Saturday, March 31, 2012

EMILIA Study Results: Roche's Trastuzumab Emtansine (T-DM1) Delays Metastatic Breast Cancer Progression

Trastuzumab Emtansine (T-DM1) increases progression-free survival (PFS) in metastatic breast cancer patients compared to patients who received lapatinib (Tykerb; GlaxoSmithKline Plc) and  capecitabine (Xeloda; Roche) combination, Roche made the announcement today in a press release.  The overall surivival (OS) data is not mature yet.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Link Between Diabetes and Breast Cancer

Both diabetes and cancer have long preoccupied public-health concerns, strained national budgets, and are associated with complications that may affect quality of life. They also share some of the same risk factors, such as age, smoking, weight gain, and a diet poor in fruits and vegetables. The earliest link between diabetes and cancer was alluded to in the 1930s,[1,2] however, convincing epidemiological evidence has emerged only recently proving an association between diabetes and cancer.[3]

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Personalized Medicine: Moore's Law Brings $1000 Genomes Within Reach

The promise of personalized medicine has long hinged on faster, cheaper and ubiquitous availability of whole genome sequencing.  

In order to make effective health care decisions to manage or fight cancer using personalized medicine strategy, oncologists ought to be able to follow the chameleonistic genome of cancer cells, and stay one step ahead by targeting strategies cancer cells employ to develop drug resistance, escape and metastasize.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Grand Rounds: Susan Desmond-Hellmann Outlines Her Vision for UCSF and Teaches Us a Thing or Two About Leadership and Goals

Today, we are going to listen to an interview with Susan Desmond-Hellmann.  She is a UCSF-trained oncologist who, after spending 14 years at the helm of Genentech, is now back at UCSF as its first woman chancellor.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Zytiga is the Darling of the Day. Really!

Zytiga was in news today, but more so were its competitors, Provenge and MDV3100. The big news was early unblinding of Zytiga trial in metastatic prostate cancer patients due to significant improvement seen in progression-free survival (PFS) and other endpoints.

Nipping the Cancer Drug Counterfeit Problem in the Bud

The problem faced by cancer patients in the western countries is that of shortages and not counterfeit.  However, there was a recent scare of counterfeit Avastin almost entering the supply chain through Canada.  

Yesterday's passing of a bill co-sponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (R-CO), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is designed to nip this problem by toughening up penalties.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Whacking the Hedgehogs in Basal Cell Carcinoma with Vismodegib

If the year 2011 was the year for the 5% of skin cancers, this is the year for the 95% majority.  Last year saw approvals of two new melanoma cancer drugs, vemurafenib and  ipilimumab.  But, this year may be dubbed as the year when the other skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma finally gets a new Erivedge loaded Webley.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the western world40% of all cancers are skin cancers with 80% of skin cancers being nonmelanoma, and primarily basal cell carcinoma.