Both oral and intravenous chemotherapy agents, and other drugs used to treat patients with cancer, can be hazardous to medical personnel who prepare, dispense, and administer these drugs, as well as to patients and their families. The Oncology Pharmacist spoke about safe-handling procedures and guidelines with Anne Marie Oberle, PharmD, BCOP, Advance Practice Clinical Oncology Pharmacist at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) and the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) held back-to-back meetings in December 2013. The ASH annual meeting hosted approximately 20,000 attendees in New Orleans, Louisiana, where more than 5300 abstracts were presented, orally or as posters. About 7500 participants from more than 90 countries attended the breast cancer symposium. Below are selected brief highlights from these meetings.
This article discusses approaches that have been used to examine potentially adverse outcomes in healthcare professionals who work with or are exposed to chemotherapy drugs: (1) the use of biomarkers to evaluate genotoxic damage; (2) adverse reproductive outcomes; and (3) the association of cancer with exposure to chemotherapy drugs.
Several new drugs for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are considered major advances: 2 have been approved and 2 are under review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The optimal dosing of pomalidomide in the treatment of multiple myeloma has not been established. Yale University investigators compared continuous and intermittent dosing regimens, and while the intermittent schedule was associated with more toxicity, they concluded that it is preferable.
For the first-line treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, the combination of eribulin mesylate and trastuzumab yields higher response rates, with manageable toxicity.
Two phase 3 trials presented at the 2013 European Cancer Congress suggest that the optimal role of bevacizumab will be in high-risk patients.
A new antiangiogenesis inhibitor with a different mechanism of action than bevacizumab shows promise in platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer, according to results of the phase 3 TRINOVA-1 trial presented at the 2013 meeting of the European Cancer Congress.
Angiogenesis is an active area of clinical research in ovarian cancer, but proving that this approach extends overall survival (OS) has been somewhat challenging thus far. Michael Bookman, MD, reviewed studies of antiangiogenesis in high-grade serous ovarian cancer at the 2013 Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium, held in New York City.
NEPA, a fixed-dose combination of netupitant and palonosetron, proved more effective than palonosetron alone in preventing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in a large multinational study of 1455 patients, according to data presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
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