Cannabis Talks During Cancer, Cardiometabolic Comorbidities and Current Research

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In addition to a breakthrough therapy designation for a lung cancer drug, this week we’ll be talking a lot about additional side effects and health conditions that may come with a cancer diagnosis, and how to manage them.

In addition to a breakthrough therapy designation for a lung cancer drug, this week we’ll be talking a lot about additional side effects and health conditions that may come with a cancer diagnosis, and how to manage them.

We heard from an expert about using cannabis during cancer care, took a look at a patient population that may be more prone to cardiometabolic conditions after cancer treatment and we’ll highlight a study that’s looking at preventing infection and GVHD in patients with blood cancer who underwent a stem cell transplant.

Topics discussed:

  • 0:35 Have the conversations about cannabis in cancer care
  • 4:09 BAY 2927088 gets breakthrough therapy designation for HER2-positive lung cancer
  • 5:47 Hispanic/Latino survivors may be at higher risk for cardiometabolic comorbidities
  • 7:28 Reduced chemotherapy regimen is being studied in the post-transplant setting

Patients Should ‘Have the Conversation’ About Cannabis With Care Teams

The use of cannabis seems to be growing when it comes to mitigating side effects from cancer treatment, though it is important that patients talk to their providers if they are using these products or have questions about them, explained Dr. Brooke Worster from Thomas Jefferson University.

I recently spoke to Woster about the conversations patients with cancer should be having if they’re using or considering using cannabis. Namely, she discussed seeking guidance and having open discussions with the care team, but also remembering that cannabis is not a proven cure for any kinds of cancer.

Drug Gets Breakthrough Therapy Designation for HER2-Mutant Lung Cancer

A novel drug, BAY 2927088 received a breakthrough therapy designation for treating HER2-mutant non-small cell lung cancer. This designation, granted by the FDA, signifies a potential advancement in treatment options for patients with this specific type of lung cancer, which happens in approximately 2% to 4% of advanced NSCLC cases. Now that the drug has a breakthrough therapy designation, its review will be fast tracked.

BAY 2927088, an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has shown promising results in a phase 1 trial, with a focus on safety, efficacy and patient outcomes. The drug works by blocking HER2, which can contribute to lung cancer proliferation.

Hispanic/Latino Survivors May Be Higher Risk for Cardiometabolic Comorbidities

A recent study found that Hispanic/Latino cancer survivors have higher rates of cardiometabolic comorbidities — meaning health conditions that affect the heart and/or metabolic system — such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, which can complicate cancer treatment and post-treatment health management.

The study showed that survivors with cardiometabolic conditions experienced lower health-related quality of life and had unmet supportive care needs, particularly in terms of emotional and physical well-being. The research also found that socioeconomic factors, such as income levels, were also linked to the prevalence of cardiometabolic conditions among Hispanic/Latino survivors, highlighting the importance of access to health care and healthy lifestyle behaviors in managing these health challenges. The study emphasized the need for holistic approaches to health that consider environmental influences and support policies promoting heart-healthy behaviors within communities.

Trial Evaluates Reduced Chemo Post-Stem Cell Transplant in Blood Cancers

Patients with blood cancers can talk to their cancer care team about possible enrollment in the OPTIMIZE trial, which is investigating a lower dose of post-transplant cyclophosphamide — also referred to as “PTCy” — to reduce infection risk post-stem cell transplant while preventing graft-versus-host disease in patients who underwent a stem cell transplant from a partially matched unrelated donor.

This phase 2 trial aims to enroll 190 patients across cancer centers across the United States, and is expected to conclude in June 2026. By exploring reduced PTCy dosages, researchers hope to enhance patient survival and quality of life by minimizing toxicities associated with standard dosing.

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