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Advanced Transitional Cell Carcinoma treatment with Docetaxel and Gemcitabine Phase II study
By HCat at 2007-01-10 06:06

    Transitional cell carcinomaterm (TCC) of the urothelium (these are epithelial cells that mainly line the urinary tract) is usually treated with a combination regimen of methotrexate/vinblastine/doxorubicine/cisplatin (known as M-VAC). Recent reports from a phase III trial showed that M-VAC versus gemcitabine plus cisplatin (GC) had similar response rates, time to progression and overall survival. However, GC was less toxic than M-VAC and the need for overall survival improvement needed to be increased. This article presents a phase II study of a combination of gemcitabine and docetaxel. Gemcitabine [Gemzar from Eli Lilly] is a DNA analogue that inhibits DNA synthesis ultimately leading to cell death. Docetaxel [Taxotere from Sanofi Aventis] is a paclitaxel analogue that stabilizes tubulin ultimately preventing cellular division and leading to cell death. These two drugs are thought to have a synergistic effect. That is, the combination effect of the two drugs is greater than that predicted from the effects from single drug therapy.

    The trial included 34 patients with advanced TCC that was unresectable for cure or had measurable metastasistermterm were non-randomly selected with primary tumor sites being 26 bladder, 5 kidney, and 3 ureter. 7 patients had previous chemotherapyterm (21%). 82% had previous surgery to remove the primary tumor, with 20 patients having some form of metastasis. Haematologic (blood) toxicity was common during treatment (24% in some side effectsterm). A complete response (CR) was seen in 2 patients (5.8%) where all lesions or growths disappeared. A partial response (PR) was seen in 16 patients where the lesion or growth size was decreased by 30% or more. This gave an overall response rate (OR) of 53%. One aspect the study noted was a shift in the distribution of gemcitabine from the plasmid to the red blood cells (RBC).
One part the researchers note in the study is the high OR rate. Other studies of this combination of drug have shown OR rates of 17% as a second line and 33% as a first line of treatment. The researchers suggests the reason for the better response rate in their study is their study has a larger number of patients who have never been treated with chemo drugs (chemotherapy-naïve) and has a more favorable drug administration schedule.

read more | 4045 reads

Multiple Cancer Types treated with Photodynamic Therapy for Tumor Ablation
By HCat at 2007-01-09 03:04

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is more than 25 years old, yet this cancer therapy is now becoming more widely used in multiple cancer treatment areas. PDT uses an injectable drug (usually photofrin) that is light sensitive to certain wavelengths. When this photosensitizer is hit with light at the particular wavelengths, a chemical-light reaction occurs in which numerous oxygen radicals are formed. These oxygen radicals cause damage and death to cells, inducing apoptosis and necrosis to the surrounding tissue while also initiating the immune and inflammation response within the body. To specify where the damage occurs, the light source is inserted into a fiber optic wire within a needle. The needle is then guided to the site of the cancer through various imaging techniques such as computed tomographic (CT) imaging or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

read more | 2458 reads

Her-1 EGFR mechanism of Tarceva video
By Dross at 2007-01-03 03:28

The Tarceva website has an interesting 3d video of the proposed mechanism of action of their drug. Interesting. Click here to watch


This was not a paid link.

2245 reads

Probing the blood peptidome for cancer biomarkers
By HCat at 2006-12-31 01:12

    The blood peptidome is the low molecular weight range of the serum proteome and is generally less than 50kDa. That is within the blood there are small sized protein bits which contain signatures and fragments from larger proteins. These signatures are being studied to see if there are possibilities in using the identification of fragments as markers for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. The discovery of new biomarkers in the past years has rapidly declined so that the field of biomarkers has shifted from single protein reliance, such as PSA for prostate cancer status, to multiple proteins to give an enhanced detailed prognosis.

read more | 1741 reads

Telik Reports Preliminary Results on ASSIST-1, ASSIST-2 and ASSIST-3 Phase 3 Clinical Trials
By admin at 2006-12-27 03:29

PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Telik, Inc. (NASDAQ:TELK) announced preliminary results from three separate Phase 3 clinical trials of its investigational drug TELCYTA (TLK286, canfosfamide HCl).

