ONCOLOGY Vol 15 No 2 | Oncology

Book Review: Comprehensive Cancer Care: Integrating Alternative, Complementary, and Conventional Therapies

February 01, 2001

What constitutes comprehensive cancer care? One interpretation, by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), defines it as a commitment to exploring the basic science and clinical care of patients with cancer. Cancer centers designated by the NCI as

Study Details Use of Amifostine in Radiation Setting

February 01, 2001

ALZA Corporation and MedImmune, Inc, recently announced the results of a phase III study evaluating the use of amifostine (Ethyol) in the care of head and neck cancer patients who received radiation therapy. Recently published in the Journal of

Declines in Lung Cancer Rates-California, 1988-1997

February 01, 2001

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung and bronchus cancer. During 1988-1997, per capita cigarette smoking in California declined more than twice as rapidly as it did in the rest of the country. To characterize lung cancer incidence in

Medicare Approves PET for Additional Cancers

February 01, 2001

Medicare made an important decision in December 2000 to expand its coverage of fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron-emission tomography (PET) as a cancer screening tool. The agency said it would pay for FDG-PET for diagnosis, staging, and

Study Contributes to Evolution of Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Melanoma

February 01, 2001

Sentinel lymph node biopsy has rapidly evolved into the standard of care for node-negative melanoma. It has been used at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) since 1993, and through periodic reviews of results, several modifications have been

The Breast: Comprehensive Management of Benign and Malignant Diseases, Second Edition

February 01, 2001

This second edition of the text edited by Bland and Copeland represents a comprehensive reference that reviews the history, pathobiology, and current clinical management of diseases of the breast. Much more than a book about breast

Topotecan Active as First-Line Combination Therapy for Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

February 01, 2001

A new study presented at the Ninth World Congress on Lung Cancer demonstrated that topotecan (Hycamtin) in combination with carboplatin (Paraplatin) is active as a first-line treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. Topotecan

Promising Results With Motexafin for Brain Metastases and Glioblastoma Multiforme

February 01, 2001

Results of the lead-in phase of an ongoing randomized phase III trial of motexafin (Xcytrin) in patients with brain metastases, as well as preliminary results of an ongoing phase I trial of motexafin for glioblastoma multiforme, were presented at the 42nd

Chemoradiotherapy Followed by Docetaxel May Increase Life Expectancy in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Patients

February 01, 2001

The administration of docetaxel (Taxotere) immediately after conventional chemotherapy with cisplatin (Platinol)/etoposide and radiotherapy results in prolonged survival in patients with stage IIIB non-small-cell lung cancer, reported researchers from

Medicare Bill Expands Cancer Screening

February 01, 2001

The Medicare bill that Congress passed in December 2000 (H.R. 5661) didn’t help oncologists or any other medical specialty in terms of increasing payment in such pressing areas as chemotherapy administration. Instead, the bill gave big bucks

Researchers Able to Predict Which Breast Cancer Patients Are at Highest Risk of Bone Metastases

February 01, 2001

For the first time, researchers believe they may be able to predict which breast cancer patients are at high risk of developing bone metastases. By identifying these patients, researchers say drugs now used to treat bone cancer may also prove useful in

Letrozole Approved as First-Line Treatment for Advanced Breast Cancer in Postmenopausal Women

February 01, 2001

Novartis Oncology recently announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved letrozole (Femara) tablets for the first-line treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor-positive or hormone-receptor-unknown

American Cancer Society Study Links 12% of Colorectal Cancer Deaths to Cigarettes

February 01, 2001

In the largest prospective study of cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer mortality, researchers from the American Cancer Society report finding strong evidence that cancers of the colon and rectum are, in part, smoking related.

Painful Osteoblastic Metastases: The Role of Nuclear Medicine

February 01, 2001

Although bone pain from osteoblastic metastases can be ameliorated 50% to 80% of the time by use of intravenously or orally administered radiopharmaceuticals, we cannot accurately predict who will or will not

Corticosteroids in Advanced Cancer

February 01, 2001

Corticosteroids play a vitally important role in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer. While the scientific data, as reviewed by Wooldridge et al, are often slim, most physicians who treat patients with cancer quickly become comfortable with prescribing synthetic glucocorticoids for a variety of indications. Wooldridge et al have provided a much needed synthesis of the medical literature on the use of steroids, both as part of chemotherapeutic treatment for a variety of malignancies and in symptom control.

