ONCOLOGY Vol 21 No 6 | Oncology

Further Perspectives on Inflammatory Breast Cancer

May 01, 2007

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of the disease. It is diagnosed based on clinical signs of a rapidly enlarging, tender, erythematous, edematous breast that often presents without an underlying breast mass. IBC historically was considered a uniformly fatal disease. With the advent of multimodality treatments including primary systemic chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, approximately one-third of women diagnosed with IBC will become long-term survivors. This review examines the limitations of the current definition of IBC, explores our current understanding of the biology of IBC, and reviews the many exciting advances in locoregional and systemic treatment of IBC.

FDA Accepts Satraplatin NDA and Grants Priority Review

May 01, 2007

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc, recently announced that the New Drug Application (NDA) for satraplatin has been accepted for priority review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A Prescription Drug User Fee Act date of August 15, 2007, has been established by the FDA for a decision regarding the approval of the satraplatin application. Satraplatin is an investigational drug for the treatment of hormone-refractory prostate cancer in patients who have failed prior chemotherapy.

The Unfolding Story of Imatinib Mesylate for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

May 01, 2007

The development of imatinib mesylate (Gleevec), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeted against the causative Bcr-Abl protein in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), has resulted in hematologic and cytogenetic remissions in all phases of CML. Following imatinib treatment, more than 90% of patients obtain complete hematologic response, and 70% to 80% achieve a complete cytogenetic response. With 5 years of follow-up, the data are very encouraging, exhibiting a major change in the natural history of the disease. The understanding of at least some of the mechanisms of resistance to imatinib has led to a rapid development of new agents that may overcome this resistance. Combination strategies are currently being investigated in preliminary clinical studies and may prove to be useful. Overall, there are an increasing number of treatment options now available for patients with CML.

Erlotinib Extends Life of Patients With Pancreatic Cancer

May 01, 2007

Study results published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology show that adding erlotinib (Tarceva) to gemcitabine (Gemzar) chemotherapy significantly improves survival by 22% in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Still Poorly Characterized

May 01, 2007

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of the disease. It is diagnosed based on clinical signs of a rapidly enlarging, tender, erythematous, edematous breast that often presents without an underlying breast mass. IBC historically was considered a uniformly fatal disease. With the advent of multimodality treatments including primary systemic chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, approximately one-third of women diagnosed with IBC will become long-term survivors. This review examines the limitations of the current definition of IBC, explores our current understanding of the biology of IBC, and reviews the many exciting advances in locoregional and systemic treatment of IBC.

Treatment of Localized Soft-Tissue Sarcoma: Lessons Learned

May 01, 2007

Over the past 30 years, there has been a migration away from amputation and radical ablative surgical procedures and toward more conservative, function-preserving surgery combined with radiation to treat extremity and body wall soft-tissue sarcomas. Efforts are now being focused on optimizing and streamlining treatment, including identifying subpopulations of patients who may be adequately treated by surgery alone. The goal of these efforts is to minimize the risks for short- and long-term treatment-related morbidity while maintaining excellent rates of local tumor control. This report will briefly review the progress made in these areas.

Chronic Phase Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: More Drugs, More Lives Saved, New Challenges

May 01, 2007

The development of imatinib mesylate (Gleevec), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeted against the causative Bcr-Abl protein in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), has resulted in hematologic and cytogenetic remissions in all phases of CML. Following imatinib treatment, more than 90% of patients obtain complete hematologic response, and 70% to 80% achieve a complete cytogenetic response. With 5 years of follow-up, the data are very encouraging, exhibiting a major change in the natural history of the disease. The understanding of at least some of the mechanisms of resistance to imatinib has led to a rapid development of new agents that may overcome this resistance. Combination strategies are currently being investigated in preliminary clinical studies and may prove to be useful. Overall, there are an increasing number of treatment options now available for patients with CML.

New Insights, Future Directions in Primary Cutaneous Lymphoproliferative Disorders

May 01, 2007

The spectrum of CD30+ lymphoproliferative diseases of the skin includes CD30+ cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma, lymphomatoid papulosis, as well as borderline cases. These entities constitute the second most common group of cutaneous lymphomas according to the newly revised World Health Organization and European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer consensus classification. Recent progress in immune and molecular biology, and identification of therapeutic targets have increased our understanding of these diseases and have led to novel treatment approaches. This review will provide an update on recent findings of immunologic, molecular, cytogenetic features and treatment strategies for patients with CD30+ lympho-proliferative diseases.

