Oncology NEWS International Vol 4 No 11

FDA Panel Recommends Approval of Breast Cancer Drugs

November 01, 1995

SILVER SPRING, Md-In addition to recommending approval of Taxotere (docetaxel) at its most recent meeting (see " Panel Recommends Taxotere Be Approved for Advanced Breast Cancer"), the FDA's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) also voted on two other new drug applications and heard a presentation on a new imaging agent.

Total Outpatient Program Cuts Transplant Cost

November 01, 1995

LUXEMBOURG-In an effort to beat the skyrocketing costs of high-dose chemotherapy and transplantation, physicians at the Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, Calif, have launched a total outpatient therapy program that attempts to eliminate expensive hospital admissions.

DNA Repair Enzyme Decreases Skin Cancer Incidence in Animals

November 01, 1995

BUENOS AIRES-Ultraviolet (UV) radiation contributes to skin cancer induction not only by transforming normal cells to cancer cells but also by impairing the host immune response to skin cancer, said Daniel Yarosh, PhD, president of Applied Genetics, Inc., Freeport, NY.

Notion of 'Global' Microbial Resistance May Be Oversimplified

November 01, 1995

MONTREAL-The rising worldwide incidence of microbial resistance stems from a wide variety of causes and does not reflect a single global trend or etiology, Prof. Dr. Bernd Wiedemann, University of Bonn, Germany, said at a plenary session of the 19th International Congress of Chemotherapy.

Outpatient Oral Antibiotics Safe, Effective

November 01, 1995

LUXEMBOURG-Outpatient oral antibiotic therapy can be as effective and safe as outpatient parenteral therapy in the treatment of febrile neutropenia, according to the latest trial results from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's Ambulatory and Supportive Care Oncology Research Program (ASCORP).

Despite New Therapies, Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Outcomes Are Not Improved

November 01, 1995

BUFFALO, NY-While a combination of pleurectomy and intracavitary photodynamic therapy marginally improves survival rates for some patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, "there exists no compelling evidence that treatment of any kind is superior to no treatment," reported Hiroshi Takita, MD, DSc, chief of the Department of Thoracic Surgery, Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Casodex Available for Advanced Prostate Cancer

November 01, 1995

WILMINGTON, Del--Zeneca Pharmaceutical's Casodex (bicaluta-mide), a new nonsteroidal antiandrogen, has received FDA approval for the hormonal treatment of advanced prostate cancer in combination with a luteinizing-hormone-releasing hormone analog (LHRH-A). The agent acts by binding to cytosol androgen receptors.

Use of Clarithromycin Prophylaxis Reduces MAC Infection, Mortality in Advanced AIDS Patients

November 01, 1995

SAN FRANCISCO-Clarithromy-cin (Biaxin), a newer generation macro-lide, has been shown to have a definite favorable effect on survival when given prophylactically to patients with advanced AIDS, Mark Pierce, MD, reported at the 35th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Low-Dose Acyclovir Recommended for HSV Prophylaxis in Leukemic Patients

November 01, 1995

SAN FRANCISCO-Low-dose intravenous acyclovir (Zovirax) provides effective prophylaxis against Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection or reactivation in leukemic patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy, Carole Miller, MD, said at the 35th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC).

Study Shows Outpatient Chemotherapy Less Expensive Than Home Health Care Delivery

November 01, 1995

MARINA DEL REY, Calif-A detailed financial analysis of the costs associated with chemotherapy delivery showed home health care costs to be, on average, 2.5 times higher than those incurred in an outpatient clinic setting, said Patrick A. Grusenmeyer, MPA, financial administrator for the Ochsner Cancer Institute, New Orleans.

Extended Triple Antiretroviral Therapy Maintains Superiority

November 01, 1995

SAN FRANCISCO-Two separate clinical trials have demonstrated that triple combination antiretroviral therapy maintains its superiority over double therapy in the extended treatment of HIV infection, although neither study included clinical morbidity as an endpoint.

Amphotericin B Lipid Complex Effective, Less Toxic

November 01, 1995

SAN FRANCISCO-Amphotericin B lipid complex may be the treatment of choice for patients with hematogenous or invasive candidiasis, Elias J. Anaissie, MD, said at the 35th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC).

African-Americans Are Target of Prostate Ca Education Efforts

November 01, 1995

NEW YORK-Citing the dispro-portionally high incidence and mortality of prostate cancer among African-American men, Marc B. Garnick, MD, associate clinical professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, singled out this segment of the population as the target for intensive efforts to raise awareness.

Careful Appraisal Is Needed to Determine The True Value of an Oncology Practice

November 01, 1995

MARINA DEL REY, Calif-Every physician needs to know the value of his or her practice, especially in this era of change-when mergers, affiliations, partner buy-ins or buy-outs, and outright sales of practices are common, Kim R. Johnson, RN, said at the annual conference of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC).

Market Research Provides Critical Information to Cancer Centers

November 01, 1995

MARINA DEL REY, Calif-In today's health care environment, the providers of cancer care must determine not only how to market their services but also whom to market them to, Patti A. Jamieson, MSSW, MBA, said at the annual Conference of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC).

Erythropoietin Prevents Anemia and Reduces Transfusions in SCLC Patients

November 01, 1995

LUXEMBOURG-Home administration of erythropoietin (epoetin alfa, Epogen, Procrit) safely prevented or delayed the development of chemotherapy-associated anemia and reduced transfusion requirements by as much as 35% in a multicenter study of patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), Nicholas Thatcher, MD, said at the 7th International Symposium of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC).

Study Uncovers Patient/Physician Communication Gaps

November 01, 1995

NEW YORK-A new study by Louis Harris and Associates points to serious gaps between what doctors treating prostate cancer say they tell their patients and what prostate cancer patients report they have heard. A panel of experts at a press conference called to present the findings agreed that these communication gaps must be repaired if further progress is to be made in fighting what they called this "male epidemic."

Panel Recommends Taxotere Be Approved for Advanced Breast Ca

November 01, 1995

SILVER SPRING, Md-The FDA's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) has voted 6 to 0 with one abstention to recommend that Rhône-Poulenc Rorer's Taxotere (docetaxel) be approved for the treatment of patients with anthracycline-resistant locally advanced or metastatic breast carcinoma.

Monitor Patient's Emotional Adaptation to Breast Cancer

November 01, 1995

Breast cancer is a disease that not only has a high prevalence and mortality but also profound psychological and psychosocial ramifications. Women with breast cancer fear death and face complicated medical decisions and concerns about their body image, sexuality, and relationships.1

Pamidronate Relieves Pain, Reduces Analgesic Use in Multiple Myeloma

November 01, 1995

LUXEMBOURG-The bisphos-phonate pamidronate (Aredia) not only reduced skeletal morbidity but also relieved pain, reduced analgesic use, and improved quality of life in a multicenter study reported at the 7th International Symposium of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer.

NCI Scientists Find Specific Mutation in the Breast Cancer Gene

November 01, 1995

BETHESDA, Md-Scientists from the National Cancer Institute have found a specific mutation, 185delAG, in the breast cancer 1 gene (BRCA1) in almost 1% of DNA samples from a study group of Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jews. This is the first time that scientists have been able to show that the gene mutation is present at measurable levels not only in high-risk families but also in a specific group of the general population.

Winner of ACCC Research Award Defines Qualities That Make a 'Good Researcher'

November 01, 1995

MARINA DEL REY, Calif-Representatives of the American Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), an organization of almost 500 cancer institutions, presented the group's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Research to Rodger J. Winn, MD, at their annual economics conference.