TOP - February 2012, Vol 5, No 1

The Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, a department of Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Shreveport, provides comprehensive cancer care in a translational research environment. It was founded in 1993 as the Center for Excellence in Cancer Treatment, Research, Education and Prevention by an act of the Louisiana Board of Regents. In 1997, it was renamed the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center in acknowledgment of a philanthropic gift from the Feist and Weiller families. This gift led to the construction of a multidisciplinary outpatient cancer center that is also home to 1 of the 6 St.

The Oncotype DX breast cancer assay for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a strong and significant predictor of 10-year risk of recurrence in women with DCIS, according to a study presented at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) held in December 2011. It is the first clinically validated genomic assay to predict risk of local recurrence for women with DCIS, and it is now available from Genomic Health.

TOP - February 2012, Vol 5, No 1 published on February 28, 2012 in Breast Cancer

Updated results of the phase 3 BOLERO-2 trial demonstrated that adding everolimus to hormonal therapy extends progression-free survival (PFS) in hormone receptor–positive (HR+) metastatic breast cancer that progressed on hormonal therapy with anastrozole or letrozole. The positive outcomes observed in this study suggest that everolimus plus exemestane will be a new option for postmenopausal metastatic HR+ breast cancer.

TOP - February 2012, Vol 5, No 1 published on February 28, 2012 in Hematologic Cancers

An investigational oral agent targeting the B-cell receptor achieved high rates of remission with little toxicity in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) refractory to at least 2 previous treatments, according to results from a phase 2 study presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

TOP - February 2012, Vol 5, No 1 published on February 28, 2012 in FDA News & Updates

The FDA approved Erivedge (vismodegib; Genentech) capsule for the treatment of adults with metastatic basal cell carcinoma, or with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma that has recurred after surgery or who are not candidates for surgery, and who are not candidates for radiation. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, and vismodegib is the first drug approved by the FDA for metastatic basal cell carcinoma.

TOP - February 2012, Vol 5, No 1 published on February 28, 2012 in FDA News & Updates

Picato (ingenol mebutate; LEO Pharma) gel was approved in January by the FDA for the topical treatment of actinic keratosis (AK) on the face, scalp, trunk, and extremities. AK is a precancerous condition caused by cumulative sun exposure that has the potential to progress to squamous cell carcinoma, which is the second most common type of skin cancer. AK is a dry, scaly, rough-textured patch or lesion that forms on the outermost layer of the skin after cumulative exposure to ultraviolet light, including sunlight.

TOP - February 2012, Vol 5, No 1 published on February 28, 2012 in FDA News & Updates

The FDA revoked approval of the breast cancer indication for Avastin (bevacizumab; Genentech), ruling that the drug has not been proved to be safe and effective for that use. Bevacizumab remains on the market as approved for use for certain types of other cancers, including colon, kidney, lung, and brain (glioblastoma multiforme) cancer. Bevacizumab had received accelerated approval for the breast cancer indication in 2008; however, the FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee later recommended this approval be withdrawn.

BRCA mutation carriers who have had breast cancer are at increased risk of developing contralateral breast cancer, according to a study presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. In fact, women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation had a greater than 10% risk of developing contralateral breast cancer, and the risk was strongly associated with younger age at diagnosis and a diagnosis of triple-negative (estrogen receptor–negative, progesterone receptor–negative, and HER2-negative) breast cancer.

Although management of lymphoma during pregnancy is not well studied, a retrospective review at 10 academic centers in the United States suggests that in selected cases, lymphoma can be treated with minimal maternal and fetal complications, and that treatment can be deferred until after giving birth in patients with low-risk lymphomas. The study was presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology held December 2011 in San Diego, California.

Administering gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) on a new schedule achieved impressive progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) compared with standard chemotherapy in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with favorable cytogenetics, according to a phase 3 study presented at the Plenary Session of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). GO was taken off the market in 2010 due to toxicity concerns and is no longer available in the US.

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