Carboplatin is a platinum chemotherapeutic agent introduced in 1981 as an alternative to cisplatin.

The development of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors has expanded the potential for targeting DNA damage in cancer cells. The efficacy of PARP inhibitors in cancer therapy is the subject of an increasing number of clinical trials in a variety of tumor types, including and beyond the expected BRCA mutation malignancies. The established mechanism of action of PARP inhibitors is an important addition to the field of rationally designed drug development through novel trial design, as well as to the development of biomarker investigation.

Background: For women with advanced ovarian cancer, surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy are the standard treatment, but the prognosis is poor. Angiogenesis is involved in ovarian cancer. Bevacizumab, a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor, has shown tumor response and delayed progression in women with ovarian cancer in early clinical trials. Two new, phase 3 studies have examined its effect on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in women with advanced ovarian cancer.

Background: Although trastuzumab, an HER2 inhib­itor that binds to subdomain IV of the HER2 extracellular growth domain, is effective in inhibiting tumor growth in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, the disease often progresses after therapy. Pertuzumab, which binds to subdomain II of the growth domain, offers a complementary mechanism of action that, in combination with that of trastuzumab, enhances the blockade of HER2 signaling and potentially produces greater antitumor activity, as has been demonstrated in phase 2 studies.

Background: Women with breast cancer often complain of cognitive difficulties after chemotherapy. Findings from several cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of women who receive chemotherapy for breast cancer have confirmed a correlation between impaired memory and other cognitive functions and chemotherapy. This study investigated the link between chemo­therapy-induced structural changes in the brain and cognitive function.

Background: As many as 15% to 30% of patients who receive BRAF inhibitors, such as vemurafenib or dabrafenib, for metastatic melanoma develop cutaneous squamous-cell carcinomas and keratoacanthomas (nonmelanoma skin cancer) during their therapy. A new study investigated the nature of the oncogenic mutations in patients with the BRAF V600 mutation who received vemurafenib.  

Background: In previous studies, the addition of bevacizumab to first-line chemotherapy regimens in the treatment of metastatic cancer led to modest improvements in ORR and PFS. Now 2 separate studies have investigated the efficacy of adding the VEGF inhibitor bevacizumab to adjuvant chemotherapy regimens in patients with early-stage breast cancer.

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