Oncology NEWS International Vol 16 No 7

New Antiangiogenesis Agent Promising in Glioblastoma

July 01, 2007

The oral multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor cediranib (Recentin, AstraZeneca), known experimentally as AZD2171, alleviated edema and showed an improvement in progression-free survival, compared with historical controls, in a phase II study of patients with recurrent glioblastoma

New Small Molecule TKI Active in Thyroid Cancer

July 01, 2007

Axitinib (AG-013736), an oral small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), yielded a 30% response rate in a phase II study of patients with metastatic or unresectable thyroid cancer unresponsive to or not suitable for standard treatment with radioactive iodine.

NCI Rejects NSABP's P-4 Prevention Trial

July 01, 2007

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has rejected funding for the proposed P-4 clinical trial in which researchers planned to compare raloxifene (Evista) and letrozole (Femara) as breast cancer prevention agents.

First-Line Dasatinib Effective in Chronic Phase CML

July 01, 2007

In a phase II study, use of dasatinib (Sprycel) as first-line therapy for patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in chronic phase led to more and faster cytogenetic responses than seen historically with standard-dose imatinib (Gleevec)

Vascular Disrupting Agent NPI-2358 in Phase I Study

July 01, 2007

In an ongoing phase I trial in patients with solid tumors and lymphomas, the small-molecule tumor vascular disrupting agent NPI-2358 (Nereus Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, California) was dose escalated without evidence of dose-limiting toxicity

Response to CMS Proposal on ESAs

July 01, 2007

In a recent letter to Steve Phurrough, MD, of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Joseph S. Bailes, MD, chair of ASCO's Government Relations Council, asked that CMS withdraw its proposed decision memorandum regarding coverage of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) in nonrenal disease indications

Circulating Tumor Cell Counts Predict mCRC Survival

July 01, 2007

"In patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), the number of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) before and after initiation of treatment is a significant independent predictor of progression-free survival and overall survival," Neal J. Meropol, MD, reported

Oncotype DX Recurrence Score Influences Treatment Decisions

July 01, 2007

A new study indicates that the Oncotype DX Recurrence Score (RS) is being used to change treatment decisions regarding adjuvant therapy in patients with early-stage node-negative, estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer

Poor Outcomes for Prostate Ca Pts With CAU

July 01, 2007

Prostate cancer patients who showed central abdominal uptake (CAU) on imaging with capromab pendetide (ProstaScint) had prostate-cancer-specific death rates 10 times higher than those without CAU

Bexxar/BEAM Safe for Transplant Prep in Relapsed DLBCL

July 01, 2007

In a phase II trial of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients with high-risk or relapsed chemosensitive disease, the combination of the radioimmunotherapy (RIT) agent 131I tositumomab (Bexxar) plus BEAM chemotherapy proved safe as an outpatient preparative regimen for autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplant (PSCT)

Biweekly Capecitabine Schedule Feasible

July 01, 2007

A biweekly dosing regimen of capecitabine (Xeloda) was well tolerated in a dose-escalation study of metastatic breast cancer patients, allowing safe delivery of higher daily doses than routinely used in practice

FDA Oks Torisel for Renal Cell Ca

July 01, 2007

Torisel has become the third drug in 18 months to win FDA approval for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma. Torisel (temsirolimus, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals) received its marketing approval on the basis of data from a phase III clinical trial showing increased survival with single-agent Torisel, compared with interferon-alfa, which was the standard at the time the study was designed.

Don't Undercode: Bill Level Five for Payment of Cognitive Services

July 01, 2007

A large part of delivering high-value cancer care is devoted to cognitive services, which are very difficult to quantify within the current coding system. Achieving appropriate payment for cognitive services delivered is an ongoing dilemma within the oncology community.

First-Line Erbitux Ups H&N Survival

July 01, 2007

Cetuximab (Erbitux) added to standard first-line chemotherapy with cisplatin or carboplatin plus fluorouracil (5-FU) yielded a statistically and clinically significant 35% survival advantage over these regimens without cetuximab in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN)

Pilot Study Begins for NCI's Proposed NCCCP at 14 Sites

July 01, 2007

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has initiated a 3-year pilot study for its National Community Cancer Center Program (NCCCP) to explore issues surrounding the effective delivery of cancer care at the local level.

Electronic Negotiation With Drug Distributors Brings Lower Prices for Chemotherapy Drugs

July 01, 2007

Rising costs, evolving markets, and tighter regulatory conditions are challenging the way community oncologists purchase drugs. OneOncology, Inc., an innovative new healthcare technology company, simplifies the time-consuming process of procuring oncology products. Cancer Care & Economics (CC&E) recently spoke with the company's founder and chief executive officer, M. Steven Kirchof, a nationally known expert in community cancer care.