Oncology NEWS International Vol 15 No 9

Exjade Gains Approval in EU

September 01, 2006

The European Commission (EC) has granted approval for Novartis' Exjade (deferasirox) to treat patients with transfusional iron overload in all 25 member states of the European Union (EU). Exjade, available in the United States, is an oral iron chelator that provides continuous chelation coverage with a single daily dose.

President's Cancer Panel Assesses Progress in Two Areas

September 01, 2006

In its 2005-2006 annual report, the President's Cancer Panel (PCP) departed from its norm of examining a specific cancer-related issue and instead looked at what has emerged from the recommendations made in its two previous reports.

Proposed Medicare OPPS Rule Draws Fire for Its 'Inadequate Reimbursement'

September 01, 2006

Under a proposed rule covering Medicare payments for outpatient services, hospitals would receive $32.5 billion in calendar year 2007, which includes a 3.4% inflation update over the 2006 payment rates of the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS), according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Postchemo Disappearance of Liver Mets Doesn't Mean Cure

September 01, 2006

Chemotherapy may render some liver metastases of colorectal cancer no longer visible by preoperative CT and ultrasound imaging (see also article on page 21), but viable cancer cells are still present in about four in five of these sites.

Phase I/II Trial of AGS-003

September 01, 2006

Argos Therapeutics has begun a phase I/II clinical trial to test the activity and safety of AGS-003, a personalized immunotherapy for advanced kidney cancer. AGS-003 is a second-generation dendritic-cell-based therapy with optimized immune response characteristics designed to stimulate the immune system to target and destroy cancer cells.

Short Course of Preoperative Radiotherapy Improves Outcomes in Patients With Resectable Rectal Cancer

September 01, 2006

In patients with resectable rectal cancer, routine short-course preoperative radiotherapy results in a significant reduction in local recurrence and improved disease-free survival, compared with a selective postoperative approach.

President Bush Names Niederhuber NCI Director

September 01, 2006

President Bush has appointed John E. Niederhuber, MD, as director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He is the Institute's 13th director, succeeding Andrew C. von Eschenbach, MD, who has been nominated as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Lack of EGFR Expression in Colon Ca Can Be Misleading

September 01, 2006

Colorectal cancers that do not express epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) may still have overactivation of the EGFR signaling pathway, new data show. In addition, activation of the signaling pathway in the primary tumor is not a reliable indicator of its activation in metastases.

California Campaign Slams Smoking; Lung Ca Rates Fall

September 01, 2006

Lung and bronchus cancer rates have declined in California at a faster rate than in the United States as a whole, mirroring a decline in tobacco consumption and helping to validate anti-tobacco efforts aimed primarily at changing societal norms regarding smoking.

Americans Unsure of When to Get Cancer Screening Tests

September 01, 2006

Although most American adults can identify mammography, the Pap test, and colonoscopy as cancer screening tests, they are generally ill informed about the age at which screening should begin and how often they should undergo the examinations.

No Advantage for 'Complete Estrogen Blockade' Approach

September 01, 2006

Combining the investigational aromatase inhibitor atamestane with the estrogen-blocker toremifene (Fareston) in an attempt to achieve "complete estrogen blockade" did not improve time to progression (TTP) in patients with advanced breast cancer, compared with aromatase inhibitor monotherapy with letrozole (Femara).

Imatinib Adherence Lowers Health Care Cost

September 01, 2006

Improved compliance with imatinib (Gleevec) therapy for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) is associated with decreased total and disease-related health care costs

Social Factors Impact Interest in Genetic Testing for Cancer

September 01, 2006

A new study suggests that most members of families affected by familial testicular cancer would be interested in a genetic test for the disease if one existed. However, social factors significantly affect the degree of interest.

Wyeth and Progenics Begin Phase II Trial of Oral Methylnaltrexone

September 01, 2006

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Tarrytown, New York) have begun a phase II clinical trial to evaluate once-daily dosing of oral methylnaltrexone, a peripheral mu opioid-receptor antagonist designed to reverse the effect of opioids on opioid receptors outside the central nervous system, thus reducing opioid-induced constipation. The trial is designed to identify the dose(s) of methylnaltrexone to be taken forward into the phase III studies.

'Heavenly Hats' Gives Headwear to Cancer Patients

September 01, 2006

In 2001, a grandmother with breast cancer inspired Anthony Leanna, then 10 years old, to start the Heavenly Hats Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that provides free headwear to cancer patients nationwide.

TH, TCH Have Similar Efficacy in Breast Ca

September 01, 2006

When used as first-line therapy for metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer, docetaxel (Taxotere) plus trastuzumab (Herceptin) (TH) has similar efficacy to docetaxel, carboplatin, and trastuzumab (TCH), but the toxicity profiles differ, finds a randomized phase III trial presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Hana Initiates Marqibo Phase II Trial in Relapsed/Refractory ALL

September 01, 2006

Hana Biosciences has initiated a multicenter phase II clinical trial of Marqibo (vincristine sulfate liposome injection) in patients with relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The study is designed to support a phase III pivotal clinical trial of Marqibo for ALL, the company said in a press release. The primary objective of the phase II open-label study is to assess the efficacy of weekly doses of Marqibo plus pulse dexamethasone as measured by complete response rate. Hana expects to enroll up to 44 patients.

When a Support System Falls Apart

September 01, 2006

This case study illustrates some of the off-treatment issues your patients may face when their coping support system is inadequate. Some of the psychological effects cancer patients deal with do not manifest until years after treatment is completed.

Big Tobacco Conspired to Lie About Smoking Risks: Ruling

September 01, 2006

The US Justice Department's lawsuit against the major tobacco companies ended with more of a whimper than a bang. A federal judge found that the companies engaged in a decades-long conspiracy to deceive Americans about the dangers of smoking cigarettes but said that a 2005 ruling by a federal appeals court severely limited the penalties she could impose.