Oncology NEWS International Vol 5 No 12

Routine Office Endometrial Biopsies and Ultrasound Screening Are Not Recommended for Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Tamoxifen

December 01, 1996

An expert panel of 10 international cancer researchers and practicing oncologists met in Boston to discuss the past, present, and future uses of antiestrogens in the treatment of breast cancer. The first articles in this series, based on the symposium presentations, focused on the optimal duration of tamoxifen use (Oct, 1996, page 17) and on the noncancer benefits of tamoxifen weighed against the potential risk of endometrial cancer (Nov, 1996, page 55). This month, the benign endometrial changes associated with tamoxifen use are reviewed. The symposium was sponsored by Zeneca Pharmaceuticals.

AHCPR to Fund Analysis of the Impact of Managed Care's Growth

December 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) has funded a new analysis of the impact of the recent growth and concentration of HMOs on employers, health-insurance coverage decisions, health care premiums, and employees' health insurance choices. Jack Hadley, MD, of Georgetown University, will lead the $307,437, year-long project.

Avon Funds Breast Cancer Awareness Program for Orthodox Jewish Women

December 01, 1996

NEW YORK--The Avon Breast Health Access Fund has awarded a grant of $23,961 to Cancer Care for a program to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early breast cancer detection among low-income Orthodox Jewish women in New York City. Cancer Care is a nonprofit organization that provides free professional services to people with cancer and their families,

Friends of Cancer Research Campaign

December 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--The national cancer community has joined together to create a nonprofit organization, the Friends of Cancer Research, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the National Cancer Act through a public awareness and education campaign on the importance of cancer research.

Four Cancer Chemoprevention Trials Seek Subjects

December 01, 1996

MANHASSET, NY--High-risk individuals are being enrolled in four multicenter clinical trials aimed at preventing lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancers. These cancers together account for more than half of all cancer deaths, Laura Donahue, MD, said as she recruited participants at North Shore University Hospital's Don Monti Cancer Center Screening and Education Day.

Overall US Cancer Mortality Rate Falls for the First Time

December 01, 1996

BIRMINGHAM, Ala--After 60 years of steadily increasing cancer mortality, the tide appears to have turned. From 1990 to 1995, age-adjusted cancer mortality declined by a total of 3.1%, say Philip Cole, MD, and Brad Rodu, DDS, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health and School of Dentistry.

New Edition of NABCO Breast Cancer Resource List Is Now Available

December 01, 1996

NEW YORK--The National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO) has just published the 1996-1997 edition of the NABCO Breast Cancer Resource List, made possible through an educational grant from Glaxo Wellcome Inc

Growth Factor in Elderly ALL Patients Improves Outcome

December 01, 1996

CHICAGO--Findings from the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) may support the routine use of G-CSF (Neupogen) during the induction phase of therapy in elderly patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Richard Larson, MD, said at the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Network for Oncology Communication & Research, based in Atlanta.

Human Genetic Map Goes On-Line

December 01, 1996

BETHESDA, Md--The human gene map has found a worldwide audience via the Internet. Researchers have published a new map containing the locations of more than 16,000 genes identified so far in the Human Genome Project (Science 274:547-562, 1996).

Novantrone Gets FDA Nod for Use in Advanced Prostate Cancer

December 01, 1996

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.

New Cancer Programs, Office of Cancer Survivorship Announced

December 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--Before a group of reporters assembled in the White House Rose Garden, President Clinton recently announced three new federal cancer programs that he predicted would "bring us closer to a cure and improve the lives of those who do survive."

Residential Electromagnetic Fields Not An Apparent Threat to Human Health

December 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--Exposure to residential electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) appears to pose no serious threat to human health, according to a National Research Council (NRC) committee. The panel reviewed more than 500 studies conducted in the 17 years since researchers reported that children living near high-voltage power lines were 1.5 times more likely to develop leukemia.

CDC Reports Most Recent AIDS Figures

December 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--The number of new AIDS cases diagnosed in the United States last year totaled 62,600, according to the first estimate of the 1995 AIDS incidence released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The incidence rose from 61,500 in 1994.

