TOP - October 2014, Vol 7, No 4

The use of generic docetaxel instead of branded docetaxel appears to be associated with a significantly higher event rate of neutropenia, as well as increased healthcare costs, during the 6 months following drug initiation, according to a US Oncology Research study that compared resource utilization and costs.

Vaginal dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) may improve sexual function, without negative systemic effects, in women with breast and gynecologic cancer with vaginal and sexual-related complaints.
Almost 50% of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) had objective responses to third-line treatment with the angiogenesis inhibitor pazopanib, according to the results from a small clinical trial reported at the 2014 American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.
Preliminary results suggest that an investigational antibody-drug conjugate called DEDN6526A has activity against melanoma, including cutaneous, mucosal, and ocular melanoma, which is considered difficult to treat. The new drug comes on the heels of trastuzumab emtansine, the first antibody-drug conjugate approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of breast cancer. The conjugate links an antibody to a toxic chemotherapy that remains inactive until the antibody recognizes a protein on the surface of cancer cells and releases its toxic “payload” into the cancer cells.
Combination therapy with a BRAF inhibitor and an MEK inhibitor improves outcomes in advanced BRAF-positive melanoma, according to two phase 3 studies presented at the 2014 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO). These studies support the hypothesis that inhibition of both BRAF and MEK will improve survival in melanoma by overcoming the mechanism of acquired resistance to vemurafenib, which is thought to be reactivation of cell growth through MEK.
The PARP inhibitor veliparib demonstrated activity in relapsed/refractory BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer, according to results from a phase 2 trial conducted by the Gynecologic Oncology Group.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) originated in October 1985 when the American Cancer Society (ACS) partnered with the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries, now part of AstraZeneca, to sponsor a weeklong event. Today, the ACS is only one of many public and private organizations that help sponsor NBCAM programs in the United States, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month is now observed worldwide.
The Oncology Pharmacist spoke with Jon Lalli, PharmD, BCOP, about his role in the management of cancer patients at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
The annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) took place in San Francisco, California, on September 14-17, 2014. The meeting draws more than 11,000 attendees, bringing together clinicians, scientists, and researchers from all oncology disciplines.
In patients receiving everolimus in clinical trials, stomatitis frequently occurred in the initial weeks of treatment, but this did not compromise clinical outcomes, according to Hope S. Rugo, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials at the University of California San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
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