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TOP - Special Issue May 2012, Vol 5, No 3

The best strategy for management of low-tumor-burden follicular lymphoma (FL) following response to induction therapy is controversial. The phase 3 RESORT study compared maintenance rituximab therapy versus rituximab retreatment at disease progression, and results suggest that retreatment is the preferred approach. The study was presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. The strategies achieved a similar time to treatment failure (TTTF) in this FL patient population, with no difference in quality of life or anxiety at 12 months.

Oral nutritional interventions do increase nutritional intake and result in weight gain in some malnourished patients with cancer as well as improve some aspects of quality of life (QOL), but do not seem to increase survival, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature (Baldwin C, et al. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012;104:371-385).

Pazopanib, an angiogenesis inhibitor, achieved meaningful responses in about three-quarters of patients with refractory urothelial cancer in preliminary clinical trial results presented at a press briefing during the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Chicago, Illinois.

A specific subgroup of women with early-stage breast cancer may be able to avoid adjuvant radiation, according to a presentation at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) held in Chicago, Illinois. Women with the luminal A subtype of breast cancer, particularly those older than age 60, had fewer local recurrences at 10 years when treated with tamoxifen alone versus tamoxifen plus radiation therapy in a post hoc analysis of a randomized trial that compared these 2 forms of treatment.

A large, population-based study found that a significant proportion of female cancer survivors had poor health behaviors compared with women who have not had cancer (Rausch SM, et al. Am J Clin Oncol. 2012;35:22-31).

Failure of remission-induction therapy in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), although rare, can lead to highly adverse outcomes, but outcomes differ according to type of ALL: B-cell or T-cell, as well as other characteristics (Schrapps M, et al. N Engl J Med. 2012;366:1371-1381).

The inaugural annual conference of the Global Biomarkers Consortium brought together an international panel of oncology experts to explore the rapidly evolving field of biomarker research. Cochairs of the event were Hope S. Rugo, MD, director of Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials Education at the University of California San Francisco, and Rüdiger Hehlmann, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Heidelberg. Michael Kattan, PhD, Vincent Miller, MD, Edith Perez, MD, and Charles Bennett, MD, PhD, served as session chairs.

The need to optimize the treatment of patients with cancer while using healthcare resources wisely—in other words, providing “value-based cancer care”—is not a topic of debate, but how to achieve this pressing goal is far from clear. In a panel discussion during the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care’s Second Annual Conference, held in Houston, Texas, strategists from the payer side of the issue discussed the current trends and the challenges they are facing.

At the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care (AVBCC) second annual meeting, Winston Wong, PharmD, expressed concerns that the site of delivery of cancer care affects efforts to rein in costs and provide value in cancer care. Wong expanded on this issue in the following interview.

Why do you believe that the site of delivery of cancer care can impact the attempt to rein in costs of cancer care and provide value?

Oncology pharmacists should understand the characteristics of 7 emerging drugs and biologics. At the 2012 Pharmacy Program held during the 17th Annual Conference of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) in Hollywood, Florida, Van Anh Trinh, PharmD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and Robert Ignoffo, PharmD, of the University of California San Francisco and the Touro University College of Pharmacy in Vallejo, described the appropriate use of axitinib, crizotinib, ipilimumab, and vemurafenib, and previewed carfilzomib, regorafenib, and vosaroxin.

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