76 episodes

The Onco'Zine Brief is an interview and discussion program presented by Peter Hofland, Ph.D., covering a broad range of topics and timely news updates with information from all oncology disciplines and sub-specialties from around the world.

The Onco'Zine Brief is a sponsor-supported, program for healthcare professionals involved in the management and care of cancer patients as well as cancer patients and their family and friends.

The Onco'Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D

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The Onco'Zine Brief is an interview and discussion program presented by Peter Hofland, Ph.D., covering a broad range of topics and timely news updates with information from all oncology disciplines and sub-specialties from around the world.

The Onco'Zine Brief is a sponsor-supported, program for healthcare professionals involved in the management and care of cancer patients as well as cancer patients and their family and friends.

    Accelerate the Development of Precision Medicine Diagnostics

    Accelerate the Development of Precision Medicine Diagnostics

    In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland talks with Peter Keeling about Personalized Medicine, diagnostic testing, and the effect of Covid-19 on cancer and cancer diagnostics. Hofland and Keeling also talk about the world’s first Diagnostic Network for Precision Medicine.

    Peter Keeling is the chief executive officer and Founder of Diaceutics. Since its founding, the company has built the world’s largest repository of diagnostic testing data with a growing network of 2,500 laboratories in 51 countries.

    The company recently launched the world’s first digital diagnostics platform solution. Diaceutics has launched this new platform – called --The Diagnostic Network® ---to help solve the many problems that exist today within the patient diagnosis process.

    A proper diagnostic test is an essential step to ensure that a patient receives the most effective treatment.

    Correctly diagnosing also leads to efficiently managing a patient’s disease, which, in turn, results in improved healthcare outcomes.

    In contrast, the failure to diagnose a condition correctly can reduce the possibility of a good healthcare outcome and limit a patient's ability to fully recover.

    Diaceutics’ network has been designed to accelerate the end-to-end development and commercialization of precision medicine diagnostics. But more importantly, the platform is designed to get every patient the treatment he or she deserves.

    About The Onco'Zine Brief
    The Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.

    For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebrief

    For more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.com

    To sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.

    • 48 min
    The Burden of Chemotherapy-induced Myelosuppression

    The Burden of Chemotherapy-induced Myelosuppression

    In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland Ph.D., talks with Raj Malik M.D. and Robert Epstein M.D.

    Malik is Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, R&D, at G1 Therapeutics. He leads the company’s clinical development, medical affairs, regulatory affairs, biometrics, translational medicine and preclinical teams. Epstein is an epidemiologist with extensive expertise in pharmaco-economics and health outcomes research. He served in academia and public health prior to joining the private sector and is currently the Chief Executive Officer and co-Founder of Epstein Health, providing strategic consultancy services to life sciences companies

    Hofland and his guests talk about the burden of Chemotherapy-induced Myelosuppression (CIM), which is also referred to as Bone Marrow Depression. [1]

    Chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression is a common side effect of chemotherapy. It generally ranges from mild to severe. Severe cases of myelosuppression, referred to as myeloablation, can be fatal.

    As a result, the side effects of chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression remain a major source of concern for both patients and health care providers. And the consequences include anemia, thrombocytopenia, and neutropenia, all of which can cause severe complications, and limit the ability of patients to receive chemotherapy on time and at standard-of-care doses. [1]

    Chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression is one of the most common dose-limiting complications of cancer treatment and is associated with a range of symptoms that can significantly impact patients’ health related quality of life.

    Despite the current availability and use of various supportive care interventions, chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression places a substantial burden on patients with advanced solid tumors, impacting many aspects of their daily lives

    Breakthrough Therapy
    In the program today Hofland and his guests also talk about G1 Therapeutics first-in-class FDA-designated "Breakthrough Therapy" designed to improve outcomes for people with cancer who are treated with chemotherapy and we talk about myelopreservation which may reduce chemotherapy-related toxicity, making chemotherapy safer and more tolerable, and also reduce the need for rescue interventions that address the effects of myelosuppression, such as growth factors or blood and platelet transfusions.

    Data from a study published earlier this year in advances in therapy highlights that despite the various methods used to address chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression, and the patient-focused approach of oncologists, the real-world impact of chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression on patients is substantial.

