Adding Erbitux to First Line Chemotherapy Helps Advanced Colorectal Cancer Patients with Wild Type KRAS

Does adding Erbitux to chemotherapy help people whose colorectal cancer has spread beyond the colon or rectum to distant body sites? The answer is yes, according to a pooled analysis of two large randomized clinical trials comparing chemotherapy alone to chemotherapy plus Erbitux® (cetuximab).  However, benefits depend on whether or not patient tumors have mutations of…  Read More

Many Doctors Doing Colorectal Cancer Screening Wrong

FOBT screening saves lives, but only when it is done right. Three out of four primary care doctors did a fecal occult blood test once during an office visit, a method that is ineffective in finding cancer or preventing death from colorectal cancer. One out of four used the in-office test exclusively. Less than half of…  Read More

Diabetics Do Better Right After Colorectal Surgery

In a surprising results, doctors studying surgical complications and hospital deaths after colorectal surgery found that diabetic patients do better than non-diabetics after surgery. There was a 23 percent reduction in deaths after surgery for diabetics and 18 percent fewer complications. Unfortunately, this improvement in outcomes did not extend to the uninsured or to people under…  Read More

High Levels of Gene MACC1 Predicts Colorectal Cancer Spread

German scientists have identified a gene that has higher levels in colon cancer patients whose tumors are destined to spread. By initiating a signaling pathway in the cancer cell, MACC1 (Metastasis-Associated in Colon Cancer 1) promotes faster cell growth and cancer spread  to distant sites in the body (metastasis) . Their research was published online in…  Read More

Hypertension Clue to Better Outcomes with Avastin

Patients who developed hypertension with Avastin® (bevacizumab) had better response to treatment for colorectal cancer.  More had tumors shrink, and it took significantly longer for their cancer to get worse. In a small Italian study, researchers measured blood pressure in 39 patients receiving Avastin along with irinotecan and 5-FU for the initial treatment of colorectal cancer. …  Read More

Changes in Blood Magnesium Levels Predict Response to Erbitux

Hypomagnesemia, or reduced magnesium levels, is a side effect of Erbitux® (cetuximab) treatment.  Patients with colorectal cancer whose blood magnesium dropped the fastest also had the best response to Erbitux given with Camptosar® (irinotecan) . Italian researchers measured magnesium levels for 68 patients before treatment began and then 6 hours, 1 7, 14, 21, 50, and…  Read More