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This Week in Lancet Oncology: Nov 9, 2011

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In Lancet Oncology this week, a team led by researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center reports results from a study of docetaxel plus aflibercept to treat recurrent ovarian or fallopian tube cancer. The researchers recruited patients with measurable, recurrent, or persistent epithelial ovarian, primary peritoneal, or fallopian tube carcinoma with a maximum of two prior chemotherapy regimens. They administered aflibercept and docetaxel, and found that the combination can be safely administered and is "associated with substantial antitumor activity." These results, the authors add, "suggest that further clinical development of this combination in ovarian cancer is warranted."

Also in Lancet Oncology this week, a team of European researchers reports a trial of therapeutic vaccination TG4010 combined with first-line chemotherapy for the treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. TG4010 is a targeted immunotherapy based on a poxvirus, the researchers write. For this study, they recruited 148 patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer expressing the MUC1 tumor-associated antigen, and randomly assigned 74 patients to the combination therapy group, and 74 to receive chemotherapy alone. Progression-free survival after six months was 43.2 percent in the combination group and 35.1 percent in the chemotherapy group, the team found. "This phase 2B study suggests that TG4010 enhances the effect of chemotherapy in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. A confirmatory phase 2B-3 trial has been initiated," the authors write.

And finally in Lancet Oncology this week, an international team of researchers reports on biomarkers predictive of the efficacy of anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimens in the treatment of breast cancer. The researchers assessed the value of HER2 and TOP2A as predictive markers of response by doing a meta-analysis of individual patient data from five trials comparing anthracycline-based regimens to cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil regimens. The team found that although amplification of HER2 and either amplification or deletion of TOP2A may have some value in predicting responsiveness to anthracycline chemotherapy, "our findings do not support the use of anthracyclines only in patients with HER2-amplified or TOP2A-aberrated tumors."

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