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FDA Warns Docetaxel May Cause Alcohol Intoxication Symptoms After Treatment

FDA Warns Docetaxel May Cause Alcohol Intoxication Symptoms After Treatment | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The FDA has issued an alert to health care professionals that docetaxel contains ethanol, which may cause patients to experience intoxication during and after treatment.


"The FDA is currently revising the labels of all docetaxel drug products to warn about this potential risk. Health care professionals should consider the alcohol content of docetaxel when prescribing or administering the drug to patients, especially in those whom alcohol intake should be avoided or reduced and when using it concomitantly with other medications."

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Healio  |  Jun 20, 2014

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Healio  |  Jun 20, 2014

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Healio  |  Jun 20, 2014

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Prolonged Fasting 'Re-Boots' Immune System

Prolonged Fasting 'Re-Boots' Immune System | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Results of a new study on mice and a phase 1 trial of humans suggest that prolonged cycles of fasting - for 2-4 days at a time - not only protect against toxic effects of chemotherapy, but also trigger stem cell regeneration of new immune cells and clearing out of old, damaged cells.


"The study, by researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, and published in the journalCell Stem Cell, is the first to show that a natural intervention can trigger regeneration of an organ or system through stem cells.


"The team believes the findings could benefit people with immune system damage, for example if they have received chemotherapy treatment for cancer. It could also benefit the elderly whose immune systems are weakened through aging, making them more susceptible to disease."

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Medical News Today  |  Jun 6, 2014

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Medical News Today  |  Jun 6, 2014

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Intuitively this week, my body felt like it needed to fast.  Intuitively, even thought I'd only planned a two day juice fast, it turned into four.  With the right plan for fasting, and doctor's supervision as needed depending on your state of health or knowledge about how to fast correctly, it is highly doable.  

 

I use a company that specializes in juicing and provides a whole kit of raw juices designed to give me different nutrients at different times of the day and it's all organic.  I was never hungry and only had one afternoon dealing with a detox headache from going off caffeine. The rest of the time I was completely energized.  Returning to food now, my body is craving raw vegetables and has no desire for caffeine or some of the other nutritional "slips" into foods that aren't healthy for me.

 

Amazing to see more natural paths to healing being embraced by the medical community.  Medical interventions are sometimes very necessary and so I am grateful that we have them.  It's not an either/or...it's an and - how can more "traditional" medical approaches and some natural approaches work together for best outcomes...that's an exciting place to be.

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Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Completes Enrollment in Phase 2 Trial of SPI-2012 - A Novel Long-Acting Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor (GCSF) to Treat Chemotherapy-induced Neutropenia

"Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI), a biotechnology company with fully integrated commercial and drug development operations and with a primary focus in Hematology and Oncology, today announced that the key phase 2 trial of its long-acting granulocyte stimulating factor analog developed using LAPSCOVERY technology (SPI-2012) has completed its Phase 2 study enrollment; this positions Spectrum for Phase 3 decision making before year end."


Editor's note: Neutropenia is a potentially life-threatening side effect of chemotherapy. This clinical trial is testing whether a treatment called LAPSCOVERY is effective against neutropenia.

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Yahoo!  |  May 29, 2014

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Yahoo!  |  May 29, 2014

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Palliative Chemotherapy: Harms and Benefits Weighed in New Study

"Palliative chemotherapy is treatment designed for terminal cancer patients to prolong survival and ease symptoms but not cure disease. Now, researchers have found that the therapy comes with certain harms, which they say need to be addressed...


"Overall, the team found that terminal cancer patients who receive chemotherapy during the last months of their lives are less likely to die where they wish and are more likely to undergo invasive medical procedures - including CPR and mechanical ventilation - than patients who did not receive the therapy."

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Medical News Today  |  Mar 5, 2014

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New Treatment Proposed to Prevent Devastating Intestinal Inflammation in Cancer Patients

New Treatment Proposed to Prevent Devastating Intestinal Inflammation in Cancer Patients | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Experimental work pointing to a therapy for alleviating mucositis -- a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients or patients prepared for bone marrow transplantation – has been achieved by an international team of researchers. Mucositis is a strong inflammatory reaction of the mucosal lining of the digestive system, particularly the gut. Mucositis is often a major reason for premature suspension of anti-cancer therapy. As of today, there has been no effective means of preventing mucositis or its treatment."

