Gastrointestinal Cancers

Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs), also known as carcinoids and islet-cell tumors, are tumors of the neuroendocrine cells that occur in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. GEP-NETs are heterogeneous and complex. Although relatively rare, GEP-NETs are more common than other tumors of the GI tract, including stomach and pancreatic carcinomas combined.
Phase 3 data from a global clinical trial indicated an improvement in overall survival (OS) when the investigational angiogenesis inhibitor ramucirumab was added to chemotherapy as second-line therapy in patients with advanced gastric cancer.

Patients with gastric or gastroesophageal cancer commonly experience long-term complications from treatment that compromise their quality of life (QOL), according to self-reported answers to an Internet-based survey questionnaire. Difficulty swallowing appears to be universal, and other problems range from dry mouth and taste changes to cardiovascular disease, according to a study presented at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Symposium held in San Francisco, California.

CHICAGO—At the ASCO session “Moving the Bar in Upper GI Malignancies,” 2 speakers examined whether recent trials of targeted agents are clinically meaningful or just statistically positive, and whether value is being gained for the enormous amount of money being spent in treating noncolo rectal gastrointestinal (GI) cancer.

Eileen Mary O’Reilly, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, weighed in by examining the bottom line of the major trials.

ANAHEIM—Overweight as well as obese chemo therapy recipients who are dosed according to total body weight do not experience more adverse drug events or cycle delays than normal weight recipients.

The finding, which comes from a 10-year retrospective analysis of patients with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, should allay concerns about overdosing and the potential for increased toxicities when calculating the chemotherapy dose using total body weight, said lead investigator Tiffany Dea, PharmD.


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