Plumbing the Core and Nibbling at the Margins of Cancer

Cancer Commons Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, is the face and curator of this invitation-only column


    Facilitating Access to Treatment for Children with Brain Cancer

    With: Leslie Jared, RN, MSN

    A Q&A with Leslie Jared, RN, MSN, Nurse Navigator at Cancer Commons. Email: Q: A midline glioma is a type of brain tumor that is particularly dangerous because of its nature and its location in the brain. It often afflicts children. An investigational drug called ONC201 has shown early promise in some patients whose tumors have a specific genetic mutation called H3 K27M.… Read more »


    Using Artificial Intelligence to Match Combination Targeted Therapies in Oncology

    With: Razelle Kurzrock, MD

    A Q&A with Razelle Kurzrock, MD, Director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy and the Rare Tumor Clinic at U.C. San Diego, and Co-Founder and Board Member of CureMatch, Inc. Email: Q: The new understanding of many cancers brought about by molecular testing has led to a whole new field: precision oncology, which emphasizes targeted and immunotherapy. While promising, and sometimes spectacularly… Read more »


    Comprehensive Molecular Testing Needed for Stage IV Lung Cancer

    With: David Spigel, MD

    A Q&A with David Spigel, MD, Chief Scientific Officer, Director of the Lung Cancer Research Program, and Principal Investigator at Sarah Cannon Research Institute. Email: Q: You are an expert medical oncologist with particular interest in lung cancer. The various forms of lung cancer are serious diagnoses, all potentially lethal malignancies. There are theoretical, investigational, and clinical justifications to perform molecular testing of… Read more »


    Using Molecular Testing to Guide Treatment for Advanced Colorectal Cancer

    With: Kalpana Kannan, PhD

    A Q&A with Kalpana Kannan, PhD, former Scientist at Cancer Commons Q: Colorectal cancer is common, and although many cases in earlier stages are cured by surgery alone or with adjuvant chemotherapy, it is still a lethal threat for many patients. Nonetheless, several new targeted and immunotherapeutic agents are now available. When should patients receive molecular testing for their colorectal cancer, what information should… Read more »


    Emphasizing Oncogeriatrics

    With: Nicolò Matteo Luca Battisti, MD

    A Q&A with Nicolò Matteo Luca Battisti, MD, Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom, and Chair of the Young Interest Group of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG); Q: Everyone knows that the practice of pediatric oncology is very different from adult oncology. How does the growing field of oncogeriatrics differ from usual adult oncology? A:… Read more »


    How to Treat Uveal Melanoma that Recurs in the Liver?

    With: Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    A Q&A with Emma Shtivelman, PhD, Chief Scientist at Cancer Commons; Q: Malignant melanoma may arise from multiple sites, including the eye. What would you recommend be done for a 50-year-old man in the San Francisco Bay Area who was entirely well for nine years after undergoing enucleation surgery for a large uveal melanoma, but has now been informed by his physician that… Read more »


    The Importance of Brain Tumor-Initiating Cells in Glioblastoma

    With: Anita Hjelmeland, PhD

    A Q&A with Anita Hjelmeland, PhD, Associate Professor of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology at the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine; Q: The inner workings of malignant gliomas are mysterious to many of us. Why does the prognosis of patients with these tumors remain poor? A: Glioblastoma is a primary brain tumor that is treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. While… Read more »


    Navigating Pancreatic Cancer—The Basics

    With: Lola Rahib, PhD

    A Q&A with Lola Rahib, PhD, Lead Scientist, Pancreas Cancer, at Cancer Commons, Los Altos, CA; Q: Navigating a pancreatic cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and confusing for patients and their loved ones. How can patients and their caregivers ensure having the knowledge, support, and plan they need to be able to navigate treatment options and other aspects of the disease? A: Patients… Read more »


    Can Preclinical Data Guide Clinical Cancer Therapy?

    With: Keith Flaherty, MD

    A Q&A with Keith Flaherty, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Director of Developmental Therapeutics, Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital; Originally published Aug 31, 2016 Q: Under what circumstances and to what extent are you willing to take clinical actions on a cancer patient based primarily on preclinical data? A: There are two scenarios that come to mind when thinking about… Read more »


    New Glioblastoma Trial Adds Whole-Brain Irradiation to Plerixafor

    With: Lawrence Recht, MDMartin Brown, D.Phil, FASTRO

    A Q&A with Martin Brown, D.Phil, FASTRO, Emeritus Professor (, and Lawrence Recht, MD, Professor, at Stanford University’s Department of Neurology ( Q: The treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a serious challenge. Recurrence after initial surgery is common and subsequent treatment almost always unsuccessful. Just as “an army marches on its stomach,” GBM growth depends on blood supply. Successful use of the FDA-approved… Read more »