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Colorectal Cancer: How Emerging Molecular Understanding Affects Treatment Decisions

In this article we discuss the current treatment options in metastatic colon cancer, with a special focus on biologic agents and how molecular understanding guides treatment decisions.

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Many of the new treatment options for melanoma are very exciting as evidence of cancer advancement through science and clinical trials. However, we are still gathering post-market data on its associated side effects.

The concept of “personalized medicine” (PM) or “individualized therapy” continues to become a more central treatment paradigm in the management of malignancies. Multigene assays of tumor tissue are now commercially available and numerous major cancer centers are implementing processes to analyze the results of these assays and help oncologists translate these findings into patient management.

A 60-year-old man presents with localized tender plaques of hyperkeratosis and a surrounding erythematous halo on the weight-bearing plantar aspect of his feet after beginning cancer treatment. Which medication is responsible for this cutaneous presentation and what is the name of this reaction?

Analyzing the spectrum of gut bacteria found in a stool sample improved a colorectal cancer and pre-cancerous polyp screening test five-fold when compared to a fecal occult blood test (FOBT), according to the results of a study published in Cancer Prevention Research.

By now we are all familiar with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its role in tumor growth. Bevacizumab (Avastin), a well-known VEGF inhibitor, is a monoclonal antibody widely utilized in the treatment of various cancers, often in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents. Bevacizumab works by binding to VEGF receptors on the surface of endothelial cells, thereby blocking angiogenic activity. But now there's a new drug in town: ramucirumab.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have demonstrated a significantly prolonged survival of mice with glioblastoma, the most common form of human brain cancer and one associated with poor survival.

Therapeutic targeting of CD24 may enhance the efficacy of targeted agents, such as trastuzumab and lapatinib, in treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer, according to a team of researchers led by Mari Hosonaga, MD, of the Department of Breast Oncology, Tokyo Medical University Hospital, Japan.

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