haihui Chen, Huichao Zou, Zhichun Zhang, Shaowei Lin, Milu Wu, Xiaofeng Li, Min Zhou, Shen Zhao, Liyu Su, Jiang Liu, and Cheng Huang

Background: Optimal analgesic maintenance for severe cancer pain is unknown. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IPCA) with continuous infusion plus rescue dose or bolus-only dose versus conventional oral extended-release morphine as a background dose with normal-release morphine as a rescue dose to maintain analgesia in patients with severe cancer pain after successful opioid titration. Methods: Patients with persistent severe cancer pain (≥7 at rest on the 11-point numeric rating scale [NRS]) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment arms: (A1) IPCA hydromorphone with bolus-only dose where dosage was 10% to 20% of the total equianalgesic over the previous 24 hours (TEOP24H) administered as needed, (A2) IPCA hydromorphone with continuous infusion where dose per hour was the TEOP24H divided by 24 and bolus dosage for breakthrough pain was 10% to 20% of the TEOP24H, and (B) oral extended-release morphine based on TEOP24H/2 × 75% (because of incomplete cross-tolerance) every 12 hours plus normal-release morphine based on TEOP24H × 10% to 20% for breakthrough pain. After randomization, patients underwent IPCA hydromorphone titration for 24 hours to achieve pain control before beginning their assigned treatment. The primary endpoint was NRS over days 1 to 3. Results: A total of 95 patients from 9 oncology study sites underwent randomization: 30 into arm A1, 32 into arm A2, and 33 into arm B. Arm B produced a significantly higher NRS over days 1 to 3 compared with arm A1 or A2 (P<.001). Daily NRS from day 1 to day 6 and patient satisfaction scores on day 3 and day 6 were worse in arm B. Median equivalent-morphine consumption increase was significantly lower in A1 (P=.024) among the 3 arms. No severe adverse event occurred in any arm. Conclusions: Compared with oral morphine maintenance, IPCA hydromorphone for analgesia maintenance improves control of severe cancer pain after successful titration. Furthermore, IPCA hydromorphone without continuous infusion may consume less opioid.

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Aaron T. Gerds, Jason Gotlib, Haris Ali, Prithviraj Bose, Andrew Dunbar, Amro Elshoury, Tracy I. George, Krishna Gundabolu, Elizabeth Hexner, Gabriela S. Hobbs, Tania Jain, Catriona Jamieson, Paul R. Kaesberg, Andrew T. Kuykendall, Yazan Madanat, Brandon McMahon, Sanjay R. Mohan, Kalyan V. Nadiminti, Stephen Oh, Animesh Pardanani, Nikolai Podoltsev, Lindsay Rein, Rachel Salit, Brady L. Stein, Moshe Talpaz, Pankit Vachhani, Martha Wadleigh, Sarah Wall, Dawn C. Ward, Mary Anne Bergman, and Cindy Hochstetler

The classic Philadelphia chromosome–negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) consist of myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera, and essential thrombocythemia and are a heterogeneous group of clonal blood disorders characterized by an overproduction of blood cells. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for MPN were developed as a result of meetings convened by a multidisciplinary panel with expertise in MPN, with the goal of providing recommendations for the management of MPN in adults. The Guidelines include recommendations for the diagnostic workup, risk stratification, treatment, and supportive care strategies for the management of myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera, and essential thrombocythemia. Assessment of symptoms at baseline and monitoring of symptom status during the course of treatment is recommended for all patients. This article focuses on the recommendations as outlined in the NCCN Guidelines for the diagnosis of MPN and the risk stratification, management, and supportive care relevant to MF.

