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Video: Data on More Than 15 Novartis Oncology Compounds at ASCO Highlight Progress Toward Targeted Therapies for Diverse Tumor Types
Date:5/27/2009

ts with advanced HCC is in development by Novartis.

Femara BIG 1-98 data on cognitive function

Impaired cognition is a concern among breast cancer patients taking hormonal therapies. Estrogen is believed to have a direct influence on cognitive function. Aromatase inhibitors reduce the level of circulating estrogen in the body. It has been suggested that reduced estrogen in the body is linked to a decline in cognitive function(6).

A new substudy (abstract #510) conducted within a subgroup of patients enrolled in the independent Breast International Group (BIG) 1-98 study (Femara(R) [letrozole tablets] vs. tamoxifen) found that postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer taking adjuvant Femara had better overall cognitive function than those taking tamoxifen, based on validated scales of cognitive function collected at the fifth year of endocrine treatment(6).

Results from this study revealed that the group of patients receiving Femara had clinically and significantly better overall cognitive function than the patients in the tamoxifen group (difference in mean composite scores =0.23, P=0.04, 95% confidence interval: 0.02-0.54). Overall, both groups performed below age norms on most domains(6).

Highlights in melanoma

New data highlight the potential of two Novartis products as treatments for advanced melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. Melanoma accounts for 41,000 deaths worldwide each year(7)(8). While melanoma is curable when diagnosed and treated in early stages, advanced melanoma is often resistant to currently available treatments(9).

New data from a Phase II study (abstract #9001) show the potential of Gleevec(R)(#) (imatinib mesylate) in treating patients with advanced melanoma harboring KIT mutations. A mutation in the protein called KIT, located on the surface of normal cells, signals cells to continually g
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SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
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