Tag Archives: metastatic colorectal cancer

Lisa Fund Grant: Now Accepting Applications

Postdoctoral or clinical research fellows planning to do translational or clinical research that focuses on novel THERAPEUTIC APPROACHES for late-stage metastatic colorectal cancer may now apply for The Fight Colorectal Cancer-AACR research grant. This grant is distributed through Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Lisa Fund. Our Lisa Fund was designed by Lisa Dubow, a late-stage colorectal cancer survivor who credited her many years of survival to clinical research. She established the fund to support researchers looking for a cure and new treatment options. This grant specifically supports research focused on uncovering new therapeutics that can be individualized for patients. Ideally, findings from the grant-funded project will play out into the clinical setting within a few

FDA Approves Avastin for New Second-Line Use

For patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new use of Avastin® (bevacizumab): It can be continued as part of ‘second-line’ combination therapy, even if it was used in first-line therapy. When stage IV cancer progresses despite use of Avastin plus either FOLFOX (5FU plus Eloxatin® or oxalyplatin) or FOLFIRI (5FU plus Camptosar® or irinotecan)-based chemotherapy, the FDA has now approved continued use of Avastin when second-line treatment switches to the other chemotherapy. Avastin is a monoclonal antibody (a “targeted drug”) that helps prevent a cancer from stimulating growth of new blood-vessels that then help the tumor get bigger. The FDA’s approval is based on a large, randomized

New Cancer Drug Zaltrap Discounted by 50%

By Curt Pesman and Mary Miller In an unusual move, sanofi pharmaceutical company has instituted a 50 percent discount, effective immediately, on its latest cancer drug Zaltrap.  The reason for the sharp price drop, company officials said, was “market resistance” to the initial price. Zaltrap was approved in August by the FDA for second-line treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer. One possible result of the price cut is that the new drug may become more widely available. However, due to complex pricing and regulation issues, it’s not yet known how the actual cost to patients will change over the next several months. Fight Colorectal Cancer is gathering more information today on this

Circulating Tumor Cells And CEA Levels Help Predict Survival in Metastatic CRC

Circulating tumor cells (rare cells from a cancerous tumor that appear in the bloodstream) can help predict how a person with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) might do over time. A study published in the October 2012 Annals of Oncology compared levels of CTCs with levels of CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) to see how the two tests compared or could be used together to predict survival times in metastatis CRC. Results in 217 patients with metastatic CRC showed that at the beginning of treatment, CTC numbers alone–not CEA levels–could accurately predict length of survival. But when patients had a high initial level of CEA levels, adding the CTC number helped predict which patients would

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Will Not Offer Zaltrap

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center made a very public announcement—and explanation—today in a New York Times op-ed about why they will not offer the new drug Zaltrap® (ziv-aflibercept) to its metastatic colorectal cancer patients. The authors, all world-renowned cancer specialists at the world’s oldest cancer center, in an op-ed headlined “In Cancer Care, Cost Matters,” essentially challenged other cancer centers to take action where politicians fear to tread. “We recently made a decision that should have been a no-brainer,” wrote Drs. Peter B. Bach, Leonard B. Saltz and Robert E. Wittes. “The drug, Zaltrap, has proved to be no better than a similar medicine we already have for advanced colorectal cancer, while its price—at

FDA Approves Regorafenib for Metastatic CRC

  The FDA today approved the use of the drug regorafenib (brand name Stivarga) for patients whose metastatic colorectal cancer has progressed despite all currently approved treatment regimens. This is the second new drug approved by the FDA recently after a drought of 5 years in approving new treatments for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Regorafenib was placed into the  FDA’s “fast-track” approval process after the international, multicenter Phase III CORRECT trial  showed improved survival (from 5 to 6.4 months) in all mCRC patients, including those having both non-mutated and mutated KRAS types.

Patients with metastatic CRC may not need removal of asymptomatic colon tumor

Despite better screening for colorectal cancer (CRC), about 1 in 5 newly diagnosed patients will have metastatic CRC that already has spread to distant organs.  Many will have symptoms of fatigue or weight loss, but only a minority will have symptoms (significant bleeding or abdominal pain, or a blocked bowel) caused by the colon tumor itself. In those people first diagnosed with stage IV CRC, about 80% have metastases that cannot be removed by surgery. There’s been intense debate—but no clear evidence—about whether patients whose colon tumor isn’t causing symptoms should have the colon tumor surgically removed routinely before they start chemotherapy.  A recent important study provides the first evidence

Ziv-Aflibercept gets FDA approval

Ziv-Aflibercept Approved as 2nd line treatment for metastatic CRC   For the first time in more than five years, the FDA has approved a new drug for certain patients who have metastatic colorectal cancer. The FDA has approved ZALTRAP® (ziv-aflibercept) to be used with FOLFIRI as a “second-line” treatment for patients with stage IV colorectal cancer whose cancer got worse despite an initial oxaliplatin-based treatment (e.g. FOLFOX). 

Avastin Helps Patients Maintain Chemotherapy Effectiveness

It doesn’t hurt to stop XELOX chemotherapy combined with Avastin after six treatments and continue with Avastin alone until colorectal cancer gets worse, according to a study reported at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago. Many patients have to stop oxaliplatin chemotherapy with before getting its maximum effectiveness because of peripheral neuropathy — tingling, numbness, or pain in their hands and feet.  Xeloda® (capecitabine) can cause painful skin redness and cracking on the hands and feet or hand-foot syndrome, which can also affect time on chemotherapy. Giving only six treatments of Avastin® (bevacizumab) plus XELOX chemotherapy and then stopping XELOX and using only

Hedgehog Fails to Help Advanced Colorectal Cancer Patients

In disappointing news, adding the Hedgehog inhibitor GDC-0449 to standard chemotherapy failed to increase the time before advanced colorectal cancer got worse. Researchers compared progression-free survival between patients who got either FOLFOX or FOLFIRI chemotherapy with Avastin and a group who got the same chemo regimen with GDC-0449. There was no difference

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