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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Use of Complementary, Alternative Medicine Affects Initiation of Chemotherapy

Excerpt:

“Women with early-stage breast cancer for whom chemotherapy was indicated and who used dietary supplements and multiple types of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) were less likely to start chemotherapy than nonusers of alternative therapies, according to latest research led by Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. This is one of the first studies to evaluate how complementary and alternative medicine use affects decisions regarding chemotherapy. Findings are available in JAMA Oncology.

“Dr. Greenlee and colleagues studied a group of 685 women with early-stage breast cancer who were recruited from Columbia University Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, and Henry Ford Health System and enrolled 2006-2010. The women were younger than 70 with non-metastatic invasive breast cancer.”

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Common Prostate Cancer Treatments Suppress Immune Response and May Promote Relapse

Excerpt:

“Prostate cancer patients and their doctors may want to think twice about the best timing for chemotherapy or radiation therapy in conjunction with a common nonsurgical treatment, based on international research findings led by UT Southwestern Medical Center investigators.

“Researchers using mouse models found that many medical androgen deprivation therapies (ADTs) – the most commonly used nonsurgical treatments for prostate cancer – may suppress patients’ adaptive immune responses, preventing immunotherapies from working if both treatments are used but not sequenced properly. ADTs are anti-hormone therapies that decrease the body’s levels of androgens, the type of hormone that is required for prostate cancer to survive and grow.

“The study findings were published this week in Science Translational Medicine.”

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Crizotinib Tops Chemo for ALK-Positive NSCLC With Brain Metastases

Excerpt:

“First-line crizotinib therapy offered better intracranial disease control rate (IC-DCR) than chemotherapy in patients with ALK-positive non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and stable treated brain metastases, according to results of a phase III study.

“Earlier results from the ongoing PROFILE 1014 trial showed that crizotinib offers better progression-free survival (PFS) and response rates compared with pemetrexed-platinum chemotherapy. ‘Although the development of targeted therapies has improved outcomes for selected patient populations with oncogenic driver mutations, brain metastases are frequent and result in significant morbidity and mortality in patients with lung cancer,’ wrote study authors led by Benjamin J. Solomon, MBBS, PhD, of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in East Melbourne, Australia.”

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Oncotype Dx Gene Test Has a Big Impact on Oncologists' Chemo Recommendations

Excerpt:

“The 21-gene Recurrence Score (RS) assay significantly influenced clinicians’ decisions to recommend breast cancer patients for adjuvant chemotherapy, analysis of a population-based dataset showed.

“Used to predict disease recurrence and benefit of chemotherapy in estrogen receptor-positive, lymph node-negative early-stage breast cancer (EBC), the assay had the strongest association with recommendation for chemotherapy, with an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 83 for high assay scores and 12 for intermediate scores, both relative to low scores.

“Test use was significantly associated with younger age, white race, academic centers, private insurance, and pT2/pN0(i+) grade 2 to 3 disease, Peter Kabos, MD, of the University of Denver, Aurora, CO, and colleagues reported online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

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EBCC-10 NEWS: Chemotherapy Every Two Weeks for Premenopausal Breast Cancer Patients Improves Survival and Does Not Increase Risk of Early Menopause

“Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Premenopausal women with breast cancer have a better chance of survival if they are given cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy closer together, every two weeks rather than every three weeks. Furthermore, this regimen, known as “dose-dense” adjuvant chemotherapy, does not seem to be associated with an increased risk of treatment induced early menopause.

“The findings will be presented today (Thursday) at the 10th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-10) and the researchers say they are important for helping younger breast cancer patients and their doctors to make better-informed decisions about the choice of chemotherapy regimens that are given in addition to other treatments such as surgery, hormone therapy and radiotherapy.

“Dr Matteo Lambertini, MD, a medical oncologist at IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST, National Institute for Cancer Research, Genoa, Italy [1], and at the Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels, Belgium, will tell the conference: ‘Our results confirm the superiority of dose-dense chemotherapy as compared to standard interval regimens in premenopausal patients at higher risk of relapse, and its use should be implemented in Europe, as it is in the United States.’ ”