OBR Daily Commentary

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Pfizer Files With The FDA For Review Of Axitinib For Patients With Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

(Pfizer) June 28, 2011 - Pfizer Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted Pfizer’s filing for standard review of axitinib for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP (Posted: June 28, 2011)

quotesNext generation VEGFr targeted therapies carry the hope of an improved therapeutic index when compared to already existing treatment options. Axitinib is one such agent and is being submitted to the FDA for an approval in advanced renal cell carcinoma. The recent presentation at ASCO of the results of the AXIS trial compared Axitinib to Sorafenib in previously treated patients. It demonstrated statistical benefit overall as well as in populations that had received prior cytokines or Sunitinib. Although this trial is the catalyst for submission to the FDA, the community of treating oncologists await the randomized trial in the previously untreated patient population to determine whether this next generation agent may provide additional benefit when compared to other already existing VEGFr TKI's. Ultimately having more agents in renal cell carcinoma is only of value if we are producing more benefit for our patients in the form of longer progression free survivals, better overall survival, while reducing the known side effects of this class of agents. Whether Axitinib offers this opportunity remains to be seen in the further evaluation of this agent.quotes

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AstraZeneca's Ending Of Doctors' Free Trips To Spread

(Morningstar/Dow Jones Newswires) June 28, 2011 - AstraZeneca PLC's decision to scrap payments for doctors to attend international medical congresses is ground breaking but necessary if the pharmaceutical industry wants to improve its tarnished image, said Richard Bergstrom, who heads the industry's European trade body.

(Posted: June 28, 2011)

quotesThe decision for AstraZeneca to stop paying directly for doctors to attend international medical meetings is a good one from the aspect of trying to stop direct influence on the physicians by pharma. However, this will cause a problem for the physician's ongoing medical education. I think a good way to achieve this goal without the potential for conflict of interest would be for the pharmaceutical companies to contribute to a pooled fund to ASCO or ASH that the physicians could apply for a "scholarship" to attend the meetings. This way the companies are still helping with the education, but it is not tied to any one company so that it does not appear that any return is required on the part of the physicians. quotes

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Smoking Linked to More Aggressive Prostate Cancer

(CNN Health) June 21 2011 - Men with prostate cancer who are cigarette smokers at the time of their diagnosis are much more likely to die of the disease or experience a recurrence than nonsmokers, including former smokers who kicked the habit at least 10 years before diagnosis.

Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP (Posted: June 22, 2011)

quotesThat smoking is related to a more aggressive prostate cancer is but one additional risk factor we are finding for some cancers with poorer outcomes. A similar result was recently reported in JCO 2011 for another GU malignancy, renal cell carcinoma. Additionally the benefits of targeted therapy may be reduced in patients who continue to smoke while receiving care. This is also true in lung cancer where smoking alters the metabolism of the EGFr TKI's in patients with advanced disease. Medical oncologists treating patients who continue to smoke while receiving systemic therapy need to become increasingly aware of the negative outcomes associated with this behavior.quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Prostate Cancer
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Tomasz M. Beer, MD, FACP

Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Medical O...

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

Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Woo...

Radiation Oncology
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Howard Sandler, MD, MS, FASTRO

Ronald H. Bloom Chair in Cancer Therapeutics
Pr...

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...

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

Director WVU Cancer Institute Director of Cancer Signa...

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

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Health Policy
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Ted Okon

Executive Director Community Oncology Alliance...

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...