Lung Cancer

In a study of more than 20,000 patients 65 and older with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), treatment rates declined more in relation with increasing age than with the worsening of other illnesses.

The study, led by a team at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) and University of California San Francisco (UCSF), found that for all stages of cancer, younger patients were more apt to receive treatment than older patients, regardless of general health and prognosis.

In patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer with ALK gene rearrangements, treatment with crizotinib provided clinically meaningful antitumor activity, producing responses in 51% of patients, in a multicenter phase 2 study reported at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress.

Rearrangements in ALK are seen in up to 5% of patients, and crizotinib—a firstin- class, oral, potent, and selective small molecular—competitively inhibits ALK.

CHICAGO—The phase 3 ACT-1 trial suggests that amrubicin may have some advantages over topotecan as secondline treatment for small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).

First-line treatment with erlotinib prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) and increased the response rate compared with treatment with chemotherapy in patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activating mutations, according to an interim analysis of this phase 3 randomized European Tarceva vs Chemotherapy (EURTAC) trial presented at the 14thWorld Conference on Lung Cancer.


Use of low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for the detection of lung cancer reduced the rate of death over use of the more traditional chest radiography (CXR), according to the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). The NSLT found that, with a rate of adherence to screening was more than 90%, LDCT exhibited a positive screening rate of 24.2%, whereas CXR exhibited 6.9%. Both techniques produced a high rate of false positives.


HOLLYWOOD, FL—Patients receiving chemotherapy are at risk for reactivation of the hepatitis B virus (HBV), and this can have a significant negative impact on the outcomes, including death from liver failure. According to Emmy Ludwig, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York, one-third of the world has been exposed to HBV, “making it an enormous problem.”

Fortunately, HBV reactivation can be prevented with the prophylactic use of effective antiviral agents, for which recommendations were presented by Ludwig at the meeting.

Patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) achieved a significant increase in overall survival when tumor treating fields (TTF) therapy was added to pemetrexed every 3 weeks, according to data released by Novocure at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress.
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