New Chemotherapy Regimen Extends Survival for Patients with Resectable Gastric Cancer
When it comes to chemotherapy for locally invasive gastric cancer, results from an international clinical trial published in the July 6 New England Journal of Medicine suggest that timing can make all the difference.
"Adjuvant chemotherapy has not become part of the standard of care in gastric cancer," explains Dr. John Macdonald in an editorial, because previous studies have not shown a clinical benefit for postoperative chemotherapy for this disease. But since fewer than 30 percent of patients with locally invasive gastric cancer can be cured with surgery alone, new treatment strategies are of urgent interest to researchers.
A previous large, phase III trial, the U.S. GI Intergroup Study led by the Southwest Oncology Group (INT 0116), demonstrated improved survival with a combination of postsurgical radiation therapy and chemotherapy consisting of fluorouracil and leucovorin, which has since become a standard treatment. The Medical Research Council Adjuvant Gastric Infusional Chemotherapy (MAGIC) trial has now shown that perioperative chemotherapy - chemotherapy given both before and after surgery - can also provide a significant survival benefit. Read more
A Shared Commitment to a Global Problem
The recent approval of a vaccine that protects against infection by four types of human papillomavirus (HPV), thus preventing the cause of approximately 70 percent of cervical cancer cases, provides an excellent reminder of how our research efforts in the United States stand to benefit millions of people around the world. Approximately 80 percent of cervical cancer cases occur in the developing world, so the availability of this vaccine, as well as other HPV vaccines in development, will have a major impact on international public health.
That reality was driven home repeatedly for me this past week at the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) meeting, the world's largest independent, nonprofit association of organizations dedicated to battling cancer, which includes everything from patient and survivor support and advocacy groups to large nongovernmental organizations engaged in a broad spectrum of activities in cancer screening, prevention, and treatment. Read more