The Lowdown on Skin Cancer

Skin is our largest organ and one that is not immune to developing cancerous cells. Skin cancer develops when damaged cells start growing and dividing uncontrollably in the skin. This form of cancer is the most prevalent with more than one million cases in the United States diagnosed each year. Here we will cover some of the commonly asked questions about skin cancer.

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Poniard Completes Patient Enrollment Target In Phase 3 Spear Trial Of Picoplatin In Small Cell Lung Cancer

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.– Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology, today announced that it has reached its enrollment target of 400 patients in the SPEAR (Study of Picoplatin Efficacy After Relapse) trial. This global, pivotal Phase 3 trial is evaluating the efficacy and safety of picoplatin in patients with recurrent small cell lung cancer (SCLC) who have failed prior platinum-containing first-line chemotherapy or who have progressed within six months of first-line therapy. Patients have been enrolled at more than 100 clinical trial sites in 16 countries in Europe, South America and Asia. “Completion of patient enrollment in our pivotal Phase 3 SPEAR trial represents an import…

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Investigation of the usability of conebeam CT data sets for dose calculation

Background:
To investigate the feasibility and accuracy of dose calculation in cone beam CT (CBCT) data sets.
Methods:
Kilovoltage CBCT images were acquired with the Elekta XVI system, CT studies generated with a conventional multi-slice CT scanner (Siemens Somatom Sensation Open) served as reference images. Material specific volumes of interest (VOI) were defined for commercial CT Phantoms (CATPhan(R) and Gammex RMI(R)) and CT values were evaluated in CT and CBCT images. For CBCT imaging, the influence of image acquisition parameters such as tube voltage, with or without filter (F1 or F0) and collimation on the CT values was investigated. CBCT images of 33 patients (pelvis n=11, thorax n=11, head n=11) were compared with corresponding planning CT studies. Dose distributions for three different treatment plans were calculated in CT and CBCT images and differences were evaluated. Four different correction strategies to match CT values (HU) and density (D) in CBCT images were analysed: standard CT HU-D table without adjustment for CBCT; phantom based HU-D tables; patient group based HU-D tables (pelvis, thorax, head); and patient specific HU-D tables.
Results:
CT values in the CBCT images of the CATPhan(R) were highly variable depending on the image acquisition parameters: a mean difference of 564 HU +/- 377 HU was calculated between CT values determined from the planning CT and CBCT images. Hence, two protocols were selected for CBCT imaging in the further part of the study and HU-D tables were always specific for these protocols (pelvis and thorax with M20F1 filter, 120 kV; head S10F0 no filter, 100kV). For dose calculation in real patient CBCT images, the largest differences between CT and CBCT were observed for the standard CT HU-D table: differences were 8.0 % +/- 5.7 %, 10.9 % +/- 6.8 % and 14.5 % +/- 10.4 % respectively for pelvis, thorax and head patients using clinical treatment plans. The use of patient and group based HU-D tables resulted in small dose differences between planning CT and CBCT: 0.9 % +/- 0.9 %, 1.8 % +/- 1.6 %, 1.5 % +/- 2.5 % for pelvis, thorax and head patients, respectively. The application of the phantom based HU-D table was acceptable for the head patients but larger deviations were determined for the pelvis and thorax patient populations.
Conclusion:
The generation of three HU-D tables specific for the anatomical regions pelvis, thorax and head and specific for the corresponding CBCT image acquisition parameters resulted in accurate dose calculation in CBCT images. Once these HU-D tables are created, direct dose calculation on CBCT datasets is possible without the need of a reference CT images for pixel value calibration.

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Nereus Pharmaceuticals Initiates ADVANCE, A Randomized Phase 2 Clinical Trial Of NPI-2358 In Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

SAN DIEGO — Nereus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pioneer in drug discovery from marine microbial sources, today announced that it is conducting a randomized Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the vascular disrupting agent (VDA) NPI-2358 in combination with standard chemotherapy (docetaxel) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This study follows on positive outcomes in the Phase 1 study assessing the safety, pharmacokinetics and efficacy of the combination. Preclinical and clinical data suggest that VDAs may be complementary or synergistic with chemotherapeutics and anti-angiogenesis agents due to the different targets and mechanisms of action. In addition, the non-overlapping side effect profile of VDAs compa…

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Med Biogene Expands Collaboration With University Health Network For Novel Gene-Markers Predictive Of Chemotherapy Response In Lung Cancer

