Oncology NEWS International Vol 11 No 8

Medicaid Gives New Protections to Beneficiaries in Managed Care Plans

August 01, 2002

WASHINGTON-Final regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services guarantee Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in managed care plans the same protections granted to people in private plans under legislation pending

Prostate Cancer Cell Line Vaccine Promising in Phase II Trial

August 01, 2002

ORLANDO-In patients with hormone-refractory, metastatic prostate cancer, an allogeneic vaccine delays progression of disease and prolongs survival, according to data presented at the 38th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (abstract 729).

MoAb Targeting Death Receptor in Breast Cancer

August 01, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO-A new monoclonal antibody, TRA-8, produces a higher rate of regression in breast cancer when used with paclitaxel (Taxol) or doxorubicin (Adriamycin) than either of the chemotherapies alone, according to animal studies

Hanford I-131 Releases Did Not Increase Thyroid Cancer Risk

August 01, 2002

WASHINGTON-Scientists have concluded that no increased risk of thyroid disease, including cancer, befell children exposed to Iodine-131 released from the Hanford Nuclear Weapons Production Facility in Washington State. According to

Chemo/Rituximab Is Effective as First-Line CLL Therapy

August 01, 2002

LUGANO, Switzerland-The chemotherapy/immunotherapy regimen FCR (fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, rituximab) has produced the highest complete response (CR) rate seen thus far in first-line treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Diagnostic Dilemma

August 01, 2002

A 48-year-old man is referred for evaluation. He has a history of hypercholesterolemia and obesity. Treatment with cholesterol-lowering medication was associated with elevated liver chemistries. When the elevated liver chemistries persisted

Viral Agent ONYX-015 Targets p53-Deficient Cancer Cells

August 01, 2002

NEW YORK-A phase III clinical trial of the viral therapeutic agent ONYX-015 is underway in patients with recurrent head and neck cancer, based on promising phase II results, Frank McCormick, PhD, said at an American Society of Clinical

Program Educates Teens About Testicular Cancer Self-Exam

August 01, 2002

WASHINGTON-The incidence of testicular cancer, which predominantly targets young men aged 15 to 35, has nearly doubled in the past 70 years and continues to increase. Few in the vulnerable age group, however, are aware of the simple

Better Colon Cancer Imaging With PET/CT Than With PET Alone

August 01, 2002

LOS ANGELES-PET/CT fusion imaging can improve the diagnostic certainty and localization of colorectal cancer, compared with PET alone, according to a retrospective review presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Society of

Delayed Lung Cancer Screening Trial to Begin Enrollment 50,000 Subjects

August 01, 2002

BETHESDA, Maryland-A lung cancer screening trial supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that will compare spiral CT and standard chest x-ray is back on track after being delayed for several months. Andrew von Eschenbach, MD,

Results Similar With Weekly or Every-3-Week Irinotecan Dosing Regimens

August 01, 2002

ORLANDO-Irinotecan, also known as CPT-11 (Camptosar), administered every 3 weeks to patients with fluorouracil (5-FU)-refractory colorectal cancer produced response rates and toxicity profiles similar to irinotecan given weekly in a phase

Single-Dose Palonosetron Prevents Acute, Delayed Emesis

August 01, 2002

BOSTON-A single dose of a new long-acting 5-HT3 receptor antagonist called palonosetron matched the effectiveness of a single dose of dolasetron (Anzemet) against acute emesis and was more effective against delayed emesis in a phase III clinical trial conducted in patients receiving moderately emetogenic chemotherapy.

Adjuvant Chemo Controversy in Microsatellite Unstable Colon Cancer

August 01, 2002

ORLANDO-Adjuvant fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemotherapy for stage II-III colon cancer has been associated with a trend toward decreased survival for patients whose tumors show high-frequency microsatellite instability (MSI-H). This

Radiolabeled TNT MoAb Effective in Inoperable Lung Cancer

August 01, 2002

LOS ANGELES-An investigational radiolabeled monoclonal antibody (MoAb) that targets the necrotic core of solid tumors (Cotara, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc., Tustin, California) produced good response rates when injected intratumorally into lung cancers. Alan L. Epstein, MD, PhD, of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, reported the results at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine (abstract 1265).

