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Foreword – Oncology & Hematology Review, 2015;11(1):13

Oncology & Hematology Review, 2015;11(1):13

Welcome to the spring edition of Oncology and Haematology Review (US), which features articles on major aspects of oncology. In the era of targeted therapy, oncologists are faced with an ever-increasing number of therapeutic options, and there is a need for biomarker assays to inform treatment decisions. Our first article, by Conley et al., reviews the matters faced in translating biomarkers into clinical practice. Following the travails with immune-based treatment approaches in oncology for a long time, the recent finding that programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors may be effective in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is exciting. Gandhi et al. discuss the potential of these agents alone and in combination, as well as the use of PD-L1 expression as a predictive biomarker for the use of these agents.

Three articles in this issue focus on cancer in older patients. While cancer mostly affects older adults, a significant number do not receive treatment. A systematic review by Puts et al. found that willingness to accept treatment was most influenced by potential benefits and side effects. In another article, Mateos discusses treatment options and goals in multiple myeloma patients aged over 65 years and therefore not eligible for stem cell transplantation. A third article by Liefers et al. discusses the current evidence regarding the implementation of breast cancer screening in older women, an important topic in an aging population, given the fact that randomized controlled trials rarely include patients over the age of 68.

In the field of gastrointestinal oncology, Sugarbaker reviews developments in surgery and long-term regional chemotherapy for diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma over the last 20 years. In addition, Verma et al. review the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumors. While the use of imatinib is associated with improvements in overall survival in metastatic and unresectable disease, there remains a need for novel therapies. On the topic of prostate cancer, Vankayala and Vaishampayan discuss the latest developments in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer.

This edition features three articles on supportive cancer care. Crawford discusses how recent developments in the understanding of pain have brought new insights into the use of opioids in the management of cancer pain. Eisbruch et al. describe mucositis prophylaxis and treatment during radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy of head and neck cancer. In addition, Ruddy et al. review the characteristics and treatment of neurotoxicity, one of the most debilitating of chemotherapy-related toxicities.

Oncology and Haematology Review (US) would like to thank all expert authors who contributed towards this edition. A special thanks goes to our Editorial Board for their continuing support and guidance. We hope all our readers will find something of interest among these timely and thought-provoking articles.

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