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Med BioGene Inc. today announced that it has expanded its previous exclusive license and collaboration with the University Health Network in Toronto to develop and commercialize LungExpress Dx(TM) to include additional novel gene expression-based markers for early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). LungExpress Dx(TM) is a proprietary gene expression-based assay for early-stage NSCLC that will be used to predict a patient’s prognosis for survival and the magnitude of benefit for adjuvant chemotherapy. “Not all patients benefit from chemotherapy and not all patients require chemotherapy after surgery,” said Dr. Ming-Sound Tsao of the University Health Network. “Knowing that a patie…

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The Lowdown on Skin Cancer

Skin is our largest organ and one that is not immune to developing cancerous cells. Skin cancer develops when damaged cells start growing and dividing uncontrollably in the skin. This form of cancer is the most prevalent with more than one million cases in the United States diagnosed each year. Here we will cover some of the commonly asked questions about skin cancer.

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Parotid gland sparing IMRT for head and neck cancer improves xerostomia related quality of life

Background and purpose: To assess the impact of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) versus conventional radiation on late xerostomia and Quality of Life aspects in head and neck cancer patients.
Patients and methods: Questionnaires on xerostomia in rest and during meals were sent to all patients treated between January 1999 and December 2003 with a T1-4, N0-2 M0 head and neck cancer, with parotid gland sparing IMRT or conventional bilateral neck irradiation to a dose of at least 60 Gy, who were progression free and had no disseminated disease (n= 192). Overall response was 85 % (n = 163); 97 % in the IMRT group (n = 75) and 77 % in the control group (n = 88) the median follow-up was 2.6 years. The prevalence of complaints was compared between the two groups, correcting for all relevant factors at multivariate ordinal regression analysis.
Results:
Patients treated with IMRT reported significantly less difficulty transporting and swallowing their food and needed less water for a dry mouth during day, night and meals. They also experienced fewer problems with speech and eating in public. Laryngeal cancer patients in general had fewer complaints than oropharynx cancer patients but both groups benefited from IMRT. Within the IMRT group the xerostomia scores were better for those patients with a mean parotid dose to the "spared" parotid below 26 Gy.
Conclusions:
Parotid gland sparing IMRT for head and neck cancer patients improves xerostomia related quality of life compared to conventional radiation both in rest and during meals. Laryngeal cancer patients had fewer complaints but benefited equally compared to oropharyngeal cancer patients from IMRT.

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Gemin X Initiates Phase 2 Clinical Study Of Obatoclax In Combination With Standard Chemotherapy For First-Line Treatment Of Small Cell Lung Cancer

Gemin X Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, targeted cancer therapeutics, announced the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical trial of its lead product candidate obatoclax (GX15-070) for the treatment of patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC). In this multi-center, randomized, open-label Phase 2 study, clinical effect of a combination of carboplatin, etoposide and obatoclax (the CEO regimen) will be compared to the standard chemotherapeutic therapy of carboplatin and etoposide alone (the control arm) in patients with SCLC. The primary endpoint of the study, expected to enroll approximately 150 patients with SCLC, is comparison of overall response rate (ORR) for the obatoclax-contain…

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CyberKnife Radiosurgery For Lung Cancer Sees Increased Interest And Continued Rapid Growth

Accuray Incorporated, a global leader in the field of radiosurgery, announced significant growth in CyberKnife lung cancer treatments in calendar year 2008. The number of lung cancer patients treated with CyberKnife radiosurgery in the United States grew 52 percent from calendar year 2007 to 2008 and 43 percent worldwide. Additionally the overall number of patients treated with CyberKnife radiosurgery grew to more than 60,000 patients – a 14 percent increase from calendar year 2007 to 2008, demonstrating the increasing awareness and continued rapid adoption of CyberKnife radiosurgery, with lung being the leading extracranial indication by utilization in calendar year 2008. The increasing interest in CyberKnife radiosurgery for lung tumor…

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New Lung Cancer Radiation Therapy Created

PHILADELPHIA — U.S. radiologists say they have developed a new lung cancer treatment that avoids conventional radiation regimens or surgical procedures. Temple University Professor Curtis Miyamoto, who led the research, said the technique — stereotactic body radiotherapy — improves the odds of surviving early stage lung cancer. “With the success of this technique, we’re now questioning whether we’ll even be doing surgeries on these patients in the future,” Miyamoto said. Unlike conventional radiation therapy for lung cancer that can involve therapy five days a week for six or seven weeks, the SBRT treatment requires only three to eight treatments. For those who undergo SBRT, the median survival range is more tha…

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