8. HPV vaccine in head and neck cancer: Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) appears to be a significant factor in head and neck cancer, according to recent reports in Cancer and at ASCO 2007. At an ASCO symposium, Dr. Marshall Posner, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, reported that HPV-related cancers are seen in 25% of community patients and that almost 50% of oropharynx cancers at Dana-Farber are HPV-positive.
9. Prophylactic cranial irradiation, brain metastases, and small-cell lung cancer: A randomized trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine definitively found that preventive radiation therapy to the head reduced the incidence of symptomatic brain metastases and prolonged the disease-free and overall survival of patients with extensive small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) who had responded to chemotherapy. Irradiation was associated with a significant increase in disease-free (P = .0218) and overall survival (P = .0033). The incidence of brain metastases was 14.6% among irradiated patients vs 40.4% in the control group, and the 1-year survival rate was 27.1% for irradiated patients compared to 13.3% for controls.
10. Other new drug approvals/indications: October: topotecan(Drug information on topotecan) (Hycamtin) for SCLC; ixabepilone (Ixempra) for breast cancer; nilotinib(Drug information on nilotinib) (Tasigna) for chronic myelogenous leukemia; docetaxel(Drug information on docetaxel) (Taxotere) combined with cisplatin(Drug information on cisplatin)/fluorouracil for induction therapy of locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck; September: raloxifene(Drug information on raloxifene) (Evista) to reduce breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women; alemtuzumab(Drug information on alemtuzumab) (Campath) for single-agent treatment of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia; dexrazoxane (Totect) for extravasation symptoms from intravenous anthracycline chemotherapy; May: doxorubicin(Drug information on doxorubicin) (Doxil) plus bortezomib(Drug information on bortezomib) (Velcade) in multiple myeloma patients given at least one prior therapy; dalteparin (Fragmin) to reduce recurrence of symptomatic venous thromboembolism in cancer patients; March: lapatinib (Tykerb) for breast cancer.