    Based on the results of the study, the authors conclude that improving communication between patients and health care providers may help improve patients’ understanding of chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression and foster shared decision-making in terms of treatment.

    For more information about chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression and GI Therapeutics visit the company’s web site at https://www.g1therapeutics.com/

    About The Onco'Zine Brief
    The Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.

    For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebrief

    For more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at a...

    • 46 min
    Antibody-dye Conjugates – A Targeted Light Activated Anti-Cancer Treatment

    Antibody-dye Conjugates – A Targeted Light Activated Anti-Cancer Treatment

    In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland talks with Peggy Berry, Vice president of Global Regulatory Affairs at Rakuten Medical.*

    Rakuten Medical is developing a technology platform called Illuminox™ which is based on a cancer therapy called Near Infrared Photoimmunotherapy. This technology was originally developed by Hisataka Kobayashi, M.D., Ph.D. and his team at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the United States. [1]

    Rakuten Medical’s first investigational drug, based on it’s Illuminox™ platform technology, is called cetuximab saratolacan (previously known as ASP-1929 and RM-1929).

    Cetuximab saratolacan is an antibody-dye conjugate which includes the antibody, cetuximab (Erbitux®; Eli Lilly and Merck Serono) and a near-infrared, water-soluble, silicon-phthalocyanine derivative, photosensitizer or light activatable dye called IRdye700DX (IR700).

    The antibody-dye conjugate specifically targets the epidermal growth factor receptor or EGFR, which is broadly expressed in tumors such as head and neck cancer, gastric cancer, prostate cancer, lung and pancreatic cancers as well as glioblastoma.[2]

    The investigational agent has a unique mechanism of action. After cetuximab saratolacan is administered and binds to EGFRs on tumor cells, the drug is locally activated with non-thermal red light using a device laser system (called BioBlade® Laser System), which is the medical device used in the combination with cetuximab saratolacan.

    Pre-clinical data shows that following activation, cetuximab saratolacan induces rapid cell membrane disruption of the targeted cancer cells, leading to cell necrosis, and immune-o-genic cell death. Pre-clinical data also shows that cetuximab saratolacan can also induce innate and adaptive anti-cancer immune responses.

    Rakuten Medical is currently conducting a global Phase III multi-center clinical trial with cetuximab saratolacan to evaluate the efficacy and safety in patients with recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

    In this program we talk about the platform technology and the regulatory aspects of developing this novel approach. We also talk about clinical trials, trial recruitment and real-world data.

    About The Onco'Zine Brief
    The Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.

    For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebrief

    For more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.com

    To sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only), text the word CANCER to 66866.

    Note
    * Previously know as Aspyrian Therapeutics

    References
    [1] Kobayashi H, Choyke PL. Near-Infrared Photoimmunotherapy of Cancer. Acc Chem Res. 2019 Aug 20;52(8):2332-2339. doi: 10.1021/acs.accounts.9b00273. Epub 2019 Jul 23. PMID: 31335117; PMCID: PMC6704485.
    [2] Baselga J. Why the epidermal growth factor receptor? The rationale for cancer therapy. Oncologist. 2002;7 Suppl 4:2-8. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.7-suppl_4-2. PMID: 12202782.

    • 49 min
    C3 – Looking for Ideas Beyond Medicine to Change Cancer Care

    C3 – Looking for Ideas Beyond Medicine to Change Cancer Care

    In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D. talks with Anthony Yanni, M.D., Senior Vice President, patient-centricity at Astellas. In this role, Yanni is responsible for leading the development and execution of Astellas’ global patient-centricity strategy.

    To understand patient centricity, consider the fact that 10 years ago, patient-centricity wasn’t even a concept – In most cases, drugs were developed if scientists could achieve innovation, without considering if companies should actually develop a medicine based on the real-world unmet medical needs and the perspectives of the patient.

    And while ‘patient-centricity’ has become an industry’s catchphrase, not everyone has the same understanding of its true meaning. The concept of 'patient-centricity' comes from the United Kingdom’s National Health Service -idea of “no decision about me, without me.”

