Equine ATG has been used for the treatment of severe aplastic anemia since the 1980s. Rabbit ATG is used in many parts of the world including South America, Japan, and European countries. The results of a randomized study of equine versus rabbit ATG showed that rabbit ATG was inferior to equine ATG.
On many occasions, I have been asked by colleagues or patients, “How do you do what you do?” when the topic of taking care of patients with a terminal illness comes up. So, is it possible to write about the topic of humor in oncology without seeming cynical and uncaring? Obviously I think it is.
Is it time to revisit the therapeutic role of interferon alfa2 (IFN-α-2) in early myelofibrosis (MF) since new data show promising results? Silver et al from Weil-Cornell Medical College in New York has recently published the results of a prospective study, which used IFN-α-2 in the treatment of 17 patients with low and intermediate-1 risk categories, and >80% of patients showed either response or had stable disease with 2 patients achieving complete remission (CR), and seven partial remission (PR).
As a medical oncologist who entered the field when there were perhaps 50 or so active drugs, I have become increasingly disturbed by the rising costs of cancer care. Of course, I am not alone in worrying about this.
Compared with almost any other career, the path to becoming a physician requires a substantial upfront commitment of time, effort and, of course, cost. For oncology specifically, an additional ten years of training after college are required before seeing your first patient independently. In a sense, the day you finish your fellowship, you are already fully “committed.”
When I heard about the FDA’s dramatic new step in the anti-smoking fight, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would really make a difference. The new measure requires tobacco companies to add gruesome images to cigarette packages; the images include a corpse, a person’s chest stitched together following heart surgery and even a man with smoke drifting through a hole in this throat.
The current dogma considers cytomegalovirus (CMV) seropositivity being associated with inferior outcomes post hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). However, there has been a notion of “virus-versus-leukemia” effect since the 1980s; and recently, there have been some interesting reports which may turn this to a hot topic.
Researchers measured the rate of bankruptcy after a first cancer diagnosis and identified factors that increased bankruptcy risk among people with common cancers.
Because there has been little empirical evidence to back up patients’ stories, chemobrain has been met with skepticism by the medical community and has been a painful puzzle for many patients who couldn’t quite put a name to what they were feeling. This cognitive impairment—characterized by loss of memory and stumbling on words, among other symptoms—has come to be known as “chemobrain” or “chemofog.”
Community cancer clinics, which treat more than 75% of all cancer patients, are struggling with Medicare reimbursement. Cuts in the Proposed 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule will a have devastating effect on the delivery of cancer care. COA is calling for action.