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
ASSIST-2 Trial

The ASSIST-2 trial, a 520 patient multinational, randomized study designed to evaluate TELCYTA as compared to gefitinib in the third-line therapy of advanced non-small cell lung cancer, did not achieve a statistically significant improvement in overall survival, the primary endpoint.

Platinum Refractory or Resistant Ovarian Cancer

read more | 888 reads

Low-protein diet might reduce cancer risk
By admin at 2006-12-15 04:40

[via Low-protein diet might reduce cancer risk]:NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Researchers studying a group of vegetarians who'd maintained a diet relatively low in protein and calories found that they had lower blood levels of several hormones and other substances that have been tied to certain cancers.

A comparison group of distance runners also had lower levels of most of these substances compared with sedentary adults who followed a typical American diet -- that is, relatively high in protein from meat and dairy.

read more | 838 reads

Breast cancer may be sexually transmitted
By admin at 2006-12-13 22:57

[via Breast cancer may be sexually transmitted]:Emeritus Professor James Lawson of the University of New South Wales has shown that 24 out of 50 positive breast cancer patients also show HPV infection, the same virus that causes cervical cancer. The infected women also skew towards a more sexually active, younger group.

834 reads

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Commences Phase II, Multi-Center Study of KRX-0401 for the Treatment of Rare Sarcomas
By admin at 2006-12-13 22:49

The News that anAkt inhibitor is out and being used in Trials is a big one. Akt is often called the master kinase and is indeed upregulated in some cancers, such as prostate. Further info regarding Akt will be forthcoming but please pay close attention to this press release.Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:KERX) announced today the initiation of a corporate-sponsored phase II clinical program to evaluate KRX-0401 (perifosine) as a treatment for rare sarcomas. This Phase II study will be conducted by the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC) multi-center network, which includes nationally recognized sarcoma centers and investigators throughout the United States. Dr. Dejka M. Steinert, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sarcoma at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas will act as Principal Investigator for the study.

read more | 646 reads

Results Reported at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting Affirm Impressive Activity of Allos Therapeutics'
By admin at 2006-12-12 01:53
Allos Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALTH) today announced the presentation of interim results from its on-going Phase 1/2 trial of PDX (pralatrexate) in patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Hodgkin's Disease. Owen A. O'Connor, M.D., Ph.D., Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Therapeutics for Lymphoproliferative Malignancies, Lymphoma and Development Chemotherapy Services, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), and the study's principal investigator, presented the findings in an oral presentation today at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in Orlando, FL.
read more | 737 reads

Bone Marrow Transplantation - Abstract of article: Comparison of long-term outcomes after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell tra
By admin at 2006-12-11 05:52

Bone Marrow Transplantation (2006) 38, 799–805. doi:10.1038/sj.bmt.1705531; published online 30 October 2006 Bone Marrow Transplantation - Abstract of article: Comparison of long-term outcomes after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from matched sibling and unrelated donors]:Long-term survivors of hematopoietic stem cell transplants remain at risk of potentially fatal complications that detract from life quality. Long-term morbidity and mortality were compared between matched recipient cohorts surviving 2 or more years and defined by donor type, HLA matched sibling donor (MSD) or volunteer unrelated donor (URD). Patients were previously entered into the prospective multicenter International Unrelated Search and Transplant Study. Thirty-nine centers provided data on 108 URD and 355 MSD recipients surviving more than 2 years. Long-term survival, performance status, chronic GvHD (c-GvHD), secondary malignancy, endocrine dysfunction, cataracts, bone necrosis and dental pathology were compared between cohorts. Twelve year survival was 77plusminus5% for the MSD and 67plusminus11% for the URD cohort (P=0.1). Late death occurred in 105 of 463 recipients alive at 2 years, 73 after 355 (21%) MSD and 32 after 108 (30%) URD transplants, P=0.10. Of 105 deaths, the cause was relapse in 60 and unrelated to relapse in 45 cases. Cumulative incidence of extensive c-GvHD (P=0.002), cataracts (P=0.02) and bone necrosis (P=0.02) was higher after URD transplants. No long-term difference in endocrine dysfunction, secondary malignancy and major dental pathology was detected. This landmark study will assist physicians counseling patients pre-transplant and with their long-term care post transplant.

read more | 1745 reads

FDA Approves VELCADE(R) (Bortezomib) for Injection for Aggressive Form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
By admin at 2006-12-09 05:48

Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLNM) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted full approval of VELCADE for the treatment of patients with mantle cell lymphomaterm (MCL) who have received at least one prior therapy. MCL is a relatively uncommon and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for which there was no standard of care in the relapsed or refractory setting. MCL has a U.S. prevalence of 10,000 patients. VELCADE is currently the market leader in multiple myeloma (MM) for patients who have received one prior therapy. Today's approval marks the first indication for VELCADE in lymphoma, the most common blood cancer.

read more | 1695 reads

Pfizer's heart-drug hiccup is only the beginning of its woes - Dec. 4, 2006
By admin at 2006-12-05 03:10

Here is an interesting article on the state of the large drug companies. Very good synopsis of what torcetripib did not become.

[via Pfizer's heart-drug hiccup is only the beginning of its woes - Dec. 4, 2006]:That's a lot of pressure, especially in a sector where everyone - from AstraZeneca (Charts) to Bristol Myers Squibb (Charts), Eli Lilly (Charts), Johnson & Johnson (Charts), Merck (Charts), Schering Plough (Charts), and Wyeth (Charts) - is witnessing a malaise in research laboratories.

read more | 759 reads

Biotech has lackluster month of November
By admin at 2006-12-04 09:49

[via PR Newswire for Journalists :: Welcome]:SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The results of the mid-term elections, which saw the Democrats achieve majorities in both the House and Senate for the first time since 1994, has already begun to send shock waves through the biotech and pharma industries during November. "We know that Congress will shift when Democrats take over both the House and Senate in January, with a new focus on healthcare, especially Medicare part B that will potentially plague the pharma and product based biotech industry," commented G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Company, a San Francisco based global leader in life sciences whose principal activities are in Venture Capital, Merchant Banking and Media.

read more | 963 reads

Gene Changes Linked to Most Common Form of Melanoma
By admin at 2006-11-22 11:08


A new study may shed some light on why some people develop melanoma on parts of their bodies that don't get much sun.


Researchers say these people often have a variation in a gene called MC1R which makes the skin sensitive to small amounts of any type of ultraviolet (UV) light.


Why it's important: Melanoma can be a deadly cancer that often strikes people in early adulthood and middle age. In 2006, an estimated 62,190 people in the United States will be diagnosed with melanoma and nearly 8,000 people will die from this cancer. Some people seem especially prone to melanoma. If doctors could identify who these people are, they might be able to take steps to reduce their risk. There are no tests available yet, but the information from this study may be a step in that direction.

read more | 1501 reads

Familial (inherited) leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma: an overview.
By admin at 2006-11-22 11:04
* Segel GB,
* Lichtman MA.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.

We have reviewed the world's literature that addresses familial leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. We have catalogued the phenotypic abnormalities associated with an increased risk of developing a hematological malignancy. These syndromes, such as Fanconi anemia or familial platelet syndrome, have been well characterized and in many cases the gene responsible for the predisposition has been defined. We have focused, however, on reports of a familial incidence of hematological malignancy in which no prior predisposing syndrome was reported. In this circumstance, so-called pure familial leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma, the intergenerational incidence of disease occurred in ostensibly healthy persons. These families have been grouped into sets in which (a) anticipation, (b) immune abnormalities, (c) linkage to HLA phenotypes, (d) linkage to chromosome abnormalities, or (e) gene abnormalities have been reported. They have also been grouped by type of leukemia. Purely descriptive reports, not accompanied by some information on pathogenesis, have not been included. They are catalogued in some of the references cited in this paper. Anticipation is a prominent feature of familial leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, supporting the concept of germline transmission of a susceptibility gene. Although linkage to an HLA phenotype occurs in some families, no consistent intrafamilial pattern has emerged. Deletion of chromosome 7 is associated with familial acute myelogenous leukemia, but no other recurring localization has been established. Although putative susceptibility genes have been identified in some families, the likelihood is that the mode of inheritance is different in different families and different genes are involved even within a specific Mendelian pattern. Although as yet not reported, the frequency of familial CLL and the intensity of its study indicates that the gene or genes involved in that familial disorder(s) should be identified conclusively soon if sufficient families for study can be assembled through international cooperation.
read more | 1425 reads


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