In the News

Objective response rates, median progression-free survival, and overall survival increased in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and sunitinib-induced hypertension, according to results of a retrospective analysis of more than 500 RCC patients treated with sunitinib. The rate of adverse events did not increase in hypertensive patients, except for renal adverse events (5% vs 3%). Because of the ease of clinical monitoring, the researchers concluded that, if prospectively validated, sunitinib-induced hypertension will make a desirable biomarker in these patients.

The US Food and Drug Ad ministration (FDA) held a public meeting in February to assess whether stricter criteria are needed when considering oncology drugs for accelerated approval. Measures enacted in 1992 allow the FDA to grant accelerated approval for drugs targeted at unmet needs in cancer based solely on data from single-arm studies and relying on end points other than the standard metric of overall survival.

Adult survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treated with dexamethasone may have greater risk for neurocognitive impairment and poor emotional regulation than patients treated with prednisone, and they exhibited symptoms of physical stress.
Almost half of the cancer patients in a recent study did not receive any thromboprophylaxis during hospitalization, even though cancer and its treatment increases the risk for deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) and three professional organizations—the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network—have issued guidelines recommending DVT prophylaxis.
SAN ANTONIO—A re-analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)—which found an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease in women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT)—suggests that estrogen alone, without progesterone, may actually be protective against breast cancer. 
SAN ANTONIO—A rapidly growing, nationwide clinical trial matching service that is user-friendly for patients is enabling more patients to learn about and enroll in clinical trials, said Ellie Cohen, PhD, the program’s director. Cohen described the success of her program at the 33rd annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. 
SAN ANTONIO—In a trial involving women with stage II/III breast cancer (N = 3360), adding zoledronic acid (ZA) to standard adjuvant chemotherapy did not prolong overall survival (OS) or disease-free survival (DFS) after a median follow-up of 59 months, contrary to some previous reports.
SAN ANTONIO—For women with human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2)-overexpressing breast cancer, preoperative treatment with agents that block HER2 leads to high rates of pathological complete response (pCR), according to the results of three studies presented at the 33rd annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. 
ORLANDO—Patients often do not understand the terms clinicians use to describe their hematologic malignancies, such as myelodysplastic syndrome, which may lead to misunderstandings about their disease. 
ORLANDO—Low doses of alemtuzumab were effective in preventing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in leukemia patients receiving sibling and matched unrelated hematopoietic cell transplants. 
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