Oncology NEWS International Vol 16 No 5

Large Study Casts Doubt on Value of CAD

May 01, 2007

Computer software used to help decipher screening mammograms reduces interpretation accuracy, increases the rate of unnecessary biopsies, and offers no clear improvement in the detection of invasive breast cancer, the largest and most comprehensive community-based study of the technology has found.

Cetuximab Does Not Increase Mucositis in H&N Cancer

May 01, 2007

In contrast to other radiosensitizers, cetuximab (Erbitux) improves radiotherapy efficacy in patients with locoregionally advanced head and neck cancer without increasing mucositis or dysphagia, and this may translate into fewer treatment breaks and longer survival

Reclast Single-Dose Infusion Approved for Paget's Disease

May 01, 2007

The advent of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening has increased early detection and treatment of prostate cancer. Most patients respond well to prostatectomy or localized radiation therapy if the cancer is diagnosed before it metastasizes. As a result, the mortality rate from prostate cancer has fallen significantly since the late 1980s.

Fragmin Approved for VTE in Cancer Pts

May 01, 2007

FDA has approved a new indication for Pfizer and Eisai's Fragmin (dalteparin sodium injection), for the extended treatment of symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE)—proximal deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE)—to reduce the recurrence of VTE in patients with cancer.

New Phase III Trial of Genasense in Advanced Melanoma Planned

May 01, 2007

Genta Incorporated has announced that the company will conduct a new randomized controlled phase III trial of its lead anticancer product Genasense (oblimersen sodium) Injection in patients with advanced melanoma.

Darbepoetin Alfa: No Benefit in Cancer Patients Not Receiving Chemotherapy and May Decrease Survival

May 01, 2007

A phase III study evaluating the benefit of darbepoetin alfa (Aranesp) in preventing transfusions in cancer patients not undergoing chemotherapy failed to reach its primary endpoint and demonstrated worse survival in the treatment arm

Progenics Submits NDA for Subcutaneous Methylnaltrexone

May 01, 2007

Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in collabortion with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, has submitted a new drug application (NDA) to the FDA for the subcutaneous formulation of methylnaltrexone for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in patients receiving palliative care.

Doxorubicin-Eluting Beads Used for Chemoembolization

May 01, 2007

When patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) still have viable tumor after radiofrequency ablation (RFA), further treatment with chemoembolization using doxorubicin-eluting beads increases the ablation volume by an average of 61%,

Communication Tool Empowers Nurses; Boosts Pt Safety

May 01, 2007

A structured communication tool helps oncology nurses effectively convey information and concerns to physicians when a patient's condition changes or a patient's care is in transition, which can promote patient safety and quality patient outcomes

Aranesp Reduces Transfusions in SCLC Patients

May 01, 2007

Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa, Amgen) significantly reduced red blood cell (RBC) transfusions and did not affect overall or progression-free survival, compared with placebo, in a randomized, double-blind, phase III trial in 600 patients with previously untreated extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.

Charlie Rose Program Highlights Ca Research

May 01, 2007

Martin D. Abeloff, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Oncology News International, was a recent featured guest on "The Charlie Rose Science Series" on PBS television. The episode, entitled "The Latest in Cancer Research," was the fourth in a 12-part special series focusing on the importance of scientific research in human health.

ASCO Updates Initial ADT Guideline

May 01, 2007

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has updated its 2004 clinical practice guideline on the initial hormonal management of androgen-sensitive metastatic, recurrent, or progressive prostate cancer

Removing Chemotherapy Bags From IV Spikes Is Unsafe

May 01, 2007

In a Quality Indicator (QI) project, oncology nurses at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center showed that changing intravenous (IV) bags of hazardous drugs (such as chemotherapy agents) is an unsafe procedure with nearly universal contamination of the nurses' gloves, gowns, and drapes.

Gleevec Postsurgery Sharply Reduces GIST Recurrences

May 01, 2007

Researchers have closed early a randomized clinical trial investigating the use of imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) as an adjuvant therapy following the resection of primary gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs).

Fewer Distant Recurrences With Letrozole: BIG 1-98

May 01, 2007

Using the aromatase inhibitor letrozole (Femara) in postmenopausal hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer patients resulted in significantly fewer early relapses than tamoxifen, even after adjusting for significant prognostic factors, researchers for the BIG 1-98 trial

Cetuximab Ups Survival as 3rd-Line Rx of Colon Cancer

May 01, 2007

In colorectal cancer patients progressing after second- and third-line therapies, cetuximab (Erbitux) is an option that may prolong progression-free and overall survival, according to phase III studies presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 2007 centennial annual meeting.

Diagnostic Dilemma: GI Disease

May 01, 2007

A 45-year-old man with chronic ulcerative colitis for more than 10 years presents with diarrhea for 4 days. The diarrhea is nonbloody, watery, and associated with abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, low-grade fevers, and chills for 2 days. The abdominal pain was diffuse, but worse in the right upper quadrant.

Dr. Bailes Looks at CMS Quality of Care Reporting Project and Healthcare-Related Legislation for 2007

May 01, 2007

Since the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 was signed, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) has initiated a series of fairly dramatic structural changes in reimbursement policies covering drugs and services provided in cancer care.

Two Studies Exploring PSA Failure and Quality of Life

May 01, 2007

The advent of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening has increased early detection and treatment of prostate cancer. Most patients respond well to prostatectomy or localized radiation therapy if the cancer is diagnosed before it metastasizes. As a result, the mortality rate from prostate cancer has fallen significantly since the late 1980s.