Oncology NEWS International Vol 17 No 9

Japanese team discovers more cancer fallout

September 02, 2008

Radiation from the 1945 atomic bomb blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, most likely rearranged chromosomes in some survivors who later developed papillary thyroid cancer as adults, according to a new study out of Japan.

Panel pans FDG-PET for new Medicare oncology coverage

September 02, 2008

A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services advisory panel has found that most available clinical data for nine conditionally approved cancer indications of FDG-PET, evaluated by the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR) and a separate Canadian study, are too ambivalent to support Medicare coverage.

Sen. Kennedy's brain tumor puts spotlight on new treatment

September 02, 2008

News of Sen. Edward Kennedy’s diagnosis with a malignant glioma shocked the nation. It has also raised awareness about the grim prognosis associated with this type of brain tumor. A new study conducted by the American College of Radiology’s Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) could bring hope to glioma patients.

Precise resection in colon cancer may boost survival

September 02, 2008

Researchers from the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Leeds assessed the quality of colon cancer surgery and noted that there was marked variability in the plane of surgery achieved in colon cancer.

Payer’s budget to get right targeted drug to right patient

September 02, 2008

When laboratory tests are inaccurate or misinterpreted, patients may receive costly targeted drugs that provide no benefit. If the medical community doesn’t resolve the problem, payers will take action on their own.

Should HER2-targeted therapies be used to treat HER2-negative breast cancers?

September 02, 2008

Some clinical trials of HER2-targeted therapies have found that patients assessed to have HER2-negative breast cancer nonetheless derive benefit. Is this a real benefit stemming from unrecognized biological factors in the adjuvant setting?

PET brings treatment changes in majority of colon ca cases

September 02, 2008

MELBOURNE, Australia-The largest multi-institutional study to date examining the effect of PET on the management of recurrent colorectal cancer has shown that PET led to change in the treatment plans for more than half of patients.

Radiation Oncology Institute launched with $5 million ASTRO grant

September 01, 2008

FAIRFAX, Virginia-The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) has invested $5 million in the newly created Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI). The goal of ROI is to support research and education in radiation therapy.

PET/CT, 3T MRI perform equally well in lung cancer staging

September 01, 2008

No clear winner has emerged in a head-to-head comparison of whole-body FDG-PET/CT and whole-body 3T MRI for non-small-cell lung (NSCLC) cancer staging. Unenhanced PET/CT proved better for detecting metastatic lymph nodes and soft-tissue involvement, while MR was more sensitive to the presence of brain and liver metastases.

Dual-energy CT scanning captures subtle pancreatic masses

September 01, 2008

LAS VEGAS-The increased speed and improved visualization of dual-energy CT helps pinpoint lesions at an earlier, more treatable stage. Faster and better visualization are the main reasons to use dual-energy CT for the assessment of pancreatic masses, according to a radiologist from the University of Munich.

Intrabone route may delay engraftment failure

September 01, 2008

GENOA-Investigators from the San Martino Hospital in Italy are reporting that direct intrabone cord-blood transplantation overcomes graft failure even when low numbers of human leucocyte antigen-mismatched cord-blood cells are transplanted.

Hip bone density helps predict breast cancer risk

September 01, 2008

Measuring a woman’s bone mineral density (BMD) can provide additional information that may help to more accurately determine a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new study in the journal Cancer.

MRI breast ca staging provided benefits, shortcomings

September 01, 2008

A meta-analysis by Australian and European researchers indicates that MR staging identifies additional disease in nearly one of five women previously diagnosed with breast cancer. It also suggests that women may undergo more extensive surgeries than originally planned because of false-positive MR findings.

NICE says no to expensive kidney cancer drugs

September 01, 2008

The advisory committee tothe UK’s National Health Service(NHS) has recommended that theNHS not pay for four new agentsproven effective in metastatic renalcell carcinoma. The four drugs arebevacizumab (Avastin), sorafenib(Nexavar), sunitinib (Sutent), andtemsirolimus (Torisel).

‘Oxaliplatin should be a part of standard therapy’

September 01, 2008

Taken together, the results of the C-07 and MOSAIC trials suggest that oxaliplatin improves both disease-free and overall survival in this population [resected stage II-III colon cancer patients], said Dr. Goldberg, of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The surgeon who challenged the breast ca paradigm

September 01, 2008

Bernard Fisher, MD received his medical degree in 1943 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. As a young doctor, he was torn between a life in the operating room and one in the research lab. His curiosity about the biology of the diseases that were being treated by surgery eventually led to his decision to combine those interests.

Growth hormone deficiency spurs late effects of childhood cancer

September 01, 2008

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Canada-Long-term survivors of childhood cancer are at increased risk of several late effects, including premature cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance as young adults. New research suggests that one cause of these conditions may be growth hormone deficiency (GHD) caused by cancer therapy.

Are rebates for ca drugs a good deal?

September 01, 2008

Basically, the manufacturer list price for darbepoetin is so high that it is nearly impossible to buy it as a single-source drug. Instead, companies are creatively bundling drugs, putting physicians under contractual obligation to purchase drugs as a package in order to get the best price and get the “rebate.”

Adjuvant gemcitabine improves outcomes of pancreatic ca

September 01, 2008

CHICAGO-Compared with observation, adjuvant gemcitabine (Gemzar) reduces the risk of recurrence by 45% and the risk of death by 28% in patients with resected pancreatic cancer, according to final results of the CONKO-001 trial.

High-risk DLBCL yields to dose-dense rituximab regimen

September 01, 2008

CHICAGO-Increasing the dose density of rituximab in the R-CHOP-14 regimen yields better rituximab (Rituxan) pharmacokinetics and improved clinical outcomes among older adults with high-risk diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), reported lead investigator Michael G.M. Pfreundschuh, MD.

In elderly with early breast ca, stick with standard chemo

September 01, 2008

CHICAGO-In the adjuvant setting, capecitabine (Xeloda) proved inferior to standard chemotherapy in older women with early-stage breast cancer, according to study results from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington.

Herceptin erases survival difference between HER2- patients

September 01, 2008

CHICAGO-The addition of trastuzumab (Herceptin) to the arsenal of breast cancer agents has elevated the prognosis of HER2-positive patients to that of HER2-negative patients, according to an institutional review from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Women reveal only mild anxiety after double mastectomy

September 01, 2008

Deciding on a bilateral mastectomy is a bold move for any woman. But for a Hollywood actress, whose very livelihood depends in large part on her being attractive, such a drastic step could verge on foolhardy. It was both heartening and surprising when 36-year-old actress Christina Applegate, star of the ABC TV show Samantha Who?, announced that she had undergone a double mastectomy.

Adding oxaliplatin to FULV trends toward better survival in stage II/III colon cancer

September 01, 2008

CHICAGO-In the adjuvant treatment of colon cancer, addition of oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) to the FULV regimen is associated with a near-significant 15% relative reduction in the risk of death, according to results from a National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project trial (NSABP C-07).

MR brain mapping assesses response to glioma therapy

September 01, 2008

Brain tumor patients receiving standard radiation therapy must wait up to 10 weeks for follow-up CT or MR to determine whether the treatment is working, based on the established MacDonald criteria for assessing treatment.