PDQ (Physician Data Query) is the National Cancer Institute’s source of comprehensive cancer information. It contains peer-reviewed, evidence-based cancer information summaries on treatment, supportive care, screening, prevention, genetics, and complementary and alternative medicine. The summaries are regularly updated by six editorial boards. The following PDQ summaries were recently updated:

Mosse YP, Balis FM, Lim MS, et al.: Efficacy of crizotinib in children with relapsed/refractory ALK-driven tumors including anaplastic large cell lymphoma and neuroblastoma: A Children’s Oncology Group phase I consortium study. J Clin Oncol 30, 2012 (suppl; abstr 9500)

The Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma summary was updated to include information about crizotinib, a kinase inhibitor that blocks the activity of the NPM-ALK fusion protein, has been evaluated in children with refractory anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). In a Children’s Oncology Group phase I dose-escalation and pharmacokinetic study of crizotinib, complete responses were obtained in seven of eight children with refractory ALCL and minimal toxicity was reported. Whether crizotinib extends survival in children with refractory ALCL requires further investigation. To review the summary, please use the following link:

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/child-non hodgkins/HealthProfessional/page9

Maemondo M, Inoue A, Kobayashi K, et al.: Gefitinib or chemotherapy for non-small-cell lung cancer with mutated EGFR. N Engl J Med 362 (25): 2380–8, 2010. PMID: 20573926

Mitsudomi T, Morita S, Yatabe Y, et al.: Gefitinib versus cisplatin plus docetaxel in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer harbouring mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (WJTOG3405): an open label, randomised phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol 11 (2): 121–8, 2010. PMID: 20022809

Zhou C, Wu YL, Chen G, et al.: Erlotinib versus chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (OPTIMAL, CTONG-0802): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 study. Lancet Oncol 12 (8): 735–42, 2011. PMID: 21783417

The PDQ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment summary was recently updated to include the results of two phase III trials from Japan that prospectively confirmed that patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) containing epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations have improved progression-free survival (PFS) but not overall survival when treated with gefitinib. The results of a third trial, which found that similar benefit may be achieved with erlotinib, were also included. These trials demonstrated that EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as gefitinib or erlotinib, are superior to platinum-based combination chemotherapy as initial treatments for pulmonary adenocarcinoma among nonsmokers or former smokers in East Asia. It is likely that these results are also applicable to non-Asian populations. To review the summary, please use the following link:


Paz-Ares L, de Marinis F, Dediu M, et al.: Maintenance therapy with pemetrexed plus best supportive care versus placebo plus best supportive care after induction therapy with pemetrexed plus cisplatin for advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (PARAMOUNT): a double-blind, phase 3, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Oncol 13 (3): 247–55, 2012. PMID: 22341744

The PDQ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment summary was also updated with the results of a second trial that studied the addition of pemetrexed following standard first-line platinum-based combination chemotherapy. In this trial, 539 patients with. NSCLC and no disease progression following treatment with pemetrexed and cisplatin were randomly assigned to continued pemetrexed or a placebo. The investigators reported a statistically significant improvement in the primary endpoint of PFS but no improvement in OS. To review the summary, please use the following link: