Oncology NEWS International Vol 18 No 12

Cetuximab plus chemo boosts surgery in advanced colon ca

January 06, 2010

Adding cetuximab (Erbitux) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy shrank tumors enough to increase the success of curative surgery in colon cancer patients with inoperable metastatic liver lesions, according to the CELIM trial conducted in Germany and Austria.

OB/GYN revises suggested age for cervical ca screening

January 05, 2010

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended that women begin cervical cancer screening at age 21 rather than three years after the onset of sexual activity, as was previously recommended by the group.

Brain tumor gene mapping project launches in Seattle

January 05, 2010

The Ivy Glioblastoma Atlas Project will track genetic mutations in glioblastoma multiforme and produce a free, online medical atlas. The Seattle-based project is a partnership between the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute.

PET timing guides radiation RX in lung ca

January 05, 2010

CHICAGO-FDG-PET imaging of non-small-cell lung cancer patients prior to receiving radiation therapy should not be the basis for determining areas that may benefit from higher doses of radiation, according to research out of Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Experts take umbrage with federal panel change to age for mammo screening

January 05, 2010

A U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation that routine breast cancer screening should begin at age 50, and take place every two years, did not sit well with the breast cancer community. The new recommendations will result in “many needless deaths,” stated the Society of Breast Imaging and the American College of Radiology.

Radiosurgery gains role for noncancer applications

January 05, 2010

Precise and noninvasive, stereotactic radiosurgery is proving a godsend to some noncancer patients: Its use for applications outside oncology-such as the treatment of movement disorders, arteriovenous malformations, and neuralgia-have been around almost since the commercial introduction of this technology. The noninvasive destruction of brain tumors dominates the use of this equipment, but alternate uses are picking up steam, according to Iris C. Gibbs, MD, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at the Stanford Cancer Center in California and codirector of the CyberKnife Radiosurgery Program at the Stanford Hospital and Clinics, where the CyberKnife was invented. “The results of studies with large numbers of patients help us get a sense of the factors that contribute to either the success or failure of these techniques,” Dr. Gibbs said.

New radiotracer shows early treatment response for patients with lung cancer

January 04, 2010

PET scanning with FDG has proved its mettle as a way to judge tumor response to treatment. Now Australian researchers are going one step further and working with another radiotracer, which they have determined can monitor the response of non-small-cell lung cancer and normal tissue changes during radical chemoradiotherapy.

Addition of rituximab improves OS in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

December 29, 2009

NEW ORLEANS-Genentech and Biogen announced at ASH 2009 that the three-year follow-up of the CLL8 trial demonstrated that rituximab (Rituxan) plus fludarabine and cyclophosphamide (FC) chemotherapy improved overall survival in patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) vs FC therapy alone.

Micromet scores multiple development deals

December 29, 2009

Micromet and Sanofi-aventis announced a global collaboration and license agreement to develop a BiTE antibody against a carcinoma cell antigen. Micromet will be responsible for the discovery, research, and development of the BiTE antibody through the completion of phase I clinical trials and under a joint steering committee’s supervision. Sanofi-aventis will have full responsibility for additional as well as worldwide commercialization of the BiTE antibody.

New agents for lymphoma take center stage

December 29, 2009

From naked antibodies to arsenic-laced molecules to anti-survivin antibodies, three up-and-coming agents are potential standouts in the lymphoma treatment arsenal. SGN-35 is an immunoconjugate that could offer a novel approach to Hodgkin’s lymphoma therapy. Then there are darinaparsin, an organic arsenic molecule, and YM155, which may be able to restore normal apoptotic activity in advanced and aggressive lymphoma, respectively. Researchers working with these drugs discuss their studies and trials while hematologic experts offer some perspective on the future of these agents.

Vaccines plus screening could end cervical ca

December 29, 2009

Out with the old and in with the new is a commonly followed maxim in medicine given the rapid pace of developments in diagnosis and treatment. Human papillomavirus vaccines are relative newcomers to the cervical cancer armamentarium, but they cannot be relied on to do the job on their own; screening is still a must.

Post-treatment pain remains clinically significant in breast cancer patients

December 29, 2009

Many women continue to experience pain and sensory disturbance up to three years after breast cancer treatment, according to Danish researchers, who found that younger women in particular reported persistent pain. They called for further strategies for improving pain management after breast surgery.

Oncology dodges CMS worst case scenario

December 28, 2009

Oncology specialists heaved a sigh of relief in November, after analysts from ASCO and ASTRO concluded that the worst had, in fact, not happened. A 6% cut proposed last summer by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to affect medical oncology practice in 2010 under Medicare’s final physician fee schedule would instead be only 1%, according to an October announcement made by CMS.

RCC adverse effects and symptoms: Kidney cancer specialists must meet new challenges

December 28, 2009

Renal cell carcinoma represents 3% of all cancer cases but has a significant death rate associated with it: It’s estimated that there will be 60,000 new cases this year and 16,000 deaths from kidney cancer. The risk factors associated with kidney cancer include smoking, obesity, hypertension, and some occupational exposure.

Classic phase II trials: Unable to meet the challenges in oncology, or an integral aspect of drug development?

December 28, 2009

Shortages in funding, manpower, and willing patients have created the proverbial perfect storm in the current clinical trial system. The fact that traditional clinical trial endpoints in assessing novel agents are being reconsidered only puts more pressure on an already strained system. As the cancer research community navigates the troubled waters of clinical trials, one question is: Should traditional phase II trials be phased out?