Oncology NEWS International Vol 17 No 12

Radiology resident compiles staging database

December 02, 2008

CHICAGO-When Roland Talanow, MD, PhD, began his radiology residency, the topic of cancer staging proved to be particularly confounding. In an effort to educate himself and help others, Dr. Talanow has built a free, Web-based database that offers one-stop shopping on cancer staging, including comprehensive information on lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and HIV-related lymphoma. Dr. Talanow showcased his Web site, www.cancerstaging.info, at RSNA 2008 (abstract LLR03001-H).

CyBorD combo supports stem cell collection in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma

December 02, 2008

CHICAGO-The combination of cyclophosphamide, bortezomib, and dexamethasone is associated with high rates of response and manageable toxicity among patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, according to results from a single-arm phase II trial.

Clara Bloomfield: Buck conventional wisdom always

December 02, 2008

As a preschooler, Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, had visions of Florence Nightingale in her head. At the age of four, she informed her mother that she wanted to become a nurse. “My mother said, ‘Well dear, that’s very nice. But if you want to become a nurse, you might as well become a doctor’,” Dr. Bloomfield told Oncology News International.

New breast cancer program reduces time to treatment

December 02, 2008

In 1993, Laura Esserman, MD, took a trip to the UK and noted that breast cancer diagnosis was handled far diff erently than in the U.S. Because all the breast cancer imaging is done centrally in the UK, physicians offer same-day clinics.

PET/CT for prostate ca influences staging, treatment strategy

December 02, 2008

CHICAGO-Prostate-specific antigen measurements are considered a useful organ-specific marker, but they are not necessarily an adequate tumor marker. PET/CT in combination with PSA levels can play a significant role in detecting and staging prostate cancer, according to two presentations at RSNA 2008 (abstracts SSA18-02 and SSA18-09).

Racially-based disparities in ca on the rise, not due to smoking

December 01, 2008

A new study found that recent progress in closing the gap in overall cancer mortality between African Americans and whites may be due primarily to smoking related cancers, and that cancer mortality differences related to screening and treatment may still be increasing. The study is the first to analyze racial and ethnic differences between the two broad categories of disease.

ProStrakan offers patch to prevent nausea and vomiting

December 01, 2008

Sancuso (granisetron transdermal system) is now available by prescription in the U.S. for patients with chemotherapyinduced nausea and vomiting. The patch continuously releases granisetron into the bloodstream for up to five consecutive days.

Online tool encourages families to bone up on genetics

December 01, 2008

Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute have developed a free, online assessment tool that allows individuals to enter their family medical history, and determine their risk for both cancer and coronary heart disease.

Coverting unresectable to resectable: Data still limited

December 01, 2008

There is growing agreement with Dr. Falcone-based on limited data-that response rates appear to be increased with FOLFOX plus cetuximab, as compared with FOLFOX alone, for KRAS wild-type patients only, according to Jordan Berlin, MD, associate professor of medicine and clinical director of GI oncology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

AACR commits to Love/Avon Army of Women

December 01, 2008

The American Association for Cancer Research will provide scientific expertise to Love/Avon Army of Women, an organization that seeks to link more than one million women volunteers with cancer researchers across the country to discover breast cancer causes and to aid in prevention.

Brachytherapy improves treatment in augmented women

December 01, 2008

CHICAGO-Targeted radiation of breast cancer after lumpectomy reduces treatment time from six and a half weeks to five days, while reducing pain and improving cosmetic outcome, according to a study presented at RSNA 2008 (abstract SSC19-02).

Marathon effort to support cancer care

December 01, 2008

Oncologist Howard Hochster, MD, professor of medicine at New York University Cancer Institute, ran the 2008 New York City Marathon to benefit Team Continuum which provides immediate nonmedical support and assistance to cancer patients and their families.

Standardized chemoembolization boosts HCC survival

December 01, 2008

CHICAGO-Results from the largest and longest trial of its kind suggest that patients with intermediate and advanced hepatocellular carcinomas who undergo systematic treatment with three chemotherapeutic agents and arterial embolization plus imaging follow-up have better survival rates than those who undergo nonstandardized chemoembolization regimes.

Who’s News

December 01, 2008

Omer Kucuk, MD, has joined Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta as professor of hematology and medical oncology. Dr. Kucuk conducted the earliest clinical trials on soy and lycopene supplements in prostate cancer treatment. He was previously at the Karmanos Cancer Center at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Acupuncture matches antidepressant for vasomotor symptom relief

December 01, 2008

BOSTON-Acupuncture alleviates severe vasomotor symptoms as effectively as the antidepressant venlafaxine (Effexor) in breast cancer patients receiving anti-estrogen therapy, according to research from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

Yoga and cancer care: Guide your patients down the right path

December 01, 2008

Dr. McCall is a board-certified internist and the medical editor of Yoga Journal. He is the author of Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing (Bantam, 2007). He can be found on the Web at www.DrMcCall.com.

ACS expert warns that global burden of cancer will skyrocket without prevention

December 01, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC-The developing world faces “a tsunami of cancer” without massive tobacco control efforts and programs to stanch infection-related tumors, according to the American Cancer Society’s vice president for epidemiology and surveillance research.

Final AVAiL results confirm longer PFS with bevacizumab

December 01, 2008

STOCKHOLM-Final analysis of the phase III Avastin in Lung Study (AVAiL), which evaluated bevacizumab (Avastin) as first-line therapy for advanced nonsmall- cell lung cancer, showed that adding bevacizumab to gemcitabine/cisplatin significantly extends progression-free survival, Christian Manegold, MD, of Heidelberg University in Mannheim, Germany, reported at ESMO 2008 (abstract LBA1).

Phone-time vs face-time: CMS covers limited non-drug services

December 01, 2008

The ever-growing complexity of chemotherapy coding is so onerous that office managers sometimes lose track of their non-drug billing items. Here are four questions that oft en pop up about nondrug billing and coding.

New presurgical strategies render colon mets resectable

December 01, 2008

STOCKHOLM-Advances in surgical resection have removed the label of “death sentence” associated with colorectal metastases to the liver and lung. But that means oncologists must take on the task of refining strategies to increase resectability. At ESMO 2008, Alfredo Falcone, MD, of the University of Pisa and Instituto Toscano Tumori in Italy, discussed his approach for creating the ideal conditions for resectability.

Is IP chemotherapy the standard of care for small-volume residual ovarian cancer?

December 01, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO-The “preponderance of the evidence” supports intraperitoneal chemotherapy as the preferred treatment for small-volume residual ovarian cancer after surgical debulking, Robert S. Mannel, MD, said at a debate session of the 2008 Oncology Congress. J. Tate Thigpen, MD, who took the con side of the debate, argued that IP chemotherapy remains experimental because of flaws in the design of the three major trials of IP therapy and its “formidable toxicity.”

Virtual communication enhances RT treatment planning

December 01, 2008

New soft ware facilitates better collaboration between oncologists and radiologists on imaging reports, according to UK-based researchers, most notably by connecting physicians who are geographically separated.

Rate of response to CyBorD is ‘truly remarkable’

December 02, 2003

There was a very rapid response [to CyBorD], which has been typical when you incorporate bortezomib into the initial regimens,” commented Dr. Anderson, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.