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: Cancer immunotherapy

Clinical Brief – September 27th

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.


Final results of a Phase III trial confirm survival benefits of adjuvant chemo + cell-based immunotherapy for non-small-cell lung cancer.

Between 2007 and 2012, researchers from the Chiba Cancer Center, Japan, led an independent study Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Cancer immunotherapy”

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: Palliative oncology

Clinical Brief – September 21st

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.


Chemo is often dosed based on a person’s body-surface area. However, giving someone chemo based on how much drug the body actually gets instead, or pharmacokinetic-guided dosing, may help optimize the dose and reduce severe toxicities. Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Palliative oncology”

Notes on ESMO17: Metastatic lung cancer

Clinical Brief – September 20th

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.


“Hyper-progressive disease is frequent in non-small cell lung cancer after treatment with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapy,” reports a study led by researchers at Gustave Roussy, France. Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Metastatic lung cancer”

The week in brief

September 5th – 8th

Congratulations for making it through another week! Here are your recent updates in the world of medical research and policy.


In a study, researchers found that routine hormonal treatment for early prostate cancer may be linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

The cause of this is not clear. Researchers suggest closer monitoring for at-risk men who are receiving treatment.


People living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at increased risk of shingles.

For those on biologics, a shingles vaccine followed by a 2-week delay is generally recommended. Less is known about how to give shingles shots if a patient is on tofacitinib (Xeljanz) for RA.

A study found that people over 50 should wait 2-3 weeks after their shingles shot before starting tofacitinib.


Canakinumab (Ilaris) is an anti-inflammatory biologic. Studies published recently showed that canakinumab may offer protection against some heart diseases and was tied to significantly lower risk of lung cancer.

Sounds impressive, but did you know that Aspirin might give the same degree of protection against heart disease and cancer? Albeit colorectal cancer and not lung cancer, but still.


In a large analysis of trials, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and meds (SSRI only) were both effective at reducing anxiety symptoms.

CBT was safer than meds, and outperformed fluoxetine (Prozac) for symptom reduction; and sertraline (Zoloft) for improved remission.


 

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Canakinumab: Miracle drug or glorified Aspirin?

Clinical Brief – September, 7th

The Brief

Canakinumab (Ilaris) is an anti-inflammatory biologic. Studies published recently showed that canakinumab may offer protection against some heart diseases and was tied to significantly lower risk of lung cancer.

Sounds impressive, but did you know that Aspirin might give the same degree of protection against heart disease and cancer? Albeit colorectal cancer and not lung cancer, but still. Continue reading “Canakinumab: Miracle drug or glorified Aspirin?”

The week in brief

August 28th – September 1st

Congratulations for making it through another week! Here are your recent updates in the world of medical research and policy.


A trial published last weekend during the 2017 European Society of Cardiology congress found that a blood thinner, rivaroxaban (Xarelto), failed to outperform aspirin at preventing cardiovascular death, stroke, or heart attack for patients who had hardened arteries.

The combination of rivaroxaban + aspirin did do better than aspirin alone, but also came at higher risk for uncontrolled bleeding.


In July 2017, the Trump Administration announced funding cuts and an end to its Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.

In a commentary, the potential consequences of these cuts are laid bare: Lowering the age of first intercourse, increasing the rate of premarital sex among teens, increasing the number of unintended pregnancies, and increasing the number of abortions.


A new study found that taking excessive amounts of vitamins B6 and B12 is linked to significantly elevated risk of lung cancer in men.

It doesn’t mean B6 and B12 causes cancer, but the data showed signs that men who intentionally seek B6 and B12 supplementation may be at increased risk of lung cancer.


Graft-vs-host disease (aka GVHD) is where the stem cell transplant develops into white blood cells that “rejects” the recipient.

To help predict what happens after an acute GVHD, a new study turned to some common biomarkers which are simple to test. Their risk score, EASIX, also came with an online calculator.


TB (or tuberculosis) is a potentially lethal infection which is particularly serious for patients living with HIV.

To circumvent the high cost of genetic tests used to screen for active TB, a new study showed that a simple finger-prick test for CRP may do the job at less than a fifth the cost.


Like what you see? Subscribe to the newsletter below, and drop by Twitter to say ‘hi’ 🤓.

 

Vitamin B6 and B12: Overkill

Clinical Brief – August 30th

The Brief

A new study published last week found that taking excessive amounts of vitamins B6 and B12 is linked to significantly elevated risk of lung cancer in men.

It doesn’t mean B6 and B12 causes cancer, but the data showed signs that men who intentionally seek B6 and B12 supplementation may be at increased risk of lung cancer. Continue reading “Vitamin B6 and B12: Overkill”

Gilotrif for lung cancer: Pay less without compromising efficacy?

  • Gilotrif (afatinib) is a treatment for a common type of lung cancer.1
  • A study found that taking Gilotrif at a lower dose appeared to lead to fewer side effects without compromising efficacy.2
  • 25% dose reduction = 25% lower cost of treatment. i.e., potential savings of $16,000 /year.2,3

Continue reading “Gilotrif for lung cancer: Pay less without compromising efficacy?”