Oncology NEWS International Vol 10 No 2

Activated T Cells Can Alter Behavior of Leukemic B Cells

February 01, 2001

SEATTLE-Xcyte Therapies is testing in preclinical studies the feasibility of a new technology that would take T cells from patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) and spur them into action with key antibodies, with the goal of reinfusing them into the patient ready to fight B-cell tumors. Mark L. Bonyhadi, PhD, of Xcyte Therapies in Seattle, Washington, reported that the company’s Xcellerate technology "produces activated T cells that can interact with leukemic B cells and alter their behavior in vitro. We hope this will be followed by apoptosis or clearance of B cells in B-CLL patients."

Response Continues for at Least 8 Months with Ibritumomab Tiuxetan

February 01, 2001

ROCHESTER, Minnesota-More than half of follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) patients who progress after rituximab (Rituxan) treatment respond to the experimental drug ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin), according to a multicenter clinical trial. Although most of the study’s 54 patients had only partial remissions after treatment with ibritumomab tiuxetan, their response continued for at least 8 months. In some cases, remissions have lasted up to 2 years.

Chemotherapy Without Methotrexate Achieves Superb Results in Children With NHL

February 01, 2001

NEW YORK-Short-term, intensive multiagent chemotherapy without high-dose methotrexate produces excellent outcomes in children with advanced non-lymphoblastic non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to a Children’s Cancer Group (CCG) study. The estimated 5-year event-free survival (EFS) was 77% and the overall survival rate was 80% for the 39 patients enrolled in the pilot study, according to lead researcher Mitchell S. Cairo, MD, director of Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation at Columbia University, New York.

Iodine I 131 Tositumomab Induces Response in 70% of Patients Progressing After Rituximab

February 01, 2001

STANFORD, California-Seventy percent of low-grade and transformed low-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) patients respond to the drug iodine I 131 tositumomab (Bexxar) even though progressing after rituximab (Rituxan). A study of 40 patients who had previously failed to respond or progressed on rituximab, also showed that 40% had a complete response or remission after treatment with iodine I 131 tositumomab.

Synthetic Anthracycline Produces High Response Rates in SCLC

February 01, 2001

TOKYO, Japan-Amrubicin (SM-5887), a completely synthetic anthra-cycline, is "highly active" and well tolerated in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), Shunichi Negoro, MD, of the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Osaka City General Hospital, Japan, said at the 9th World Conference on Lung Cancer.

Ibritumomab Tiuxetan Produces 73% Response Rate in B-cell NHL

February 01, 2001

ROCHESTER, Minnesota-A phase-III clinical trial has shown that 73% of B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) patients respond to the radioimmunotherapy ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin) vs 47% for rituximab (Rituxan). The study concluded that ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin) is not only safe and effective, but the objective response rates achieved with it are statistically superior to those achieved with rituximab alone.

G-CSF Might Prolong Rituximab Responses in NHL

February 01, 2001

AMSTERDAM-Adding granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to rituximab may improve response duration and increase the proportion of complete responses in patients with relapsed B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). "Although the overall response rate seems comparable to data reported for rituximab monotherapy, the complete response rate is higher, and remission duration in this pilot phase-II study is remarkably long," Lizette E. van der Kolk, MD, reported in a poster presentation. Dr. van der Kolk is a member of the Department of Hematology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Use of CAD Increases the Early Detection of Breast Cancer by 20%

February 01, 2001

CHICAGO-Computer-aided detection (CAD) is proving to be a technologic leap in the identification of breast tumors with subtle findings on mammography that can easily be missed by the radiologist, said Timothy W. Freer, MD, director of the Women’s Diagnostic and Breast Health Center, Plano, Texas.

Rituximab Plus Fludarabine May Be Good Alternative to Rituximab Plus CHOP

February 01, 2001

BUFFALO-Combining rituximab (Rituxan) with fludarabine (Fludara) for low-grade or follicular B-cell lymphomas may be as effective as but less toxic than rituximab plus CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, Oncovin [vincristine], prednisone). Phase II trial data supporting this assertion were presented.

