News in brief: Reassuring: dose intensity of olaparib doesn’t impact survival; Cancer trial funds fraudster receives custodial sentence; Cancer researcher remembered 

1 Mar 2022

Reassuring: dose intensity of olaparib doesn’t impact survival

Dose reduction and interruption of olaparib during the first 12 weeks of maintenance treatment for recurrent BRCA mutated platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer does not appear to impact survival.

Data from the SOLO2 study, compared patients on the basis of relative dose intensity (RDI) where the PARP inhibitor was interrupted, discontinued or dose reduced due to olaparib-associated adverse events.

The study found no significant difference in PFS and OS across RDI categories of >98%, 90-98% and <90%.

The risk of dose reductions was strongly associated with baseline performance status 1 (OR 2.54), any nausea (OR 3.17) and body weight <70% (OR 1.86).

“When counselling patients requiring dose reductions or interruptions due to AEs, the results of this study will help assure patients that their outcomes will not be adversely affected,” the study concluded.

Read more in Annals of Oncology

Cancer trial funds fraudster receives custodial sentence

A former admin staff member who defrauded the cancer treatment centre Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Sydney, of $240,000 has been sentenced to a maximum of 30 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 20 months.

According to newspaper reports, Sara Stig, who was meant to be processing expense claims for cancer patients in clinical trials, manage to siphon off the $240,000 between 2018 and 2021 for her own benefit and that of her partner at the time.

In one case, she substituted their own account details for those of a patient who had died.

She pleaded guilty to two counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception in the Downing Centre Local Court.

Magistrate David Price said nothing less than full time custody was appropriate for such a crime of sustained fraud. He said that there must be strong disincentives to prevent people in positions of trust taking money from such organisations.

Cancer researcher remembered

The late Professor Pamela Russell AM has been remembered for her internationally recognised research in bladder and prostate cancer.

Professor Pamela Russell helped pioneer the establishment of cell lines and rare xenografts from primary human tumours to generate urological cancer models.

Her research was also the forerunner to current imaging modalities utilising prostate specific-membrane antigen (PSMA) targeted imaging, and also focused on investigating new biomarkers in exosomes, to determine whether they might indicate or predict patient responsiveness to chemotherapy.

Amongst her various professional achievements, Professor Russell received an Honorary Life Membership of the Australasian Gene Therapy Society in 2009, the inaugural award for Prostate Cancer Researcher of the Year in 2010, and was made Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2015.

Emeritus Professor Russell was also instrumental in the establishment of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and will be remembered as a pioneer and Honorary Life Member.

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