OBR Daily Commentary

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Cancer Drug Shortage Arrives

(Anchorage Daily News) Nov 20, 2010 - Cancer doctors say a national shortage of a chemotherapy drug has hit Anchorage, is already disrupting treatment for local patients, and could affect dozens more if it continues.

(Posted: November 22, 2010)

quotesThe ongoing shortage of commonly used but older and more cost effective chemotherapy agents represents a major issue for Hem/Onc physicians and their patients. This is particularly true when the illness being treated is a curable malignancy such as Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The recent shortage of doxorubicin (Adriamycin) is the most difficult example yet of this recent phenomenon. There are no proven equivalent substitutes for doxorubicin for these highly curable patients. It is forcing many oncologists to ration or substitute less proven agents for these patients. The system needs to be modified so that these older agents can still be competitive for companies to make despite being cost effective. Alternatively, a standardized manufacturer that is underwritten by the government must assure there is an adequate supply for these life saving drugs available for our patients. quotes

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Pfizer: Cancer Drug Does Well in Late-stage Study

(North Jersey/AP) Nov 19, 2010 - Pfizer Inc., the world's largest pharmaceutical company, said Friday its potential kidney cancer treatment axitinib performed well in a late-stage study compared to another drug.

Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP (Posted: November 19, 2010)

quotesThe current report suggests that Axitinib compared favorably to Sorafenib in a trial in patients with RCCa who had progressed following prior antiangiogenic therapy. Although no specifics were given this trial will form the basis for a future FDA submission of this drug. The kidney cancer research community also awaits the results of a front line trial of Axitinib therapy in previously untreated patients. Axitinib is a "next generation", VEGFr TKI with nanomolar inhibitory concentrations against the targets most important in RCC biology, and if approved will add to the 6 FDA approved drugs over the past 5 years in this disease. The clinical community treating these patients awaits comparative effectiveness studies to place these therapies in context.quotes

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CT Scans Can Reduce Lung Cancer Deaths, Study Finds

(New York Times) Nov 4, 2010 - Annual CT scans of current and former heavy smokers reduce the risk that they will die from lung cancer by 20 percent, a huge government-financed study has found.

Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP (Posted: November 04, 2010)

quotesThis long awaited trial performed by the National Cancer Institute demonstrates the benefits of low dose spiral CT scanning in patients at risk for lung cancer when compared to chest x-ray. A 20 percent reduction in mortality allowed the DSMB to stop the trial and inform the results. These results will be presented more formally in a peer reviewed journal but will allow patients at risk to have the promise of an earlier identification of their cancer. Challenges to this effort will be the balanced discussion about the risk of pursuing false positive results that might allow for the additional risks of unnecessary biopsies, surgeries, producing potential morbidity. In balance the results of this long awaited study will change the paradigm for the identification of patients at risk for getting lung cancer by using low dose spiral CT scanning with the hopes of this extending to reducing mortality from lung cancer. These approaches are often best offered by multidisciplinary teams composed of diagnostic and interventional radiologists, thoracic oncologic surgeons, and lung cancer medical oncologists.quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Community Oncology
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Dean Gesme, MD

FACP FACPE FASCO President, Minnesota Oncology...

Breast Cancer
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Debu Tripathy, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncol...

Lung Cancer
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H. Jack West, MD

Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Swedish Ca...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Howard S. Hochster, MD

Associate Cancer Center Director, Yale Cancer Center P...

Radiation Oncology
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Howard Sandler, MD, MS, FASTRO

Professor and Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology...

Community Oncology
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Jeff Patton, M.D.

CEO Tennessee Oncology...

Precision Medicine Section Editor
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Jennifer Levin Carter, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer and Founder, N-of-One...

Health Policy
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Joseph Bailes, MD

National Health Policy Expert...

Financial Sector
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Michael G. King Jr.

Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Richard Goldberg, MD

Professor and Physician-in-Chief of the Ohios State Uni...

Editor-In-Chief
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Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Community Oncology
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Thomas Marsland, MD

Vice President Integrated Community Oncology Network ...

Community Oncology
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William Harwin MD

Florida Cancer Specialists President and Managing Part...

Health Policy
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William McGivney, PhD

National Health Policy Expert...

Payer
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Winston Wong, PharmD

President, W-Squared Group...