What I Really Do: BAC and Slowly Progressing Cancers

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In the last few years BAC has become increasingly studied and recognized as a distinct clinical subtype of lung cancer. The classic BAC syndrome is characterized by progression limited to the lungs, and its growth can be quite variable. The definition of BAC based on pathology has been applied pretty variably: although it should really be a non-invasive cancer that shouldn’t be able to spread outside of the lungs because it can’t invade into the bloodstream, most clinical trials now permit a combination of invasive adenocarcinoma with BAC features.

Actions Speak Louder than Words: When Pathology and the Clinical Picture Don't Fit

Article

I've been involved in a wide range of discussions, both here and in my own clinical, about the fairly common situation of how to approach a situation in which the story on paper and what you see actually happening are incompatible. For instance, last week I and several of my colleagues participated in a journal club (a group discussion of a new and/or controversial journal article or two), in which the topic was the potential utility of doing surgery for unusually early small cell lung cancer tumors.

Biomarkers Predicting Clinical Benefits for BAC Patients Receiving Tarceva

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Continuing with the analysis of a publication about tarceva (erlotinib) for patients with advanced BAC that I introduced in the last post, we'll turn now to the analysis that Dr. Vince Miller and colleagues did on the biomarkers that might predict more or less clinical benefit with an EGFR inhibitor like tarceva (abstract here).

Surgery for BAC: Special Considerations

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While there is a lot of variability in the clinical behavior of bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC), there are some commonly observed findings that are now leading lung cancer experts to consider it as a distinct clinical entity worthy of special consideration for management. Among the important areas for potentially special clinical management is in surgical management of early stage disease.

Japanese Variant on Adjuvant Chemotherapy: The Story of UFT

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Throughout multiple discussions of adjuvant chemotherapy, I've focused on the traditional approach used in the US and Europe of 3-4 cycles of platinum-based chemo, treating for up to about three months with a rather intensive approach. However, in Japan, they've studied the value of a different form of adjuvant treatment, with a drug called UFT that is generally well-tolerated, mild, and taken for 1-2 years by mouth.

PET Scans for BAC

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PET scans are an important way to discriminate between metabolically active nodules, suggestive of cancer but sometimes representing inflammation or infection, and non-PET-avid lesions that are felt much likely to represent cancer. They are also a cornerstone of "clinical" staging by imaging and patient exam (vs. "pathologic" staging by surgery to clarify where cancer is or isn’t).

A Few New Trials for Never-Smokers and Patients with BAC

Article

Several trials have recently opened up for never-smokers with any lung adenocarcinoma or those with BAC (or adeno/BAC mix, invasive adenocarcinoma with BAC features) with any smoking status. Both of these groups have only recently gained recognition as likely being a distinct clinical entity with a different natural history (clinical behavior outside of treatment) and pattern of responsiveness to treatments that is different from other types of lung cancer.