September 2012, Vol 1, No 4

Surgery Versus Observation for Localized Prostate Cancer

For men with localized prostate cancer detected by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, treatment with radical prostatectomy did not significantly reduce mortality compared with observation, according to overall results of the large, randomized, controlled PIVOT trial (Wilt TJ, et al. N Engl J Med. 2012; 367:203-213). All-cause mortality and prostate-specific mortality [ Read More ]

Alice Goodman

News Briefs

Team Approach Enhances Choice of Observation in Men With Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

Men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer are more likely to choose active surveillance as their primary treatment if their care is managed by a multidisciplinary team, according to a recent study published online ahead of print July 30, 2012, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In 2012, about 240,000 men [ Read More ]

News Briefs

Older Patients With Mantle Cell Lymphoma

R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) induction therapy followed by maintenance therapy with rituximab was more effective than R-FC (rituximab, fludarabine, and cyclophosphamide) followed by maintenance therapy with interferon alfa in older patients with mantle cell lymphoma, according to a recently published prospective, randomized, double-blind clinical trial (Kluin-Nelemans HC, [ Read More ]

News Briefs

Blood Test for Ovarian Cancer

The OVA1 blood test had a high chance of correctly identifying whether an ovarian mass was malignant prior to surgery, according to results of the OVA500 clinical trial. In a study of 494 patients, the test had 94% sensitivity in premenopausal women and 91% sensitivity in the early-stage ovarian cancer [ Read More ]

News Briefs

Weightlifting in Women at Risk for Breast Cancer–Related Lymphedema

Although weightlifting reduced the need for lymphedema treatment by 50% compared with standard treatment in breast cancer survivors who participated in the Physical Activity Lymphedema (PAL) trial, weightlifting is not without its own risks. A retrospective analysis of the PAL trial found that the rate of injury was higher in [ Read More ]

News Briefs

Severe Diarrhea Associated With Molecularly Targeted Agents Can Impact Quality of Life and Healthcare Resource Utilization

A preliminary report of a meta-analysis of clinical trials of molecularly targeted therapies shows that they are not benign and can add to the toxicity of standard chemotherapy. In particular, increased rates of oral mucositis and diarrhea are reported with several FDA-approved agents. Increased mucositis seen with bevacizumab and erlotinib [ Read More ]

Alice Goodman

Conference News

Risk of Cardiotoxicity With Targeted Therapies Exaggerated

Molecularly targeted therapies change the vascular milieu and can cause hypertension, fluid retention, and thromboembolic phenomena. However, the absolute risk of cardiotoxicity is much lower with targeted therapies compared with anthracyclines, stated Michael S. Ewer, MD, from the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, at the recent meeting of [ Read More ]

Phoebe Starr

Conference News

Progress in Treating Prostate Cancer

Two studies presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) suggested that abiraterone acetate (AA; Zytiga), an androgen biosynthesis inhibitor,1,2 has the potential to be used earlier in the course of prostate cancer than its current FDA indication (ie, after failure of chemotherapy in [ Read More ]

Alice Goodman

Conference News

Mucositis Management to Become More Personalized

A new appreciation of the pathobiological foundation of mucositis, and the application of genomics to risk assessment, heralds an individualized and more effective approach to intervention for this costly and often disabling toxicity, according to specialists who spoke at a session on mucosal injury during the 2012 Annual Meeting of [ Read More ]

Caroline Helwick

Conference News

Targeted Drug Leads to Marked Responses in NSCLC

A drug that targets a previously overlooked mutation led to objective responses in 8 of 14 patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to results of a proof-of-principle study. Some patients had symptomatic relief within days of beginning treatment with crizotinib, Alice T. Shaw, MD, PhD, reported at [ Read More ]

Don Schrader

Conference News

Progressive Myeloma Responds to Monoclonal Antibody

More than 80% of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma responded to a monoclonal antibody against a cell surface protein expressed by almost all myeloma cells, results of a phase 2 clinical trial showed. All patients received lenalidomide and dexa­methasone and were randomized to 10 or 20 mg of [ Read More ]

Don Schrader

Conference News

New Approach for Predicting Treatment-Related Side Effects

Researchers are evaluating the use of a cluster of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified by a Bayesian method from an individual cancer patient to predict the occurrence of treatment-related side effects in that patient. Two unpublished studies have shown that SNPs identified by the Bayesian method have an accuracy of more [ Read More ]

Phoebe Starr

Conference News

Novel Approaches to Delivering Personalized Medicine:

An Interview with Thomas C. Reynolds, MD, PhD

Seattle Genetics is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of empowered monoclonal antibody–based therapies for the treatment of cancer. Their product, brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris), was granted FDA accelerated approval in August 2011 for 2 indications: the treatment of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma after failure of autologous stem [ Read More ]

Thomas C. Reynolds, MD, PhD

Interview with the Innovators

Adaptive Clinical Trial Design: From Simple Dose-Finding Trials to Large-Scale Personalized Medicine Trials

While there’s great excitement about the potential of personalized medicine to improve care – particularly in oncology – there’s also a healthy dose of pessimism regarding the cost of clinical trials needed to bring optimal, targeted therapies to market. While many researchers believe that personalized medicine is the future of [ Read More ]

Fei Ye, PhD

Clinical Trial Design

Personalized Therapy in the Management of Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)

At the 2012 conference of the Global Biomarkers Consortium, which took place March 9-11, 2012, in Orlando, Florida, Gautam Borthakur, MD, from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, discussed the use of personalized therapy in the management of MDS. The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a [ Read More ]

Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Pharmacogenomics in Cancer Care: Adding Some Science to the Art of Medicine

Despite increasing publicity, “personalized medicine” is not a new phenomenon in cancer care. Oncologists have long used criteria such as body size, perfor­mance status, comorbid conditions, organ function, lifestyle, and a patient’s goals of care to individualize treatment decisions and drug doses. Additionally, dose adjustments of 1 or more agents [ Read More ]

Navin Pinto, MD

Pharmacoeconomics