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ScienceDaily  |  Feb 18, 2014 

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ScienceDaily  |  Feb 18, 2014 

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Combo Chemotherapy Bests Single Drug Against Melanoma

Combo Chemotherapy Bests Single Drug Against Melanoma | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Two chemotherapy drugs may be better than one against melanoma, according to results from an ongoing clinical trial that were presented at the 2013 meeting of the  International Society for Melanoma Research. The drugs were dacarbazine, which is U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved for melanoma, and paclitaxel, which is FDA-approved for breast, lung, and pancreatic cancers. In a phase III trial of 529 melanoma patients, the drug combination kept tumors from growing two times longer than dacarbazine alone (4.8 vs 2.5 months, respectively). The subgroups that did best included men and people with melanomas that had spread to the liver or brain. This is particularly encouraging for the latter group because they have the worst prognosis.

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HemOnc Today │ Nov 21, 2013

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Gut Bacteria May Be Necessary for Best Response to Cancer Treatment

Gut Bacteria May Be Necessary for Best Response to Cancer Treatment | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

The human gut has many bacteria and other microscopic creatures that live inside us, but do not harm us, and may indeed contribute to our health. Now two studies suggest that these bacteria are required for a full response to cancer treatment. Mice that were raised in a sterile environment (and thus lacked any gut bacteria), or whose gut bacteria had been destroyed with antibiotics, were implanted with cancer cells. When these mice were treated with immunotherapy or chemotherapy drugs, their tumors shrank less than those of mice with intact gut bacterial populations. These findings raise concerns for cancer patients, who are frequently treated with antibiotics to control infections due to weakened immune systems.

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Medical Xpress  |  Nov 21, 2013

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Blood Pressure Drug Boosts Chemotherapy Delivery in Mice

Blood Pressure Drug Boosts Chemotherapy Delivery in Mice | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

One reason chemotherapies fail is that blood vessels are collapsed in the middle of tumors, blocking the delivery of anticancer drugs. Now, new research suggests that a blood pressure drug called losartan may facilitate chemotherapy throughout tumors. Losartan decompresses tumor blood vessels, increasing blood flow and chemotherapy drug delivery in mouse models of breast and pancreatic cancer. To see if these findings will also hold for people, a phase II clinical trial of pancreatic cancer patients is underway. This trial is currently accepting new participants.

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Nature Communications │Oct 1, 2013

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Nature Communications │Oct 1, 2013

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Nature Communications │Oct 1, 2013

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'Cold Caps' May Save Cancer Patients' Hair During Chemotherapy

'Cold Caps' May Save Cancer Patients' Hair During Chemotherapy | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

To minimize hair loss during chemotherapy, some patients chill their scalps using specialized caps. The low temperatures are supposed to decrease blood flow in the scalp, preventing chemotherapy drugs from reaching the hair roots and damaging them. However, it is still unclear how well these 'cold caps' work and whether they are safe, and so far they have not been approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. Theoretically, shielding some areas of the body from chemotherapy might allow some cancer cells to survive the treatment, although the scalp is an uncommon site for cancer recurrence. An upcoming study at several U.S. hospitals will investigate the effectiveness and safety of cold caps to prevent chemotherapy hair loss.

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Associated Press | Jul 22, 2013

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Associated Press | Jul 22, 2013

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Chemotherapy Drug Shortages Compromise Treatment

Chemotherapy Drug Shortages Compromise Treatment | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

A survey of 250 U.S. oncologists reveals that there aren't enough standard chemotherapy drugs to go around, forcing physicians to decide who should get them first. Shortages are worst for drugs recommended to treat blood, gastrointestinal, and pediatric cancers. More than 80% of oncologists reported shortages of preferred drugs in the last 6 months and most had chosen another treatment or switched treatments partway through therapy. Worse, 43% had delayed treatment, 37% had chosen which patients should get the scarce drugs, 20% had reduced doses, and 29% had omitted doses. These findings were presented American Society of Clinical Oncology's 2013 meeting. The researchers call for guidelines on allocating and making substitutions for scarce drugs.

