April 2013, Vol 2, No 2

Information Overload – the Search for Clinical Relevance in the Oncology Literature

Dear Colleague, The field of oncology is changing at an unprecedented rate. Not that long ago, a few dozen chemotherapeutic agents were used to treat a wide variety of tumor types – and most of them were used empirically. It used to be relatively easy to keep current on advances [ Read More ]

Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO

Letter From The Board

Liposomal Vincristine Allows for Greater Dose Density Without Increased Neurotoxicity

In August 2012, vincristine sulfate LIPOSOME injection (VSLI; Marqibo) was granted accelerated approval by the FDA for the treatment of adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome–negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in second or greater relapse or whose disease has progressed after 2 or more antileukemia therapies.1 At the 2012 American Society [ Read More ]

Caroline Helwick

ASH 2012

Comprehensive Gene Analysis Allows for Personalization of 5-FU to Reduce Risk of Toxicity

About 3% to 5% of the general population is believed to have a mutation in the gene that encodes a major 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) metabolizing enzyme. This mutation can extend the half-life of 5-FU, leading to increased plasma concentrations and potential toxicities, said Colleen Rock, PharmD, PhD, at the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy [ Read More ]

Wayne Kuznar

HOPA Annual Conference

SNPs Identified for Further Study in Association With QOL in Men With Prostate Cancer Treated With Radiation

Investigators at Harvard Medical School have identified candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes associated with inflammation that will be explored further with regard to their associations with long-term quality-of-life (QOL) effects of radiation therapy (RT) in men with prostate cancer. The authors found 7 SNPs significantly associated with long-term [ Read More ]

Phoebe Starr

2013 GENITOURINARY CANCERS SYMPOSIUM

Targeted Therapies Added to Docetaxel Do Not Extend Survival in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

The latest in a string of failed trials of targeted therapies added to docetaxel in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) were presented at the 2013 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. No survival benefit was observed with the addition of aflibercept to docetaxel/prednisone in the VENICE trial1 or with the addition of dasatinib [ Read More ]

Phoebe Starr

2013 GENITOURINARY CANCERS SYMPOSIUM

Prostate and Kidney Cancer News From the 2013 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

Approximately 2350 urologists, oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, and other oncology healthcare professionals gathered in Orlando, Florida, to attend the 2013 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. The symposium, sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, and the Society of Urologic Oncology, allows attendees to learn about [ Read More ]

Alice Goodman

2013 GENITOURINARY CANCERS SYMPOSIUM

Physician-Reported Clinical Utility of the 92-Gene Molecular Classifier in Tumors With Uncertain Diagnosis Following Standard Clinicopathologic Evaluation

Advances in understanding the genetic basis of many cancers and the development of molecularly targeted therapies are increasing the need for diagnostic resolution. Patient outcomes have improved with the use of predictive biomarker testing, targeted therapies, and site-specific chemotherapy regimens.1,2 However, tumor classification remains unknown or uncertain in a quarter [ Read More ]

Benjamin Kim, MD, MPhil

Biomarkers

Promoting the Adoption of Personalized Medicine Concepts:

An Interview with Edward Abrahams, PhD, of the Personalized Medicine Coalition

The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) is an organization representing innovators, scientists, patients, providers, and payers. PMC promotes the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts, services, and products for the benefit of patients and the health system. It has grown from its original 18 founding members in 2004 to over [ Read More ]

Edward Abrahams, PhD

Interview with the Innovators

Introducing the Third Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care

As we know, the American healthcare system is going through exorbitant changes, changes that will affect all providers and all stakeholders in the cancer care ecosystem. The goal of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care (AVBCC) is to bring together all the cancer care stakeholders in one unified meeting to [ Read More ]

Burt Zweigenhaft, BS

Value-Based Cancer Care

The RomneyCare Bill Comes Due

The health reform that Mitt Romney passed in 2006 in Massachusetts presaged President Obama’s, and its results are showing what we can expect nationwide. The latest warning comes in a huge new tax increase proposed by Governor Deval Patrick. The second-term Democrat followed his party’s recent habit and proposed an [ Read More ]

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

The Doctor Won’t See You Now. He’s Clocked Out.

Big government likes big providers. That’s why ObamaCare is gradually making the local doctor-owned medical practice a relic. In the not too distant future, most physicians will be hourly wage earners, likely employed by a hospital chain. Why? Because when doctors practice in small offices, it is hard for Washington [ Read More ]

Scott Gottlieb, MD

Healthcare Economics

The Affordable Care Act and Oncology Personalized Medicine: Compatibility and the Governing Dynamics of Healthcare

Our last column examined the tripartite nature of healthcare: a clinical/business/policy entity with each of the 3 sectors influencing the net condition of healthcare. While the healthcare entity should act in balance, in reality each sector periodically springs forward with powerful initiatives and “takes charge” of healthcare until another sector [ Read More ]

Robert E. Henry

The Last Word