Articles Archive: March - April 2015 Issue 65

Editorial - Better outcomes data lead to better outcomes

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We need to greatly improve our ability to monitor the impact of treatments on outcomes.

Cover Story - Walking the line between quick access and evidence

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How do you decide which new cancer drugs to approve, when statistical certainty takes too long to wait for and essential evidence on quality of life is hard to measure? The head of the cancer section at the European Medicines Agency is keen to explain his approach.

Patient Voice - Side effects of targeted treatments: clinicians' perceptions, patients' realities

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The side effects of targeted drugs are poorly documented, and their impact on patients frequently seriously underestimated and undertreated. Efforts to address these issues could improve survival as well as quality of life.

Systems & Services - Generic cancer drugs that we can trust

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Generics markets are gearing up for the expiry of patents on some of the first targeted cancer drugs. ItÂ’s good news for greater access, but patients want reassurance that switching to generics wonÂ’t put them at risk.

Cutting Edge - More toxic, better targeted: are we one step close to that magic bullet?

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Could the new generation of antibody–drug conjugates herald a move away from conventional untargeted chemotherapy? Much will depend on how far – and in whom – their added benefit can justify the high cost of these technologically sophisticated drugs.

Spotlight on... - Knocking at the door of the global agenda setters

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The World Oncology Forum is challenging global policy makers to face the reality that current approaches to controlling cancer are not fit for purpose. An invitation to Davos shows they may be listening, but do they yet understand the need for change?

e-Grand Round - Intratumoural drug metabolism and the disposition of anticancer agents: implications for clinical treatment

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Pharmacokinetics within tumour cells play an important role in the development of resistance. A better understanding of the mechanisms involved is important for devising treatment strategies to extend tumour response.

Focus - Nurturing empathy: an oncologist looks at medicine and himself

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How do we allow such behaviour among colleagues? asks the author, after experiencing what itÂ’s like to feel vulnerable and in pain when your doctor doesnÂ’t seem to care.

Impact Factor - Gazing at the crystal ball of European radiotherapy

Although radiotherapy is a key component of cancer treatment, provision of this modality is not immune to limits placed on health-care expenditure. Recent studies suggest European radiation oncology resources will generally be insufficient to meet future, and in some cases current, needs. This challenge and how it might be addressed is discussed here.

Newsround - Newsround

Selected reports edited by Janet Fricker