Student Cigarette Smoking Falls Significantly

February 01, 2001

WASHINGTON-What a difference a year makes. Cigarette smoking dropped significantly among middle school and high school students between 1999 and 2000, according to a new federally funded report. For example, the percentage of high school seniors who had smoked at least once in the month prior to being surveyed fell from 34.6% to 31.4% (Figure). Those 12th graders who smoked a half pack of cigarettes or more each day declined from 13.2% to 11.3%.

Injectable COX-2 Inhibitor Effective in Postsurgery Pain

February 01, 2001

ATLANTA-Parecoxib, the first injectable COX-2 inhibitor, demonstrated impressive analgesic efficacy in postsurgical patients, according to a study presented at the 19th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society (APS).

Patients’ Exercise Needs May Differ After Cancer Therapy

February 01, 2001

NEW YORK-"Use it or lose it," exercise buffs like to say, and the dictum is just as true for cancer patients, according to physical therapist Eileen Donovan, PT, MEd, manager of rehabilitation services at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Ms. Donovan discussed the topic during a Cancer Care teleconference.

HAART Improves Survival in HIV-Positive NHL Patients

February 01, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO-Administering highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to HIV-positive patients during and after treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) can significantly reduce the risk of NHL relapse and death.

Liposomal Tretinoin Produces Impressive Responses in Refractory B-cell and T-cell Lymphomas

February 01, 2001

HOUSTON-Liposomal encapsulated tretinoin (Atragen) is active in relapsed aggressive T-cell and B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHL) as well as in cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL), and strikingly effective in patients with primary refractory disease. Andreas H. Sarris, MD, PhD, associate internist and associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, reported these results in a poster presentation. Liposomal tretinoin is more active than the oral formulation when tested against lymphoma cell lines and also down regulates expression of bcl-2, Dr. Sarris said.

Anti-Idiotype Vaccine for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Enters Phase-III Trials

February 01, 2001

STANFORD, California-A recombinant idiotype protein vaccine for treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) induced both cellular and anti-idiotype tumor-specific immunity in phase-I/II trials and has now progressed to phase-III studies, reported John Timmerman, MD, research fellow, Division of Oncology, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California.

Medicare to Cover PET Scans for Six Types of Cancer

February 01, 2001

WASHINGTON-Medicare will soon cover or expand its coverage of the use of positron emission tomography (PET) for the primary diagnosis, staging, or restaging of six types of cancer. The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) said it would announce an effective coverage date shortly.

RT for Prostate Cancer May Offer Better Erectile Function

February 01, 2001

BOSTON-One year after prostate cancer treatment, men who had radiation therapy were more likely to be able to maintain an erection than those who had radical prostatectomy, according to a study presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO).

Herceptin Use Postprogression Safe and Potentially Beneficial

February 01, 2001

SAN ANTONIO-Women with metastatic breast cancer who experience disease progression on trastuzumab (Herceptin) may benefit from continued treatment with the antibody, according to results of a crossover study presented by Debu Tripathy, MD, associate clinical professor of medicine, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. Moreover, trastuzumab cardiotox-icity was only 2.2% among long-term users.

Rituximab Can Produce Durable Complete Remissions in Refractory Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia

February 01, 2001

BALTIMORE-The B-cell directed monoclonal antibody rituximab (Rituxan) can produce durable complete remissions without the need for maintenance therapy in patients with cold agglutinin autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) and might also represent a treatment option in warm agglutinin AIHA, according to Edward Lee, MD. Dr. Lee is director of hematology and medical oncology at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, and Director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Program.

Mixed-Beam Radiation Therapy Can Cut Total Radiation Dose

February 01, 2001

BOSTON-An experimental mixed-beam radiation technique can reduce the total radiation dose required by a factor of two in simple cancer cases, Michelle M. Svatos, PhD, reported at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) annual meeting.

