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ASCO: New Drugs and Drug Combinations Improve Survival


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http://www.modernmedicine.com/modernmed ... ryId=40137

Excerpt from ARTICLE:

. . . . . . . . .

ASCO: New Advanced Lung Cancer Treatments Promising

But hormone therapy among menopausal women with lung cancer linked to higher risk of death

MONDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), new drugs and drug combinations can prolong survival, while hormone therapy among menopausal females with lung cancer is associated with increased mortality risk, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from May 29 to June 2 in Orlando, Fla.

In one study, Vincent A. Miller, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues randomly assigned 768 patients to receive either bevacizumab (Avastin) plus erlotinib (Tarceva) or bevacizumab plus placebo after initial cytotoxic chemotherapy with bevacizumab. Compared to the addition of placebo, the researchers found that the addition of erlotinib was associated with a 29 percent reduced risk of disease progression and longer median progression-free survival.

Other studies presented included one supporting maintenance therapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) for improved overall survival in NSCLC, and another reporting that vandetanib (Zactima) improves progression-free survival in NSCLC patients. From the Women's Health Initiative, a secondary analysis indicates that estrogen and progestin use ups the mortality risk for women with NSCLC.

"The studies presented today highlight promising new targeted therapies and milder treatment regimens that improve survival," said Bruce E. Johnson, M.D., director of the Dana-Farber Harvard Medical Center Lung Cancer Program in Boston and moderator of the press briefing.

Pharmaceutical relationship disclosures were made for all studies presented.

Abstract - Erlotinib

Abstract - Pemetrexed

Abstract - Vandetanib

Abstract - Women's Health Initiative

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(Modern Medicine, Source: ASCO, June 1, 2009)

Disclaimer:

The information contained in these articles may or may not be in agreement with my own opinions. They are not being posted with the intention of being medical advice of any kind.

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Please keep in mind that while on the surface all this sounds promising, the "median time of progression free survival" is usually only 2-5 months in all of these US studies with varying rates of toxicity.

It's the general opinion that it's not a significant finding and that there were no blockbusters this year in terms of lc research findings.

We do need to keep pushing for more LC research and especially genomic research

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From what I have seen in the news You are right was usual Katie but its all about buying time !! A day at a time !! Genomics and Nutrigenomics are opening up new areas I think lately though!! just need money !!

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Yes, Katie, you're observations are spot on, and unfortunately, I am only too aware of median survival rates.

My hope is that somehow a new treatment may offer a "stay of execution" for my husband and multitudes of others.

Median (not the average) but the number square in the middle, does mean that others have had longer time until progession. We know that below that, there are many who exhibit even lesser times, sadly.

After four and a half years, Bill has received newer drugs, which have given him/us a total of our time together. He has never, thank the Lord, ever as yet had a very serious toxic effect. Fatigue is about all.

Of course, that could change in a New York minute. We aren't ever without that awareness. We live it constantly.

None of us know what is in store. I have no crystal ball, but if we had not begun this journey with hope, I doubt if we would have had the strength to have pushed forward.

I will never give up hope - not until the last - and even then, will keeping pushing on for better outcomes for those who will continue to be diagnosed with this beast of a disease.

The funding is important, but that won't come full force until lung cancer is thought of as a disease and not a punishment.

Barbara

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