In a lively session at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Jerome P. Ritchie, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and Steven H. Woolf, MD, MPH, Medical College of Virginia,
LOS ANGELES--"Prostate cancer is a disease of options," Douglas Keyser, MD, said at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) meeting. And individual treatment decisions are difficult to make because of the lack of randomized studies and head-to-head comparisons between radiation therapy and surgery.
After increasing sharply from 1989 through 1992, US prostate cancer incidence rates dropped by 16% for white men and nearly stabilized for African-American men (2% increase) in the latest period available for analysis, 1992 to 1993. These findings, based on the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registry information and US Census population estimates, are reported in the November 20th issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
ROCKVILLE, Md--The FDA has approved a new indication for Novan-trone (mitoxantrone), making it the first chemotherapy agent approved for the treatment of advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Novantrone in combination with corticosteroids has been shown to reduce bone pain and stabilize or reduce reliance on analgesics in these patients without adversely affecting quality of life.
Superficial bladder cancer can be a frustrating disease for both the patient and physician. It has been referred to as a "nuisance disease" because of its propensity for recurrence, necessitating frequent cystoscopies and trips to the operating room for resection of recurrent disease. In addition, however, there looms for the patient and physician the 10% to 15% probability of disease progression, often requiring cystectomy to achieve local control and placing the patient at much greater risk for disease mortality. The challenge is to predict which patients will benefit from adjuvant therapy in order to avoid disease progression and, secondarily, disease recurrence.
Dr. Grossman's article provides a well-organized review of the literature on the treatment of superficial bladder cancer. At the time of diagnosis, approximately 80% of patients with bladder cancer have superficial tumors (limited to the urothelial lining of the bladder or the underlying lamina propria). In such patients, the risk of distant disease is low, and the natural history of bladder cancer is based on two separate, but related processes: tumor recurrence and progression to a higher stage of disease.
NEW YORK--Michael Korda, best-selling author and editor-in-chief and vice president of Simon and Schuster, had never heard of PSA until a routine test showed that his was elevated; he had never thought about prostate cancer as something that could happen to him. After all, he was asymptomatic, a "fanatic exerciser," had given up smoking 20 years ago, and ate carefully.
NEW YORK--Marion Morra, associate director of the Yale Cancer Center, has collaborated with her sister Eve Potts, a medical writer for more than 30 years, to produce The Prostate Cancer Answer Book: An Unbiased Treatment Guide, published in September by Avon Books to coincide with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
GAITHERSBURG, Md--Faced with significant differences between FDA staff and company-associated scientists in the analysis of data from two clinical studies, the FDA's Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) declined to vote either way on whether to recommend approval of Pharmacia & Upjohn's Remisar (bropirimine tablets) for the treatment of patients with BCG-refractory or BCG-intolerant urinary bladder carcinoma in situ (CIS).
GAITHERSBURG, Md--Members of the FDA's Oncology Drug Advisory Committee (ODAC) agreed that Immu-nex Corp.'s Novantrone (mitoxan-trone)--in combination with corticosteroids--offers a clinical benefit to patients with hormone-resistant prostate cancer.