Corticosteroids in Advanced Cancer

February 01, 2001

Drs. Wooldridge, Anderson, and Perry have succinctly reviewed the use of corticosteroids in patients with advanced cancer. The common uses of corticosteroids-namely, the treatment of nausea and vomiting, hypersensitivity reactions, and appetite stimulation-are well covered. In addition, the use of corticosteroids for the treatment of spinal cord compression and bone pain are also reviewed. The authors provide a definitive summary of the available published literature.

Painful Osteoblastic Metastases: The Role of Nuclear Medicine

February 01, 2001

Although bone pain from osteoblastic metastases can be ameliorated 50% to 80% of the time by use of intravenously or orally administered radiopharmaceuticals, we cannot accurately predict who will or will not

Current Cooperative Group Phase III Clinical Trials in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

February 01, 2001

The 4th National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Conference on Adjuvant Therapy of Breast Cancer, held November 1-3, 2000, concluded that decreasing breast cancer mortality rates in the United States were due, at least in part, to advances made in adjuvant treatment. This fact lends credence to the importance of incremental improvements that have resulted from randomized, controlled clinical trials of adjuvant therapy, and underscores the value of this approach. With 185,000 new diagnoses of breast cancer expected in the United States in 2000, over 100,000 women may be candidates for some form of adjuvant therapy each year.[1]

Painful Osteoblastic Metastases: The Role of Nuclear Medicine

February 01, 2001

Although bone pain from osteoblastic metastases can be ameliorated 50% to 80% of the time by use of intravenously or orally administered radiopharmaceuticals, we cannot accurately predict who will or will not

Immunotherapy for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

February 01, 2001

The first attempt at using monoclonal antibodies in lymphoma therapy, reported in 1980, was unsuccessful. Since that time, several immunotherapeutic approaches to treating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have been developed,

Current Status and Optimal Use of Radiosurgery

February 01, 2001

The field of stereotactic radiosurgery is rapidly advancing as a result of both improvements in radiosurgical equipment and better physician understanding of the clinical applications of stereotactic radiosurgery. This

Immunotherapy for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

February 01, 2001

The first attempt at using monoclonal antibodies in lymphoma therapy, reported in 1980, was unsuccessful. Since that time, several immunotherapeutic approaches to treating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have been developed,

Commentary on Abstracts #2183 and #2184

February 01, 2001

Despite impressive response rates, none of the current array of monoclonal antibodies has produced cures. The median duration of response following rituximab is about 1 year, and all patients eventually relapse and require additional treatment

Commentary on Abstracts #2482, #2477, #3148, and #4758

February 01, 2001

Other active unconjugated antibodies are in various stages of their clinical development. CAMPATH-1H has recently been approved for the treatment of refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (Keating et al: Blood 94:705a[abstract 3118],

Commentary on Abstracts #3591, #3173, and #3160

February 01, 2001

Once the radioimmunoconjugates (RICs) become more widely available, the practicing physician will be faced with important questions regarding their role relative to the unconjugated antibodies, and with a decision as to which is the

Commentary on Abstracts #3153, #3592, #3168, #3170, #704, #2214, #3275, #1086, #2560, and #3264

February 01, 2001

Rituximab is also being explored in other lymphoid malignancies. Some of the most interesting data are in patients with CD20-positive Hodgkin’s disease (abstract #3153). The Stanford group (abstract #3592) reported on 13 patients. Of the 9

Commentary on Abstracts #1432, #4760, #950, #3154, #1429, #3157, #4780, #2479, #3167, #2478, and #791

February 01, 2001

The availability of a continually increasing menu of effective monoclonal antibodies has revolutionized the management of patients with indolent B-cell malignancies. The dilemma we now face is how to best incorporate these agents into our

Immunotherapy for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

February 01, 2001

The first attempt at using monoclonal antibodies in lymphoma therapy, reported in 1980, was unsuccessful. Since that time, several immunotherapeutic approaches to treating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have been developed,