FDA Approves Femara as First-Line Therapy

February 01, 2001

EAST HANOVER, NJ-Novartis Oncology has announced that the FDA has approved Femara (letrozole tablets) for the first-line treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor-positive or hormone-receptor-unknown, locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Most postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer fall into these tumor-receptor categories, the company said in a news release.

Advances in Gene Therapy, Vaccines, and Immunotherapy

February 01, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO-Advances in gene therapy, cancer vaccines, and a variety of new antibody therapies for hematologic malignancies were the focus of a satellite symposium to the 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology titled Scientific and Technical Innovations in Biology: Initiating Advances in Therapeutic Approaches to Hematological Malignancies. The program was sponsored by Fox Chase Cancer Center through an unrestricted educational grant from Genentech BioOncology and IDEC Pharmaceuticals.

HAMA Response in Iodine I 131 Tositumomab Patients Does Not Preclude Use of Rituximab

February 01, 2001

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO-A new study reveals that patients who develop HAMA (human antibodies to the murine antibody) after treatment with iodine I 131 tositumomab (Bexxar) do not develop cross-reactive antibodies or immune reactions that would interfere with later treatment with rituximab (Rituxan).

Two Cycles of Rituximab Effective in Previously Untreated or First-Relapse Low-Grade Lymphomas

February 01, 2001

HUDDINGE, SWEDEN-Two cycles of rituximab (Rituxan) are effective and well tolerated in patients with symptomatic previously untreated or first-relapse low-grade lymphomas, reported Eva Kimby, MD. Speaking on behalf of the Nordic Lymphoma Group, Dr. Kimby, who is in the Department of Medicine at Huddinge Hospital, in Huddinge, Sweden, said that early data suggest that the effect of rituximab might be augmented by interferon-alfa-2a (IFN). This phase-II study included researchers from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland.

Cord Blood Transplants Offer Hope for Young Leukemia Patients

February 01, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO-Umbilical cord blood transplants provide new hope for children with leukemia and genetic diseases requiring transplantation, Joanne Kurtzberg, MD, said at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). She reported that 53% of pediatric patients treated with cord blood transplant at Duke University are surviving.

‘Celebrating Survival’ Honors Top 100 Breast Cancer Researchers

February 01, 2001

SAN ANTONIO-At a gala reception held during the 23rd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, nine cancer organizations released its list of the "top 100" breast cancer researchers- those with the most published studies in the 20th century advancing breast cancer treatment.

Combination Chemo-Antibody Therapy Improves Complete Remission Rate in CLL

February 01, 2001

HOUSTON-Adding rituximab (Rituxan) to standard chemotherapy increased complete remission (CR) rates for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and reduced the number of bone marrow cells expressing the CLL-associated cell-surface markers CD5 and CD19, according to Michael J. Keating, MD. "Fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) is the most active regimen explored by our group in previously untreated CLL, and the toxicity profile is similar to that seen with FC alone," said Dr. Keating, professor of leukemia developmental research at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Rituximab Plus CHOP May Be New Standard for Treating Aggressive B-cell Lymphomas in the Elderly

February 01, 2001

LYON, France-In one of the most eagerly awaited presentations at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, Bertrand Coiffier, MD, predicted that the combination of rituximab (Rituxan) plus CHOP "may be the new standard for treatment of aggressive B-cell lymphomas in elderly patients." Head of hematology at Hospices Civilese de Lyon, Lyon, France, Dr. Coiffier presented an interim analysis of results from a European phase III trial of rituximab plus CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, Oncovin [vincristine], prednisone) in elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL).

