The 2007 National Comprehensive Cancer Network Breast Cancer Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology include a consideration for hyperthermia (HT) and radiation for women with recurrent locoregional advanced breast cancers after first-line surgery or radiation failed. Although HT in this setting has been used for several decades, recent reports are few. This article reviews the data from several recent studies, selected because they included at least 100 patients. Unresolved issues of radiation dose, optimal temperature and timing of HT, and quality assurance problems with thermometry are apparent from these studies. Although clearly an effective treatment option in this clinical scenario, more research on HT and radiation is needed before this treatment combination can be considered standard care.
Andrew H. Ko and Margaret A. Tempero
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma represents the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. The vast majority of patients are diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease when surgery is no longer an option. For these patients, systemic therapy remains the mainstay of care. Although single-agent gemcitabine has remained the standard of care since its approval in 1997, improvements in patient outcomes may potentially be realized by (1) applying pharmacokinetic principles to optimize drug delivery, such as the administration of gemcitabine at a “fixed-dose rate” infusion; (2) combining gemcitabine with other cytotoxic agents for which evidence of synergy exists, such as platinum compounds; and (3) integrating novel targeted agents such as bevacizumab, erlotinib, and cetuximab into treatment paradigms, based on an increasing understanding of the molecular pathways that govern pancreatic tumor growth and maintenance. This article provides the evidence to support each of these approaches and highlights future directions in the management of metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Charles L. Loprinzi and Peter M. Ravdin
Decisions regarding the use of adjuvant cytotoxic and hormonal therapies for women with breast cancer ideally should be made jointly by the patient and oncologist. For patients to be adequately involved in this decision-making process, they must be provided with appropriate education regarding the potential benefits and risks of adjuvant therapies. The recommended steps for doing this are: 1) understand baseline prognosis with locoregional therapy (surgery, radiation, or both) alone for the individual patient at hand; 2) determine the estimated benefit afforded by adjuvant therapy options for the individual patient; 3) estimate the risk of side effects of adjuvant therapy options; 4) convey the above information to the individual patient; 5) facilitate the individual patient's decision regarding adjuvant systemic therapy; and 6) support the patient's decision. Two computer-based tools (Numeracy and Adjuvant!) are available to facilitate this process.
Steven M. Blum, William R. Jeck, Lindsay Kipnis, Ronald Bleday, Jonathan A. Nowak, and Matthew B. Yurgelun
Two major molecular pathways of colorectal carcinogenesis, chromosomal instability (CIN) and microsatellite instability (MSI), are considered to be mutually exclusive. Distinguishing CIN from MSI-high tumors has considerable therapeutic implications, because patients with MSI-high tumors can derive considerable benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors, and tumors that evolved through the CIN pathway do not respond to these agents. Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is a genetic syndrome that is defined by a mutation in the APC gene and is thought to lead to carcinogenesis through the CIN pathway. Here, we report a case of a young woman with FAP who was treated for medulloblastoma as a child and developed advanced MSI-high colon cancer as a young adult. Her response to second-line immunotherapy enabled resection of her colon cancer, and she is free of disease >10 months after surgery. This case highlights the potential for overlap between the CIN and MSI carcinogenic pathways and associated therapeutic implications.
Jacob P. Laubach, Constantine S. Mitsiades, Anuj Mahindra, Robert L. Schlossman, Teru Hideshima, Dharminder Chauhan, Nicole A. Carreau, Irene M. Ghobrial, Noopur Raje, Nikhil C. Munshi, Kenneth C. Anderson, and Paul G. Richardson
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a clonal B-cell malignancy characterized by aberrant expansion of plasma cells within bone marrow and extramedullary sites. In 2009, 20,580 new cases of MM and 10,580 deaths from the disease occurred in the United States. Treatment traditionally consists of systemic chemotherapy, with adjunctive use of radiation or surgery in selected cases associated with extramedullary disease. The therapeutic landscape in MM has changed markedly in the past decade with the introduction of the novel immunomodulatory agents thalidomide and lenalidomide, and the first-in-class proteasome inhibitor bortezomib. Although MM remains an incurable malignancy, new approaches to therapy incorporating these agents have produced significantly higher response rates and improved intervals of both progression-free and overall survival in the context of randomized, controlled trials. In aggregate, the use of novel therapies in MM has been associated with substantial improvements in patient outcome.
Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and non-small cell lung cancer accounts for 80% to 85% of all lung cancer cases. Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are the 3 modalities commonly used to treat patients with NSCLC and can be used either alone or in combination depending on the disease status. The 2006 NCCN Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Guidelines provide the latest updates in the management of this disease, including stage regrouping and changes in screening recommendations for high-risk patients and in treatment recommendations for several stages. In addition, principles of systemic therapy were expanded to include adjuvant treatment.
For the most recent version of the guidelines, please visit NCCN.org
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American women, with an estimated 214,640 cases and 41,430 deaths occurring in 2006. Estimating breast cancer risk for individual women is difficult, and most breast cancers are not attributable to risk factors other than female gender and increased age. Developing effective strategies for reducing breast cancer incidence is also difficult because few existing risk factors are modifiable and some potentially modifiable risk factors have social implications. Nevertheless, effective breast cancer risk reduction agents and strategies, such as tamoxifen, raloxifene, and risk reduction surgery, have been identified. These guidelines were developed to help women at increased risk for breast cancer and their physicians apply individualized strategies to reduce breast cancer risk.
For the most recent version of the guidelines, please visit NCCN.org
Therese B. Bevers
The 1998 approval of tamoxifen for breast cancer risk reduction opened the era of breast cancer chemoprevention. Women at increased risk for breast cancer now had an option other than healthy lifestyle and prophylactic surgery to reduce risk. However, women and their physicians were reluctant to use tamoxifen because of associated risks. Several trials investigating raloxifene suggested it may reduce breast cancer risk without having an apparent effect on the endometrium. The Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR) for the Prevention of Breast Cancer trial opened in 1999 to directly compare raloxifene to tamoxifen for breast cancer risk reduction. Since the unblinding of the STAR trial in 2006, raloxifene has emerged as an option for reducing breast cancer risk for postmenopausal women at increased risk for the disease.
Adam C. Powell, Christopher T Lugo, Jeremy T Pickerell, James W Long, Bryan A Loy, and Amin J Mirhadi
Background : In the 1990s, it was demonstrated that Black patients were less likely to receive lung surgery for the treatment of Stage 1 lung cancer than White patients, and that Black patients were treated with greater delay. We examined
Mary K. Hayes, Mayra Frau, Erica Bloomquist, and Heather Wright
Background: Accurate axillary lymph node (LN) staging impacts prognosis and treatment. Breast surgeons use pre- and post neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) findings to plan extent of axillary LN surgery. NACT confers an excellent treatment response in