Multidetector CT Finds Peritoneal Ovarian Cancer Metastasis

August 01, 2002

ATLANTA-Ovarian cancer that has metastasized to the abdomen and pelvis can be effectively identified by thin-slice dual-phase imaging and 3D reconstruction with multidetector CT (MDCT) scanning, a technique that appears to be more sensitive and faster than spiral and conventional CT scanners, a new study suggests.

Fewer Recalls With Consensus Double Read Mammograms

August 01, 2002

ATLANTA-Compared with independent double reading of mammograms, consensus double reading detects slightly more cancers while significantly decreasing recall rates, thereby minimizing the anxiety that women might experience from undergoing a second mammogram, Susan Harvey, MD, said at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society (abstract 63).

FDA to Collect $1.2 Billion in User Fees

August 01, 2002

WASHINGTON-President Bush has signed legislation that reauthorizes the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), first enacted in 1992 to speed up the FDA’s processing of new drug applications. PDUFA III is the second 5-year

Gemcitabine/Carboplatin Improves Survival in Lung Cancer Patients

August 01, 2002

LINKOPING, Sweden-Swedish researchers found that gemcitabine (Gemzar) plus carboplatin (Paraplatin) improved response rates and survival in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer during a phase III trial, according to a

New Agent May Help Overcome Imatinib Resistance

August 01, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO-In vitro studies suggest that a new anticancer agent, SCH66336, can slow cell proliferation in drug-resistant forms of Philadelphia (Ph)-positive leukemia, according to a presentation by Japanese researchers at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (abstract 4235). When used in combination with antileukemic agents, SCH66336 induced apoptosis in leukemia cells resistant to imatinib mesylate (Gleevec).

Earlier Palliative Care Improves QOL and Cuts Cost

August 01, 2002

ORLANDO-Allowing advanced cancer patients to start palliative care without giving up aggressive treatment substantially increased end-of-life hospice enrollment in one study and reduced cost of care in another. Both studies were presented at the

Gemcitabine Plus Carboplatin Offers Survival Advantage Over Three-Drug Combination

August 01, 2002

LONDON, UK-The combination of gemcitabine (Gemzar)/carboplatin (Paraplatin) was found to be better tolerated and associated with longer survival than MIP (mitomycin [Mutamycin], ifosfamide [Ifex], and cisplatin [Platinol]) in patients with

Overexpression of p27 Inhibits HER-2 in Preclinical Tests

August 01, 2002

WASHINGTON-About 30% of breast cancer patients show overexpression of the HER-2/neu oncogene, and trastuzumab (Herceptin), a monoclonal antibody targeting HER-2, has been shown to block the gene’s receptor activity. But because the response rate to trastuzumab "is not ideal," there is "still a need for a better therapeutic agent" aimed at HER-2, said Mong-Hong Lee, PhD, assistant professor of molecular and cellular oncology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Survival After First Recurrence Has Improved Over 25 Years

August 01, 2002

ORLANDO-A large review of patients treated at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center suggests that survival after a first breast cancer recurrence has greatly improved over time in patients diagnosed in the last 25 years. The investigators believe that new therapies, above and beyond the anthracyclines, may be affecting survival rates.

A New Look, New Direction for Society of Nuclear Medicine

August 01, 2002

LOS ANGELES-The Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) has changed its logo for the first time in its 49-year history. The new logo is designed to create a bright, fresh look for SNM, Alan Maurer, MD, said at the Society’s 49th Annual Meeting. Dr. Maurer, director of nuclear medicine, Temple University, is the immediate past president of the SNM.

Novel Inhibitor of mTOR Shrinks Cancers by Starving Them

August 01, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO-A novel experimental compound, AP23573, can induce potent tumor shrinkage by inhibiting nutrient uptake in cancer cells and starving them, according to a presentation at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American

Chemotherapy Benefits NSCLC Patients in Supportive Care Setting

August 01, 2002

LONDON, UK-Preliminary results of the Big Lung Trial in a supportive care setting found chemotherapy improved survival of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) without diminishing their quality of life, according to a report presented by R.J. Stephens, MD, representing the CRC and UCL Cancer Trials Centre, London (ASCO abstract 1161).