Data Available From Cetuximab Study in First-Line Treatment of Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

May 01, 2007

ImClone and Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that a phase III study of cetuximab (Erbitux) plus gemcitabine (Gemzar) in patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic pancreatic cancer did not meet its primary endpoint of improving overall survival.

Adjuvant Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer: No 'Definite' Standard

May 01, 2007

Despite attempted curative resection of localized adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, most patients experience a recurrence and die of their disease. The Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, and European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer trials have suggested the benefit of adjuvant therapy. However, the relatively few randomized trials available have not established a definite standard of care due to study limitations. Although these trials, and the recently published Charité Onkologie (CONKO)-001 trial, have shown a definite advantage of adjuvant chemotherapy, the most effective chemotherapy and the role of radiation therapy remain unclear. This review will discuss the data available from reported trials of adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy in pancreatic cancer, address the issues leading to the ongoing controversies, and consider future directions for clinical trials.

Today's Forecast for the Adjuvant Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer: Clear or Cloudy?

May 01, 2007

Despite attempted curative resection of localized adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, most patients experience a recurrence and die of their disease. The Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, and European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer trials have suggested the benefit of adjuvant therapy. However, the relatively few randomized trials available have not established a definite standard of care due to study limitations. Although these trials, and the recently published Charité Onkologie (CONKO)-001 trial, have shown a definite advantage of adjuvant chemotherapy, the most effective chemotherapy and the role of radiation therapy remain unclear. This review will discuss the data available from reported trials of adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy in pancreatic cancer, address the issues leading to the ongoing controversies, and consider future directions for clinical trials.

Optimal First-Line Treatment of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: How to Use Imatinib and What Role for Newer Drugs?

May 01, 2007

The development of imatinib mesylate (Gleevec), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeted against the causative Bcr-Abl protein in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), has resulted in hematologic and cytogenetic remissions in all phases of CML. Following imatinib treatment, more than 90% of patients obtain complete hematologic response, and 70% to 80% achieve a complete cytogenetic response. With 5 years of follow-up, the data are very encouraging, exhibiting a major change in the natural history of the disease. The understanding of at least some of the mechanisms of resistance to imatinib has led to a rapid development of new agents that may overcome this resistance. Combination strategies are currently being investigated in preliminary clinical studies and may prove to be useful. Overall, there are an increasing number of treatment options now available for patients with CML.

Primary Cutaneous CD30+ Lymphoproliferative Disorders: New Insights Into Biology and Therapy

April 30, 2007

The spectrum of CD30+ lymphoproliferative diseases of the skin includes CD30+ cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma, lymphomatoid papulosis, as well as borderline cases. These entities constitute the second most common group of cutaneous lymphomas according to the newly revised World Health Organization and European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer consensus classification. Recent progress in immune and molecular biology, and identification of therapeutic targets have increased our understanding of these diseases and have led to novel treatment approaches. This review will provide an update on recent findings of immunologic, molecular, cytogenetic features and treatment strategies for patients with CD30+ lympho-proliferative diseases.

What Progress Have We Made in Managing Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

April 30, 2007

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of the disease. It is diagnosed based on clinical signs of a rapidly enlarging, tender, erythematous, edematous breast that often presents without an underlying breast mass. IBC historically was considered a uniformly fatal disease. With the advent of multimodality treatments including primary systemic chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, approximately one-third of women diagnosed with IBC will become long-term survivors. This review examines the limitations of the current definition of IBC, explores our current understanding of the biology of IBC, and reviews the many exciting advances in locoregional and systemic treatment of IBC.

Adjuvant Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer: To Treat or Not To Treat?

May 01, 2007

Despite attempted curative resection of localized adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, most patients experience a recurrence and die of their disease. The Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, and European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer trials have suggested the benefit of adjuvant therapy. However, the relatively few randomized trials available have not established a definite standard of care due to study limitations. Although these trials, and the recently published Charité Onkologie (CONKO)-001 trial, have shown a definite advantage of adjuvant chemotherapy, the most effective chemotherapy and the role of radiation therapy remain unclear. This review will discuss the data available from reported trials of adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy in pancreatic cancer, address the issues leading to the ongoing controversies, and consider future directions for clinical trials.