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TOP - March/April 2011, VOL 4, NO 2

TOP - March/April 2011, VOL 4, NO 2 published on October 1, 2012

Novartis has discontinued a phase 3 trial assessing whether its TKI nilotinib (Tasigna) might be a more effective first-line therapy than imatinib (Gleevec) in patients with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs).

TOP - March/April 2011, VOL 4, NO 2 published on October 1, 2012

Isoflavones from soy foods do not increase breast cancer recurrence risks said researchers at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting. Isoflavones have estrogen-like properties, prompting some survivors to avoid soy foods.

Following a lung cancer diagnosis, patients typically embark on a dizzying journey that takes them from one waiting room to another, as they follow their treatment plan from the medical oncologist to the surgical oncologist to the radiation oncologist and back again. Coordinating these visits imposes yet another burden on the patient and often leads to delays in care. Six years ago, St. Joseph Mercy Cancer Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan, decided to simplify life for their patients by opening a multidisciplinary lung cancer clinic.

In a review of new drugs to hit the market, speaker Maribel Pereiras, PharmD, BCOP, BCPS, referred to 2010 as “quite the year for prostate and breast cancer.” Pereiras, a clinical assistant professor at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, and a clinical oncology pharmacist with Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey, reviewed newly approved anticancer agents sipuleucel-T (Provenge), cabazitaxel (Jevtana), eribulin (Halaven), and denosumab (Xgeva) for pharmacists attending the annual meeting of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association.

In a “Technical Issues” session at the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacist Association annual meeting, Bhavesh Shah, RPh, BCOP, a clinical pharmacy specialist in hematology/oncology with Boston Medical Center, in Massachusetts, discussed dose-rounding, rapid infusion, and other strategies his center has adopted to reduce costs.

TOP - March/April 2011, VOL 4, NO 2 published on April 28, 2011

As nations around the globe struggle to afford the growing cost of care for their citizens, more people are asking, “How much is too much?” when it comes to cancer. Although the John G. Kuhn Keynote Lecture delivered at the annual meeting of the Hematology/ Oncology Pharmacy Association was titled “The Cost of Cancer Therapy,” speaker Tito Fojo, MD, PhD, with the medical oncology branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), says cost is not the real issue.

Despite aggressive campaigns to educate Americans on the lifethreatening risks of smoking, nearly 500,000 people die each year in the United States from smoking-related illness, according to a recent study in Epidemiology. Even patients with smoking- related cancers have trouble quitting, with about two-thirds of patients with lung cancer continuing to smoke.

TOP - March/April 2011, VOL 4, NO 2 published on April 28, 2011 in Drug Updates

Drug shortages continue to plague the United States, compromising patient safety and placing additional strain on healthcare resources. The shortages encompass common drugs used to treat a range of conditions, from everyday infections to heart attacks.

TOP - March/April 2011, VOL 4, NO 2 published on April 28, 2011 in In the News

The US Food and Drug Ad ministration (FDA) held a public meeting in February to assess whether stricter criteria are needed when considering oncology drugs for accelerated approval. Measures enacted in 1992 allow the FDA to grant accelerated approval for drugs targeted at unmet needs in cancer based solely on data from single-arm studies and relying on end points other than the standard metric of overall survival.

TOP - March/April 2011, VOL 4, NO 2 published on April 28, 2011 in Skin Cancer

Patients with inoperable metastatic melanoma now have another treatment option as ipilimumab becomes the second immunotherapy drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cancer. Fortunately for clinicians, ipilimumab also has a new, easier-to-pronounce name—Yervoy. Specifically, Yervoy is indicated for patients with unresectable metastatic melanoma that is newly diagnosed or progresses despite prior therapy.

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