Oncology NEWS International Vol 15 No 11

High ERCC1 Levels Predict Cisplatin Resistance

November 01, 2006

A phase III multicenter study has confirmed thathigh tumor tissue expression of the geneERCC1 in patients with metastatic nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is predictiveof resistance to cisplatin.

Triple-Negative Ca’s Respond to Optimized Taxane Chemotherapy

November 01, 2006

Gene expression arrayshave extended the identification ofmolecular subtypes of breast cancerbeyond the presence or absence of theestrogen receptor (ER) and revealed themultiplicity of diseases within the breastcancer umbrella that have different prognoses.

Avastin Approved as First-Line Rx of Nonsquamous NSCLC

November 01, 2006

Avastin(bevacizumab, Genentech) has gainedFood and Drug Administration (FDA)approval in combination with carboplatinand paclitaxel for the first-line treatmentof unresectable, locally advanced, recurrent,or metastatic non-squamous-cell,non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC),which accounts for about three-quartersof newly diagnosed cases in the UnitedStates.

Black Women Urged to Have Screening Mammograms, and Genetic Testing for Those With Strong Family History

November 01, 2006

White women havea higher incidence of breast cancer thanAfrican-American women, but African-American women develop the disease ata younger age, are diagnosed later, andare more likely to die of the disease, accordingto the National Cancer Institute.

Lapatinib Benefit Seen in Inflammatory Breast Cancer

November 01, 2006

The oral small-molecule lapatinib (Tykerb), a reversible dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor of HER1 (epidermal growth factor) and HER2 receptors (see mechanism of action image on page 1), produced clinical responses in some women with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), a rare but aggressive form of the disease that is not usually detected by mammograms or ultrasound.

Breast Ultrasound Referrals Often Lack Important Info

November 01, 2006

There is a role forultrasound in breast cancer screening anddiagnosis, but many physicians do notseem to know what it is, according toAnnette Brown, MD, a radiologist in theMammography Division of Long IslandCollege Hospital in Brooklyn. A

FDA Okays Zolinza for CTCL Skin Lesions

November 01, 2006

The Food and Drug Administration has approvedZolinza (vorinostat, Merck) as a once-a-day oral treatment of the skinmanifestations of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma(CTCL) in patients whose diseasehas persisted, progressed, or recurredduring or following two systemic therapies.

Accountability Measures Essential for Continued Delivery of Equitable High-Quality Cancer Care

November 01, 2006

As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services(CMS) moves toward a payment system linked toquality performance, it is important that the oncologycommunity participates in the ongoing debateover how to define best quality care and how todeliver it.

Information on the DNP-Doctorate of Nursing Practice

November 01, 2006

The new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is meant to be to nursing clinical practice what the PhD is to nursing research, Sharon Krumm, RN, PhD, said at the Oncology Nursing Society 31st Annual Congress (abstract 34).

Nurses Manage Lenalidomide Skin Reactions

November 01, 2006

The thalidomide analogue lenalidomide (Revlimid), which isapproved for use in multiple myelomaand in certain myelodysplastic syndromes,is associated with skin reactions,mainly rashes and pruritus.

Blood Test Distinguishes Lung Cancer From CPD

November 01, 2006

A blood test that measures specific blood proteins canaccurately distinguish lung cancer fromother smoking-related lung diseases, researchersfrom France said at the 31stCongress of the European Society forMedical Oncology (ESMO).

Lumpectomy With Repeat RT Should Be Investigated as an Option for Patients With In-Breast Cancer Recurrence

November 01, 2006

Although mastectomy is the preferred method of treatment for most patients with local recurrence of breast cancer in the preserved breast, repeat breast-conserving surgery followed by partial-breast radiotherapy is “generating a lot of excitement,” Seema A. Khan, MD, said at the 8th Annual Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Symposium.

Herceptin/Arimidex Improves PFS in Metastatic Breast Cancer

November 01, 2006

Adding trastuzumab (Herceptin) to anastrozole (Arimidex) as adjuvant therapy for postmenopausal women with so-called copositive (hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-positive) metastatic breast cancer signficantly improved progression-free survival (PFS), compared with anastrozole alone, according to a study presented at the 31st Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) (Late Breaking Abstract 2).

Cetuximab Combinations Promising in Phase II Trials

November 01, 2006

Adding the targeted antibody cetuximab (Erbitux) to standard cytotoxic chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with advanced colorectal cancer improves response rates, two groups of researchers said at the 31st Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO).

