Blood & Cancer

Blood & Cancer

The official podcast feed of MDedge Hematology-Oncology, part of the Medscape Professional Network. On Thursdays, Dr. David Henry interviews key opinion leaders and rising stars in hematology and oncology. The information in this podcast is provided for informational and educational purposes only.


May 27, 2021 32 mins

Existing biosimilars are safe, effective alternatives to their reference biologics, and are increasingly being incorporated into oncology treatment guidelines.

Technological advances that have emerged in the years since biologic agents entered the market allow for the careful assessment of “critical clinical attributes” of biosimilar agents. This helps ensure the safety and efficacy of biosimilars, as well as their structural, func...

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Systemic treatment for advanced urothelial cancer is quickly evolving. On this week’s podcast, Arjun Balar, MD, director of the genitourinary medical oncology program at New York University discusses his approach amid changing times with guest host Alan Lyss, MD, a community-based medical oncologist and clinical researcher in the St. Louis area before his recent retirement. 

Chemotherapy or immunotherapy first line?

  • With the n...
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A “very basic” type of gene therapy could potentially cure hemophilia, but a major hurdle has been the lack of an effective mode of delivery. Recent strides in using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors are changing that, and Glenn Pierce, MD, World Federation of Hemophilia Vice President, Medical, predicts approvals in the next 12-18 months.

Dr. Pierce shared his personal experience with hemophilia and discussed his and others’ on...

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At least 17 cases of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia have been reported in patients who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.

Such events have been reported in patients who received the AstraZeneca vaccine as well.

In this episode, Adam C. Cuker, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, tells host David H. Henry, MD, how to identify and manage patients with these vaccine-induced events.

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The combined clinical cell-cycle risk (CCR) score uses clinical and genetic factors to assess the risk of metastasis after radiation therapy in patients with prostate cancer.

The CCR score has proven accurate in studies and can guide post-radiation treatment decisions in practice, according to Jonathan D. Tward, MD, PhD, of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

Dr. Tward discusses the CCR score with host David Henry, MD, in this...

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Pediatric oncologists are used to dealing with emotional, heart-wrenching situations, but oncology took on a new dimension for Michael Weiner, MD, when both he and his daughter were diagnosed with cancer.

Dr. Weiner, a pediatric oncologist at Columbia University, New York, describes his roles as oncologist, patient, and caregiver to host David H. Henry, MD, in this episode. 

Oncologist as patient: Lessons learned

  • Dr. Weiner’s ...
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Studies have shown that chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies produce responses in patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell lymphomas, but researchers continue to look for ways to improve efficacy, decrease toxicity, and overcome treatment resistance.

Leslie Kean, MD, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital, discusses some of this research with host David H. Henry, MD, in this episode.

Dr. Kean outlines four recent studies of...

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    Researchers have tracked the evolution of genetic germline testing in women with breast or ovarian cancer in recent years and reported the results in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

    Study author Allison W. Kurian, MD, of Stanford (Calif.) University, describes the group’s findings ( to guest host Alan Lyss, MD, subprincipal investigator emeritus for Heartland Cancer Research NCORP, in this episode.

    Study r...

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    A program called Drive By Flu-FIT has allowed for socially distanced colorectal cancer (CRC) screening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Armenta Washington, senior research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania, describes the program to guest host Alan Lyss, MD, subprincipal investigator emeritus for Heartland Cancer Research NCORP, in this episode.

    What is Drive By Flu-FIT?

    • Drive By Flu-FIT is a socially distanced version...
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    Earlier this year, clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of von Willebrand disease (VWD) were published in Blood Advances.

    The guidelines ( are a collaborative effort from the American Society of Hematology, the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, the National Hemophilia Foundation, and the World Federation of Hemophilia.

    Guideline author Paula James, MD, of Queens Uni...

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    We continue our review of drugs recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the hematology/oncology space.

    In part 1 of our review, David M. Mintzer, MD, of Pennsylvania Hospital, highlighted 11 therapies, including newly-approved treatments and new indications for older drugs. Part 1 was published Feb. 18 (

    Now, in part 2, Dr. Mintzer tells host David H. Henry, MD, about another 11 ther...

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    Treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) have advanced in recent years, with more new developments on the horizon.

    James Gerson, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, reviewed some of these advances and future directions while describing how he would treat three patients. Host David H. Henry, MD, posed the following cases for consideration.

    Case 1

    In a 75-year-old male with no ...

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    When should cancer patients receive a COVID-19 vaccine? The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has issued recommendations to provide guidance on the topic.

    Guideline author Steven Pergam, MD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, explains NCCN’s recommendations to host David H. Henry, MD, in this episode.


    • Prioritization for COVID-19 vaccination should be given to cancer patients curren...
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    Ifeyinwa (Ify) Osunkwo, MD, MPH, joins us to talk about her approach to pain management in patients suffering from sickle cell crisis as well as the cognitive and behavioral effects of long-term opioid use in these patients. She and our host David H. Henry, MD, cover these topics and more in this episode.

    Dr. Osunkwo is a professor of medicine at Atrium Health and the director of the Sickle Cell Enterprise at the Levine Cancer Inst...

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    In this episode, we review drugs recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the hematology/oncology space.

    David M. Mintzer, MD, of Pennsylvania Hospital, joins host David H. Henry, MD, to highlight some first-time approvals and new indications for older drugs.

    Approvals in 2020

    Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) was approved for a range of new indications last year, including:

    • First-line treatment of patients with unrese...
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    The NCI-MATCH trial was designed to reveal mutations in underexplored cancer types, allowing researchers to match patients to appropriate targeted therapies.

    Study investigator Alice P. Chen, MD, from the National Cancer Institute, reviews the goals and results of NCI-MATCH with host David H. Henry, MD, in this episode.

    Trial details

    • NCI-MATCH has more than 1,000 participating sites.
    • The trial is open to patients with advanced...
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    How do the various COVID-19 vaccines work, and when should patients be vaccinated? We tackle these topics and more in this episode.

    Our host David H. Henry, MD, is joined by Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Dr. Weissman codeveloped the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology being used in the COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

    History of mRNA vaccines

    • Testin...
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    The greatest barrier to clinical trial enrollment is patients not knowing an appropriate trial exists, according to a survey of gynecologic cancer survivors.

    The most common reason survey respondents gave for not enrolling in clinical trials was that their medical team didn't tell them about any trials.

    Annie Ellis and Mary (Dicey) Jackson Scroggins – who are both patient advocates and ovarian cancer survivors – conducted this su...

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    New studies have shed additional light on how convalescent plasma may affect patients with COVID-19, how blood type impacts bleeding risk, the effects of race on cancer-associated thrombosis, and iron deficiency in pregnancy.

    These studies were presented as part of the “Best of ASH” session at the 2020 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

    Alisa S. Wolberg, PhD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wh...

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    Three studies revealed new findings on thrombosis in patients with cancer and/or COVID-19. These studies were presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

    One study suggested the Khorana score may be ineffective for predicting venous thromboembolism (VTE) in cancer patients. Another study revealed factors that can predict VTE in patients with cancer and COVID-19. And a third study indicated that antit...

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