Notes on ESMO17: Breast cancer

Clinical Brief – October 9th

ESMO, or the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress, is an annual gathering of cancer experts and patient advocates. This is the last bit of my notes on some of the studies presented at this year’s ESMO that may be of use.


Adding a targeted therapy to endocrine therapy for HR+ breast cancer can increase the risk of side effects. But some targeted therapies may pose greater risks than others.

Researchers from the Institut Jules Bordet, Belgium, led a meta-analysis of trials to profile the comparative risks between classes of add-on targeted therapies. Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Breast cancer”

Notes on ESMO17: Psycho-oncology

Clinical Brief – September, 28th

ESMO, or the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress, is an annual gathering of cancer experts and patient advocates. Here are some studies from this year’s ESMO that may be of use.


Physicians and patients might have different takes on side effects when it comes to cancer treatments, says a study led by researchers at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden.

The study looked at data collected from a randomized Phase III trial comparing different chemo regimens in women with high-risk breast cancer. Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Psycho-oncology”

Notes on ESMO17: Health economics

Clinical Brief – September 25th

ESMO, or the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress, is an annual gathering of cancer experts and patient advocates. Here are some studies from this year’s ESMO that may be of use.


A study led by researchers from Turkey found that over 90% of their patients taking a targeted cancer treatment was also on another prescription med. More than half of these patients had a drug-drug interaction involving their cancer treatment.

Drug-drug interactions happen when Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Health economics”

Notes on ESMO17: Cancer prevention and screening

Clinical Brief – September 14th

ESMO, or the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress, is an annual gathering of cancer experts and patient advocates. Here are some studies from this year’s ESMO that may be of use.


Should cancer screening policy be set by a citizen’s jury?

In a social experiment, researchers from Spain recruited 13 women to help decide whether Andalucía’s Public Health System should offer screening mammography for women between 50 and 69. Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Cancer prevention and screening”

The week in brief

July 31st – August 4th

Breast cancer chemo capecitabine (Xeloda) can potentially be dosed differently to lower its toxicity profile, suggests a review of trials. By shifting the dose to a 2,000 mg twice-daily “7 days on, 7 days off” regimen, the rates of severe gastrointestinal side effects such as severe diarrhea may be reduced considerably vs the standard dose. A Phase III trial is ongoing to confirm these findings.


Long work weeks lasting for more than 55 hours may be linked to a heart disease called A-Fib. A-Fib, according to the American Heart Association, is a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. A study found that working 55+ hours a week increased the risk of A-Fib by 1.4-fold versus a regular 35- to 40-hour week.


Prostate cancer risk is likely not linked to vasectomy, reports a study. Good news for men who don’t have prostate cancer. How about men who need biopsies to confirm/eliminate a prostate cancer diagnosis? The American Urological Association reported that infections top the list of complications of biopsies, and that drug resistant E. coli was seen as “prominent”. And for those who are living with prostate cancer? A study found that for elderly men with low-risk disease, stepping up their level of physical activity was tied to better survival.


Asthma during pregnancy may be linked to a risk of early-onset asthma for the child if it’s uncontrolled and/or severe. An observational study found that more often than not, kids with asthma had mothers whose asthma were moderate-or-severe and/or uncontrolled, during pregnancy. The study doesn’t show that better asthma control during pregnancy led to a lower risk for their child, but their findings can help prospective parents with asthma plan for their child accordingly.


For kids with acute promyelocytic leukemia (aka APL), taking arsenic trioxide instead of anthracycline chemo for consolidation therapy may lower the overall toxicity profile by limiting their exposure to chemo. A study found that subbing chemo with arsenic lowered the overall chemo exposure by as much as 50%, which is expected to lower the risk of chemo-associated toxicities such as heart damage and infections.

A better way to take Xeloda for breast cancer?

Clinical Brief – July 31st

The Brief

Using a math model, physicians from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) tried to find a better way to take capecitabine (Xeloda), an often-used chemotherapy drug for breast and bowel cancer. They say that this new dosing regimen may potentially lower the risk of side effects for patients with breast cancer. Continue reading “A better way to take Xeloda for breast cancer?”