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Kwang-Yu Chang, Jang-Yang Chang, Joseph Chao, and Yun Yen

Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer worldwide, and one of the most fatal diseases despite modern medical treatment. Because correct staging and surveillance of neoadjuvant therapy for esophageal cancer is mandatory for further treatment planning, choosing a modern imaging system is important. The development of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG-PET) has provided alternate means of tumor detection distinct from more conventional methods. This modality has extraordinary performance in detecting locoregional lymph node involvement and distant metastatic disease, and has been introduced as a powerful tool in many guidelines. However, some factors still lead to false-negative or -positive results, raising questions of its accuracy. This article discusses the clinical efficacy of PET in staging and surveillance of neoadjuvant therapy in esophageal cancer, comparing its accuracy with conventional imaging modalities.

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Kwang-Yu Chang, Jang-Yang Chang, and Yun Yen

Primary liver cancer is the sixth most common cancer and third most common cause of cancer death worldwide. Cholangiocarcinoma is the second most common primary liver tumor after hepatocellular carcinoma. Because the incidence of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is rising in most areas worldwide, identification of the main causes of this problem is urgently needed. Despite well-known risk factors in the development of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, recent reports focus on chronic hepatitis B and C viral infections because an increasing number of studies have observed an association. The relationship, however, is still not conclusive because of the diversity in clinical reports and the lack of in vitro evidences. This issue should be emphasized and further investigation is required for clarification.

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Robert A. Figlin, Elizabeth Brown, Andrew J. Armstrong, Wallace Akerley, Al B. Benson III, Harold J. Burstein, David S. Ettinger, Phillip G. Febbo, Matthew G. Fury, Gary R. Hudes, Merrill S. Kies, Eunice L. Kwak, Robert J. Morgan Jr., Joanne Mortimer, Karen Reckamp, Alan P. Venook, Frank Worden, and Yun Yen

The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein complex functions as an integration center for various intracellular signaling pathways involving cell cycle progression, proliferation, and angiogenesis. These pathways are frequently dysregulated in cancer, and therefore mTOR inhibition is a potentially important antitumor target. Commercially available mTOR inhibitors include rapamycin (i.e., sirolimus) and temsirolimus. Other agents under investigation include everolimus and deforolimus. mTOR inhibition has been studied in various solid tumors, including breast, gynecologic, gastrointestinal, prostate, lung, and head and neck cancers. Studies have focused on mTOR inhibition as a monotherapy or in combination with other drugs based on the principle that inhibiting as many targets as possible reduces the emergence of drug resistance. Temsirolimus is currently the only mTOR inhibitor that is specifically labeled for treatment of solid tumors. However, preclinical studies and early-phase trials are rapidly evolving. Additionally, research is further defining the complicated mTOR pathways and how they may be disordered in specific malignancies. To address these issues, NCCN convened a task force to review the underlying physiology of mTOR and related cellular pathways, and to review the current status of research of mTOR inhibition in solid tumors. (JNCCN 2008;6[Suppl 5]:S1—S20)

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Al B. Benson III, Thomas A. Abrams, Edgar Ben-Josef, P. Mark Bloomston, Jean F. Botha, Bryan M. Clary, Anne Covey, Steven A. Curley, Michael I. D'Angelica, Rene Davila, William D. Ensminger, John F. Gibbs, Daniel Laheru, Mokenge P. Malafa, Jorge Marrero, Steven G. Meranze, Sean J. Mulvihill, James O. Park, James A. Posey, Jasgit Sachdev, Riad Salem, Elin R. Sigurdson, Constantinos Sofocleous, Jean-Nicolas Vauthey, Alan P. Venook, Laura Williams Goff, Yun Yen, and Andrew X. Zhu

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Al B. Benson III, Michael I. D’Angelica, Thomas A. Abrams, Chandrakanth Are, P. Mark Bloomston, Daniel T. Chang, Bryan M. Clary, Anne M. Covey, William D. Ensminger, Renuka Iyer, R. Kate Kelley, David Linehan, Mokenge P. Malafa, Steven G. Meranze, James O. Park, Timothy Pawlik, James A. Posey, Courtney Scaife, Tracey Schefter, Elin R. Sigurdson, G. Gary Tian, Jean-Nicolas Vauthey, Alan P. Venook, Yun Yen, Andrew X. Zhu, Karin G. Hoffmann, Nicole R. McMillian, and Hema Sundar

Hepatobiliary cancers include a spectrum of invasive carcinomas arising in the liver (hepatocellular carcinoma), gall bladder, and bile ducts (cholangiocarcinomas). Gallbladder cancer and cholangiocarcinomas are collectively known as biliary tract cancers. Gallbladder cancer is the most common and aggressive type of all the biliary tract cancers. Cholangiocarcinomas are diagnosed throughout the biliary tree and are typically classified as either intrahepatic or extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas are more common than intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas. This manuscript focuses on the clinical management of patients with gallbladder cancer and cholangiocarcinomas (intrahepatic and extrahepatic).