Oncology NEWS International Vol 4 No 3

Selecting a Support Group for Patients With Prostate Carcinoma

March 01, 1995

PHILADELPHIA--The burgeoning support group movement has much to offer patients with prostate cancer. Professionals who wish to refer patients to a support group, or to start their own group, should be aware of the several types of groups that

Antman Provides Outlook on Use of High-Dose Chemo

March 01, 1995

ATLANTA--In laboratory models, the "highest possible doses of chemotherapy" and a combination of agents are necessary to achieve curative therapy in breast cancer, Karen H. Antman, MD, said at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) Educational Conference. But when treating breast cancer with drugs that damage stem cells, "you may not be able

Radiofrequency Ablation of Brain Tumors New Option

March 01, 1995

CHICAGO--A new minimally invasive procedure for treating certain types of primary or metastatic brain cancer offers an alternative to patients who are too ill to undergo standard craniotomy, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy, or who have not

Oncologist Enthusiastic About Capitated Plan

March 01, 1995

DUARTE, Calif--An oncologist passionate about the advantages of managed care? Oncology News International met just such a physician, Myron H. Goldsmith, who provides medical oncology services on a capitated basis to the City of Hope Oncology Network, while also maintaining his fee-for-service practice. "You have to be passionate about what you believe in," this on-the-go doctor said from his cellular phone.

Digital Mammography Has Potential to Detect Small Tumors, Increase Accuracy in Dense Breasts

March 01, 1995

CHICAGO--Initial experience with a prototype digital mammography system indicates that the new technology has the potential to detect breast tumors much smaller in size than is possible with conventional mammography, and can be manipulated to explore areas of breast tissue that harbor occult cancer.

GAO Says Federal Research Needed on Safety of Portable Cellular Telephones

March 01, 1995

PARIS, France--Dr. Bernard Fisher, Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, was presented with the Third Claude Jacquillat Award for Achievement in Clinical Oncology at the Fifth International Congress of Anti-Cancer Chemotherapy.

Varmins Chooses New Director for NIH Office of Alternative Medicine

March 01, 1995

NIH chief Harold Varmus has chosen an army physician, Lt. Col. Wayne Jonas, as the new permanent director of the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM); he will replace temporary acting director Alan Trachtenberg in July. Dr. Jonas earned his

Identifying the 'Sentinel' Lymph Node May Obviate Need for Total Axillary Dissection

March 01, 1995

SAN ANTONIO--Identification of the "sentinel" lymph node can eliminate the need for total axillary node dissection in a substantial number of women with primary breast cancer, Peter D. Beitsch, MD, said at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

'Visible Man' Hits the Internet, Radiologists Get the First Look

March 01, 1995

CHICAGO--The first long distance, computer-generated anatomy lesson was conducted via satellite as biologists from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, fed three-dimensional digital images of the human male body to participants at the annual scientific meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Ultrafast Full-Body MRI Eases Procedure in Claustrophobics, Kids

March 01, 1995

CHICAGO--Echoplanar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was introduced in the late 1970s to scan parts of the body that exhibit rapid movement, such as the heart and brain. At the annual scientific meeting of the Radiological Society of North

WHO Melanoma Study: Interferon Boosts Disease-Free Survival

March 01, 1995

LISBON, Portugal--Adjuvant immunotherapy with low-dose interferon (IFN)-alfa-2a (Roferon-A) boosts disease-free survival by a significant 40% in melanoma patients with regional lymph node metastasis, according to the findings of the latest multicenter World Health Organization (WHO) Melanoma Programme trial.

Coram to Purchase Caremark's Home Infusion Therapy Business

March 01, 1995

DENVER--Coram Healthcare Corp. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Caremark International's home infusion therapy business. Under the agreement, Caremark will receive approximately $310 million in cash and securities.

NCCR Unveils Six New Public Service TV Announcements

March 01, 1995

WASHINGTON--The National Coalition for Cancer Research (NCCR), a Washington coalition of more than 20 cancer-related organizations founded in 1986, unveiled its new series of six 30-second television public service announcements at a

Breast Examination Center of Harlem Expands Service

March 01, 1995

NEW YORK--Gospel singers, ministers, elected officials, breast cancer survivors, and the president and board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center came to Harlem to celebrate, with music and soul food, the expansion of the Breast Examination Center of Harlem, a center that has screened more than 24,000 women for breast cancer since its opening in 1979.

Protease Inhibitors Temporarily Suppress HIV Replication

March 01, 1995

WASHINGTON--In the short term, protease inhibitors are quite effective at stopping replication of HIV, thus permitting recovery of the immune system, but, as with other anti-HIV agents, resistance eventually develops and effectiveness wanes, researchers reported at the 2nd National Conference on Human Retroviruses and Related Infections.

