Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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Formulary Expanded; FDA Warns About Immune Globulins, Spinal Catheters, Cardiac Drugs

Pharmacy Focus

The Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee added ticagrelor (Brilinta®) to the formulary and took other actions Oct. 1. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cautioned about human immune globulin products, the use of spinal catheters in patients taking anticoagulants and two cardiac stress test agents.

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Meetings and Events

Grand Rounds

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Upcoming CME Conferences

Click below to view a complete list of all scheduled Continuing Medical Education conferences.

CME Newsletter - November 2013 (PDF)

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Won any awards or had an article accepted for publication? Share your news about professional achievements and other items of interest.

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Physicians Test Experimental Regimen for Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

Alain C. Mita, MD, is fighting an uphill battle against small cell lung cancer. Despite the severity of the disease, the standard-of-care treatment remains the same today as it was nearly 30 years ago.

Small cell lung cancer, which includes oat cell carcinoma, is a more aggressive disease than other types of lung cancer and often is more advanced at the time of diagnosis. Smoking is the most common cause, and the disease can be diagnosed even decades after an individual has quit smoking. At advanced stages, the disease is incurable in the vast majority of patients, with a median survival less than 12 months.

Mita said that following a diagnosis of small cell lung cancer, most patients opt for immediate chemotherapy using the standard-of-care chemotherapy drugs etoposide and cisplatin, both of which were developed more than three decades ago. This standard chemotherapy regimen responds well initially, many times putting patients into remission. But within months, most patients relapse.

Today, a new Cedars-Sinai phase I-II clinical trial may improve treatment approaches and combat disease recurrence. But first, Mita needs to find patients to participate in the clinical trial.

"Our team of physician scientists is committed to advancing treatment options for patients diagnosed with small cell lung cancer and other types of lung disease," said Mita, co-director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. "The eligibility criteria for this specific clinical trial can be a challenge, as patients must have no treatment history. Our team encourages patients and their treating physician to consider available clinical trials that include the combination of the standard of care and a novel agent."

The approach being tested in the clinical trial works by combining the standard-of-care chemotherapy with a NOTCH inhibitor (OMP-59R5), a targeted therapy designed to directly attack cancerous stem cells.

Patients interested in small cell lung cancer trials or other clinical trials at Cedars-Sinai may visit cancertrialinfo.csmc.edu or contact Jaime Richardson, RN, BSN, OCN, CCRP, clinical trial navigator at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, at 310-423-2133 or cancer.trial.info@cshs.org.

Co-investigators include Monica Mita, MD, co-director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program, Ronald Natale, MD, medical director of the Clinical Lung Cancer Program, and Edward Wolin, MD, co-director of the Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumor Program.

Study name: A phase Ib/II study of OMP-59R5 in combination with etoposide and cisplatin in subjects with untreated extensive stage small cell lung cancer.