Hem/Onc Highlights: Number of Cancer Survivors to Top 22 Million by 2030, New FDA Approvals, and more

Here are the top stories covered by DocWire News this week in the Hematology & Oncology section. This week, a report indicated that the number of U.S. cancer survivors is growing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved new treatment for head and neck cancer and lymphoma, and more.

The total number of cancer survivors in the United States is projected to expand from 16.9 million Americans in 2019 to more than 22.1 million by 2030, according to a study published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. This growth in survivorship continues to climb despite the cancer incidence rate remaining stable in women and declining in men. This increase in survivorship is related to the growing aging population, as well as advances in early detection and treatment, according to the researchers.

The FDA approved Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) for firstline treatment of patients with metastatic or unresectable recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. In the KEYNOTE-048 study, patients receiving pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy had statistically significant improvement in overall survival compared with those receiving cetuximab plus chemotherapy.

The FDA granted accelerated approval to Polivy™ (polatuzumab vedotin-piiq), a CD79b-directed antibody-drug conjugate, in combination with bendamustine and rituximab for adult patients with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified, who received at least two prior therapies. In the GO29365 trial, the complete response rate was 40% among patients receiving polatuzumab vedotin-piiq plus bendamustine and rituximab versus 18% in those receiving bendamustine plus rituximab alone.

For patients with end-stage cancer, advanced care planning documentation can prevent avoidable hospital admissions at the end of life , according to researchers from Ohio State University who published their findings in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. According to the results of the study, patients with an order of a verified do-not-resuscitate (DNR) prior to the last 30 days of life had diminished odds of unnecessary admission compared to those without a DNR.