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Science Daily│Jun 3, 2013

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Science Daily│June 3, 2013

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Timing of Radiotherapy Could Reduce Hair Loss

Timing of Radiotherapy Could Reduce Hair Loss | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

A new study suggests that mouse hair operates on a schedule–it grows quickly during the day and slows down at night to repair DNA damage. If human hair behaves similarly, the discovery could help cancer patients avoid an unpleasant side effect of chemotherapy: hair loss. The study found that mice lost 85% of their hair after morning radiation sessions, but just 17% following nighttime sessions; hair cells repaired the inflicted damage overnight. Cancer cells, however, replicate at the same speed regardless of time, so the time of treatment won’t alter its effectiveness. The researchers believe investigating circadian clocks in humans could lead to treatment programs that minimize collateral damage such as hair loss.

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Medical News Today | May 23, 2013

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First Treatment for Pain Caused by Chemotherapy

First Treatment for Pain Caused by Chemotherapy | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Conventional chemotherapy can damage nerves, causing pain and numbness, particularly in the hands and feet. Called neuropathy, this side effect can last months or even years after the completion of chemotherapy and there are currently no effective treatments. A new JAMA study shows that chemotherapy-induced neuropathy can be lessened with a drug called duloxetine (Cymbalta), which has also been shown to alleviate neuropathy in people with diabetes. The new study included 231 people who reported pain of at least 4 (on a scale of 0 to 10) after treatment with oxaliplatin or taxanes such as paclitaxel. Nearly 60% of those treated with duloxetine reported pain relief and those who had been treated with oxaliplatin may have benefited the most.

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Medical Xpress│Apr 2, 2013

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Sorafenib Fails to Increase Survival in Melanoma Trial

Despite promising results from small trials, a large clinical trial found that combining sorafenib with chemotherapy was no better than chemotherapy alone for melanoma patients. Sorafenib is FDA-approved for kidney and liver cancer that targets tumors by inhibiting the new blood vessels that help them grow and spread. However, this Journal of Clinical Oncology study also showed that the carboplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy was surprisingly effective. This chemotherapy combination is now listed as a standard melanoma treatment by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines.

 

Primary source: http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/31/3/373.abstract?sid=858b01d5-675a-4cfd-92e9-f385e3993070

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Cure | Dec 17, 2012

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Survival Compared for Treatments of Uncommon Eye Cancer

Survival Compared for Treatments of Uncommon Eye Cancer | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"In patients with advanced uveal melanoma, treatment with the agent selumetinib, compared with chemotherapy, resulted in an improved cancer progression-free survival time and tumor response rate, but no improvement in overall survival, according to a study. The modest improvement in clinical outcomes was accompanied by a high rate of adverse events."


Editor's note: Selumetinib is a targeted drug that may benefit people with ocular melanoma. In a recent clinical trial to test the drug in volunteer patients, selumetinib was compared to standard chemotherapy. More patients treated with selumetinib experienced tumor shrinkage than those treated with chemotherapy, and patients treated with selumetinib experienced a longer lag time (about 4 months, compared to 2 months) before their cancer progressed. However, there was no difference in overall survival between patients treated with selumetinib and patients treated with standard chemotherapy. Unfortunately, almost all of the patients who took selumetinib experienced adverse side effects.

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ScienceDaily  |  Jun 17, 2014

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Tesaro Summarizes Phase 3 Rolapitant Data Presented at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting and Provides an Update on Niraparib Development Strategy

Tesaro Summarizes Phase 3 Rolapitant Data Presented at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting and Provides an Update on Niraparib Development Strategy | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"TESARO, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSRO), an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, today announced that final results from three Phase 3 trials of rolapitant, an investigational neurokinin-1 (NK-1) receptor antagonist in development for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), were presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago."


