Tag Archives: ASCO

Doctors Urged to Talk Discuss Palliative Care

Soon after diagnosing a patient with advanced cancer, a doctor should begin discussing options for palliative care—the management of symptoms—according to a new policy statement from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).  ASCO also released a new, free guide called Advanced Cancer Care Planning for patients to help initiate those conversations.

Young People with Advanced Colorectal Cancer Do As Well with Chemotherapy as Older Patients

When colorectal cancer spreads to other parts of the body, young people under 50 who get chemotherapy benefit as much as those who are older. With drug combinations, there is no difference between those under 50 and those who are 50 and older in responding to chemotherapy, how long it takes before cancer gets worse, or in survival time.

ASCO Advises Oncologists: Test for KRAS Mutations

The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has published a provisional clinical opinion (PCO) advising doctors to test patients with colorectal cancer for KRAS mutations before treating them with medicines that include Erbitux® (cetuximab) or Vectibix™ (panitumumab). The consensus of experts who reviewed recent research was that patients with metastatic colorectal cancer whose tumors have mutations in the KRAS gene do not benefit from treatment that targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR therapy).  Patients should be tested for KRAS mutations and, if those mutations are found, not receive anti-EGFR antibodies as part of their treatment.. A PCO, based on expert consensus, is designed to help decision-making for oncologists faced with

Age and Gender Affect Survival in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

More News from ASCO 2008 Although men and women with metastatic colon or rectal cancer have similar overall survival after their diagnosis, age has an impact.  Women in premenopausal years, 18 to 44, live longer than younger men.  However, after the age of 75, women have significant worse survival than men. Across all age groups, Hispanics survive the longest, followed by whites, Asians, African Americans, and, finally, Native Americans according to a study from the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and reported at ASCO.

Provigil Helps Cancer Fatigue

Update from 2008 ASCO Meeting in Chicago Provigil® (modafinil) reduced fatigue in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy according to a study reported by Gary Morrow PhD at the 2008 ASCO meeting. Patients who were severely fatigued after their first chemotherapy treatment had less fatigue after they received Provigil than those who got a placebo. They were also less sleepy during the day. Severe fatigue was considered more than 6 on a 10 point scale. Patients with mild or moderate fatigue did not have a similar improvement. Despite improvement in severe fatigue, there was no effect on depression.

Patricia Ganz M.D. Receives American Cancer Society Award at ASCO

Update from 2008 ASCO Meeting in Chicago Patricia Ganz, MD received the American Cancer Society Award at ASCO this year.  Professor of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles and Director of Cancer Prevention and Research at Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Ganz has a long history of concern for cancer patients and their quality of life. In the lecture that accompanied the ACS Award, Dr. Ganz discussed the importance of research that looks at quality of life and the effects of cancer treatment, both during treatment and after it.  In particular she encouraged the development of survivorship care plans that improve communication among patients, their oncology care

KRAS Mutations Make a Difference In Response to Erbitux

Update from 2008 ASCO Meeting in Chicago Three studies reported during the 2008 American Society of Clinical Oncology found that colorectal cancer patients whose tumors have mutated KRAS genes do not benefit from treatment with the EGFR-inhibitor Erbitux® (cetuximab). At the same time, patients with tumors that aren’t aren’t mutated (wild-type) have significantly better results when Erbitux is added to either FOLFIRI or FOLFOX chemotherapy. Two randomized trials of initial treatment of chemotherapy with or without Erbitux found responses and improved progression-free survival only in patients with wild-type KRAS. The CRYSTAL Phase III study compared FOLFIRI to FOLFIRI with the addition of cetuximab. The Phase II OPUS trial used FOLFOX

Calcium and Magnesium Infusions Reduce Neurotoxicity with Oxaliplatin

Update from 2008 ASCO Meeting in Chicago A study presented during the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting showed that adding IV infusions of calcium and magnesium to oxaliplatin treatment reduced peripheral neuropathy. Eloxatin® (oxaliplatin) is part of the FOLFOX treatments for colorectal cancer.  As doses accumulate, patients begin to experience tingling and numbness in their hands and feet.  Some patients will find it difficult to use their hands for small tasks like buttoning or will have problems with pain, balance or walking.  Often patients have to stop treatment before the full benefit is reached because of this difficult side effect.

ASCO Focuses on Personalized Medicine for Colorectal Cancer

Update from 2008 ASCO Meeting in Chicago Some thoughts from Kate Murphy. . . We’ve known for a long time that cancer isn’t one disease and that colorectal cancer isn’t one disease either.  Too often the only way to know if a treatment would work for a patient was to give it to them and wait.  Meanwhile, the patients struggled through side effects, not knowing if the treatment was going to really help or not.  And — even worse — lost valuable time that might have been spent with a more effective therapy. Probably the most important theme at ASCO this year for colorectal cancer is that we now have

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