Conference Correspondent

SAN FRANCISCO—A number of interventions can help reduce breast cancer among women at high risk, but uptake is sluggish, and there can be confusion about which agent to prescribe to a given patient. Seema Khan, MD, professor of surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, addressed the topic of pharmacologic risk reduction at the 2011 Breast Cancer Symposium.

CHICAGO—Most end-of-life costs ac - crued by patients with cancer are related to health services rather than the use of drugs, according to an analysis of claims from a large health plan (UnitedHealth).

“The bottom line is that most of the costs were not related to drugs but to healthcare services plus the inpatient hospitalizations,” said April Teitelbaum, MD, coinvestigator and a practicing oncologist and Senior Medical Director, Life Sciences, Hematology/ Oncology, Innovus, Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

CHICAGO—The cancer drug pipeline is bursting with promising new therapies for a variety of tumors. Of the many investigational drugs presented, this article highlights some of the most promising agents now in phase 2 or 3 clinical trials.


This oral inhibitor of MET kinase and the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor produced high rates of disease control in several solid tumor types, and fully or partially eliminated bone metastases in a randomized phase 2 study.

CHICAGO—Exemestane appears to be a good alternative to tamoxifen for prevention of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, according to results of the randomized, placebo-controlled MAP.3 trial.

CHICAGO—A new era of cancer care, in which genomic advances alter the landscape of cancer care and clinical research, is emerging. As “genomic chaos” rules this landscape, the healthcare system must be prepared to incorporate genetic technology into cancer care and clinical trial design must adapt as well, said George W.

Erin W. Hofstatter, MDCHICAGO—Patients are more willing than their oncologists to discuss the cost of cancer care, according to a recent survey of patients with cancer.

CHICAGO—Decitabine extends overall survival and improves response rates compared with standard therapies in the treatment of older patients with newly diagnosed acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), said Xavier G. Thomas, MD, PhD.

CHICAGO—Flaxseed failed to have a significant effect on reducing hot flashes in women compared with placebo, according to results of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial supported by the North Central Cancer Treatment Group. The study included breast cancer survivors as well as women who had never had breast cancer who experienced frequent hot flashes throughout the day and night.

CHICAGO—Results from an important phase 3 trial presented at the plenary session could lead to prolonged treatment with adjuvant imatinib for gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).
CHICAGO—The phase 3 ACT-1 trial suggests that amrubicin may have some advantages over topotecan as secondline treatment for small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).
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