Kids of Childhood Cancer Survivors at No Greater Risk of Birth Defects
March 14, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
American Cancer Society Complete Guide to Nutrition for Cancer Survivors
March 14, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
LIVESTRONG Cancer Guide and Tracker App for iPad
March 14, 2012 – Jon Garinn
Q&A: Inequities in Cancer Care
March 14, 2012 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
Drug Approved to Treat Pre-Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Elizabeth Whittington
National Conference on Work and Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Jon Garinn
Gridiron Foes Tackle Cancer Off the Field
March 14, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
Answering Kids' Questions About Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Jane Hill
Will I Inherit the Risk for Cancer?
March 14, 2012 – Jeanne Erdmann
Be Your Own Best Advocate When it Comes to Bladder Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Lives Well Lived: Looking Back
March 14, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
What Defines a Cancer Cluster?
March 14, 2012 – Laura Beil
Mindfulness Made Easy
March 14, 2012 – Don Vaughan
Credible Cancer Websites
March 14, 2012
Tips for Vetting Online Cancer Information
March 14, 2012
Healthcare Law Requires Clinical Trial Coverage
March 14, 2012 – Lena Huang
Treatments in the Pipeline
March 14, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
True Breast Cancer Prevention Requires Looking at Environmental Chemicals
March 14, 2012 – Julia Brody, PhD
The Power of Positive Thinking
March 14, 2012 – Christine Sunderman Russell
Jury Still Out on Vitamin C's Effect on Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Lena Huang
Drug Shortage Crisis Averted, for Now
March 14, 2012
Dealing with Breakthrough Cancer Pain
March 14, 2012 – Lacey Meyer
Comments from Readers
March 14, 2012
Despite Advances, More Work is Needed in Bladder Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Honest Discussions Can Help Ease Kids' Anxiety About Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Jane Hill
For Some, Genetic Counseling Is a Lifelong Necessity
March 14, 2012 – Jeanne Erdmann
Stressed During Cancer Treatment? Try Meditating
March 14, 2012 – Don Vaughan
Finding Reliable Cancer Information Online
March 14, 2012 – Paul Engstrom
News from ASCO: Prostate and Colorectal Cancers
March 13, 2012 – Elizabeth Whittington
Advances in Bladder Cancer Treatment Around the Corner
March 14, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Turning 10
March 13, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
The Search for Environmental Carcinogens
March 14, 2012 – Laura Beil
Kids of Childhood Cancer Survivors at No Greater Risk of Birth Defects
March 14, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
American Cancer Society Complete Guide to Nutrition for Cancer Survivors
March 14, 2012 – Katherine Lagomarsino
LIVESTRONG Cancer Guide and Tracker App for iPad
March 14, 2012 – Jon Garinn
Q&A: Inequities in Cancer Care
March 14, 2012 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
Drug Approved to Treat Pre-Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Elizabeth Whittington
National Conference on Work and Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Jon Garinn
Gridiron Foes Tackle Cancer Off the Field
March 14, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
Answering Kids' Questions About Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Jane Hill
Will I Inherit the Risk for Cancer?
March 14, 2012 – Jeanne Erdmann
Be Your Own Best Advocate When it Comes to Bladder Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Lives Well Lived: Looking Back
March 14, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
What Defines a Cancer Cluster?
March 14, 2012 – Laura Beil
Mindfulness Made Easy
March 14, 2012 – Don Vaughan
Credible Cancer Websites
March 14, 2012
Tips for Vetting Online Cancer Information
March 14, 2012
Healthcare Law Requires Clinical Trial Coverage
March 14, 2012 – Lena Huang
Currently Viewing
Treatments in the Pipeline
March 14, 2012 – Lindsay Ray
The Power of Positive Thinking
March 14, 2012 – Christine Sunderman Russell
Jury Still Out on Vitamin C's Effect on Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Lena Huang
Drug Shortage Crisis Averted, for Now
March 14, 2012
Dealing with Breakthrough Cancer Pain
March 14, 2012 – Lacey Meyer
Comments from Readers
March 14, 2012
Despite Advances, More Work is Needed in Bladder Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Honest Discussions Can Help Ease Kids' Anxiety About Cancer
March 14, 2012 – Jane Hill
For Some, Genetic Counseling Is a Lifelong Necessity
March 14, 2012 – Jeanne Erdmann
Stressed During Cancer Treatment? Try Meditating
March 14, 2012 – Don Vaughan
Finding Reliable Cancer Information Online
March 14, 2012 – Paul Engstrom
News from ASCO: Prostate and Colorectal Cancers
March 13, 2012 – Elizabeth Whittington
Advances in Bladder Cancer Treatment Around the Corner
March 14, 2012 – Heather L. Van Epps, PhD
Turning 10
March 13, 2012 – Kathy LaTour
The Search for Environmental Carcinogens
March 14, 2012 – Laura Beil

