Oncology NEWS International Vol 16 No 3

Imatinib Responses in CML May Take Time

March 01, 2007

While it may take more time than expected for newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients to get a good response to imatinib (Gleevec), responses continue to improve with prolonged therapy

Study Confirms Avastin Advantage in Advanced NSCLC

March 01, 2007

Roche has announced that the international phase III Avastin in Lung study (AVAiL, BO17704) met its primary endpoint of improving progression-free survival in patients with previously untreated advanced non-squamous-cell, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Mouse Virus Evidence Suggests Viral Basis for Breast Ca

March 01, 2007

A large proportion of human breast cancers may be associated with the human mammary tumor virus (HMTV), which is nearly identical to the murine mammary tumor virus (MMTV) that is implicated in breast cancer in mice.

Groups Oppose Ruling on Access to Experimental Drugs

March 01, 2007

Three cancer organizations have joined in supporting FDA in an appeal to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a decision that terminally ill patients have a fundamental right of access to experimental drugs.

Satellite Allows Digital Mammography Screening for Rural Native Americans

March 01, 2007

A mobile mammography unit that links a digital mammography system with a commercial satellite service provides near real-time interpretation of breast imaging scans to Native American women on remote rural reservations

Two Sets of Researchers Find Herceptin Cost Effective

March 01, 2007

Two groups of researchers have separately concluded that use of Herceptin (trastuzumab) in combination with standard anthracycline-based chemotherapy is cost effective as adjuvant therapy for early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer

Family-Based Testing Strategy May Better Detect HNPCC

March 01, 2007

A new way to select for further testing those people who are at risk for Lynch syndrome may increase detection of the disorder, also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). The syndrome, which predisposes people to developing colorectal cancer at a young age, is caused by germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes.

Brachytherapy Balloon Can Be Placed After Final Pathology

March 01, 2007

Ultrasound-guided placement of a balloon catheter for partial breast brachytherapy can be safely delayed until after the final pathology report has confirmed that the patient is a candidate for the procedure, according to a new study.

Phase III Trial of Lung Ca Vaccine Opens

March 01, 2007

Merck KGaA has opened enrollment in its global phase III clinical study, known as START, assessing the efficacy and safety of Stimuvax (BLP25 liposome vaccine) as a potential treatment for patients with unresectable stage III non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have had a response or stable disease after at least two cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy.

Long-Term BIG I-98 Results Show Letrozole Benefit

March 01, 2007

Long-term (median, 51 months) follow-up data from the Breast International Group (BIG) I-98 trial support earlier findings that the aromatase inhibitor letrozole (Femara) is more effective than tamoxifen as initial postsurgery therapy for early breast cancer

Noxafil Prophylaxis Reduces Fatal Fungal Infections in AML, MDS, and GVHD Pts

March 01, 2007

Two clinical studies with a total of 1,202 patients have found posaconazole (Noxafil) significantly more effective than two other antifungal agents in preventing fatal invasive fungal infections in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients who develop neutropenia as a result of chemotherapy

Cetuximab + Weekly CRT Promising in Advanced H&N Ca

March 01, 2007

Cetuximab (Erbitux) plus concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CRT) appears to be feasible and effective in many patients with locally advanced squamous-cell head and neck cancer, and may improve local-regional control

Sutent Gets Regular FDA Approval for RCC

March 01, 2007

FDA officials have granted regular approval to Sutent (sunitinib malate, Pfizer) for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients who failed prior cytokine-based therapy, upgrading it from the accelerated approval granted in January 2006.

NCI Eyes Some Budget Gains for FY2007

March 01, 2007

Congress finally resolved the current federal budget in mid-February, 4 months after fiscal year (FY) 2007 began, and raised the National Institutes of Health's funding to $28.9 billion, an increase of $619.5 million (2%) over its FY2006 appropriations.

Feds Cut Cancer Funding, But at What Cost to Research?

March 01, 2007

Over the past several decades, investment through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has become an essential source of support for academic and clinical cancer research. The dividends paid by this investment have been discoveries that have reduced suffering and mortality due to cancer. For cancer patients and survivors, it is money well spent.

Satraplatin Slows Progression of Refractory Prostate Ca

March 01, 2007

Satraplatin, an investigational oral platinum agent, given in combination with prednisone, slows the progression of hormone-refractory prostate cancer, according to the phase III Satraplatin and Prednisone Against Refractory Cancer (SPARC) trial presented at the 2007 Prostate Cancer Symposium (abstract 145).

Oxaliplatin Safe to Add to Preop CRT in Rectal Ca

March 01, 2007

Preliminary findings from Italian researchers show that adding oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) to preoperative chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for rectal cancer is feasible and safe, and does not adversely affect the ability to carry out subsequent surgery.

Three Sports Legends Team Up to Help Fight Lung Cancer

March 01, 2007

Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman (shown talking to the media at Super Bowl XLI) has joined Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., Emmy-award winning sportscaster Joe Buck, and the Lung Cancer Alliance (lungcanceralliance.org) for the lung cancer awareness campaign "A Face in the Fight."