IMRT Reduces Radiation to Normal Tissue in Pediatric Patients

February 01, 2001

CHICAGO-Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) offers dramatic advantages for selected pediatric patients, such as those with sarcomas of the chest, abdomen, or pelvis, as well as children with tumors of the head and neck or brain, said Suzanne Wolden, MD, a radiation oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Few Relapses 7 Years Post-transplant for Myeloma

February 01, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO-Seven years seems to be the cutoff point for multiple myeloma patients receiving tandem autotransplants to avoid relapse and achieve long-term survival. "Most relapses were seen in the first 3 years," Guido Tricot, MD, said at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 42nd Annual Meeting. "Relapses start to decrease between 3 and 7 years. After 7 years, it is exceptional to relapse."

Iodine I 131 Tositumomab Achieves Remissions in One Third of NHL Patients

February 01, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO-Iodine I 131 tositumomab (Bexxar) attains complete remission in more than one third of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) patients, and these responses can last several years, according to a 10-year study.

Iressa, an EGFR Inhibitor, Shows Preclinical Promise

February 01, 2001

SAN ANTONIO-ZD1839 (or Iressa), an orally active, selective epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor, slows proliferation of cancer cells that overexpress EGFR and erbB2 (also known as HER-2/neu), according to a study reported by Neil G. Anderson, PhD, of the University of Manchester.

Accelerated RT Beneficial in Head and Neck Cancer

February 01, 2001

BOSTON-Despite substantially increased acute toxicity, patients with inoperable head and neck tumors benefited from accelerated radiation therapy in a randomized clinical trial reported by Jean Bourhis, MD, PhD, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) annual meeting.

B-cell Lymphoma: Gene Profiling Stratifies Those at Intermediate Risk

February 01, 2001

BOSTON-Gene expression profiling may help predict survival outcomes for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most common lymphoid malignancy, according to a study reported by Margaret Shipp, MD, director of the Lymphoma Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. In the study, gene expression profiling was able for the first time to identify curable and noncurable lymphomas from a pool of intermediate-risk patients.

Chemoimmunotherapy Nudges Failure-Free Survival Upward in Advanced Follicular NHL

February 01, 2001

HOUSTON-Chemoimmunotherapy with rituximab (Rituxan) plus fludarabine, novantrone (mitoxantrone), and dexamethasone (FND) reduced levels of a major tumor marker and significantly improved projected 2-year failure-free survival in patients with stage IV indolent follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHL) who had molecular responses after 6 months of treatment. Results from a randomized study of 134 previously untreated patients were presented by Fernando F. Cabanillas, MD, chairman of the Department of Lymphoma-Myeloma at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

RT After Lumpectomy Does Not Influence Overall Survival

February 01, 2001

SAN ANTONIO-In the treatment of early-stage breast cancer, postoperative radiation therapy after sector resection (breast-conserving surgery) reduces recurrences but does not influence survival, according to a Swedish study presented at the 23rd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Rituximab Is Highly Active in Lymphocyte Predominance Hodgkin’s Disease

February 01, 2001

STANFORD, California-Rituximab (Rituxan) is highly active in achieving clinical response in lymphoctye predominance Hodgkin’s disease (LPHD) and may ultimately have the potential of reducing long-term side effects and improving survival in this disease, according to the results of a phase-II trial. Although LPHD has effectively been treated with radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or a combined modality, a subset of patients experiences recurrence and treatment related morbidity and mortality-often from heart disease.

Transcription Factor YB-1 Predicts Resistance Chemoresistance and Natural Prognosis

February 01, 2001

SAN ANTONIO-The Y-box-binding protein-1 (YB-1) appears to be a clinically significant tumor marker in breast cancer, according to results of a pilot study presented by Nadia Harbeck, MD, PhD, at the 23rd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Herceptin + Taxol/Carbo Improves Breast Cancer Control

February 01, 2001

SAN ANTONIO-Adding weekly paclitaxel (Taxol) and carboplatin (Paraplatin) to trastuzumab (Herceptin) improves disease control among women with advanced breast cancer, according to results of an ongoing phase II trial reported by Howard A. Burris III, MD, director of drug development, Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, Nashville.