Chemoprevention Only for High-Risk Women

August 01, 2002

ROCKVILLE, Maryland-The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended against the use of tamoxifen (Nolvadex) and raloxifene (Evista) for the primary prevention of breast cancer in women at low or moderate risk

ChIVPP/EVA Regimen Is Effective in Advanced Hodgkin's Disease

August 01, 2002

LUGANO, Switzerland-In previously untreated, advanced Hodgkin’s disease, the ChIVPP/EVA regimen, though associated with risk of sterility, is highly effective with a low incidence of secondary leukemias, according to a recent analysis of two randomized studies.

Elderly Lung Cancer Patients Benefit From Dual-Modality Therapy

August 01, 2002

PHILADELPHIA-"Do not exclude the fit elderly from combined modality therapy for locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)," Corey. J. Langer, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, reported in his poster presentation (ASCO

Phase II Trial Assesses Chemotherapy/Radiation Sequencing in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

August 01, 2002

ORLANDO, Florida-Although a combination of paclitaxel, carboplatin (Paraplatin), and thoracic radiation therapy is commonly used to treat patients with locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the optimal sequencing of these

Novartis Submits Applications for Gleevec as First-Line CML Therapy

August 01, 2002

EAST HANOVER, New Jersey-Novartis has simultaneously submitted marketing applications with health authorities in the United States and the European Union seeking marketing authorization for Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) for the first-line treatment of newly diagnosed Philadelphia-chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), the company said in a news release.

Advectus Life Sciences Begins Preclinical Trials of P80DOX-NP

August 01, 2002

VANCOUVER, Canada-Ad-vectus Life Sciences Inc. has begun preclinical testing of its patented nanoparticle-based technology (Nanocure) at the University of North Carolina Brain Tumor Center. This series of studies will test the Nanocure

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Useful After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

August 01, 2002

ORLANDO-The concept of sentinel lymph node biopsy as an alternative to axillary node dissection appears to be applicable and useful in breast cancer patients after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, according to an analysis from protocol B-27

HRT Study Stopped Due to Increased Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer

August 01, 2002

BETHESDA, Maryland-Researchers abruptly halted a prevention trial of estrogen/ progestin in healthy menopausal women after an independent monitoring committee found a 26% increase in invasive breast cancer among women taking the hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The committee also found that the HRT group had a greater risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and pulmonary embolism than the placebo group.

Improved QOL With Docetaxel/Platinum Regimens in NSCLC Patients

August 01, 2002

ORLANDO-The largest prospective evaluation of quality of life (QOL) in chemotherapy-naïve patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) found that first-line treatment with docetaxel (Taxotere) plus a platinum agent achieved

Aggressive Induction and Concurrent Chemoradiation Pays Off in Advanced NSCLC

August 01, 2002

ORLANDO, Florida-An aggressive strategy of induction and concurrent chemoradiotherapy was feasible and well tolerated in a North Carolina study of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, reported Mark A. Socinski,

Aranesp Approved for Treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia

August 01, 2002

THOUSAND OAKS, California-The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Amgen’s Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia in patients with nonmyeloid malignancies. Aranesp, a recombinant erythropoietic protein, has a half-life approximately three times longer than that of epoetin alfa (Epogen, Procrit); thus, fewer injections are required by the patient.

Large Study Confirms Accuracy of Sentinel Node Biopsy

August 01, 2002

LOS ANGELES-A large German multicenter study has shown that sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy for breast cancer accurately predicts the status of the axillary lymph node. In addition, the study found that physician experience and the choice of lymphography technique-blue dye or scintigraphy-influence the detection rate significantly.

QLT Begins Phase III Trials of Tariquidar, a P-gp Inhibitor

August 01, 2002

VANCOUVER, Canada-QLT Inc. has begun patient enrollment for two phase III clinical trials using tariquidar as an adjunctive treatment in combination with first-line chemotherapy for non-small-cell lung cancer patients, the company said in a