October 2011, Vol 2, No 6

In phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, olaparib, a small-molecule poly(ADPribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, has demonstrated objective responses in women with breast or ovarian cancer and BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
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In September 2011, the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) issued a new report, “AACR Cancer Progress Report 2011” on the current state of cancer research and the implications of recent cuts in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
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The decision this month (October 2011) by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to recommend against a prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening for prostate cancer in healthy men1 has caused quite a stir both in and outside of medical circles, reminding many people of the task force’s 2009 recommendation against routine breast cancer screenings for women under age 50 years.
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New York, NY—The era of personalized medicine is progressing. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, WA, and at other centers, patients with intermediate-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are now being tested for 3 molecular markers that predict prognosis.
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New York, NY—Several advances have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to Susan O’Brien, MD, Chief, Acute Leukemia Section at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.
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The FDA approved 2 new indications for denosumab (Prolia, Amgen) for treating patients at high risk for therapy-induced bone fracture.
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New York, NY—Evidence suggests that maintenance therapy, as well as initiation of therapy for newly diagnosed follicular lymphoma, can be delayed in asymptomatic patients with low tumor burden, according to Andrew Zelenetz, MD, Chief of Lymphoma Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.
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It is next to impossible for a day to go by without thinking about the contributions of personalized medicine to the care of patients living with cancer. Whether we are treating a newly diagnosed patient with HER2/neupositive breast cancer using trastuzumab, or using erlotinib in the management of a patient with non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumor harbors specific mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor genes, individualizing therapy based on molecular biology and genetic testing has become commonplace in contemporary oncology practice.
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