Cancer stories that are directly relevant to your practice, or are just really interesting.
Disease-free survival: A controversial end point?
Clinical trials for cancer drugs increasingly use disease-free survival as a surrogate measure for overall survival.
This shortcut means researchers can wind up the trial without waiting for a significant survival gap to appear in the trial cohort.
Reporting results earlier means the cancer drug might be listed on the PBS sooner so the benefits to patients are tangible.
But this method also has a drawback.
Patients taking a cancer drug can live disease free for years and then have a sudden and deadly recurrence of cancer - and pass away at exactly the same time as the placebo group on average.
This means the drug was effective in removing the shadow of cancer but not actually increasing overall lifespan for the treatment group.
The question for government then is, can they rely on DFS as a proxy measure for overall survival? And is disease-free survival a valid measure of quality of life in itself?
Italian oncologist Professor Alberto Sobrero spoke on this topic at the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group Annual Scientific Meeting recently.
There is no question, he says, patients would rather live longer without disease even if their overall survival is the same in the end.
"Disease-free survival by itself contains an intrinsic value for patient and therefore should be used as the primary endpoint of adjuvant trials," he says. He joins us on the Oncology Republic podcast to discuss this topic in depth.
Cardio-Oncology: Ignore at your own peril
Many patients who survive cancer go on to face a different battle and that's with their cardiovascular health. This episode, we interview Dr Daniel Cehic, a cardiologist and the head of CardioOncology at GenesisCare, on the latest recommendations.
Rubber hits the road on precision medicine
We all hear a lot about how genetic profiling is changing the future of cancer medicine. But how much of this is really impacting patients in the here and now? This episode, we chat with Professor David Thomas, the director of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre at The Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and the CEO of Omico, the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre.
Novel imaging technique 'lights up' prostate cancer
A study demonstrating better accuracy using a new imaging technique called PSMA PET/CT for prostate cancer has won an award. We interview the chief investigator on the trial.
Dreaming of cancer outcome equity
The federal government has estimated it will take two years to develop the Australia Cancer Plan Responsibility for the ten-year plan's development rests on the shoulders of Cancer Australia CEO Dorothy Keefe. Professor Keefe told Oncology Republic about her expectations for the plan.
Fighting to fast track life-saving meds
Two major federal government initiatives have come about following advocacy efforts by patient group Rare Cancers Australia. Richard Vines, who founded the organisation with his wife Kate, joins us on the Oncology Republic podcast to discuss.