Our paper, “Darbepoetin Alfa Administered Every 2 Weeks Alleviates Anemia in Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy,” at the time of its publication almost a decade ago, was impactful and frequently cited.
It is somewhat ironic (no pun intended) that a review whose title, “Iron and the Anemia of Chronic Disease,” suggests content more appropriate to a hematology journal than one devoted to oncology, has been found to have lasting value by practicing oncologists.
A role for inflammation in cancer initiation and progression has been inferred for a long time, but it has only been in the last 10 to 15 years that the molecular mechanisms have been dissected such that targeting inflammatory pathways for cancer prevention and therapy has become a practical possibility.
Fatigue, fever, depression, confusion, and memory loss are general symptoms that can all indicate inflammation, which itself can often be caused by physical or psychological stress or a common infection such as influenza.
Virchow is credited with suggesting the causal link between inflammation and cancer in the 19th century. He based his conclusion on the astute observation that tumors often developed in the setting of chronic inflammation and that inflammatory cells were present in tumor biopsy specimens.
Twenty-five years ago, the journal ONCOLOGY came into being. At that time patients with B- and T-cell lymphomas were lumped together in clinical trials, and mantle cell lymphoma, MALT lymphoma, and many subtypes of the peripheral T-cell lymphomas were not recognized as specific entities.