TOP - June 2012, Vol 5, No 4
In 1986, the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMCCC) was established as a center of excellence at the University of Michigan Medical Center. UMCCC is designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute and is 1 of 21 cancer centers participating in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
Pharmacists are vitally important in enhancing patients’ adherence to oral chemotherapy medications, and there are approaches that pharmacies can take to improve compliance, Sylvia Bartel, RPh, told attendees of the NCCN Pharmacy Program held during the 17th Annual Conference of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) in Hollywood, Florida.
I remember picking out my lunch box. I had already decided it needed to have some sort of mechanism to keep its contents chilled for up to a few hours. It had to shield its contents from the sun to avoid spoilage. It had to be soft enough so that glass would not crack when hitting the sides and large enough to carry several small boxes tossed in with the occasional small bottle.
Lower radioiodine doses given with recombinant human thyrotropin (thyrotropin alfa) was as effective as high-dose radioiodine, and the low-dose treatment was associated with fewer side effects. Use of thyrotropin alfa along with low-dose radiation allows patients to avoid fatigue, lethargy, and weight gain associated with thyroid hormone withdrawal. These results suggest that thyroid cancer treatment can be transformed into a safer, shorter session, according to researchers.
Olaparib maintenance therapy extended progression-free survival (PFS) in women with an aggressive form of platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer with a previous response to platinum-based chemotherapy. Women receiving olaparib lived a mean of 4 months longer and also had a longer time to disease progression than those who had no maintenance therapy. These were the conclusions of a phase 2 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on April 12, 2012.
According to a presentation at the recent European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) meeting in Barcelona, Spain, oropharyngeal cancers in patients who are positive for the human papilloma virus (HPV) and who never smoked or were light smokers may be treated effectively with radiotherapy alone, potentially sparing these selected patients from additional chemotherapy and its toxicity.
Brachytherapy after lumpectomy is associated with greater morbidity and need for mastectomy compared with whole-breast radiation, according to a large retrospective study of Medicare claims for older women with early invasive breast cancer (JAMA. 2012;307:1827-1837). Five years after treatment, the rate of mastectomy was twice as high in women treated with brachytherapy versus whole-breast radiation. Both short- and long-term complications were significantly greater in women treated with brachytherapy in this review.
Younger patients were more likely than older patients to get guideline- recommended treatment for non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); conversely, the older the patient, the less likely treatment was provided, according to a large study of veterans that was reported in the May 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Advancing age was the strongest negative predictor of receiving guideline-recommended treat ment, regard less of cancer stage and comorbidity.
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