ESMO 2014 Congress

ROMANA 1 and 2

ROMANA 1 and 2, two phase 3 trials, have assessed the efficacy and safety of anamorelin hydrochloride, a selective ghrelin receptor agonist, in patients with cancer anorexia-cachexia and unresectable stage III/1V non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to either anamorelin or placebo.

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Rolapitant Reduces Chemo-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

MADRID — A new neurokinin receptor (NK)-1 antagonist, rolapitant (under development by Tesaro), could soon be available for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). Rolapitant was significantly better than placebo in a study reported here at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress 2014.

A complete response was achieved by more of the rolapitant group than of the placebo group for patients in the delayed phase of CINV (72.7% vs 58.4%; P < .001), the acute phase (83.7% vs 73.7%; P = .005), and the overall phase (70.1% vs 56.5%; P = .001).

The manufacturer has submitted the data for approval in the United States.

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The South African National Cancer Registry: an update

We would like to take this opportunity to correct the misconception created by the News piece published in The Lancet Oncology regarding the "demise" of the South African National Cancer Registry (NCR).

The NCR, a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, is the primary cancer surveillance system and largest repository of cancer data in South Africa. It was established in 1986 as a voluntary, pathology-based cancer surveillance system, and continues to operate; its database contains over 1·2 million cancer records with about 80 000 new cases added each year.

The misconception about the NCR referred to above might have come about because the NCR has had difficulties in the past due to changes in leadership, high staff turnover, and a lack of political and financial prioritisation of cancer surveillance caused by competing national health priorities at the peak of the HIV epidemic.

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MED12 Somatic Mutations in Breast Fibroadenoma

Multi-disciplinary research team discovers that a gene MED12 is frequently altered in fibroadenomas.

Fibroadenomas are the most common breast tumours in women under 30. In latest research study, published in the Nature Genetics, scientists from the National Cancer Centre Singapore, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, and Singapore General Hospital have made a seminal breakthrough in understanding of the molecular basis of fibroadenoma. They showed that 59% of breast fibroadenomas contain somatic mutations in exon 2 of MED12. This mutation pattern is shared with another female-specific benign tumour, uterine leiomyoma.

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Acquired Resistance to Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in Solid Tumours

A list of oncogene-addicted tumours that can be treated with targeted therapies expands. The lessons learned from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) regarding acquired resistance are likely to prove insightful, in terms of underlying mechanisms and novel approaches in clinical research.

In a review article, published online 1 July 2014 in the Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, a group of researchers explore breakthroughs in understanding and the treatment of acquired resistance, focusing on EGFR mutant and ALK rearrangement-positive NSCLC, which may be relevant across different oncogene-addicted solid malignancies.

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Commentary on OPTIMIZE-2: Duration of zoledronic acid for breast cancer bone metastases

Initial recruitment to OPTIMIZE-2 was slow due to placebo as a comparator arm. The study was then redesigned to address duration of treatment. Robert Coleman explains how the results can help plan treatment, highlighting advantages of a less intensified approach.

The findings can't be applied to other treatments for bone metastases and there is no need for further trials on bisphosphonate duration.

Watch the video here