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Clinical Trials Improve Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Survival Rates

August 31, 2021

By: Michael A. Danso, MD

The advent of immunotherapy and genomic analyses of cancer cells has led to rapid evolution in treatment options for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). 

Recent and ongoing clinical trials for breast cancer have identified multiple therapies that may help cure more early-stage patients with this often-aggressive cancer, a form prevalent in both younger women and African Americans. 

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Research

A New Treatment Approach for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

July 28, 2021

By: Sonia E. Hepburn, MD

Until recently, breast cancer has remained largely in the background as immunotherapy has gained ground in treating many other types of cancer.

However, evidence now supports a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Cancer Treatment

How Breast Cancer Treatment Has Become More Conservative and Effective

July 23, 2021

By: Kasey Fuqua

Breast Cancer Treatment Has Become More Tailored and Targeted

Treatment for breast cancer has come a long way from mastectomies and broad-spectrum chemotherapy. Thanks to new research and clinical trials, treatment has become more personalized—and conservative—than ever, improving not only survival rates but quality of life throughout survival. For the nearly 235,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year, these advances can’t come soon enough.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Genetic Testing, Cancer Research

VOA Selected as one of 10 Sites for New Clinical Trial MYLUNG

July 9, 2021

By J. Christopher Paschold, MD, FACP

Virginia Oncology Associates (VOA) was recently selected as one of only ten sites in the country to be part of a collaborative that includes McKesson and life science companies participating in a clinical research study called MYLUNG. MYLUNG is a lung cancer clinical trial that stands for Molecularly Informed Lung Cancer Treatment in a Community Cancer Network: A Pragmatic Consortium. The work of this consortium, which will eventually involve more than 12,000 patients, is to better understand metastatic non-small cell lung cancer at the molecular level and develop more targeted treatment plans.

Read More Categories: Lung Cancer, Cancer Research

Considering a Clinical Trial for Cancer Treatment: What You Need to Know

April 10, 2020

Clinical trials are research studies that help doctors find new treatments, improve existing treatments, and increase the quality of life for people with cancer. Sometimes the term “clinical trial” may make patients concerned the treatment is less safe or less effective than treatments currently available. Institutional review boards carefully review each study to ensure it is safe, comparable in effectiveness to standard treatments, and designed to yield important information.

You may be able to benefit from the treatments offered in a clinical trial if you meet certain criteria. Your decision to begin and continue with treatment on a clinical trial is always voluntary. The research team at Virginia Oncology Associates is dedicated to working with your cancer care team to see if you are a good fit for certain trials.

Read More Categories: Cancer Research

Cancer Research is Advancing Breast Cancer Treatment Options

February 5, 2020

By David Z. Chang, MD,PhD, FACP

Recent developments in breast cancer treatment have continued to fuel our movement toward tailored treatment for each individual patient.

Two of the newest and most promising fronts are targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Both aim to more effectively kill cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue, thereby causing fewer debilitating side effects as compared to traditional chemotherapy.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Healthcare Providers

The Expanding Role of PD-1 Inhibitors in Cancer Treatment

March 22, 2019

By: John C. Paschold, MD - Virginia Oncology Associates

Since 2006, when the first clinical trial began testing the effectiveness of PD-1 inhibitors, the use of these immunotherapy drugs has increased dramatically. Over the last two to three years, these drugs have moved from research trials into mainstream cancer treatment, particularly for late-stage melanoma, lung cancers, kidney cancers, and head and neck cancers.

Read More Categories: Cancer Research, Cancer Treatment

Novel Treatments in Lung Cancer See Expanded Use

January 4, 2019

By: Graham T. Watson, MD – Virginia Oncology Associates

The quickly expanding knowledge of cancer biology has led to new, highly effective treatments for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Advances in genetics have brought about targeted therapy with drugs that “target” a specific driver mutation. With a deeper understanding of the immune system’s interaction with cancer cells, we can uncloak cancer cells that previously hid from immune destruction. For years, we have leveraged these therapies only in Stage IV lung cancer, but cancer research has shown that Stage III patients treated first with chemoradiotherapy can also gain benefit.

Advances in Immunotherapy Treatment Options for Lung Cancer

 Immunotherapies such as nivolumab (Opdivo®) or pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) have helped patients with incurable, Stage IV lung cancer live longer. While these drugs represent a major breakthrough, limiting their use to Stage IV patients is a frustration for both patients and doctors. While the goal of treatment in Stage III lung cancer patients is cure, the rates of recurrence are high. Finding a lung cancer treatment that can reduce this risk of recurrence is a worthy goal.

Read More Categories: Lung Cancer, Cancer Research, Cancer Treatment

Clinical Trials Expand Treatment Options for Cancer in Hampton Roads

January 30, 2018

For people with cancer, having access to all available treatment options for their specific type of cancer can be difficult. Specialized cancer clinical trials and research may require extensive travel or even relocation to be closer to hospitals or research institutes conducting such studies. Fortunately, for residents of Hampton Roads, this is not the case.

One of the largest and most reputable cancer research networks in the world is US Oncology Research, which specializes in Phase I-IV oncology clinical trials in communities throughout the nation. Our location here in Hampton Roads is one of 16 Translational Oncology Program (TOP) sites for US Oncology Research, offering the largest clinical research program in the region.

Read More Categories: Cancer Research