Rituximab/Fludarabine for Low-Grade NHL

February 01, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO-Interim results of a trial of the combination of rituximab (Rituxan) and fludarabine (Fludara), a novel approach for the treatment of low-grade or follicular B-cell lymphoma, suggest excellent antitumor activity. Rituximab, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, is the only approved monoclonal antibody therapy for refractory or relapsed low-grade or follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).

ARANESP Is Effective and More Convenient for Controlling Anemia

February 01, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO-The anemia drug darbepoetin alfa (ARANESP) effectively alleviates anemia, boosting hemoglobin counts and reducing the need for red blood cell transfusions, according to the results of two separate studies.

Arsenic Trioxide Highly Effective in Relapsed Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia

February 01, 2001

NEW YORK-Low doses of arsenic trioxide (ATO) given by intravenous injection are highly effective at inducing remission in patients with relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) and should be tested in patients with newly diagnosed disease. These results and recommendation were based on research conducted at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York.

Answers Emerging to Explain Disparities in Cancer Care

February 01, 2001

BETHESDA, Md-Why don’t all Americans get the best available cancer care? Answers both tentative and diverse have emerged from the first four of seven regional hearings conducted by the President’s Cancer Panel (PCP). The hearings are intended to elicit testimony from people throughout the nation.

Economist Urges Physicians to Enter Health Care Debate

February 01, 2001

BOSTON-Health care providers are not generally part of the discussion about the future of health care in the United States-but they need to speak up in the perilous times ahead, Harvard University economist Marc J. Roberts, PhD, challenged physicians at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO).

Few Long-Term SCLC Survivors With Current Rx

February 01, 2001

CHICAGO-Although concomitant platinum-based systemic chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy have yielded the best short-term survival rates for patients with limited-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), this approach produces few long-term survivors because local failure and distant metastasis are common.

Genetic Immunotherapy May Enhance Effects of Radiotherapy

February 01, 2001

WASHINGTON-Gene therapy is unlikely to cure cancer on its own, but may enhance existing treatments when used in combination, said Chuan-Yuan Li, PhD, of Duke University Medical Center. "Combining gene therapy with radiation therapy produces a synergistic effect on tumors and merits further study," he said at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation grants conference "Reaching for the Cure."

Intensive Chemo After Tandem Transplants for Myeloma Outcomes

February 01, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO-Multiple myeloma patients receiving intensive chemotherapy following bone marrow transplantation had "significantly superior" survival, according to a poster presentation at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 42nd Annual Meeting. The survival advantages extended to patients with two or more risk factors for relapse after high-dose therapy.

Rituximab Given Three Times Weekly Has Significant Activity in CLL

February 01, 2001

WASHINGTON, DC-Rituximab (Rituxan) given three times per week has significant activity in chronic lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL) and in small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), but platelets must be monitored closely in patients with preexisting thrombocytopenia. These results from a phase-I/II rituximab study were described by John C. Byrd, MD, of Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Immunotoxin Induces Remission in Most Refractory Hairy Cell Leukemia Patients

February 01, 2001

BETHESDA-"BL22 is the first agent since purine analogs capable of inducing complete remission in the majority of patients with hairy cell leukemia, and the only agent that can induce complete remission in most patients with chemotherapy-refractory or variant HCL," according to Robert J. Kreitman, MD. "Its sparing of T cells," he continued, "may also allow improved clearing of minimal residual disease."

High-Dose Chemotherapy Plus Rituximab Produces High Complete Response Rate

February 01, 2001

HOUSTON-High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) plus rituximab (Rituxan) produces responses comparable to HDCT with total body irradiation and stem cell transplant for aggressive mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), according to Jorge E. Romaguera, MD, of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. In a poster presentation, Dr. Romaguera said that HDCT with rituximab (but without total body irradiation or stem cell transplant) produced a complete response (CR) rate of 86%.

