In the News

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved Onivyde (irinotecan liposome injection), in combination with fluorouracil and leucovorin, to treat patients with advanced (metastatic) pancreatic cancer who have been previously treated with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved Yondelis (trabectedin), a chemotherapy, for the treatment of specific soft tissue sarcomas (STS)—liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma—that cannot be removed by surgery (unresectable) or is advanced (metastatic).
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval for Keytruda (pembrolizumab) to treat patients with advanced (metastatic) non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has progressed after other treatments, and with tumors that express a protein called PD-L1.
On September 30, 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to nivolumab (Opdivo Injection, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company) in combination with ipilimumab for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600 wild-type, unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

According to 2 large breast cancer trials, CYP2D6 genotyping was not predictive of the effectiveness of tamoxifen in postmenopausal women. Thus, the results of these studies are not generalizable to premenopausal women. CYP2D6 genotyping has been a focus of research interest, but studies have been inconclusive as to the value of testing.

The term “chemo brain” was coined to describe mild cognitive problems in cancer patients attributed to chemotherapy. Although minor chemotherapy-induced memory and cognitive impairments have been described previously, a case-cohort study suggests that these effects can persist more than 20 years posttherapy. The authors state that chemo brain effects are subtle compared with women who never had chemotherapy, but it’s possible that these effects place people at greater risk for cognitive decline associated with aging.

Patients may not understand the information medical care providers give them for a number of reasons, but significant among them is poor healthcare literacy, which is the ability to understand health information and to use that information to make good decisions about health and medical care. Unfortunately, about 33% of the adult population in the United States has limited healthcare literacy. Yet, the need for this proficiency is greater than ever because medical care has become progressively more complex. Let us take a look at healthcare literacy facts and figures:

Thanks to medical research, there are nearly 12 million cancer survivors living in the United States today. And the research continues: There are approximately 400 new cancer therapies in preclinical and clinical development. As progress continues to treat those with cancer, let’s examine the statistics related to clinical trial participation.

From 1996 through 2002, National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored cooperative group nonsurgical treatment trials for breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancers enrolled 75,215 patients:

ADT Did Not Increase Cardiovascular Mortality Adding androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) to radiation in men with clinically localized prostate cancer was not associated with increased cardiovascular mortality compared with radiation therapy alone, according to results of a multivariate analysis presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

Upfront zoledronic acid significantly and progressively increases bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer receiving letrozole for 5 years, according to results of the Zoledronic Acid–Letrozole Adjuvant Synergy Trial (Z-FAST).

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