NCI Technology Research Facility Gets Off the Ground
Ground was broken last week for an advanced technology research facility in Frederick, MD, marking the launch of an NCI research initiative to spur the development of new treatments and diagnostics. The facility will house a number of technology-based research programs currently based at NCI-Fredrick on the nearby Fort Detrick campus. Slated to open in early 2011, NCI will be the "anchor tenant" in the new facility, which is part of a larger research park under development. The majority of the existing NCI-Frederick programs will remain at Fort Detrick.
The work done in the laboratories and related offices relocating to the facility, NCI leaders explained, involves technologies such as biopharmaceutical manufacturing, proteomics, genomics, and nanotechnology, and will form the core of NCI's Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative (ATPI). Read more
Bevacizumab May Increase Blood Clot Risk
Bevacizumab (Avastin), the first FDA-approved drug designed to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels to tumors, significantly increases the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in cancer patients, according to a meta-analysis in the November 19 Journal of the American Medical Association.
Preliminary results from a large, randomized clinical trial show that patients with previously untreated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who received a high dose of the chemotherapy drug daunorubicin during initial induction therapy lived longer than patients who received a standard dose of the same drug. The trial’s Data Monitoring Committee recommended that interim analysis results be made public because the study had met its primary endpoint of demonstrating improved overall survival.
Pooled results from nearly 8,000 patients with a variety of advanced solid tumors in 15 randomized trials published since 2003 showed that patients taking bevacizumab were
33 percent more likely to develop VTE than those who did not. Incidence among those taking bevacizumab was 11.9 percent for VTE of all grades, and 6.3 percent for high-grade VTE. Those taking the drug had a 38 percent greater risk of developing high-grade VTE.
A dosage as small as 2.5 mg/kg per week was enough to pose a risk, which the authors believe "suggests that the so-called low dose of bevacizumab may already be reaching the saturation level to induce thrombosis." Based on the greater risk found in patients with mesothelioma and aerodigestive malignancies such as non-small cell lung cancer, the authors advised that patients with these conditions receive concurrent prevention for VTE. Read more
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