    But 'Patient-centricity' is more than a catchphrase.

    In the most advanced form, it is about the meaningful use of insights from patients - to support the development of health solutions, including the development of novel therapeutics.

    The essence of patient-centricity requires companies to have a 'listening ear' – to listen to the patient, to listen to what they think and understand – and really understand what they mean.

    According to a number of peer-reviewed studies patient-centricity – and with that - increased engagement with patients and providers leads to better care, decreased levels of disease, and a decrease of overall health-related expenses.

    In this process Information is essential. Information may help all participants involved in this process to have a better understanding of a particular disease and the individual, unmet medical needs of the patient.

    If patient-centricity is to succeed, engaging with the patient at a much earlier stage than has traditionally been the case may be essential. For example, patients, patient advocates, and their organizations may help in the drug development phase, including clinical trial design.

    By doing so, pharma – and in its wake the entire life sciences industry - can then leverage the patients’ expertise and detailed knowledge of their own disease and their own medical history to provide more effective patient-centric care.

    In his role as Senior Vice President and Head of Patient Centricity at Astellas, Yanni is responsible for leading the development and execution of the company’s global patient-centricity strategy. In that capacity, he helps guide the company to really understand the patient journey in a real-world setting - along with the continued development of a patient-focused corporate culture.

    In his view, medicine is more than a novel drug: “At the end of the day,” Yanni notes, “we are not here to treat a patient – we’re here to care for a person. Having a conscious awareness of that person in every activity, from every area of the company, every single day, ensures we will create truly meaningful innovations.”

    More than ever before, there is a need for meaningful innovation that can ease the challenges and worries patients and their caregivers have. And this is particularly so amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

    In their process of listing to the patient, Astellas Oncology, years ago, established the Changing Cancer Care or C3 Prize.

    This prize is more than a listening exercise. It’s an effort to foster innovation in cancer care beyond medicine and change the entire experience for patients, caregivers, and loved ones.

    The C3 Prize is open to anyone with a great idea to change cancer care. Past winners have developed charity initiatives, patient education programs, apps, augmented reality experiences, and other programs aimed at changing the overall experience of cancer care. Any idea that can have an impact, especially if it is...

    • 47 min
    A Non-Invasive Blood Test Designed to Advance Infectious Disease Diagnostics

    A Non-Invasive Blood Test Designed to Advance Infectious Disease Diagnostics

    In this episode of The Onco’Zine Brief Peter Hofland, Ph.D., talks with Tim Blauwkamp, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Karius.

    Karius, based in Redwood City, CA, has developed a non-invasive liquid biopsy, a blood test, called the Karius Test®. The test is based on next-generation sequencing of microbial cell-free DNA and can rapidly detect pathogens causing serious infections, including those diseases that are difficult to diagnose through conventional methods. The test can identify and quantify over 1,000 clinically relevant pathogens, including bacteria, DNA viruses, fungi, and parasites. The test can be used to identify infections related to complicated and atypical pneumonia, infections in immunocompromised patients including invasive fungal infections, viral infections and neutropenic fever, and endocarditis and other cardiovascular infections.

    In the right patient population, the test is faster than conventional culture-based diagnostics and eliminates traditional diagnostic methods for deep-tissue infections, which may require a diagnostic surgical procedure.

    But overall, the test helps clinicians make rapid, treatment decisions.

    And this is especially important for infectious disease diagnostics in immunocompromised patients, including patients with cancer.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, about 650,000 cancer patients receive chemotherapy in an outpatient oncology clinic in the United States. And while chemotherapy is important for the treatment of cancer and hematological malignancies, it may also lead to a condition known as neutropenia, a dramatic reduction of white blood cells.

    These cells, called leukocytes, include B-cells, T-cells, and NK- or natural killer - cells. They are designed to help fight infections. But when their numbers are reduced by cancer therapy, infections may develop easier and are harder to control.

    Infections may make treating cancer more complicated.

    When infections develop, the medical team needs to eradicate the infection before they can start another cycle of chemotherapy or radiation therapy or perform any surgical procedures. Preventing or eradicating infection is vital to continuing a patient’s cancer-targeted therapy. A complicating factor is that the medical team must also be on the lookout for side effects caused by the medications they use to treat the infection in patients who are already dealing with side effects related to their cancer therapy.

