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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Management of neuroendocrine tumour (NET)

Neuroendocfine tumor are a relatively rare group of tumour .The incidence and the prevalence has been increasing over the year .This probably is due to increase awareness among the medical professionals and the pathologist .The spectrum of clinical and histological grading vary widely .The prognosis varies widely depending on number of factors
load of disease
site of disease liver only Vs other ares
Performance status (is patient active)etc

There are number of management option .So it should be ,managed with multidisciplinary team .
Doxorubicin etc in combination
3-Radioembolisation (blocking segment of liver with cancer with beads)
4-Lutetium and other PRRT treatment - available in Europe ,part of Australia
5-symptom control with somatostatin analogue (some evidence it has anti cancer effect)
6- clinical trial

For patients being investigated for cancer unknown primary -- please check with your doctor if this might be NET

seek opinion from centres which deals with these cancer .
Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden
Bad Berka Germany

useful website
Unicorn foundation australia

Please send you comment and criticism of the post .

Monday, April 26, 2010

Clinical trial - making sense of it

Hi everyone ,

I have started my new job in a busy tertiary hospital as clinical research fellow and I mostly deal with cancer clinical trial.Let me explain what is clinical trial .

Once the scientist come up with a new molecule which has effect on cancer in the test tubes (Cell culture ).This then goes to animal study .Most of the animal studies have human cancer transferred to an accessible site such as thigh .As the natural history of the cancer is to grow .The the new molecule is administered to the animal and the tumor is assessed for response .This not only gives us idea about efficacy also potential side effects .

Phase I Clinical trial - First in human trial
aim to find the right dose of the drug
secondary aim -efficacy and toxicity

started in a small group of patient at a low dose .This dose is double in subsequent groups ,till there is dose limiting side effects this is the maximum tolerable dose(MTL) .The cohort just below the MTL becomes the standard dose for next phase

For patient-- every one gets drug.No sugar pills
what if you start at low dose.Well if in the tumour starts to grow ,the dose is increased till you reach the standard dose .

Phase II - Pilot study for efficacy in a small group of patient
for patient -everyone gets the drug .No sugar pills(placebo)
Depending on the efficacy the drug advances to the next phase .

Phase III - Randomised clinical trial
The final stage before drug comes to market
Aim is to compare the experimental drug with standard treatment .
if there is no standard treatment ,then against placebo.

1- randomised - to avoid selecting particular group to certain arm of trial the patient are randomised .This is doen by computer.It could be 1:1 or 2:1 .Proportion of patient in each arm.

2- If the doctor ,and patient does not know what treatment he/she is on - its called Blinding,if not blinded its called open label

You can find all registered clinical trial world wide here

pooh thats a lot for a post .So let me know if it helped anyone .Please leave your comments or question

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I had a busy day today .Reviewed this patient with thymic cancer .Not a very common cancer .This is gland in the upper part of the chest.In normal development this plays important role for development of our immune system during childhood.this however shrinks as one grows.

Benign tumor of thymus is called thymoma.This could be associated with myasthenia graveis .

For malignant for of cancer in early prognosis is good ,however once this has invaded local structure of spread to other part of body the outlook is not that good .Patients could be treated either with surgery followed by chemotherapy .Or chemotherapy followed by surgery .If there is partial resection of tumor there is also a role of Radiotherapy .

I thinks that's enough for now .

will write about optic glioma in my next post

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My First Post

Hello everyone.I am a bit nervous about my first post .After long time ,I finally managed to write a post .

Anyway what am I planning to do with this blog ?Well I manage patients with cancer .Each consultation last for 20 minutes and for a new consultation last for 40 minutes .Its not uncommon to see vacant stare and puzzled look after the end of consultation .Well isn't that expected .You and your loved ones are going trough tough time ,in fact very tough time.Its hard to absorb the barrage of information that one is expected to listen ,absorb ,analyse ,make a decision and ask question !!!!

That's precisely the reason I have planned to start this blog .Hopefully this answers some of your question.I will try to update it regularly with new information .Although cancer news come almost everyday .Most of these are not practice changing although these are hailed as breakthrough by media .I will try to filter these information and write those that affects practice and real patient .

Feel free to send your feed back and any questions .I will try to answer you as best as I can .