Editor's note: This story is about a drug called rolapitant that shows promise in preventing nausea and vomiting for patients receiving chemotherapy treatment.

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Benzinga  |  Jun 1, 2014

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Benzinga  |  Jun 1, 2014

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Worse Side Effects from Chemotherapy Experienced When Biological Rhythms Interrupted

"Patients receiving chemical treatment for cancer often suffer fatigue and body weight loss, two of the most worrying effects of this therapy linked to the alteration of their circadian rhythms.


"The circadian system, better known as our biological clock, is responsible for coordinating all the processes that take place in our organism.


"If it does not function correctly, what is known as a circadian disruption or chronodisruption, has for years been linked to an increased incidence of cancer, obesity, diabetes, depression, cognitive problems or cardiovascular diseases."


Editor's note: This research opens up the possibility of personalizing the timing of chemotherapy treatments to minimize side effects.

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Medical News Today  |  May 23, 2014

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Medical News Today  |  May 23, 2014

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Enhancement of Chemotherapy by Prevention of Tumor Cell Repair

"The body naturally tries to repair lesions in the DNA of tumor cells, and thus reduces the efficacy of chemotherapy. Blocking the mechanisms for DNA repair would help to potentiate chemotherapy by reducing the resistance of cells to treatment. A team of scientists has discovered a new drug that inhibits repair: spironolactone, which seems likely to be used in the very short term as an adjuvant to chemotherapy."

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ScienceDaily  |  Feb 20, 2014

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ScienceDaily  |  Feb 20, 2014

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Vitamin C as Cancer Treatment? High Doses Boost Chemotherapy in Study

Vitamin C as Cancer Treatment? High Doses Boost Chemotherapy in Study | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Could pumping roughly 2,000 oranges' worth of vitamin C into a patient’s bloodstream boost the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs and mitigate the grueling side effects of chemotherapy?


"In research published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, scientists found that high doses of vitamin C – administered intravenously – increased the cancer-killing effects of chemotherapy drugs in mice, and blunted toxic side effects in humans.


"But even though the research seems to offer the promise of effectiveness for a new method of cancer treatment, vitamin C, or ascorbate, is unlikely to inspire the vigorous, and expensive, research necessary to become an approved tumor remedy, experts say."

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Los Angeles Times  |  Feb 5, 2014

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Los Angeles Times  |  Feb 5, 2014

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Los Angeles Times  |  Feb 5, 2014

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Timing Cancer Treatment for Maximum Effectiveness

Timing Cancer Treatment for Maximum Effectiveness | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Our bodies follow a 24-hour 'biorhythm' that affects most of our biological functions. This fact forms the basis of cancer chronotherapy, which takes time of day into account to plan cancer treatment. Administering cancer drugs at the right time can double effectiveness while reducing toxicity up to fivefold. However, individual differences in biorhythms mean that the 'right time' varies from one person to another. In a recent study, researchers linked gene expression in mice with the time point at which the chemotherapy agent irinotecan (Camptosar) produced the least toxicity. They developed a mathematical model that predicts each animal's ideal time point based on the expression of two genes. In the future, they hope to develop similar tools to help predict the best time for cancer treatment in human patients.

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Medical Xpress  |  Nov 22, 2013

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When Cancer Care Is Too Much of a Good Thing

When Cancer Care Is Too Much of a Good Thing | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Some routine cancer tests and treatments can do more harm than good. Based on clinical evidence, the American Society of Clinical Oncology highlights cancer care that should be curbed in an annual Top Five List. This year's recommendations include:

  • Not giving antinausea drugs at the beginning of chemotherapies that are only moderately likely to cause nausea;
  • Not treating breast cancers that have spread with combination chemotherapy—unless symptom relief is urgent;
  • Not monitoring for cancer recurrence with advanced imaging technologies—such as positron-emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT) and radionuclide bone scans—unless there are symptoms of cancer;
  • Not screening men for prostate cancer unless they are likely to live at least another 10 years; and
  • Not giving people targeted therapies unless their tumor has the specific genetic abnormality that is targeted.
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ASCO Post│Oct 29, 2013