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NCCN Guidelines® Insights: Ovarian Cancer, Version 3.2022

Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines

Deborah K. Armstrong, Ronald D. Alvarez, Floor J. Backes, Jamie N. Bakkum-Gamez, Lisa Barroilhet, Kian Behbakht, Andrew Berchuck, Lee-may Chen, Viola C. Chitiyo, Mihaela Cristea, Maria DeRosa, Eric L. Eisenhauer, David M. Gershenson, Heidi J. Gray, Rachel Grisham, Ardeshir Hakam, Angela Jain, Amer Karam, Gottfried E. Konecny, Charles A. Leath III, Gary Leiserowitz, Joyce Liu, Lainie Martin, Daniela Matei, Michael McHale, Karen McLean, David S. Miller, Sanja Percac-Lima, Steven W. Remmenga, John Schorge, Daphne Stewart, Premal H. Thaker, Roberto Vargas, Andrea Wahner Hendrickson, Theresa L. Werner, Emese Zsiros, Mary A. Dwyer, and Lisa Hang

Epithelial ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancer in the United States, with less than half of patients living >5 years following diagnosis. The NCCN Guidelines for Ovarian Cancer provide recommendations for the diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, and follow-up for patients with ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancers. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the panel discussion behind recent important updates to the guidelines, including revised guidance on alternative chemotherapy regimens for patients with advanced age and/or comorbidities, a new algorithm for recurrent low-grade serous carcinoma based on developing research and novel therapeutic agents, and updated language regarding tumor molecular analysis applications in ovarian cancer.

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Amy A. Kirkham and Katarzyna J. Jerzak

Background: The 49% decrease in breast cancer mortality since 1986 has increased the number of breast cancer survivors requiring survivorship care. The purpose of this analysis was to estimate the 2022 prevalence of breast cancer survivors diagnosed within the past 15 years among Canadian women. Methods: We extracted the projected female breast cancer cases from 2007 to 2021 and rates of net survival (competing noncancer causes of death removed) from the Canadian Cancer Society’s statistical reports. Overall survival was extracted from published Ontario data. Using known survival rates for 1, 5, 10, and 15 years, we interpolated remaining years and applied the corresponding net and overall survival rates to the projected cases for each year from 2007 to 2021 to determine survivors in 2022. Prevalence for predefined age groups was also calculated. As an example of excess healthcare costs attributable to breast cancer, we calculated the excess costs of heart failure hospitalizations. Results: From 2007 to 2021, there were 370,756 breast cancer cases. Using net survival, 318,429 (85.9%) of these patients were projected to survive breast cancer by 2022, a prevalence of 2.1% of Canadian women. Using overall survival, prevalence was 1.8%. Prevalence increased with age group, from 0.01% of those aged 20 to 24 years to 12.7% of those aged ≥90 years, and from 1.0% among the working and/or child-raising (age 20–64 years) to 5.4% among elderly populations (age ≥65 years). Among these survivors, 24.9% of projected heart failure hospitalizations would be in excess of those among matched control subjects, with projected excess costs of $16.5 million CAD. Given the excess healthcare costs, potential for reduced contributions to the workforce, and reduced quality of life associated with long-term impairments and risk of excess non–breast cancer death, enhanced breast cancer survivorship care is warranted. Conclusions: With an overall prevalence of 2% among Canadian women, breast cancer survivors represent an increasing segment of the working-age and elderly populations.

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Cameron Czech, Ashley Chen, Katherine P. Morgan, Carlos Zamora, Sherif El-Refai, Norleena Poynter, and Simon Khagi

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a malignant central nervous system neoplasm that remains largely incurable. Limited treatment options currently exist after disease progression on standard-of-care first-line therapy. However, repurposing the use of approved therapies in patients with potentially targetable genomic alterations continues to be an emerging area of interest. This report presents the first description of a patient with isocitrate dehydrogenase wild-type GBM with an underlying RET amplification who demonstrated a near-complete response while receiving therapy with the RET inhibitor selpercatinib. The case highlights the excellent blood-brain barrier penetration of selpercatinib, as well as its potential role in the management of RET-amplified GBM. Larger biomarker-enriched studies are needed to confirm the results of this case report. Given the rare incidence of RET alterations in GBM, findings from this report can help guide and support optimal treatment strategies for patients with RET-altered GBM.

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Margaret Tempero