OBR Daily Commentary

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Opinion: Trump’s Not A Doctor. He’s Only Playing One On TV. By Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Vinay Prasad

(Washington Post) Mar 23, 2020 - President Trump has been promoting chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, as “a game changer” in combating the coronavirus, perhaps in combination with the antibiotic Azithromycin. “As the expression goes, ‘What do we have to lose?’ ” Trump asked during Saturday’s media briefing.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: March 24, 2020)

quotesAn excellent piece that highlights what the history of cancer research should be teaching the world about the concept that trying things with the thought that "they can't hurt", based on a "don't just stand there -- do something!" mentality are actually harmful and counterproductive, not only to broader society, but also to the people short-circuiting deliberate, appropriate research. And President Trump is unfortunately not helping by undermining thoughtful medical care and the cautious advice of the profoundly knowledgeable people like Dr. Fauci.quotes

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AstraZeneca's Imfinzi Shows Sustained Benefit In Lung Cancer Study

(Reuters) Mar 17, 2020 - AstraZeneca Plc said on Tuesday longer-term data from a late-stage trial on its cancer drug, Imfinzi, in combination with chemotherapies showed sustained improvement in overall survival of certain lung cancer patients, sending its shares up 4%. The results confirm a previous set of data from the same study, which was published in September and had led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to give the drug a priority review status two months later.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: March 17, 2020)

quotesThe CASPIAN trial was positive for a survival benefit with durvalumab added to platinum/etoposide for first line treatment of extensive stage small cell lung cancer, which is now added to atezolizumab + carbo/etoposide as another option (a lateral move), at least once the FDA provides expected approval. The story shouldn't be around positive results for durvalumab alone. That's old news, and it was never that interesting to clinical oncologists who already have an FDA-approved chemo/immunotherapy combination in first line SCLC, with chemo/durva offering no benefit over that. The failure of the arm with durvalumab/tremelimumab added to chemotherapy, however, is another hit to this immunotherapy doublet that has demonstrated repeated failures in many settings. My opinion is that AZ needs to cut its losses and stop pursuing this combination. In the event that a rare trial comes up as positive with it, it will still suffer from being in the context of now a growing array of negative trials with durva/treme, and also with being compared to a nivolumab/ipilimumab combination that is very similar, except that nivo/ipi has demonstrated far more success. As far as durva/treme is concerned, this dog won't hunt.quotes

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Coronavirus: Effect On Oncology. Will The 2020 Annual Meetings Happen?

(The Cancer Letter) Mar 4, 2020 - Forecasts of the inevitable spread of coronavirus can be difficult to ignore, especially at a time when many of us are making travel plans for this spring’s big cancer meetings.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: March 05, 2020)

quotesThis is clearly a question on everyone's mind right now, more pressing every day, as many institutions are announcing new policies discouraging if not strongly restricting non-essential travel, including to conferences. Moreover, it's inevitable that there will be dozens to hundreds of COVID-19 carriers at ASCO, given so many asymptomatic or ambiguously symptomatic people and cases no longer tethered to global travel. This means that these conferences will bring thousands to tens of thousands of oncologists and others from around the globe in close contact with COVID-19. It would be hard to envision a more perfect path to a pandemic, as these people will then bring COVID-19 home to expose their patients, colleagues, and families. Though these large annual meetings are important for galvanizing the cancer community, for sharing information, and for providing great financial support for these professional societies, this is clearly a year in which there will be a great need for live streaming and/or other robust virtual meeting options, if it is feasible and not socially irresponsible to proceed with these live meetings at all, at least on their current time lines.quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Prostate Cancer
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Tomasz M. Beer, MD, FACP

Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Medical O...

Community Oncology
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Dean Gesme, MD

FACP FACPE FASCO President, Minnesota Oncology...

Breast Cancer
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Debu Tripathy, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncol...

Lung Cancer
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H. Jack West, MD

Associate Clinical Professor, Medical Oncology Executi...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Howard S. Hochster, MD

Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Woo...

Radiation Oncology
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Howard Sandler, MD, MS, FASTRO

Ronald H. Bloom Chair in Cancer Therapeutics
Pr...

Community Oncology
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Jeff Patton, M.D.

CEO Tennessee Oncology...

Precision Medicine Section Editor
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Jennifer Levin Carter, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer and Founder, N-of-One...

Financial Sector
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Michael G. King Jr.

Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Richard Goldberg, MD

Director WVU Cancer Institute Director of Cancer Signa...

Editor-In-Chief
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Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Health Policy
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Ted Okon

Executive Director Community Oncology Alliance...

Community Oncology
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Thomas Marsland, MD

Vice President Integrated Community Oncology Network ...

Community Oncology
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William Harwin MD

Florida Cancer Specialists President and Managing Part...

Health Policy
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William McGivney, PhD

National Health Policy Expert...

Payer
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Winston Wong, PharmD

President, W-Squared Group...