SEER Data Analysis Confirms Fall in Cancer Mortality

December 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--An analysis from the National Cancer Institute, drawing on data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program (SEER) and from the National Center for Health Statistics, has found a 5-year decline of 2.6% in overall cancer mortality (see chart on page 1).

'Boomers' Show Distinct Style of Coping With Cancer

December 01, 1996

NEW YORK--When diagnosed with breast cancer, "women have very different coping styles," Amy Langer said at a media briefing on molecular diagnostics in breast cancer, sponsored by Pharmacia Biotech.

James Cancer Hospital Sponsors Cookbook

December 01, 1996

COLUMBUS, Ohio--Champions in the Kitchen, a cookbook with more than 200 recipes for healthful eating, is now available from the Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Research Institute and The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension. The book is a combined effort to raise awareness of cancer prevention through a healthy diet.

New Cancer Pain Group to Provide Educational Materials

December 01, 1996

WILMINGTON, Del--Nine leading health care professionals from the United States' top cancer hospitals, research facilities, and nonprofit organizations have joined together as members of the National Cancer Pain Coalition (NCPC), with the goal of improving chronic cancer pain treatment (see box).

Intermittent IL-2 Therapy Boosts CD4 Counts in HIV Patients

December 01, 1996

BETHESDA, Md--Intermittent infusions of interleukin-2 (aldesleukin, Proleukin) in HIV-infected patients produced "substantial and sustained" increases in the number and percentage of CD4 cells, with no associated increase in plasma HIV RNA levels, says Joseph A. Kovacs, MD, and his associates at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Hyperthermia Extends Survival Rates in GMB

December 01, 1996

LOS ANGELES--In the first positive randomized US trial of hyperthermia in cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients who received hyperthermia in addition to bra-chytherapy survived significantly longer than those who did not get the heat treatment, Penny K. Sneed, MD, said at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) meeting.

Identical Outcomes With RT or Surgery In Early Prostate Cancer

December 01, 1996

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.

Breast Cancer Group Recommends Return Of Funds, in Attempt To Limit its Focus

December 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--In an extraordinary decision, the steering committee of the National Action Plan on Breast Cancer (NAPBC) voted to reject nearly the entire $14.75 million that Congress provided it for use in fiscal year 1997.

Securing the International Blood Supply Against HIV

December 01, 1996

The modern pandemic known as AIDS continues to spread at an alarming rate, with approximately 5,000 people becoming infected with HIV daily.[1] The World Health Organization estimated in 1995 that 20 million people worldwide were HIV infected, and that there were more than 4 million cases of AIDS.[1]

New Drugs Show Promise in Front- and Second-Line Treatment of Colorectal Cancer

December 01, 1996

CHICAGO--With an overall response rate of only 2.8% to drugs tested on more than 1,200 colorectal cancer patients over the last 20 years, new drug development has given gastrointestinal oncologists little to be enthusiastic about.

No Cancer Mortality Increase Found From Exposure to Nuclear Bomb Tests

December 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--Navy veterans exposed to nuclear bomb tests at Bikini a half century ago have a higher death rate than sailors not present at the tests. However, this increased mortality does not appear to result from radiation exposure.

Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program to Expand

December 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--For the first time since its inception in 1991, funds from the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program will flow to all 50 states in fiscal 1997, the Department of Health and Human Services announced.

Peptide Antigen Vaccines Under Study in Metastatic Melanoma

December 01, 1996

PHILADELPHIA--Lymphocytes are known to infiltrate melanoma lesions at the primary site, occasionally resulting in spontaneous regressions. Therefore, investigators in search of specific treatments for metastatic melanoma have turned to immunologic approaches, John Kirkwood, MD, said at the 12th Annual Toward 2000 Symposium at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Berlex Fellowship Open

December 01, 1996

DUMONT, NJ--The Berlex Oncology Foundation is accepting applications until January 6, 1997, for a 2-year clinical research training program open to academically oriented physicians specializing in oncology. The intent is to encourage careers in clinical cancer research. For more information, contact Svetlana Lisanti, Berlex Oncology Foundation, 80 W. Madison Ave., Dumont, NJ 07628; or call 201-385-0006.