Oncology NEWS International Vol 18 No 8

Four steps to improve the profitability of your oncology practice

August 26, 2009

Running a successful oncology practice requires you to be one part doctor, one part CEO. After all, your practice demands a skilled combination of high-quality patient care and business acumen. And with countless office procedures and mountains of paperwork involved, your practice also requires that you pay close attention to even the smallest details, which means that you must also serve as an auditor and a chief financial officer. The survival of the practice, like the quality of the care you deliver, rests in the details.

ASTRO issues guide on accelerated breast radiotherapy

August 25, 2009

Patient selection criteria and best practices for the use of accelerated partial breast irradiation, outside of a clinical trial, are covered by the American Society of Radiation Oncology in a consensus statement.

Sutent shows promise for brain metastases in NSCLC patients

August 25, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO-Non-small-cell lung cancer patients with irradiated brain metastases responded favorably to treatment with sunitinib malate (Sutent), according to interim results presented at the 2009 World Conference on Lung Cancer.

Abraxane, carboplatin pack one-two punch in two types of lung cancer

August 25, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO-Albumin-bound nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) with carboplatin showed antitumor activity against squamous and nonsquamous NSCLC, according to research presented at the 2009 World Conference on Lung Cancer (abstracts PD3.4.1 and PD3.3.4).

Discord prevails over pt privacy in clinical trials

August 25, 2009

Cancer researchers and compliance officials agree that patients enrolled in clinical trials are entitled to a high level of privacy protection, but there is significant tension between the two groups over how HIPAA rules should be implemented, according to the results of a survey by the ASCO Cancer Research Committee.

Venous thrombotic events elevate chance of death in ALL, but no risk seen with AML

August 25, 2009

A large, population-based study of the association between venous thromboembolism and mortality in hematologic malignancies found an increased risk of death in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but not in those with acute myelogenous leukemia. The authors had no explanation for the differential association between the two types of acute leukemia.

Expert panel reviews strategies for nutrition and cancer care

August 25, 2009

CHICAGO-Biology and biography were the buzzwords at a panel convened on cancer nutrition at the 2009 Nutrition and Health Conference: State of the Science and Clinical Applications. Panel members offered a primer on the various nutrition strategies that are available to cancer patients.

Office of Oncology Drug Products: A step ahead of the Obama transparency curve

August 25, 2009

President Barack Obama has pledged government transparency of his administration. His newly appointed FDA commissioner, Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, has taken up that call, promising a wider view into an entity that has often been perceived as inaccessible. “Over the years, the FDA has been referred to as a ‘black box’ that makes important decisions without explaining them,” Dr. Hamburg said recently.

Post-Rx surgery won’t boost OS in lung cancer

August 24, 2009

Performing surgery following concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy for patients with stage IIIA (N2) non-small-cell lung cancer does not lead to better overall survival rates than chemotherapy and radiotherapy alone, according to an RTOG trial (The Lancet online, July 27, 2009).

Siemens debuts RT plan platform

August 24, 2009

ANAHEIM, CALIF.-Siemens Healthcare unveiled the IM-Real ART Solution, a real-time planning system that produces images in 10 minutes or less, at the 2009 American Association of Physicists in Medicine meeting.

FDA considers new dose for Esai’s Dacogen

August 24, 2009

The FDA is reviewing Eisai Corporation of North America’s supplemental new drug application for Dacogen (decitabine for injection). The review is for an alternative five-day dosing regimen to treat patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.

Zometa supports OS in lung ca mets

August 24, 2009

The addition of zoledronic acid (Zometa) increases overall survival in lung cancer patients with bone metastases, according to researchers at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and G. Papanikolaou Hospital in Greece.

Primary colon tumor surgery: Not worth the time and cost

August 24, 2009

Routine surgery to remove the primary tumor in patients with unresectable colon metastases is no longer necessary, according to a group at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. They based their decision on six years of clinical experience at their institution and reported on them at ASCO 2009.

Erlotinib maintenance therapy in lung cancer sows survival benefit

August 24, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO–Maintenance therapy with erlotinib (Tarceva) in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer following chemotherapy provided a statistically significant improvement in survival, according to results from the SATURN trial.

FTC Red Flags Rule places new burden on oncology

August 24, 2009

Identify theft is one of the country’s fastest growing crimes. Half of the annual 8.3 million identity thefts occur in the workplace, and medical practices are no exception, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Medical records are rich in information, such as a patient’s Social Security number, date of birth, credit card numbers, and insurance information, which can be misused for financial gain and for medical fraud.

PARP Inhibitors Generate Buzz in Triple-Negative Breast Tumors

August 24, 2009

ORLANDO-Oncologists can expect to hear more about inhibitors of the enzyme poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1, or PARP. An experimental agent in this class, BSI-201, prolonged event-free and overall survival in patients with triple-negative breast cancer when used together with gemcitabine (Gemzar) and carboplatin, according to early study results.