This month’s issue of Contemporary Oncology introduces a new feature called “Perspectives." Articles under this heading look at available evidence in support of the author’s perspective on an important issue in cancer care. On page 18, Dr Alok Khorana’s article “Preventing VTE in Cancer Outpatients: Are We There Yet?” reviews some of the key studies that have investigated using prophylaxis to prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE) in ambulatory patients with cancer. He also looks at a risk stratification model that he helped establish for chemotherapy-related VTE. Dr Khorana concludes that VTE is a concern in outpatients with cancer and highlights ongoing studies that continue to examine this important problem and suggests future trials need to help determine how clinicians can identify which of their ambulatory patients with cancer need prophylaxis and what that regimen should be.
In the article “Triple Receptor–Negative Breast Cancer [TNBC]: Current and Future Treatments” on page 24, Dr Erika N. Brown and Dr Ana M. Gonzalez-Angulo discuss this aggressive malignancy, which has a high recurrence rate and few therapeutic options. The authors examine the clinical characteristics of TNBC and current and investigational therapies.
Dr Robert Dreicer, who previously wrote for Contemporary Oncology on abiraterone acetate, an important, emerging option for men with advanced castration-resistant prostate cancer, presents “A Review of Data on Optimal Sequencing and Combinations of Current Therapies in Renal Cell Cancer (RCC) in Consideration of Managing Advanced RCC as a Chronic Disease.” Virtually all patients with RCC tend to progress rapidly after discontinuing standard therapy. In the absence of solid phase III data, some clinicians have been applying a trial-and-error approach to sequential therapy, alternating various approved vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitors and the mTOR agents. Dr Dreicer discusses what existing data tell us about sequencing or combining approved agents in RCC and highlights some of the ongoing studies that will hopefully provide some guidance on this issue.
As a companion to Dr Khorana’s article, we have included a continuing education (CE) opportunity for those pharmacy specialists who receive Contemporary Oncology, which has been reprinted with permission from our sister publication Pharmacy Times. “Venous Thromboembolism and Cancer: An Opportunity for Pharmacists to Optimize Care,” written by Rowena N. Schwartz, PharmD, OP, also provides pertinent information for physicians and I recommend everyone read it even if you are not eligible to complete the online CE portion.
One article you will not want to miss is the presentation of data on abiraterone acetate from the 35th European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress that took place in Milan, Italy, in October. Our writers attended the conference and summarize the findings on page 14. Evidence from the randomized phase III trial discussed at ESMO seems to indicate that this investigational treatment is likely to become a standard of care in the future for men with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer, who have few effective options. The fact that abiraterone showed significant improvement in overall survival—arguably the most important endpoint—is highly promising. If you missed Dr Dreicer’s article in the spring issue of Contemporary Oncology, you might want to refer back to it and learn more about this emerging treatment.
We also profile Noreen Fraser in Patient Perspectives. Some of you might be familiar with Ms. Fraser’s story—a breast cancer survivor, Ms Fraser runs the Noreen Fraser Foundation and is a well known advocate for women with breast and other cancers. She also helped create the 2008 Stand Up to Cancer television special, which has evolved into a major fundraising initiative for cancer research. I would also like to introduce the new senior editor of Contemporary Oncology, John Eichorn. To submit a manuscript, request our Author’s Guidelines, or write the editors, e-mail John at jeichorn@onclivecom. We are especially interested in hearing your thoughts on our first full year of Contemporary Oncology. What would you like to see in the publication as we enter our third year? Be sure to let us know.