Read the latest news from the Division of Hematology/Oncology including awards, publications and announcements.
Maha Hussain, MD, recently published several papers detailing new findings in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer treatment and prostate cancer screening.
Curated Cancer Care
Cancer treatment tailored to each unique individual. This is the potential of precision oncology, and the premise of OncoSET.
Dr. Maha Hussain outlines how results from the PROSPER study might impact the treatment landscape for patients with nonmetastatic (M0) prostate cancer that is no longer responding to hormonal therapy, called castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
Even as a growing number of cancer patients are setting up accounts for online access to medical charts, fewer people are actually logging on to look at their test results, a U.S. study suggests.
For the study, researchers examined data on 44,590 cancer patients treated between 2007 and 2016, including 19,434 who set up online MyChart accounts to get remote access to their records.
During this decade, the proportion of patients with MyChart accounts rose from 26 percent to 62 percent, researchers report in JAMA Oncology.
In recent years, however, the number of people checking their test results online declined, from 61 percent in 2012 to 38 percent by the end of the study.
A Doctor at Heart
“Exceptional care will never be good enough if we don’t have a cure or impactful treatments for our patients,” says Deputy Director, Maha Hussain, MD. “That’s why my passion is research. Research is what will cure cancer.”
Marcus Peter, PhD, the Tom D. Spies Professor of Cancer Metabolism, was the senior author of the study that discovered why Huntington’s disease is toxic to cancer cells, a finding that may lead to new cancer therapies, according to a new study published in the journal EMBO Reports. Patients with Huntington’s disease, a fatal genetic illness that causes the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain, have up to 80 percent less cancer than the general population.
They are among the most challenging prostate cancer patients to treat: about 150,000 men worldwide each year whose cancer is aggressive enough to defy standard hormonal therapy, but has not yet spread to the point where it can be seen on scans.
These patients enter a tense limbo which often ends too quickly with the cancer metastasizing to their bones, lymph nodes or other organs — sometimes causing intense pain.
Now, for the first time, researchers have results from two independent clinical trials showing that two different drugs help these patients — giving them about two more years before their cancer metastasizes. That means two additional years before pain and other symptoms spread and they need chemotherapy or other treatments.
Treatment with the combination of enzalutamide (Xtandi) and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) reduced the risk of metastases or death by 71% compared with ADT alone for patients with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), according to findings from the phase III PROSPER trial released ahead of the 2018 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.
In the double-blind study, the median metastasis-free survival (MFS) was 36.6 months with enzalutamide plus ADT versus 14.7 months with ADT alone (HR, 0.29; 95% Ci, 0.24-0.35; P <.0001). Based on the promising findings, Pfizer and Astellas, the companies developing the antiandrogen agent, have already submitted a supplemental new drug application to the FDA.
“In the PROSPER trial, treatment with enzalutamide plus ADT delayed the development of metastases compared to standard-of-care ADT alone and, if approved, may provide men with nonmetastatic CRPC an important new treatment option,” lead investigator Maha Hussain, MD, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, said in a statement.
For women with breast cancer classified as both HER2-positive and hormone receptor-positive, a combination of two HER2-targeting drugs plus hormone therapy provided the most benefit to patients with advanced disease, according to findings from a Northwestern Medicine clinical trial.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, was led by William Gradishar, MD, interim chief of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Medicine and director of the clinical network of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.
Director of the Maggie Daley Center Among Top 27 Breast Cancer Oncologists in the Country, Picked by Big DataWilliam Gradishar, MD, Deputy Director for the Clinical Network in the Lurie Cancer Center, is among the top 27 academic breast oncologists in the country identified in Forbes Magazine, based on "big data" analysis from Grand Rounds. This company uses a machine learning algorithm to analyze publicly available and proprietary data.Gradishar is interim chief of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Medicine, Betsy Bramsen Professor of Breast Oncology and Director of Lurie Cancer Center’s Maggie Daley Center for Women’s Cancer Care in Prentice Women’s Hospital, where he develops and implements clinical trials of new therapeutic approaches for breast cancer.