Hormel Joins Cancer Specialists to Develop Line of Ready-Made Foods for Chemo Patients

Excerpt:

“Shortly after his mother died of cancer two years ago, Jeff Ettinger, then-chief executive of Hormel Foods, asked the company’s specialty division to explore how to help people undergoing treatment or recovering from it.

“The timing was right. The Cancer Nutrition Consortium, a group of U.S. cancer researchers, was looking for a food manufacturer to produce nutritional products based on what they saw was a gaping need. Patients undergoing chemotherapy tend to experience extreme fatigue, unintentional weight loss and suppressed appetite and energy.

” ‘You feel like you finished the New York marathon and have no energy to cook,’ said Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, a Florida physician and consortium board member. ‘Many people end up going to a fast-food restaurant to take home a meal, which is not the nutrition they need.’ ”

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Prostate Cancer Specialists Argue for Early Chemo

Excerpt:

“Recent studies have reopened discussion of a seemingly closed case against earlier use of chemotherapy in prostate cancer.

“Chemotherapy has an established role in the management of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, but its use in earlier-stage disease has remained controversial. Given the heterogeneous nature of the disease, prolonged clinical course associated with indolent disease, and concern about overdiagnosis and overtreatment, clinicians have reached no consensus about potential patient subgroups that might benefit from earlier use of chemotherapy. Differences of opinion played out again in pro/con articles published online in JAMA Oncology.”

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Ceritinib Provides Longer Progression-Free Survival Than Chemotherapy in Phase III Trial of ALK Rearranged Lung Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“Ceritinib provides longer progression-free survival than chemotherapy in crizotinib-pre-treated patients with non-small-cell lung cancer harbouring an ALK rearrangement, according to results of the phase III ASCEND-5 study presented at the ESMO 2016 Congress in Copenhagen.

” ‘Patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) should receive front line therapy with the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor crizotinib,’ said lead author Professor Giorgio Scagliotti, head of the Department of Oncology, University of Turin, Italy. ‘Most patients develop resistance to crizotinib and currently second line treatment is represented by chemotherapy alone.’ ”

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70-Gene Signature as an Aid to Treatment Decisions in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“This was a randomized phase III trial including 6693 women with early-stage breast cancer designed to assess whether patients at high clinical risk (via Adjuvant! Online) and low genomic risk (via MammaPrint) would have similar metastasis-free survival if treated without chemotherapy. A total of 1550 patients (23.2%) were deemed to be at high clinical risk and low genomic risk. No significant difference in the 5-year metastasis-free survival rate was noted in women who received chemotherapy compared with those who did not (95.9% vs 94.7%).

“These findings suggest that nearly half of women at high clinical risk may not need chemotherapy for breast cancer.”

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Gene Tests Identify Breast Cancer Patients Who Can Skip Chemotherapy, Study Says

Excerpt:

“When is it safe for a woman with breast cancer to skip chemotherapy?

“A new study helps answer that question, based on a test of gene activity in tumors. It found that nearly half of women with early-stage breast cancer who would traditionally receive chemo can avoid it, with little risk of the cancer coming back or spreading in the next five years.

“The so-called genomic test measures the activity of genes that control the growth and spread of cancer, and can identify women with a low risk of recurrence and therefore little to gain from chemo.”

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Antipsychotic Drug Also Relieves Nausea from Cancer Chemotherapy

Excerpt:

“Adding the cheap antipsychotic drug olanzapine to conventional anti-vomiting medicine can help prevent nausea in cancer patients, according to a new test of 380 volunteers.

“During the first 24 hours after chemotherapy, 74 percent of patients receiving the drug along with their chemotherapy reported no nausea. That compares to 45 among those getting placebo. The benefits continued for five days as the drug therapy continued.

” ‘I was overjoyed that the results were statistically significant’ because it was the first study to look at nausea alone, said chief author Dr. Rudolph Navari of the Indiana University School of Medicine in South Bend.”

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Adjuvant Chemotherapy Extends OS in Early-Stage NSCLC

Excerpt:

“Adjuvant chemotherapy following complete surgical resection improved OS among patients with early-stage non–small cell lung cancer, according to a study published in Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

“Patients diagnosed with medically operable, early-stage non–small cell lung cancer typically undergo complete resection.

“However, 5-year OS is ‘suboptimal, ranging from 73% in patients with pathologic stage IA to 24% in those with stage IIIA,’ Daniel Morgensztern, MD, associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and member of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and colleagues wrote.”

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Merck Extends Cancer Immunotherapy Reach to First-Line Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“Merck’s (MRK) flagship cancer immunotherapy Keytruda delayed the re-growth of tumors and prolonged survival in patients with newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancer compared to chemotherapy, the company said Thursday.

“The new phase III study results from Merck are significant because they represent the first time that a drug belonging to the so-called checkpoint inhibitor class of cancer immunotherapies has demonstrated superiority over standard of care in the treatment of first-line lung cancer patients.

“Lung cancer is the most prevalent cancer globally, with more than 200,000 patients in the U.S. and 1.5 million patients globally diagnosed each year. As such, lung cancer is an important commercial market for the drug companies developing new therapies which harness the immune system to target and kill cancer cells.”

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Adjuvant Chemotherapy Improves Overall Survival in Patients With Stage IB Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“The use of adjuvant chemotherapy in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients improves overall survival (OS) and 5-year OS in patients with tumor sizes ranging from 3 – 7 cm.

“Stage I , the earliest stage at which clinicians diagnose lung cancer, is identified in approximately 16% of all lung cancer cases in the U.S. For early-stage  with medically operable clinical NSCLC, surgery is the treatment of choice. Several studies have found that patients with stage II and III NSCLC that had adjuvant chemotherapy following complete surgical resection lived longer than those that had surgery without chemotherapy. However, in early-stage NSCLC patients there currently is not enough evidence to support the use of chemotherapy following complete resection, even though stage I lung cancer recurs either locally or at distant sites in roughly a third of early-stage patients. Exploratory analysis of the use of adjuvant chemotherapy in early-stage patients showed improved overall survival for patients whose tumors were ? 4 cm. Consequently, a thorough investigation of the clinical benefits and survival of the use of adjuvant chemotherapy in early-stage patients is warranted in order to improve the current treatment recommendations.”

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