    Without a doubt, patients receiving chemotherapy are at a higher risk of developing infections. In turn, these infections may lead to hospitalization, disruptions in chemotherapy schedules, and even death.

    The CDC estimates that about 60,000 cancer patients are hospitalized with infections every year in the United States. In fact, infections remain a primary cause of severe morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. In some cases, even more so than the morbidity caused by cancer itself.

    About The Onco'Zine Brief

    The Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcasts and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.

    For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebrief

    For more information about cancer and cancer treatments, visit our online journal Onco'Zine at www.oncozine.com

    To sign up for The Onco'Zine Newsletter (open for residents of the United States only),...

    • 49 min
    Diagnosed with a Rare Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic? What Now?

    Diagnosed with a Rare Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic? What Now?

    In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief, Peter Hofland, Ph.D., talks with Vince McRuiz and Margo Shoup, MD, FACS.

    Margo Shoup is a nationally recognized surgical oncologist who specializes in gastrointestinal cancers and sarcomas. She is also the senior vice president, and system chair of the Nuvance Health Cancer Institute, where she provides strategic and clinical leadership for all aspects of Nuvance Health’s cancer services.

    Vince McRuiz is a patient of Dr. Shoup.

    In March 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic was ramping up in the northeastern United States, Vince was diagnosed with a retroperitoneal sarcoma — a rare abdominal cancer —that develops in the lining of the abdominal wall and the soft tissues that surround the kidneys, pancreas, and blood vessels.

    Vince needed surgery to remove the tumor.

    But removing this kind of cancer requires one of the most complex types of surgery. And while a diagnosis of cancer alone can be daunting, what if the cancer is rare and you’re diagnosed during a pandemic?

    In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief Hofland talks about that experience with Vince McRuiz, a father of three and grandfather of four, who has experienced several health and personal challenges over the past several years.

    In 2013 Vince was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and in 2019 he underwent major colon surgery, which required a three-week hospital stay. In 2018, Vince also lost his wife, Cynthia, to complications from Parkinson’s disease.

    And, then, in March 2020, during a routine CT scan to follow up on the colon surgery, doctors discovered a mass in Vince’s abdomen. Biopsy results confirmed that the mass was malignant.

    About retroperitoneal sarcoma

    The retroperitoneum is the space between the peritoneum and the posterior abdominal wall that contains the kidneys and associated structures, the pancreas, and part of the aorta and inferior vena cava.

    According to the American Cancer Society, 15% of all diagnosed soft tissue sarcomas arise in the retroperitoneum. And approximately one-third of malignant tumors that arise in the retroperitoneum are sarcomas. With approximately 8,600 patients diagnosed each year in the United States, representing less than 1% of all newly diagnosed malignancies, soft tissue sarcomas, including retroperitoneal sarcoma, are considered rare.

    The most common types of retroperitoneal sarcomas diagnosed in adults are liposarcomas, leiomyosarcomas, and malignant fibrous histiocytomas.

    Patients diagnosed with retroperitoneal sarcoma are often diagnosed in later stages with advanced disease because these tumors arise in the large potential spaces of the retroperitoneum where they can grow very large without producing symptoms.

    Furthermore, because retroperitoneal sarcoma is a rare disease in an anatomically complex location, evaluation, and treatment is challenging.

    The overall survival rates of patients are affected by the tumor size on presentation, the inability to achieve wide surgical margins, and the limitations of treating retroperitoneal sarcoma with radiation and chemotherapy.

    After surgery patients are scheduled for quarterly follow-up CT scans to make sure they are healing well and to determine if additional treatment is required.

    About The Onco'Zine Brief

    The Onco'Zine Brief is distributed in the United States via PRX (Public Radio Exchange). In the United Kingdom and Europe, the program is distributed via UK Health Radio (UKHR). And the program can be downloaded via most podcast and streaming media services, including iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio.

    For more information about The Onco'Zine Brief or how to sponsor or support this public radio broadcast and podcast, visit: a href="https://www.patreon.com/theoncozinebrief"...

    • 47 min

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