Khaldoun Almhanna, MD, MPH | Authors

Second-Line Therapy for Gemcitabine-Refractory Pancreatic Cancer: Is There a Standard?

September 01, 2008

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States. According the American Cancer Society, about 37,680 new cases are anticipated in the year 2008, and 34,290 patients will die from the disease.[1] This malignancy is a very aggressive tumor, and patients often present with advanced-stage disease. Surgical resection, when possible, provides the only opportunity for cure. Even with R0 resection, pancreatic cancer still carries an overall dismal prognosis, and therefore adjuvant treatment is offered.

Neoadjuvant Therapy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Is There An Optimal Approach?

August 01, 2007

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an aggressive tumor that often occurs in the setting of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma is increasing in the United States and worldwide. Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is a viable and potentially curative option for selected patients with HCC. Locoregional therapy has been used to control HCC before transplantation because of the limited number of donor organs, to prevent tumor progression, and to decrease the incidence of dropouts from the transplant waiting list. Traditionally, multiple investigational locoregional modalities such as tumor resection, radiofrequency ablation, transarterial chemoembolization, and systemic chemotherapy have been used as "bridging" therapies. While the investigation of novel neoadjuvant treatments is justified in an effort to prevent tumor progression, the absence of randomized controlled trials leaves uncertainty about the utility of these maneuvers in improving outcome. This review summarizes the current data on the different modalities used worldwide in the neoadjuvant treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, the rationale for these approaches, efficacy, potential complications, and future prospects.