Unsurprisingly, one of the key oncology themes over the last year has been the continued coming of age of cancer immunotherapy, with promising new data having been presented at every major oncology meeting since the modality was hailed clinical cancer advance of the year by ASCO back in February 2016. As President of ASCO, Julie M Vose suggested at the time: “No recent cancer advance has been more transformative than immunotherapy. These new therapies are not only transforming patient lives, they are also opening intriguing avenues for further research.”
We brought you many and varied immunotherapy-related articles and features throughout 2016 to help you keep up to date with this rapidly evolving field. One particular highlight is this article debating the express approval of immune checkpoint inhibitors and the conflict this conjures between science and finance. Other highlights included a debate over whether immunotherapy is a feasible possibility for the treatment of breast cancer and discussion of CD73–adenosine as a next-generation target in immuno-oncology.
As touched on above, there has also been a lot of breast cancer-related content that you, our audience, have really engaged with within the last year. Did you read our featured meta-analysis article from Biomarkers in Medicine discussing potential prognostic biomarkers in triple-negative disease? Our interview with expert Richard Simcock discussing single-dose intraoperative radiotherapy for early stage breast cancer also proved to be one of our most read item of the year. In case you missed it, discover how single-dose intraoperative radiotherapy compares with daily external beam radiotherapy and explore clinical data that reported positive patient experience outcomes.
Exploring another interesting issue in breast cancer, as part of a one of our 2016 Spotlight events, we also featured an article discussing whether circulating tumor cells may hold the potential to replace biopsies in guiding breast cancer treatment. Spotlights were a new endeavour for us in 2016; these are topic focuses during which we spend 3 months delving into key questions and issues within certain areas of oncology. Our inaugural Spotlight on circulating tumor cells proved very popular – if you missed it, you can read our special digital supplement summarizing all the top content from this spotlight. Find out more about our other 2016 Spotlights, including further exploration of the complex relationship between cancer and the immune system, here.
At the 2016 ASCO meeting, data presented by Venook et al observed that metastatic colorectal cancer patients had different treatment outcomes based on the location of their tumor, adding fuel to the debate over whether tumor location could represent a prognostic or predictive marker in the disease.
We explored this further in a series of interviews with key experts in the field, beginning with Professor Julien Taieb discussing whether these data could impact the way physicians select treatment for their patients. Furthermore, Professor Claus-Henning Köhne explained the data further in the context of broader evidence on biomarkers in metastatic colorectal cancer and current recommendations for patients.
Last but not least, our webinar event that focused in on the links between obesity and cancer risk, which was carried out in conjunction with our friends at World Cancer Research Fund, proved to be an interesting and engaging event. We’re pleased to be bringing you another collaborative event in February this year, looking into the science behind diet and the risk of mouth and gastrointestinal cancers – find out more about this upcoming event.
These are just some of the highlights of the last 12 months on Oncology Central – I look forward to sharing many more with you all in 2017 as we continue to advance oncology together.
With my very best wishes for 2017,
Editor, Oncology Central
Updated 11 January, 2019