Oncology NEWS International Vol 16 No 2

Aranesp Ineffective in Anemic Ca Patients Not on Chemo

February 01, 2007

In a phase III study, darbepoetin alfa (Aranesp) was ineffective in reducing red blood cell (RBC) transfusions in cancer patients with anemia not due to concurrent chemotherapy, and patients receiving darbepoetin had higher mortality.

Rituximab/CHOP Significantly Improves Outcomes in Advanced FL

February 01, 2007

Adding rituximab (Rituxan) to CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) significantly improves the time to treatment failure and overall survival in elderly patients with previously untreated advanced-stage follicular lymphoma (FL)

Fewer Cancer Deaths 'No Fluke'

February 01, 2007

Total cancer deaths decreased in the United States for the second consecutive year in 2004, a drop of 3,014 deaths from the toll recorded in 2003. The number of deaths in 2003 declined 369 from the total in 2002.

Billing Plans for Routine Care Essential When Patients Enroll in Clinical Trials

February 01, 2007

As government pressure to reduce healthcare spending increases, gaps in Medicare coverage for participation in clinical trials is a potential barrier that could compromise the ability to conduct valuable medical research.

Partial Breast Irradiation Shows Promise in Breast Cancer

February 01, 2007

Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) may be an effective and well-tolerated alternative to standard radiotherapy in early-stage breast cancer, and partial breast irradiation with interstitial brachytherapy also appears feasible in women who have had a recurrence after previous breast radiotherapy

New Way to Test Lymph Nodes Intraoperatively

February 01, 2007

An investigational gene-based diagnostic assessment for lymph node metastases may improve intraoperative pathology and surgical decision-making, and reduce the need for second axillary node surgeries

Dasatinib 100 mg Once Daily Best for Resistant CML

February 01, 2007

Once-daily dosing with dasatinib (Sprycel) 100 mg gives similar cytogenetic responses with considerably fewer hematologic adverse events than three other dasatinib dosing schedules in patients with chronic mye-logenous leukemia (CML) who are resistant to or intolerant of imatinib (Gleevec)

BB-10901 Compound Delivers Potent Agent to CD56+ Tumors

February 01, 2007

Early data from a phase I study of the targeted immunoconjugate BB-10901, also known as huN901-DM1 (ImmunoGen), has provided evidence of the drug's safety and clinical activity in patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and other CD56-positive solid tumors.

Chinese Give Arsenic Plus Tretinoin Up Front for APL

February 01, 2007

Four years of follow-up have confirmed that the front-line combination of all-trans-retinoic acid, or ATRA (tretinoin, Vesanoid), and arsenic trioxide (Trisenox) is beneficial for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)

Canadian Breast Chemo Regimen May Be Superior to AC/T

February 01, 2007

The standard treatment for early breast cancer—AC/T— was not as effective as two regimens used in Canada in preventing recurrences. Specifically, CEF and a novel regimen, dose-dense EC/T, were both more effective than AC/T in the MA.21 study

Arsenic Improves Outcomes of Newly Diagnosed APL Pts

February 01, 2007

A phase III trial has shown that using arsenic trioxide (Trisenox) after standard first-line chemotherapy for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) significantly improves event-free survival and provides better overall survival, compared to standard therapy alone.

Tarceva NSCLC Trial of Nonsmokers Only

February 01, 2007

Investigators have begun enrolling a select group of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients—those who have never smoked or once smoked lightly—into a phase II trial to determine whether erlotinib (Tarceva), with or without chemotherapy, is effective as first-line treatment.

'Breakaway From Cancer' Survey Shows Pts' Work Concerns

February 01, 2007

An online survey of the impact of cancer on the careers and working environment of patients revealed strong support from employers, with 75% to 79% granting time off for doctor's appointments and allowing flexible work schedules and tele-commuting.

Doxil/Velcade Prolongs TTP in Myeloma

February 01, 2007

The combination of liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil) and bortezomib (Velcade) significantly improved time to progression (TTP) in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, compared with bortezomib alone

Pancreatic Ca Vaccine Extends Survival After Surgery

February 01, 2007

An investigational therapeutic vaccine (GVAX immunotherapy) given with chemotherapy and radiation therapy following surgery for pancreatic cancer appears to improve survival for these difficult-to-treat patients

Diagnostic Dilemma: GI Disease

February 01, 2007

This 72-year-old woman undergoes surveillance colonoscopy. She has a history of small colonic adenomas removed from the distal colon and of a sessile hyperplastic polyp in the cecum. Prior biopsies have demonstrated only hyperplastic changes and no evidence of adenomatous or dysplastic features. Her last colonoscopic examination was more than 3 years ago.