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Oncology

Containing dedicated Learning Zones, guidelines, trials and news for related conditions in Oncology.
Last updated: 5th Sep 2023

What does oncology mean?

The definition of oncology; oncology is the branch of medicine that deals with the study, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Cancer is a cluster of cells (usually derived from a single cell) that proliferate uncontrollably and can develop from any tissue or organ within the body, including blood forming tissue (blood cancers), and solid tissue (solid cancers). Solid cancers, also known as tumours, can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Malignant tumours can spread or metastasise to other parts of the body, with metastases often complicating cancer management and treatment.

Welcome:

Lead from the frontline: Optimizing first-line treatment selection in Ph+ ALL

Join experts Elias Jabbour, Hagop Kantarjian and Nicholas Short from the 2023 ASCO annual meeting as they discuss Ph+ ALL treatment options and gain 1 CME credit.

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Symposium on refractory multiple myeloma, COMy 2023

Watch our expert panel discussion on the management of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) in older and frail adults.

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Watch the Early and Optimal Management of Adrenocortical Carcinoma (ACC) Webinar

Join Professors Alfredo Berruti and Jaydira Del Rivero for a 60-minute webinar as they discuss treatment options and guideline recommendations.

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How can poor-quality clinical trials impact clinical decision-making?

Explore why a cautious approach is warranted when interpreting trial results.

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Catch up on highlights from the 2022 ASCO Congress

A round-up of some of the most talked about sessions at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting taking place in Chicago from 3–7 June 2022.

What are the most common cancers in women?

The most common cancers in females globally are breast cancer (24.2%), colorectum cancer (9.5%), and lung cancer (8.4%)1. These are also the three most common causes of cancer-related deaths in women, with breast cancer being the most common1. The most common type of breast cancer is invasive ductal carcinoma, whilst the molecular subtypes of breast cancer that are more relevant for treatment-decision making include luminal A, luminal B, triple negative, HER2-enriched, and normal-like breast cancer2. Whilst breast cancer is much more common in women, just under 1% of all breast cancer cases are male breast cancers3. In gynaecological oncology, female-only cancers include ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, womb cancer, vulval cancer, and vaginal cancer.

What are the most common cancers in men?

The most common cancers in men globally include lung cancer (14.5%), prostate cancer (13.5%) and colorectum cancers (10.9%)1. Whilst lung cancer is also the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in men, prostate cancer and colorectum cancer follow in 6th and 5th position, respectively, following liver cancer and stomach cancer1. Male-only cancers include prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and penile cancer.

How is cancer treated?

Cancer treatments used within clinical oncology vary according to type and subtype of cancer, cancer stage and level of metastases, as well as the molecular features of the cancer. Cancer treatment modalities include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, radiopharmaceuticals, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy and stem cell transplant therapy. Tumour biomarker analysis using molecular techniques that include cancer genetic testing are increasingly important for the application of current and emerging targeted cancer therapies, an approach known as individualised cancer treatment, or precision medicine4.

References

  1. Bray F, Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Siegel RL, Torre LA, Jemal A. Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018;68(6):394–424.
  2. Breastcancer.org. Molecular subtypes of breast cancer. https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/molecular-subtypes. Accessed 14 March 2021.
  3. Breastcancer.org. Male breast cancer. https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/male_bc#:~:text=Breast%20cancer%20in%20men%20is,is%20about%201%20in%20833. Accessed 14 March 2021.
  4. Le Tourneau C, Borcoman E, Kamal M. Molecular profiling in precision medicine oncology. Nat Med. 2019;25(5):711–712.