ONCOLOGY Vol 23 No 8 | Oncology

Phase III Trial Initiated for BLP25 Liposome Vaccine in Breast Cancer Patients

July 14, 2009

Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, has initiated a global phase III trial of BLP25 liposome vaccine (L-BLP25, Stimuvax) in patients with hormone receptor–positive, locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic breast cancer.

Effective Local Therapy and Long-Term Survival in Breast Cancer

July 14, 2009

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the United States.[1] Since the early 1990s, breast cancer mortality has steadily declined,[2] and statistical modeling using a Bayesian approach attributes these declining mortality rates to both earlier diagnosis and more effective treatments.[3]

Local Therapy Matters

July 14, 2009

As breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the United States, there has been a decline in breast cancer–related mortality for the past 2 decades; this is likely related to diagnosis at an earlier stage and the availability of more effective treatment regimens.

Romiplostim for the Treatment of Chronic Immune (Idiopathic) Thrombocytopenic Purpura

July 14, 2009

On August 22, 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted marketing approval (licensure) to romiplostim (Nplate, Amgen Inc) for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic immune (idiopathic) thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) who have had an insufficient response to corticosteroids, immunoglobulins, or splenectomy.

The Road to Romiplostim Approval and Beyond

July 14, 2009

Romiplostim (Nplate) was the first thrombopoietin (TPO) receptor agonist to receive regulatory approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic immune (idiopathic) thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) who have had an insufficient response to corticosteroids, immunoglobulins, or splenectomy.

The REMS Publication Paradox

July 14, 2009

The introduction of mandatory risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) programs, in which patients must participate in order to receive a new therapy, provides an opportunity to examine an issue affecting ethical oversight and publication of scientific study results.

Reishi Mushroom

July 16, 2009

Reishi mushroom is widely used in Asia and around the world as an immunostimulant. With extracts derived from both the cap and the stem of the mushroom, its biologic activity is thought be due to beta-glucan polysaccharides and compounds called triterpenes.

Resolving Confusion: The New Realities of Mantle Cell Lymphoma

July 17, 2009

In their Areas of Confusion article, “Management of Relapsed Mantle Cell Lymphoma: Still a Treatment Challenge,” Ruan et al attempt to make the case that the relative merits of different upfront approaches for mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) are difficult to appreciate due to the differences in eligible patient populations and limited randomized data.

Something Old, Something New: Options for Treating Relapsed Mantle Cell Lymphoma

July 17, 2009

Dr. Ruan and colleagues provide an excellent summary of available treatment options, as well as new drugs on the horizon, for the management of relapsed mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). As the authors emphasize, treatment of relapsed MCL is strongly influenced by the patient’s first-line therapy and needs to be individualized based on both patient and disease characteristics.

Unraveling the Mystery of a Supraclavicular Mass

July 16, 2009

In this month’s Clinical Quandaries case report, a 49-year-old man was diagnosed with an extragonadal seminoma. The diagnosis was made on a fine-needle aspiration of a 7-cm supraclavicular mass. Beta–human chorionic gonadotropin and alpha-fetoprotein levels were normal. The only cancer history for this patient was a basal cell carcinoma of the nose. The patient complaints were fatigue; sensory and motor dysfunction in the hands, legs, and abdomen; unsteady gait; and blurry vision.