Oncology NEWS International Vol 15 No 4

Phase II Trial of Velcade/Alimta Initiated in Advanced NSCLC

April 01, 2006

Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson have initiated a randomized, phase II open-label study of the potential benefit of combining two targeted therapies with different mechanisms of action—bortezomib (Velcade) and pemetrexed (Alimta, Eli Lilly)—in previously treated patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

All-Star Panel Spells Out Onc Promises, Problems

April 01, 2006

The decline in total cancer mortality in the United States that began in 2003 looks set to continue and even accelerate as more research moves "from bench to bedside"—unless the basic and translational science feeding that change is strangled by budget cuts and red tape, according to experts at the 11th Annual Conference of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).

ODAC Says No to Gemzar for Ovarian Ca

April 01, 2006

The FDA's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) declined to recommend that the agency approve Gemzar (gemcitabine, Eli Lilly) in combination with carboplatin for the treatment of patients with advanced ovarian cancer that has relapsed at least 6 months after completion of platinum-based therapy.

Femara Effective Even After Years of No Therapy

April 01, 2006

Two analyses from the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) MA.17 letrozole (Femara) trial strongly support the ability of this aromatase inhibitor to significantly reduce disease recurrence among postmenopausal women previously treated with tamoxifen.

XMRV Retrovirus Found in Some Prostate Ca's

April 01, 2006

A previously unknown virus, a xenotropic murine-like retrovirus or XMRV, has been shown to be 30 times more common in men with prostate cancer who are homozygous for a defect in the HPC1 gene than in men without the mutation

Taxotere Wins FDA Approval for Advanced Gastric Cancer

April 01, 2006

The FDA has approved the use of Taxotere (docetaxel, Sanofi-Aventis) in combination with cisplatin and fluorouracil (5-FU) for the treatment of advanced gastric cancer, including cancer of the gastroesophageal junction, in patients who have not received prior chemotherapy for their advanced disease.

Community Oncology Practices Struggle to Cope With the Extra Requirements of Medicare Part D

April 01, 2006

Medicare Part D, the outpatient prescription drug plan that went into effect on January 1, is having a major impact on community oncology practices as they struggle to deal with widespread confusion as well as the extra requirements imposed by the private plans.

Young Doctors Are Hungry for Psychological Oncology Training

April 01, 2006

Medical students and oncology fellows alike benefit from special training in psychological oncology that is integrated into their didactic curriculum in medical school, according to results from a 1-year pilot project.

Posaconazole Reduces Serious IFIs in High-Risk Patients

April 01, 2006

In a phase III trial, posaconazole (Noxafil Oral Suspension), an investigational broad-spectrum triazole antifungal, significantly reduced the incidence of serious invasive fungal infections (IFIs) and of aspergillosis, and demonstrated a survival benefit, compared with standard azole antifungal treatment in high-risk neutropenic patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy.

Trimodality Therapy Bests Surgery Alone for Resectable Esophageal Cancer Patients

April 01, 2006

Compared with surgery alone, the triple combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery is associated with a more than doubling of overall survival and a more than tripling of progression-free survival in patients with resectable esophageal cancer, according to a randomized trial presented at the 2006 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium (abstract 4).

CGEMS to ID Genetic Risks for Two Cancers

April 01, 2006

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has begun the largest, most comprehensive effort to identify genetic risk factors for two major cancers, a 3-year initiative aimed at deciphering which genetic alterations put people at increased risk of developing breast and prostate cancer.

Assess Regularly for Treatment-Related Learning Problems

April 01, 2006

Neuropsychologists play a key role in helping identify cognitive issues in childhood cancer survivors and in developing rehabilitation programs to increase their functioning, Lisa A. Jackson, PhD, said at the Cancer in the Classroom meeting hosted by Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Revlimid Combination Granted Priority Review for Myeloma

April 01, 2006

The FDA has given priority review status to Celgene Corporation's supplemental new drug application for lenalidomide (Revlimid) in combination with dexamethasone for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

Psychosocial Issues Influence Decisions on BMT Eligibility

April 01, 2006

Psychosocial factors influence life-or-death eligibility decisions in bone marrow transplant (BMT) procedures, and yet there is a serious lack of consensus as to what these factors are and how they should be weighted.

FDA Grants Dasatinib Priority Review for Resistant CML

April 01, 2006

The FDA has granted priority review to dasatinib (BMS-354825), developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, for treatment of imatinib (Gleevec)-resistant or refractory chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in adults.

Liver Transplant Ups Survival in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

April 01, 2006

Liver transplantation is lifesaving in patients with localized hepatocellular carcinoma, with some 75% of transplant recipients still alive 5 years later, compared with only 12% of other patients, finds the first large population-based study of this treatment for this disease.

Rituximab Plus CVP Improves Outcome in Follicular NHL

April 01, 2006

Concomitant administration of rituximab (Rituxan) and chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone (CVP) appears effective in patients with stage III-IV follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).