Caveats on Stereotactic Core Biopsy Use

March 01, 1995

SAN ANTONIO--Unresolved questions about accuracy and cost should limit the role of stereotactic core biopsy in breast cancer to low-suspicion lesions and a few other specific indications, advised Monica Morrow, MD, associate professor of surgery and director of clinical breast programs, Northwestern University Medical School.

Viral Origin of KS Appears Confirmed

March 01, 1995

WASHINGTON--New research presented at the 2nd National Conference on Human Retroviruses and Related Infections appears to confirm last year's report that a virus is the cause of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). Its discoverers, Drs. Patrick S. Moore and Yuan Chang of Columbia University, are calling the virus Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV).

Try to Maintain Platinum Intensity in Low-Volume Ovarian Ca: McGuire

March 01, 1995

PARIS--Physicians should strive to maintain intensive platinum therapy in women with low-volume ovarian cancer, urged William McGuire III, MD, of Emory University. "However, I don't think there's yet data to show that we need to crank

Paul Marks to Head Search Committee For National Cancer Institute Director

March 01, 1995

WASHINGTON--HHS Secretary Donna Shalala has appointed Paul Marks, president, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute, to chair the search committee for a director of the National Cancer Institute, to replace Dr. Samuel Broder, who now plans to leave in March instead of April as originally announced.

Federal Anti-Kickback Statute Provides for 'Safe Harbors'

March 01, 1995

Part 1 of this three-part series on the Medicare fraud and abuse laws reviewed the laws prohibiting self-referrals (ONI, Jan, 1995, ). Part 2 (Feb, 1995) looked at the false claims laws and how to avoid exposure to such claims. This final article discusses the Medicare and Medicaid anti-kickback statute.

Clinical Trials Approved for Titan's AN-9 and its MDR Gene Therapy

March 01, 1995

MENLO PARK, Calif--Ansan, Inc., an operating company of Titan Pharmaceuticals, has received FDA approval to start a phase I trial of its butyric acid derivative AN-9 in patients with solid tumors. In preclinical studies, AN-9 demonstrated broad anticancer activity and may have less toxicity than standard chemotherapeutic agents, the company said.

Medicare Physician Fees Set for 1995

March 01, 1995

WASHINGTON--Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala has announced that Medicare physician fees will be increased in 1995--by 7.9% for primary services, 12.2% for surgical services, and 5.2% for other services. Payments for

National Network to Develop Cancer Standards of Care

March 01, 1995

NEW YORK--As reported last month in ONI , 13 of the leading cancer centers in the United States have formed a national alliance-- the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)--to develop and institute standards of care for the

NCAB Hears Reports From Action Plan on Breast Ca, AACR

March 01, 1995

WASHINGTON--At its most recent meeting, the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) heard a report on the activities and accomplishments of the National Action Plan on Breast Cancer (NAPBC), as well as reports from two groups concerned about cancer research funding and grant applications.

Rosenberg Hopes to Expand Use of Immunotherapy

March 01, 1995

NEW YORK--Immunotherapy approaches have been used successfully to treat and even cure a very small subset of patients with advanced solid cancers. The challenge is to increase the types of cancer that are responsive to immunotherapy,

ASIM Joins Coalition in Effort to Bring Tobacco Industry Under FDA Control

March 01, 1995

WASHINGTON--The American Society of Internal Medicine (ASIM) joined the Coalition on Smoking OR Health in its effort to create FDA oversight of the tobacco industry. ASIM's policy on tobacco supports stronger cigarette labels,

Euthanasia: No Substitute for Rational Pain Interventions

March 01, 1995

MIAMI, Fla--Public support of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia stems from multiple medical, social, and economic factors, Kathleen Foley, MD, said at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society. (See table for a list of some of these factors.)

Lung Cancer Patient Is the First to Receive p53/Retrovirus Treatment

March 01, 1995

COLLEGEVILLE, Penn--A patient with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer has become the first to receive an injection of a p53/retrovirus gene therapy into existing tumor cells, Introgen Therapeutics, Inc. and RPR Gencell, a division of Rhône-Poulenc Rorer, have announced.

Emcyt/Taxol Studied in Refractory Prostate Ca

March 01, 1995

PHILADELPHIA--Ongoing trials of a protocol that provides prolonged exposure to estramustine phosphate (Emcyt) and paclitaxel (Taxol) have produced promising results in men with hormone-refractory prostate cancer, Gary Hudes, MD, told Oncology News International.

AZT Alone Arm Dropped From Study of HIV in Children

March 01, 1995

WASHINGTON--The AZT alone arm has been dropped from a large ongoing federal study of children with HIV infection, because it proved less effective in preventing disease progression than the other arms and had significant adverse effects.

PSA Shown to Predict Progression of Prostate Cancer

March 01, 1995

CHICAGO--Proponents of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test have new ammunition to support the view that the controversial screening method accurately predicts the progression of prostate cancer and the long-term survival of patients,