Oncology NEWS International Vol 18 No 6

ADT in prostate ca increases risk of bone and heart complications

June 19, 2009

Prostate cancer patients who undergo androgen deprivation therapy have an increased chance of developing bone- and heart-related side effects compared to patients who do not undergo ADT, according to an analysis in Cancer online (April 29, 2009).

ALK-1 receptor: New target in angiogenesis

June 19, 2009

Pfizer Oncology is working with a fully human, IgG2 monoclonal antibody (PF-03446962) that is directed against an activin-like receptor kinase 1 (ALK-1) target. An early investigation indicates that neutralizing ALK-1 with PF-03446962 can disturb tumor endothelial cell function and impair tumor angiogenesis, according to the company (AACR 2009 abstract 2007).

Abraxane prolongs PFS in metastatic disease

June 19, 2009

Researchers at Chicago’s Northwestern University reported that Abraxane (nab-paclitaxel) nearly doubled progression-free survival compared with Taxotere (docetaxel) when used as first-line treatment in patients with metastatic breast cancer. William Gradishar, MD, led the phase II, open-label, randomized clinical study of 300 patients with previously untreated metastatic, stage IV breast cancer.

Oral chemotherapy poses more challenges for cancer community

June 19, 2009

In 1998, FDA approved oral capecitabine (Xeloda) for metastatic colorectal cancer, ushering in a new era of oncology therapy. Since then, exponential growth in cancer drugs delivered orally has followed. According to an NCCN report, about 25% of the roughly 400 agents currently in the drug development pipeline are oral oncolytics.

CMS nixes CT colonography screening

June 19, 2009

Bucking the tide of medical professional opinion, CMS decided against granting payment for CT colonography as a screening test for colorectal cancer. CMS ruled that the clinical evidence remains inadequate to conclude that CTC is appropriate for that role.

New ultrasound strategy helps pinpoint prostate tumors

June 19, 2009

A new technique, ultrasonic tissue-type imaging, could revolutionize the detection and treatment of prostate cancer, according to Ernest J. Feleppa, PhD, research director of the Frederic L. Lizzi Center for Biomedical Engineering at the Riverside Research Institute in New York. “The method seems to be capable of distinguishing cancerous from noncancerous tissue in the prostate,” Dr. Feleppa said

New research on VEGF, gene mutations refines understanding of tumor angiogenesis

June 19, 2009

By supporting the growth of blood vessels that absorb nutrients and oxygen, angiogenesis allows tumors to progress from clonal populations to cell masses that can expand and ultimately metastasize. This is a well-established concept, but some of the premises underlying anti-angiogenic drug development are now being revised, according to Luisa Iruela-Arispe, PhD, of the molecular, cell and developmental biology department at the University of California, Los Angeles.

From the ONI archives: Should low-dose induction dexamethasone be standard of care in multiple myeloma?

June 19, 2009

A phase III study by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma showed that induction therapy with low-dose dexamethasone plus lenalidomide (Revlimid) improved survival, compared with high-dose dexamethasone plus lenalidomide. Look for updates on treatment regimens that include dexamethasone in multiple myeloma at ASH 2010 from Sagar Lonial, MD, and S. Vincent Rajkumar, MD.

Persistent circulating tumor cells predict worse outcomes in early breast cancer

June 19, 2009

The detection of cytokeratin 19-positive/HER2-positive circulating tumor cells in early breast cancer patients both before and after adjuvant chemotherapy predicts extremely poor outcomes, according to European investigators.

Genomics takes center stage at AACR in chemoprevention and disease treatment

June 19, 2009

DENVER-Candidate genes and epigenetics are key components in the effort to develop and deploy personalized cancer prevention and treatment. Several studies at AACR 2009 took a closer look at both those research pathways.

Gefitinib changes first-line Rx for lung ca in Asian pts

June 19, 2009

The EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib (Iressa) should be considered a first-line treatment option for nonsmoking Asian patients with adenocarcinoma of the lung, according to results from the large Iressa Pan-Asia Study (IPASS) conducted at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Who's News

June 19, 2009

Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, will be presented with the Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award at the 2009 ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco. Dr. Arteaga, who is a professor of medicine and cancer biology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and director of the breast cancer research program of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, will deliver the Bonadonna lecture at the symposium.

Breast cancer risk in young women suggests need for early monitoring

June 18, 2009

An MRI study of risk factors for breast cancer in young women, including teenagers, concluded that risk assessment and prevention should start much earlier in life than previously recommended. The Canadian study suggests using imaging techniques that avoid patient exposure to ionizing radiation.

Bevacizumab plus adverse effects equals controversy over meta-analysis

June 17, 2009

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association on the increased risk of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients taking bevacizumab (Avastin) resulted in a flurry of letters to the editor decrying the link between the two.

$90 million cancer care center slated for Arizona

June 16, 2009

Banner Health and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center will jointly build the M.D. Anderson Banner Cancer Center in Phoenix. The 120,000 square-foot outpatient center will be adjacent to the Banner Gateway Medical Center campus.

A.P. Pharma submits anti-nausea drug for FDA approval

June 15, 2009

APF530 is undergoing regulatory review for a new drug approval for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, according to manufacturer A.P. Pharma. PF530 is a formulation of granisetron, a 5-HT3 antagonist.

Genomics Center leads ovarian cancer projects

June 15, 2009

The National Functional Genomics Center has launched a consortium that will undertake two projects: A biologically-driven analysis of ovarian cancer cell lines and a trial that uses molecular profiling to target chemotherapy.

ASCO study: Use of off-label drugs in breast cancer quite common

June 15, 2009

Researchers from Houston’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center evaluted the prevalence and impact of off-label therapies in breast cancer and found that nearly 35% of women were treated with off-label chemotherapy at some point during their care.

Clinical trial patients cope well with prescription drug fees-for the time being

June 15, 2009

ORLANDO-The ancillary treatment costs of managing side effects can be burdensome to patients, so Harvard Medical School investigators were somewhat surprised when clinical trial patients reported little anxiety about paying for these drugs. But as more people become uninsured or underinsured, and the costs of drugs rise, patient anxiety could increase and adherence to treatment diminish, the lead author predicted.

HCC Responds to mTOR Inhibitor Rx

June 12, 2009

ORLANDO-Preliminary data suggested that Novartis’ RAD001 is moderately active in stabilizing the progression of HCC, according to a poster presentation at ASCO 2009 (abstract 4587). In this phase I trial, researchers in Taiwan enrolled 36 advanced HCC patients whose disease was not suitable for local therapy or had progressed after local therapy.

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound may avert prostate biopsies

June 12, 2009

A protocol involving contrast-enhanced ultrasound could better target tumors and reduce the number of unnecessary prostate biopsies, according to international researchers. In studies from China and Austria, investigators imaged patients with contrast ultrasound and used the information to target biopsies.

Poll: Adjuvant Avastin in colon ca query yields mixed results

June 12, 2009

Oncology News International readers expressed doubts about the future role of bevacizumab (Avastin) in the treatment of patients with early-stage colorectal cancer. Last month, it was announced that bevacizumab

Bolstering oncologists’ awareness about cancer, cancer risk in gay communities

June 12, 2009

My organization, the National LGBT Cancer Network, estimates that there are one million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) cancer survivors in the U.S. today. While you may not know it, you likely have LGBT cancer survivors in your community.