December 2012, Vol 1, No 6

Ibrutinib: Proof of Concept Pays Off

Ibrutinib as a single agent and in combination with ri­tuximab achieved unprecedented response rates in studies of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). The drug is being studied in several B-cell malignancies, including CLL/small [ Read More ]

Phoebe Starr

ASH 2012

Two Studies Show That Radiation Extends Survival in Elderly Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Radiation therapy extends life in older women with early-stage breast cancer, according to 2 studies presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of ASTRO. The first study showed that the addition of radiation to lumpectomy improved overall survival (OS) as well as cause-specific survival (CSS) in women aged 70 or older. [ Read More ]

Phoebe Starr

ASH 2012

Newer More Costly Radiation Technologies Adopted in the Elderly

Patterns of use of radiotherapy have changed over time in elderly patients with stage I breast cancer, and these changes have financial implications for the healthcare system. In elderly patients with favorable-risk breast cancer, use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and brachytherapy steadily increased from 2001 to 2007, while use [ Read More ]

Phoebe Starr

ASH 2012

Memantine Delays Cognitive Decline in Patients With Brain Metastases Treated With Whole-Brain Radiation

Memantine delayed cognitive decline in patients treated with whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) for brain metastases, according to results of a randomized phase 3 trial presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of ASTRO. Cognitive decline is common with WBRT, occurring in 50% to 60% of patients 4 months following radiation treatment. [ Read More ]

Phoebe Starr

ASH 2012

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Is Effective, Cost Saving, and Convenient for Patients With Prostate Cancer

In the United States right now, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has largely replaced 3-D conformal radiation therapy as the technique of choice for most patients with organ-confined prostate cancer treated with radiation as primary therapy. Other techniques in use include brachytherapy, and at some centers proton beam therapy is being [ Read More ]

Phoebe Starr

ASH 2012

Activating HER2 Mutations Found in HER2-Negative Patients

Approximately 4000 breast cancer patients in the United States harbor HER2 mutations amenable to treatment with anti-HER2 therapy but are not receiving it because they are not HER2-positive on fluorescence in situ hybridization or immunohistochemical testing. However, genomic sequencing can identify patients with these mutations, who are likely to benefit [ Read More ]

Phoebe Starr

2012 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

Genetic Targets Identified in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Triple-negative breast cancer carries a poor prognosis compared with other types of breast cancer because it lacks 3 treatment targets that occur in other types of breast cancer (estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2). But triple-negative breast cancer has potential genetic targets of its own, according to a study presented [ Read More ]

Alice Goodman

2012 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

Lynch Syndrome:

An Interview with the Father of Hereditary Cancer Detection and Prevention, Henry T. Lynch, MD

Lynch syndrome is a hereditary disorder caused by a mutation in a mismatch repair gene in which affected individuals have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, and various other types of aggressive cancers. The syndrome is named after its discoverer, Henry T. Lynch, MD, director of Creighton [ Read More ]

Henry T. Lynch, MD

Interview with the Innovators

KRAS and Colorectal Cancer: Shades of Gray

Key Points Although RAS mutations at glycine-12 and glycine-13 are adjacent, identical substitutions at these positions (eg, G12S vs G13S) lead to very different levels of RAS activation The central clinical question remains unanswered: will a patient with metastatic colorectal cancer harboring a KRAS G13D mutation benefit from anti-EGFR therapy? [ Read More ]

Chloe E. Atreya, MD, PhD

Colorectal Cancer

Institute of Medicine Report: Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America. Highlights for the Cancer Community

On September 6, 2012, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the report Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America.1 The aim of this report, authored by the Committee on the Learning Health Care System in America, was to identify how the effectiveness and [ Read More ]

James Conway

The New Therapeutic Paradigm for Personalized Therapy of Melanoma

The incidence of melanoma in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate (Figure 1).1 In men, melanoma is increasing more rapidly than in any other cancer; in women, it is increasing more rapidly than any other cancer except lung cancer.2 In 2012, an estimated 76,250 new cases of [ Read More ]

Sanjiv S. Agarwala, MD

Melanoma

Companion Diagnostics and the Paradoxical Return of the Blockbuster Drug

In my article in the inaugural issue of Personalized Medicine in Oncology, I got a bit dogmatic in proclaiming that personalized medicine (PM) drug treatment selectivity spelled the end of population-based medicine, and with it, the blockbuster drug. This is true only insofar as we define blockbuster drug from within [ Read More ]

Robert Emmett Henry

The Last Word