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ASCO Post│Oct 29, 2013

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ASCO Post│Oct 29, 2013

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Clinical Trial Evaluates Targeted Cancer Treatment in All Tumor Types

New drugs targeting specific molecular abnormalities in cancer patients have shown great promise in recent years. However, so far, no study has examined systematically whether such targeted therapies indeed produce better results overall than traditional treatment. The SHIVA trial is the first clinical trial comparing outcomes with targeted treatment based on molecular testing to those with conventional treatment across all tumor types. Patients with a variety of different persistent cancers are either treated with targeted therapies aimed at the molecular profile of their tumor or given standard chemotherapy based on the anatomical location of their tumor. Enrollment has begun in several cancer centers across France and preliminary results confirm the study design is indeed feasible.

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Science Codex | Sep 11, 2013

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Science Codex | Sep 11, 2013

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Gleevec May Help Preserve Fertility After Chemotherapy

Gleevec May Help Preserve Fertility After Chemotherapy | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Women who undergo chemotherapy often lose their fertility because the drugs used damage or kill their oocytes—immature egg cells stored in the ovaries. However, a recent study suggests that adding the cancer drug imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) to chemotherapy treatment may protect oocytes. Researchers treated mouse ovaries with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin (Platinol) either by itself or in combination with Gleevec, then implanted them into host mice. The oocytes from Gleevec-treated ovaries still suffered DNA damage from the Platinol exposure, but unlike oocytes treated with just Platinol, they did not die. Previous research suggests that the surviving oocytes could repair the damage over time after chemotherapy treatment ends. These findings offer the hope that Gleevec may help preserve fertility in chemotherapy patients.

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Medical News Today | June 20, 2013

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Medical News Today | June 20, 2013

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First Drug that Treats Melanomas in the Eyes

About half of melanomas that start in the eye spread to other parts of the body, usually killing people within a year. But while there are a variety of therapies for melanomas in the skin, those in the eyes are biologically distinct and there has been no good way to treat them—until now. A clinical trial of 157 people showed that a drug called selumetinib can shrink melanomas of the eye, which form in a layer called uvea that includes the iris. Selumetinib is a MEK inhibitor that targets the most common uveal mutations (GNAQ and GNA11). The researchers found that tumors shrank in in half of those treated with selumetinib and did not grow again for twice as long compared to those treated with standard chemotherapy (an average of 16 vs 7 weeks). This work was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's 2013 meeting.

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Reuters│Jun 1, 2013

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Three Genes Linked to Nerve Damage from Chemotherapy

Three Genes Linked to Nerve Damage from Chemotherapy | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Chemotherapy damages nerves in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy) of up to one-third of those treated, but there's no way to tell who will suffer this side effect. That may change soon—three genes are linked to peripheral neuropathy, researchers reported at the American Association for Cancer Research's 2013 meeting. The researchers sequenced 20,000 genes from 119 people and found those who developed peripheral neuropathy during chemotherapy were also more likely to have mutations in genes called EPHA5, ARHGEF10, and PRX. Next, the researchers plan to expand the study to the entire genomes of up to 1,000 people being treated with chemotherapy.

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Mayo Clinic│Apr 9, 2013

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Mayo Clinic│Apr 9, 2013

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Elesclomol May Benefit Chemotherapy-Treated Melanoma Patients with Normal LDH Levels

A phase III trial showed that the combination of elesclomol and paclitaxel did not benefit most people with melanoma. Elesclomol is an experimental drug that can kill cancer cells and paclitaxel is a chemotherapy drug. The trial included 651 people; the combination treatment was stopped early when it became clear that most of those treated with paclitaxel alone survived longer. Most of these people also had high levels of an enzyme called lactose dehydrogenase (LDH). Conversely, elesclomol did increase survival in people with normal levels of this enzyme, suggesting that LDH levels could be used to predict who would benefit from this combination treatment.

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Journal of Clinical Oncology │ Feb 11, 2013

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