Neil Love, MD | Authors

Overview: Management of Treatable but Incurable Cancers

December 15, 2010

The accurate and in-depth documentation of learning gaps is a fundamental aspect of developing continuing education activities. To obtain a better understanding of community-based medical oncology practice patterns, 43 oncologists within the United States were recruited to complete a traditional clinical case–based questionnaire and to contribute specific anonymous demographic and treatment information derived from their actual patients. This information was used to create a cross-sectional case database on two types of cancer in which major clinical advances have been reported in recent years - multiple myeloma and follicular lymphoma. These diseases also are similar in that most patients experience clinically meaningful benefits from systemic treatment but are unlikely to be cured by therapy. As further described in this and the subsequent two articles, this case-based series documents that (a) clinical research advances are being quickly implemented in daily patient care and that (b) although therapeutic strategies vary based on patient age, the short-term outcomes in terms of response to and tolerance of treatment are similar in younger and older patients.

Management of Follicular Lymphoma in the Up-Front and Relapsed Settings

December 15, 2010

A number of recent treatment advances in the management of follicular lymphoma (FL), including the introduction of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab, have effectively shifted the primary therapeutic goal away from palliation and avoidance of toxicity toward the more proactive objective of extending survival. This paper reviews recent practice patterns in the broad context of the published findings from major phase III randomized trials; it documents potential gaps between trial results and actual practice, and the implications of these for continuing education of oncologists. Forty-three US-based community oncologists participated in a cross-sectional case survey during which 40 documented their management of 186 patients with newly diagnosed FL and 133 patients with relapsed FL, all of whom were treated after January 1, 2008. The findings from this initiative indicate that the majority of these patients did not have any major symptoms at presentation. Additionally, tolerance of and response to treatment, regardless of the regimen employed, were similar across the different age groups studied (

Up-Front Management of Multiple Myeloma

December 15, 2010

The management of multiple myeloma (MM) has undergone rapid change with the recent emergence of several effective novel agents that have added complexity to individualized treatment decision-making. This paper reviews the initial management of 276 patients with MM diagnosed and treated by 43 US-based community oncologists since January 1, 2008. The case survey data obtained are evaluated within the broad context of published findings from major phase III randomized trials and as such reveal potential education gaps and implications for oncology CME. Overall, the results reveal that most patients were symptomatic at diagnosis and were risk-stratified by fluorescene in situ hybridization (FISH) and/or cytogenetics. When analyzed by age, the overall symptomatology and biomarker-defined risk profiles appeared similar in the three age groups studied (