Painful Osteoblastic Metastases: The Role of Nuclear Medicine

February 01, 2001

Although bone pain from osteoblastic metastases can be ameliorated 50% to 80% of the time by use of intravenously or orally administered radiopharmaceuticals, we cannot accurately predict who will or will not

Treatment of Advanced Breast Cancer With Gemcitabine and Vinorelbine

February 01, 2001

Breast cancer is sensitive to several cytotoxic drugs. Combination cytotoxic regimens are associated with higher response rates and longer durations of response and, occasionally, survival, than are single-agent regimens.

Gemcitabine/Epirubicin/Paclitaxel Trials in Advanced Breast Cancer

February 01, 2001

Numerous trials have shown that the pharmacokinetic interferences of epirubicin (Ellence)/paclitaxel (Taxol) combinations produce less pharmacodynamic effect than doxorubicin/paclitaxel regimens. Paclitaxel is more easily

Gemcitabine and Pemetrexed Disodium in Treating Breast Cancer

February 01, 2001

Pemetrexed disodium (Alimta, LY231514) is a novel, multitargeted antifolate that inhibits thymidylate synthase, dihydrofolate reductase, and glycinamide ribonucleotide formyl transferase. This agent is broadly active in a wide

Gemcitabine Plus Cisplatin in Breast Cancer

February 01, 2001

In recent years, the clinical application of paclitaxel (Taxol), docetaxel (Taxotere), vinorelbine (Navelbine), and trastuzumab (Herceptin) has improved the management of advanced breast cancer. With the introduction of

Current Status and Optimal Use of Radiosurgery

February 01, 2001

The field of stereotactic radiosurgery is rapidly advancing as a result of both improvements in radiosurgical equipment and better physician understanding of the clinical applications of stereotactic radiosurgery. This

Gemcitabine and Paclitaxel as Salvage Therapy in Metastatic Breast Cancer

February 01, 2001

In a phase II trial, 29 patients with anthracycline-pretreated or anthracycline-resistant metastatic breast cancer in whom anthracycline-containing first- or second-line chemotherapy failed received combination paclitaxel

Current Status and Optimal Use of Radiosurgery

February 01, 2001

The field of stereotactic radiosurgery is rapidly advancing as a result of both improvements in radiosurgical equipment and better physician understanding of the clinical applications of stereotactic radiosurgery. This

Gemcitabine, Paclitaxel, and Trastuzumab in Metastatic Breast Cancer

February 01, 2001

A phase II trial evaluated the effectiveness and toxicity of combination paclitaxel (Taxol), gemcitabine (Gemzar), and trastuzumab (Herceptin) as first-line therapy for patients with newly diagnosed HER2-overexpressing

Corticosteroids in Advanced Cancer

February 01, 2001

Despite the fact that there are only a few controlled trials demonstrating the benefits associated with the use of corticosteroids in specific situations, these agents are administered frequently to patients with advanced cancer. Corticosteroids may be used alone or as adjuvants in combination with other palliative or antineoplastic treatments. For example, corticosteroids may help prevent nausea, vomiting, and hypersensitivity reactions to treatment with chemotherapy or radiation. They are also commonly used as appetite stimulants in patients with advanced cancer. In the adjuvant setting, corticosteroids help to alleviate pain in advanced cancer patients, including specific situations such as back pain related to epidural compression. This article reviews the evidence supporting the use of corticosteroids in a broad range of situations seen in patients with advanced cancer. [ONCOLOGY 15(2):225-236, 2001]

Book Review: Textbook of Uncommon Cancer, Second Edition

February 01, 2001

The second edition of the Textbook of Uncommon Cancer is a useful resource for practicing oncologists who encounter unusual presentations of common tumors or esoteric subtypes of more common cancers. The text is laid out according to

Combination of Docetaxel and Gemcitabine Effective in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

February 01, 2001

The combination of docetaxel (Taxotere) and gemcitabine (Gemzar) is active as first-line therapy for advanced, metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer and appears to be generally well tolerated, according to the results of a phase II study published in