There's reason to question whether lenalidomide is the cause of secondary cancers in patients who take it as an adjuvant. But new scrutiny may help to clarify how it acts against the primary.
An ethnographic study of palliative care specialists reveals that many of them find dealing with dying patients a gratifying experience. The scant evidence about oncologists on this subject paints a much different picture.
P13K inhibitors, now in the earliest stages of clinical testing, receive hopeful attention as an alternative for patients with aromatase inhibitor resistance. A new study proposes how they should be used, and for whom.
Patients with advanced melanoma now have access to the BRAF inhibitor PLX4032, which has shown survival advantages in a Phase III trial, as long as they have the "right" mutation. The drug's history so far is proving a case study on the challenges of developing personalized cancer treatment.
Lymphedema develops in nearly half of women treated for breast cancer, and the evidence is growing that upper body exercise is a good way to reduce the risk. Studies show that it's crucial to discuss this at the time of diagnosis, and to bring it up periodically afterwards.
Two-year results from the largest randomized trial of IMRT in head and neck cancer confirm that it dramatically reduces the risk of dysphagia and xerostomia. The study was too small to establish a survival advantage, although the results are encouraging.
"Kinome" is the word to know this year in oncology, because it has begun to reveal molecules that some tumors are relying on to survive, which until now we had no idea were involved in cancer or which we hardly knew at all.
Rosetta Genomics, which has a test to identify tissues of origin for metastatic cancers with an unknown primary, just won back the rights to market its own test in the US. But it's expected to post a loss this year. If it can find missing cancers, why isn't Rosetta rolling in cash?
A $3 billion cancer research program created by Texas voters in 2007 has set its primary goal as creating a new cancer trials network that will address the shortcomings of existing systems for clinical cancer research.
Mammaprint and Oncotype DX are on the market many years before results are due from the large multicenter studies that should clarify their roles. In the meantime, oncologists and their patients face uncertainties about their best uses. Reports at the ASCO breast cancer symposium may resolve a few of them.