Treatments in the Pipeline

The latest in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

BY Lindsay Ray
PUBLISHED March 14, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Erivedge (vismodegib), on Jan. 30 for patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC) that can’t be treated with surgery or radiation; and for metastatic BCC, making Erivedge the first drug approved by the FDA for metastatic BCC. In another first, Erivedge is the only drug approved that works by inhibiting the Hedgehog pathway, which is involved in controlling cancer cell division and is active in most BCCs. The drug is a pill taken once a day.

The approval is based on a multicenter trial with 96 patients. Of those with metastatic BCC, 30 percent had partial tumor shrinkage, and of those with locally advanced BCC, 43 percent had partial or complete tumor shrinkage.

Side effects include nausea, fatigue, hair loss, diarrhea, taste changes and weight loss. Some serious side effects may occur, so a boxed warning will be included on the drug package alerting physicians to the potential risks of death or birth defects for an unborn baby.

For details, visit erivedge.com or call 888-249-4918.

On Jan. 27, the FDA approved Inlyta (axitinib) for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) who haven’t responded to previous treatment.

Inlyta targets the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway, which is important to the development of new blood vessels in tumors, helping tumors grow.

The approval follows a 723-patient trial in which patients on Inlyta had a median progression-free survival of 6.7 months compared with 4.7 months on standard treatment, Nexavar (sorafenib).

Inlyta is a pill taken twice daily. Side effects include diarrhea, fatigue, high blood pressure, decreased appetite and nausea. Because it can cause high blood pressure, individuals with this condition should have it controlled before taking Inlyta. Also, sometimes serious bleeding problems can occur, so patients with untreated brain tumors or gastrointestinal bleeding should not take Inlyta.

For details, visit inlyta.com or call 877-744-5675.

For those who receive intravenous Velcade (bortezomib) injections for multiple myeloma or mantle cell lymphoma, there is now a new way to administer the drug. On Jan. 23, the FDA approved Velcade for subcutaneous (under the skin) injections.

The new method of administration results in fewer side effects, especially damage to the peripheral nerves, which leads to peripheral neuropathy (sensations of pain, numbness or tingling). In a company-sponsored trial, patients experienced less peripheral neuropathy when they had injections under the skin, 38 percent compared with 53 percent for intravenous injections.

The FDA OK’d expanded usage of Gleevec (imatinib) on Jan. 31 for treating gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).

Label updates includes information from a large study that showed patients who took Gleevec for three years had better overall survival (92 percent after five years) compared with those who took Gleevec for one year (82 percent at the five-year mark).

Initially, Gleevec received accelerated approval for advanced or unresectable GIST, and was then approved for adjuvant therapy after surgical removal of GIST.

Also, Gleevec received approval for patients with surgically removed CD117-positive GIST.

Due to two more cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a new boxed warning has been added to the label of the lymphoma drug Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin). PML is a rare but serious infection that damages nerves in the brain and can be lifethreatening.

A warning against using Adcetris with bleomycin due to increased risk of lung toxicity was also added to the label.

Pixantrone was pulled from the FDA approval pipeline in January. The FDA rejected the drug in 2010, but the drug’s manufacturer appealed and resubmitted it for approval as a treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients who no longer responded to other therapies. An FDA advisory meeting was set for Feb. 9, with a possible approval in April, but the manufacturer pulled the application to allow the company more time to prepare for the review. It plans to resubmit later this year.

On Jan. 17, the FDA approved Voraxaze (glucarpidase) for patients with toxic levels of methotrexate in their blood after kidney damage.

Methotrexate is used to treat many cancers, in combination or alone, and is normally passed from the body through the kidneys. However, high doses can cause kidney damage, raising the level of the drug in the system. Voraxaze breaks down methotrexate so it can then be eliminated from the body.

Side effects include low blood pressure, headache, nausea and vomiting.

On the pain front, another form of fentanyl received FDA approval for breakthrough cancer pain on Jan. 4. Breakthrough cancer pain is a pain flare that “breaks through” even when the patient is already taking pain relief medication. Subsys is an under-the-tongue spray approved for patients who are tolerant to opioid medications used for persistent pain.

Side effects are similar to other forms of fentanyl and include vomiting, nausea and constipation.

Be the first to discuss this article on CURE's forum. >>
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the General Discussions CURE discussion group.

Related Articles

1
×

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!
×

Sign Up

Are you a member? Please Log In