Highlights from Two Key Symposiums

E. Roy Berger, MD, FACP
Published: Friday, May 21, 2010
Click here to view as PDF.

In this month’s issue of Oncology & Biotech News, we review ASCO’s 2008 Breast Cancer Symposium, held in October. The symposium featured presentations on the latest multidisciplinary research findings and held related educational sessions, allowing practitioners to partake in clinically relevant in-depth discussions on how and when to translate new findings into patient care. We highlight presentations that addressed the need for greater selectivity in choosing a therapy regimen for a specific patient with breast cancer. In particular, what efforts are underway to develop targeted treatments for triple-negative breast tumors?

This month’s issue also includes summaries from key presentations at September’s Second Annual Conference of the International Liver Cancer Association, held in Chicago, Illinois. The conference featured symposia, lectures on innovative approaches to treating patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, and general sessions.

Our feature departments at Oncology & Biotech News cover a range of perspectives this month. In Reimbursement and Managed Care, we address how Medicare Advantage Plans inadvertently discourage trial enrollment and why one research team believes cancer patients may not be getting treatment for cancer-related pain. In Physicians’ Financial News, we profile Pfizer, which recently announced it would be concentrating its research and development efforts on the oncology sector. Pfizer already has a substantive oncology pipeline, and a review of the large number of oncology compounds in development at Pfizer, applicable to a variety of cancer types, sheds light on the future direction of cancer care. At the end of this month’s Physicians’ Financial News, we have included a page on personal finance, to help with issues you may be confronting in today’s challenging economy.

Our other departments—News, Global Reports, Clinical Trial Reports, and Academy—report breaking news in the oncology field to keep you abreast of important developments at home and abroad. This month, we discuss several treatments/therapy regimens that have made recent headway: after showing promise in first-line treatment of patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (the leading cause of cancer death), ASA404 goes on to phase III; trabectedin, combined with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, appears to reduce mortality risk in women with relapsed ovarian cancer; and combining intravenous iron with darbepoetin may improve hemoglobin response in patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia.

On the diagnostic front, a Swedish study found that patients hospitalized for ulcerative colitis are at increased risk for a broader array of cancers than previously thought, and a study in Italy found that testing women for p16-INK4A and human papilloma virus showed greater sensitivity for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia than conventional cytologic testing.

Don’t forget to visit our Website at www.obtnlive.com. Every week, we add new Web exclusive features on a variety of topics relevant to the community-based oncologist and your patients. As always, we invite you to e-mail the editors (cmelton@mdng.com) with any comments or questions. Have a happy and safe holiday season, and we will see you in 2009.

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: 18th Annual International Lung Cancer Congress®Oct 31, 20181.5
Provider and Caregiver Connection™: Addressing Patient Concerns While Managing Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and VomitingOct 31, 20182.0
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