Although it is gratifying to take stock of the many advances that have been made in the oncology field in recent years, it remains vitally important that we keep in mind just how much work there remains to be done.
That is a theme that crops up throughout this issue of OncologyLive
In our cover story, “Biomarker Combos May Hold Key to Anti-PD-1/ PD-L1 Therapy Response,” we report on the efforts of researchers to identify signatures that will help inform clinicians about which patients are most likely to benefit from the exciting new immunotherapy agents that are rapidly becoming widely available for a range of malignancies.
We don’t need to belabor the importance of finding these markers for practicing oncology specialists who know full well the physical, emotional, and financial toll that an ineffective therapy can have on an individual patient with cancer.
Similarly, the thyroid cancer experts who participated in a recent OncLive
Peer Exchange program, summarized here in an article entitled “Personalized Strategies Vital in Thyroid Cancer Care,” are clearly looking to take the next step for patients now that they have more therapeutic tools than ever.
And, notably, we see how the American Society of Clinical Oncology is seeking to move cancer care forward by assembling a real-world database of treatment practices and their impact on patients through its CancerLinQ program. We are pleased to present an article about this program in our Precision Medicine in Oncology section and would encourage practicing oncologists to participate in CancerLinQ.
Yet these are not the only ways in which progress can be made in cancer care. Our physician editor-in-chief, Maurie Markman, MD, points out an area sorely in need of reform in his column, “Silence on Ovarian Cancer Trial Debacle Disheartening.” He writes about serious questions that were raised concerning a failed clinical trial into an experimental ovarian cancer drug—questions that have never really been publicly answered.
This is quite a fundamental question.
If the oncology field wants patients to participate in clinical trials that may negatively affect their health, should there not be better mechanisms for disclosing what happens in those trials? Please let us know your thoughts on these questions. As always, thank you for reading.