Limited Resections May Have a Role in Localized Lung Cancer

February 01, 2001

NEW YORK-Interim results from an ongoing study of limited resections for some stage IA lung cancers are encouraging, a Japanese surgeon reported at the 3rd International Conference on Screening for Lung Cancer.

Dose-Intensified Chemotherapy Does Not Improve Outcome in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

February 01, 2001

EAST MELBOURNE, Australia-Dose-intensified CEOP (cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, Oncovin [vincristine], prednisolone) produces significantly more toxicity than a standard dose CEOP regimen (s-CEOP), but does not improve outcome in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients, according to a phase-III trial conducted in Australia and New Zealand by the Australian Leukemia and Lymphoma Group (ALLG).

Radiotherapy Is Less Costly Than Radical Prostatectomy

February 01, 2001

BOSTON-Radical prostatectomies were consistently at least 16% more expensive than radiation therapy in a study of 16,941 patients with early-stage prostate cancer reported at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) .

No Rise in Heart Attacks After Postlumpectomy Radiotherapy

February 01, 2001

BOSTON-Women who receive postlumpectomy radiotherapy to their left breast are not at greater risk of heart attacks, according to a study presented by Katherine Vallis, MD, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO).

Removing B Cells May Improve Hodgkin’s Disease Response

February 01, 2001

HOUSTON-Removing B cells improves control of classic Hodgkin’s disease and relieves B symptoms, reported Anas Younes, MD. Dr. Younes, associate professor, Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, administered the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab (Rituxan) to heavily pretreated patients who had relapsed classic Hodgkin’s disease. The rationale behind this trial, according to Dr.Younes, was that B cells may provide survival and resistance signals to Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells in Hodgkin’s disease.

Communication: From Paternalism to Shared Decision Making

February 01, 2001

Physicians who diagnose and treat cancer have an enormous responsibility. They not only have to be aware of the medical aspects of cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment, but also have the difficult task of talking about these issues with their patients.

Exisulind Shows Promise in Prostate Cancer Study

February 01, 2001

NEW YORK-Among prostate cancer patients with biochemical evidence of relapse after radical surgery, exisulind, a selective apoptotic antineoplastic drug, had a significant impact on rising PSA levels in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, according to a report at the Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium XVIII.

Zevalin Improves Quality of Life for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Patients

February 01, 2001

ROCHESTER, Minnesota-Ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin) significantly improves quality of life for patients with low-grade, follicular, or transformed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) patients, according to the results of a phase-III study reported by Gregory A. Wiseman, MD. "Low-grade lymphoma is not a curable disease, but patients live for a long time with it," said Dr. Wiseman, lead researcher and assistant professor, Radiology Department, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "We want to know how patients are feeling, especially if they’re going through difficult treatments. What we discovered is that after receiving Zevalin, patients’ quality of life was good."

HER-2 Predicts Complete Pathologic Response to Chemo Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

February 01, 2001

The goal of this activity is to clarify challenging treatment issues of HER2+ breast cancer including incorporation of predictive and prognostic biomarker tests and evidence-based data into practice when determining individualized strategies that improve patient survival and quality of life.

Panel Advocates Listing Estrogen as ‘Known’ Carcinogen

February 01, 2001

WASHINGTON-A scientific advisory panel has recommended that steroid estrogens be listed as "known" to cause human cancers. However, the group made no recommendation or suggestion that the commonly used drugs be restricted or eliminated.

Eli Lilly Launches Website for Community Oncologists

February 01, 2001

INDIANAPOLIS-Eli Lilly and Company has launched a new website for community medical oncologists and their staffs. The site, located at www.lillydirect.com, is designed to save oncology health care professionals time by streamlining many of their business-related responsibilities.

Combination Chemo-Rituximab Therapy Raises CLL Response Rates

January 01, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO-A regimen combining the monoclonal antibody rituximab (Rituxan) with fludarabine (Fludara) and cyclophosphamide may become the standard treatment for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). That projection is based on preliminary findings from a phase II trial of 56 previously untreated patients with advanced CLL presented at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting.