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Andrew J. Armstrong

Most of the updates in the 2015 NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Prostate Cancer center on the systemic therapy front, with a host of newer agents in the mix. At the NCCN 20th Annual Conference, Dr. Andrew J. Armstrong discussed some of the key developments in metastatic castration-resistant and castration-sensitive prostate cancer, particularly the conflicting results on repurposing docetaxel in castration-sensitive disease, the specific population who may experience greater survival benefit from immunotherapy in castration-resistant disease, updated data on the use of androgen receptor and biosynthesis inhibitors, and the emerging role of AR-V7 (androgen-receptor splice variant 7 messenger RNA) as a biomarker of treatment response.

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Rahul Aggarwal, Tian Zhang, Eric J. Small and Andrew J. Armstrong

Neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) encompasses various clinical contexts, ranging from the de novo presentation of small cell prostatic carcinoma to a treatment-emergent transformed phenotype that arises from typical adenocarcinoma of the prostate. The development of resistance to potent androgen receptor signaling inhibition may be associated with the emergence of aggressive phenotype, advanced castration-resistant NEPC. Clinically, small cell prostate cancer and NEPC are often manifested by the presence of visceral or large soft tissue metastatic disease, a disproportionately low serum prostate-specific antigen level relative to the overall burden of disease, and a limited response to targeting of the androgen signaling axis. These tumors are often characterized by loss of androgen receptor expression, loss of retinoblastoma tumor suppressor copy number or expression, amplification of Aurora kinase A and N-Myc, and activation of the PI3K pathway. However, a consensus phenotype-genotype definition of NEPC has yet to emerge, and molecularly based biomarkers are needed to expand on traditional morphologic and immunohistochemical markers of NEPC to fully define the spectrum of this aggressive, androgen receptor-independent disease. Emerging studies implicate a shared clonal origin with prostatic adenocarcinoma in many cases, with the adaptive emergence of unique cellular programming and gene expression profiles. Ongoing clinical studies are focused on developing novel targeted therapeutic approaches for this high-risk, lethal subset of disease, to improve on the limited durations of response often observed with traditional platinum-based chemotherapy.

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Norma F. Kanarek, Hua-Ling Tsai, Sharon Metzger-Gaud, Dorothy Damron, Alla Guseynova, Justin F. Klamerus and Charles M. Rudin

This study assessed the effects of race and place of residence on clinical trial participation by patients seen at a designated NCI comprehensive cancer center. Clinical trial accrual to cancer case ratios were evaluated using a database of residents at the continental United States seen at The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins from 2005 to 2007. Place of residence was categorized into 3 nonoverlapping geographic areas: Baltimore City, non–Baltimore City catchment area, and non–catchment area. Controlling for age, sex, county poverty level, and cancer site, significant race and place of residence differences were seen in therapeutic or nontherapeutic clinical trials participation. White non–Baltimore City catchment area residents, the designated reference group, achieved the highest participation rate. Although the test of interaction (control group compared with all others) was not significant, some race–geographic area group differences were detected. In therapeutic trials, most race–place of residence group levels were statistically lower and different from reference; in nontherapeutic trials, race-specific Baltimore City groups participated at levels similar to reference. Baltimore City residents had lower participation rates only in therapeutic trials, irrespective of race. County poverty level was not significant but was retained as a confounder. Place of residence and race were found to be significant predictors of participation in therapeutic and nontherapeutic clinical trials, although patterns differed somewhat between therapeutic and nontherapeutic trials. Clinical trial accruals are not uniform across age, sex, race, place of residence, cancer site, or trial type, underscoring that cancer centers must better understand their source patients to enhance clinical trial participation.

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Zhiyuan Zheng, Ahmedin Jemal, Reginald Tucker-Seeley, Matthew P. Banegas, Xuesong Han, Ashish Rai, Jingxuan Zhao and K. Robin Yabroff

Background: A cancer diagnosis can impose substantial medical financial burden on individuals and may limit their ability to work. However, less is known about worry for nonmedical financial needs and food insecurity among cancer survivors. Methods: The National Health Interview Survey (2013–2017) was used to identify cancer survivors (age 18–39 years, n=771; age 40–64 years, n=4,269; age ≥65 years, n=7,101) and individuals without a cancer history (age 18–39 years, n=53,262; age 40–64 years, n=60,141; age ≥65 years, n=30,261). For both cancer survivors and the noncancer group, adjusted proportions were generated for (1) financial worry (“very/moderately/not worried”) about retirement, standard of living, monthly bills, and housing costs; and (2) food insecurity (“often/sometimes/not true”) regarding whether food would run out, the fact that food bought did not last, and the inability to afford balanced meals. Further adjusted analyses examined intensity measures (“severe/moderate/minor or none”) of financial worry and food insecurity among cancer survivors only. Results: Compared with individuals without a cancer history, cancer survivors aged 18 to 39 years reported consistently higher “very worried” levels regarding retirement (25.5% vs 16.9%; P<.001), standard of living (20.4% vs 12.9%; P<.001), monthly bills (14.9% vs 10.3%; P=.002), and housing costs (13.6% vs 8.9%; P=.001); and higher “often true” levels regarding worry about food running out (7.9% vs 4.6%; P=.004), food not lasting (7.6% vs 3.3%; P=.003), and being unable to afford balanced meals (6.3% vs 3.4%; P=.007). Findings were not as consistent for cancer survivors aged 40 to 64 years. In contrast, results were generally similar for adults aged ≥65 years with/without a cancer history. Among cancer survivors, 57.6% (age 18–39 years; P<.001), 51.9% (age 40–64 years; P<.001), and 23.8% (age ≥65 years; referent) reported severe/moderate financial worry intensity, and 27.0% (age 18–39 years; P<.001), 14.8% (age 40–64 years; P<.001), and 6.3% (age ≥65 years; referent) experienced severe/moderate food insecurity intensity. Lower income and higher comorbidities were generally associated with greater intensities of financial worry and food insecurity in all 3 age groups. Conclusions: Younger cancer survivors experience greater financial worry and food insecurity. In addition to coping with medical costs, cancer survivors with low income and multiple comorbidities struggle to pay for daily living needs, such as food, housing, and monthly bills.

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Daniel G. Coit, Robert Andtbacka, Christopher J. Anker, Christopher K. Bichakjian, William E. Carson III, Adil Daud, Raza A. Dilawari, Dominick DiMaio, Valerie Guild, Allan C. Halpern, F. Stephen Hodi Jr., Mark C. Kelley, Nikhil I. Khushalani, Ragini R. Kudchadkar, Julie R. Lange, Anne Lind, Mary C. Martini, Anthony J. Olszanski, Scott K. Pruitt, Merrick I. Ross, Susan M. Swetter, Kenneth K. Tanabe, John A. Thompson, Vijay Trisal and Marshall M. Urist

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Daniel G. Coit, Robert Andtbacka, Christopher K. Bichakjian, Raza A. Dilawari, Dominick DiMaio, Valerie Guild, Allan C. Halpern, F. Stephen Hodi, Mohammed Kashani-Sabet, Julie R. Lange, Anne Lind, Lainie Martin, Mary C. Martini, Scott K. Pruitt, Merrick I. Ross, Stephen F. Sener, Susan M. Swetter, Kenneth K. Tanabe, John A. Thompson, Vijay Trisal, Marshall M. Urist, Jeffrey Weber and Michael K. Wong

Melanoma Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology NCCN Categories of Evidence and Consensus Category 1: The recommendation is based on high-level evidence (e.g., randomized controlled trials) and there is uniform NCCN consensus. Category 2A: The recommendation is based on lower-level evidence and there is uniform NCCN consensus. Category 2B: The recommendation is based on lower-level evidence and there is nonuniform NCCN consensus (but no major disagreement). Category 3: The recommendation is based on any level of evidence but reflects major disagreement. All recommendations are category 2A unless otherwise noted. Clinical trials: The NCCN believes that the best management for any cancer patient is in a clinical trial. Participation in clinical trials is especially encouraged. In 2008, an estimated 62,480 new cases of melanoma will have been diagnosed and approximately 8420 patients will have died of the disease in the United States.1 However, these projections for new cases may represent a substantial underestimation, because many superficial and in situ melanomas treated in the outpatient setting are not reported. The incidence of melanoma continues to increase dramatically. Melanoma is increasing in men more rapidly than any other malignancy and more rapidly in women than any other malignancy except lung cancer. For someone born in the United States in 2005, the lifetime risk for developing melanoma may be as high as 1 in 55.2 Melanoma ranks second to adult leukemia in terms of loss of years of potential life, per death. The median age at diagnosis is 59 years. Risk factors for melanoma include...
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Peter F. Coccia, Alberto S. Pappo, Jessica Altman, Smita Bhatia, Scott C. Borinstein, Joseph Flynn, A. Lindsay Frazier, Suzanne George, Robert Goldsby, Robert Hayashi, Mary S. Huang, Rebecca H. Johnson, Lynda Kwon Beaupin, Michael P. Link, Kevin C. Oeffinger, Kathleen M. Orr, Damon Reed, Holly L. Spraker, Deborah A. Thomas, Margaret von Mehren, Daniel S. Wechsler, Kimberly F. Whelan, Brad Zebrack, Dorothy A. Shead and Hema Sundar

The NCCN Guidelines Insights on Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology discuss the fertility and endocrine issues that are relevant to the management of AYA patients with cancer. Fertility preservation should be an essential part in the treatment of AYA patients with cancer. The NCCN Guidelines recommend discussion of fertility preservation and contraception before the start of treatment. Oophoropexy and embryo cryopreservation are the 2 established options for fertility preservation in women. Semen cryopreservation before the start of treatment is the most reliable and well-established method of preserving fertility in men. AYA women with cancer also have unique contraception needs, depending on the type of cancer, its treatment, and treatment-related complications. Management of cancer during pregnancy poses significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenges for both the patient and the physician. AYA women diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy require individualized treatment from a multidisciplinary team involving medical, surgical, radiation, and gynecologic oncologists; obstetricians; and perinatologists.

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Daniel G. Coit, John A. Thompson, Robert Andtbacka, Christopher J. Anker, Christopher K. Bichakjian, William E. Carson III, Gregory A. Daniels, Adil Daud, Dominick DiMaio, Martin D. Fleming, Rene Gonzalez, Valerie Guild, Allan C. Halpern, F. Stephen Hodi Jr, Mark C. Kelley, Nikhil I. Khushalani, Ragini R. Kudchadkar, Julie R. Lange, Mary C. Martini, Anthony J. Olszanski, Merrick I. Ross, April Salama, Susan M. Swetter, Kenneth K. Tanabe, Vijay Trisal, Marshall M. Urist, Nicole R. McMillian and Maria Ho

The NCCN Guidelines for Melanoma provide multidisciplinary recommendations for the management of patients with melanoma. These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight notable recent updates. Dabrafenib and trametinib, either as monotherapy (category 1) or combination therapy, have been added as systemic options for patients with unresectable metastatic melanoma harboring BRAF V600 mutations. Controversy continues regarding the value of adjuvant radiation for patients at high risk of nodal relapse. This is reflected in the category 2B designation to consider adjuvant radiation following lymphadenectomy for stage III melanoma with clinically positive nodes or recurrent disease.