Tag: Birmingham

In aggressive primary brain tumors (glioblastoma), new treatment method prolongs survival

At the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research meeting earlier this year, final trial results of a new approach to treat brain tumors was published. This new approach delivers low-intensity electric fields (tumor treating fields) to the brain through a cap that a patient wears throughout the day.  A randomized trial comparing standard chemotherapy to… Read more »

FDA approves first chemotherapy and immunotherapy combination for non-small cell lung cancer

The FDA recently granted accelerated approval for pembrolizumab in combination with pemetrexed and carboplatin for the treatment of patients with previously untreated metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (non-squamous). This is the first approval to combine immunotherapy with chemotherapy in lung cancer.  The trial compared standard chemotherapy to pembrolizumab along with standard chemotherapy in patients that… Read more »

FDA approves immunotherapy for first molecular indication irregardless of tumor type

In May, the FDA approved pembrolizumab in any unresectable or metastatic tumor with mismatch repair deficiency or microsatellite instability. These are terms to describe mutations found in some tumors that prevent your body’s cells from repairing errors in DNA copy.  This leads to instability and tumor growth.  The most common tumor types where we find… Read more »

Less chemotherapy after colon cancer surgery may be just as effective in some patients

Recently, results of the International Duration Evaluation of Adjuvant Chemotherapy (IDEA) trial were published. This study compared the efficacy of two different durations of chemotherapy after resection of stage III colon cancer: 3 months vs 6 months of chemotherapy with standard chemotherapy drugs, 5FU and oxaliplatin.  The study showed only a very small benefit in… Read more »

Recent study shows chemotherapy after biliary tract cancer resection significantly improves how long patients live

Galbladder and biliary tract cancer (your biliary tract connects your liver and galbadder to your pancreas and intestine and helps in food digestion) are rare types of cancer, sometimes associated with underlying liver disease.  It is usually a very aggressive tumor and difficult to cure, even with surgery. In the past, there have been no… Read more »

Adding abiraterone to standard hormone therapy improves survival in advanced prostate cancer

Previously, treatment for new metastatic prostate cancer had been to treat with hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapy to deplete testosterone levels) with possibly adding chemotherapy for higher risk patients. A recent study called the LATITUDE study showed that patients who received androgen deprivation therapy along with a drug called abitaterone acetate (a pill that further… Read more »

HOAA Cancer Update: Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is a disease that often requires oncologists to work alongside urologists to achieve the best outcomes. The standard treatment for bladder cancer or urothelial cancer for many years was radical surgery by itself. Recent data have shown that chemotherapy works well to help shrink the tumor and increase the chance of cure with… Read more »