Many Gene-Based Ovarian Ca Tests Don’t Lower Mortality

November 01, 2006

Clinical studies do not validate the power of manygenomic tests developed to diagnose andguide the treatment of ovarian cancer todecrease the disease’s mortality or improvethe quality of life of patients, accordingto a report released by the Agencyfor Healthcare Research and Quality(AHRQ).

Dr. Greenwald Says Cancer Prevention Trials ‘Here to Stay’

November 01, 2006

Trials in the past decade offer the first evidence that some of the most prevalent cancers in the population are preventable, and a host of ongoing trials are testing new prevention strategies, Peter Greenwald, MD, DrPH, director of the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Prevention, said at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG).

MAP Kinase Overexpressed in Never-Smokers With Lung Cancer

November 01, 2006

In a study investigating possible molecular abnormalities in nonsmokers with lung adenocarcinoma, a team of French researchers has found that never-smokers significantly overexpress the MAP (mitogen activated protein) kinases P38 and JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase), compared with smokers.

Chlorhexadine Rinse Prevents Chemo-Induced Mucositis

November 01, 2006

The frequency and duration of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis may be significantly improved by either prophylactic chlorhexidine or by cryotherapy, according to the results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study presented at the 31st Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) (abstract 988 O).

Sunitinib Effective in Imatinib-Resistant GIST Patients

November 01, 2006

Sunitinib malate (Sutent)is an effective treatment option forpatients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor(GIST) after imatinib mesylate(Gleevec) therapy has failed, accordingto a multicenter, randomized, placebocontrolledphase III clinical trial.

Experts Discuss Role of AIs in Pre/Postmenopausal Patients

November 01, 2006

Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) have an unquestioned role to play in the treatment of postmenopausal women with breast cancer, but there is no single best approach for their use in all patients, Eric Winer, MD, said at the 8th Annual Lynn Sage Breast Cancer symposium.

Gleevec Gains Simultaneous FDA Approval for Five Rare, Life-Threatening Disorders

November 01, 2006

Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) tablets has receivedFDA approval to treat patients with fiverare, potentially life-threatening disorders,representing the first time that aregulatory authority has ever simultaneouslyapproved one targeted medicinefor so many disorders, according toNovartis, maker of Gleevec.

Adding HT to RT Increases PFS in Locally Advanced Cancer

November 01, 2006

Patients withlocally advanced prostate cancer treatedwith radiotherapy and adjuvant hormonaltherapy gain as much as 12%longer progression-free survival (PFS),compared with those given radiotherapyalone, according to a large study of pooleddata reported at the 31st Congress of theEuropean Society for Medical Oncology.

XELOX as Effective as FOLFOX in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

November 01, 2006

A phase III trial has shown that XELOX is as effective as FOLFOX4 in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, and that adding the targeted agent bevacizumab (Avastin) to either regimen improves progressionfree survival (PFS).

ZD6474 (Zactima) Advances to Phase III Trial in NSCLC

November 01, 2006

ZD6474 (Zactima), a once-daily oral drug that simultaneously blocks three tumor cell signaling pathways, looked promising in phase II studies vs gefitinib (Iressa) in advanced nonsmall- cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and can be combined with docetaxel (Taxotere), but the decision to move the drug into a phase III clinical trial triggered comments from the discussant (see Vantage Point) at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 42nd Annual Meeting.

FDA Approves Taxotere for Inoperable Head & Neck Cancer

November 01, 2006

The FDA has approved Taxotere (docetaxelfor injection, Sanofi-Aventis), in combinationwith cisplatin and fluorouracil andadministered prior to radiotherapy, forthe treatment of patients with inoperable,locally advanced squamous cell carcinomaof the head and neck (SCCHN).

Improved TTP by Adding Xeloda to Herceptin/Taxotere

November 01, 2006

A multinationalphase II study, known as CHAT,has shown that a three-drug combinationincluding docetaxel (Taxotere),trastuzumab (Herceptin), and capecitabine(Xeloda) provides significantlylonger time to progression (TTP) and atrend toward longer progression-free survival,compared with docetaxel plustrastuzumab, in patients with HER2-positivemetastatic breast cancer.

Noxafil Approved for Treatment of Oropharyngeal Candidiasis

November 01, 2006

The FDA has approved Schering-Plough's novel triazole antifungal agent Noxafil (posaconazole) Oral Suspension for the treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis, including infections refractory to itraconazole and/or fluconazole.

MGd Plus Whole Brain Radiation Therapy Prolongs Time to Neurologic Progression of NSCLC Brain Metastases

November 01, 2006

Motexafin gadolinium (MGd, Xcytrin) combined with whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) prolongs time to neurologic progression in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with brain metastases if treatment starts within 3 weeks of the brain metastasis diagnosis, according to data from a phase III trial.