Oncology NEWS International Vol 5 No 5

No Need to Delay Mammography After FNA, Study Shows

May 01, 1996

CARDIFF, Wales--Breast imaging studies can proceed immediately after fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytology without concern that the biopsy procedure will distort tissue architecture and compromise diagnostic accuracy, said Neil Fenn, MD, a breast disease specialist at the University of Wales.

EPA Proposes Changes in Determining Cancer Risk of Chemicals, Pollutants

May 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing that scientists rely less on animal testing and more on microbiological studies in calculating the cancer risk of chemicals and pollutants. The new regulations would place more emphasis on how chemicals actually affect human cells.

ATL's HDI Digital Ultrasound Is Approved for Breast Indication

May 01, 1996

BOTHELL, Wash--A High Definition Imaging (HDI) digital ultrasound system from Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATL) has been granted FDA approval for a new indication--adjuvant use with mammog-raphy and physical examination to help physicians determine if a biopsy is necessary after discovery of a suspicious breast lesion.

Cell-Adhesion Molecules May Be Key to Controlling Metastases in Breast Cancer

May 01, 1996

NEW YORK--Cell-adhesion molecules (proteins on the cell surface that interlock with those of other cells) appear to play an important role in checking tumor metastasis, says Dr. Rachel Hazan, a biochemist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

NIH Study Suggests That 200 mg Is The Optimal Daily Dose of Vitamin C

May 01, 1996

BETHESDA, Md--Although only 10 mg/day of vitamin C is enough to prevent deficiency, the optimal daily intake is probably 200 mg, according to results of a new NIH-sponsored study. The current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 60 mg.

Natural History of HIV Supports the Use Of Early Interventions

May 01, 1996

NEW YORK--The more that is learned about the natural history of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the stronger the case for early intervention. Recent research confirms "the notion that HIV infection is a dynamic process throughout the course of infection," said H. Clifford Lane, MD, clinical director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Aids Vaccine Trial Fails to Show Clinical Benefit

May 01, 1996

Meriden, Conn--A 5-year study at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research found no significant clinical benefit for patients receiving MicroGenesys, Inc's therapeutic AIDS vaccine,VaxSyn rpg 160,compared with placebo, the company has announced.

Rep. Porter Honored For Work on Budget

May 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--Representative John Edward Porter of Illinois has received an American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery, Inc. award for "superb legislative leadership for medical research."

Forum Airs Issue of Who Should Pay for Patient Care in Cancer Clinical Trials

May 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--Caring for patients and conducting research in the age of managed care raises tough problems for all involved, said Peter Quesenberry, MD, director, University of Massachusetts Cancer Center, Worcester. "How can we assure access to treatment, support research, and still be cost effective?"

Blenoxane Cleared for New Use In Malignant Pleural Effusion

May 01, 1996

PRINCETON, NJ--Blenoxane (bleomycin), Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s anticancer agent, has received FDA clearance for a new indication as intrapleural therapy for the relief of symptoms resulting from malignant pleural effusion (MPE) and prevention of recurrent pleural effusions.

Implementation of Critical Path Reduces Prostatectomy Costs

May 01, 1996

MARINA DEL REY, Calif--The changing reimbursement system in California provides a "real challenge" for academic institution to compete on cost with other area hospitals, said Robert B. Smith, MD, professor of surgery/urology, UCLA School of Medicine, at a conference cosponsored by the Clark Urological Cancer Center and the UCLA School of Medicine.

Berlex Foundation Seeks Workshop Applicants

May 01, 1996

DUMONT, NJ--The Berlex On-cology Foundation is seeking applicants for two workshops: Epidemiology and Clinical Trial Design, to be held August 23-29, 1996, in Brewster, Mass, and The Clinical Pharmacology of Anticancer Drugs, which will take place October 4-8, 1996, in Leesburg, Va.

Networking Venture Benefits Both

May 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--Community hospitals gain immensely in enhanced patient care when they form partnerships with universities, Allen S. Lichter, MD, said at the annual national meeting of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC). The benefits of such a joint venture, however, flow both ways, said Dr. Lichter, chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan.

Health of Biotech Industry a Concern to Oncologists

May 01, 1996

BETHESDA, Md--Of the more than 1,300 biotech companies in North America, up to 70% are involved in health care, and many are working on cancer research, Frederick Craves, PhD, of Burrill & Craves, a merchant bank in San Francisco, said at a meeting of the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB).

DaunoXome Cleared For Kaposi's Sarcoma

May 01, 1996

BOULDER, Colorado--NeXstar Pharmaceutical's DaunoXome (dauno-rubicin citrate liposome injection) has received FDA approval for use as primary therapy for advanced HIV-associated Kaposi's sarcoma (KS).

Panel Recommends Hycamtin Approval for Ovarian Cancer

May 01, 1996

BETHESDA, Md--The FDA's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) has unanimously recommended approval of SmithKline Beecham's Hycamtin (topotecan HCl) for the treatment of patients with metastatic ovarian cancer after failure of initial or subsequent chemotherapy.

Link Between Agent Orange, Cancer Confirmed

May 01, 1996

WASHINGTON--In an update of its 1994 report, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), of the National Academy of Sciences, has confirmed its original findings of an association between herbicides used in the Vietnam War and various health problems, namely, soft tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and chloracne.

Dr. Varmus Describes Life on the NIH Budgetary 'Roller Coaster'

May 01, 1996

NEW YORK--What with inflation, budget cutting, burgeoning grant applications, and dueling disease advocacy groups, it isn't easy being director of the National Institutes of Health. Harold E. Varmus, MD, gave an audience at the Irvington Institute a peek at what he is up against.

Surveillance of Small-Cell Lung Cancer Patients Is Focus of Guidelines Debate

May 01, 1996

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla--One of the most debated topics of the preliminary practice guidelines prepared by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has been the level of surveillance after treatment, and this was also the case with the preliminary guideline for small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), presented by George D. Demetri, MD, at the NCCN's first annual conference.

Zeneca Acquires US Rights to Kadian, an Oral Morphine Product

May 01, 1996

WILMINGTON, Del--Zeneca Inc. has reached an agreement with Faulding Services Inc. (Adelaide, South Australia) for exclusive US rights to purchase, distribute, and promote Faulding's sustained-release morphine sulfate product Kadian, an oral medication taken once or twice daily.

NCI Investigating Optimal Use of Paclitaxel in Breast Cancer

May 01, 1996

PARIS--Paclitaxel (Taxol), the flagship of the new taxanes, has been hailed as a pharmacologic breakthrough, but its ideal use in the treatment of breast cancer is still a matter of debate. Speaking at the Sixth International Congress on Anti-Cancer Treatment (ICACT), National Cancer Institute oncologist Joyce O'Shaughnessy attempted to answer the most compelling unanswered questions about paclitaxel use.

First Serum Tumor Marker for Detecting Recurrent Breast Cancer

May 01, 1996

TORONTO--TRUQUANT BR RIA, Biomira Diagnostics Inc.'s radio-immunassay, has been cleared for marketing for the early detection of recurrent breast cancer in patients previously treated for stage II or III cancer. According to the company, it is the first breast tumor marker test to receive expedited review by the FDA and is the first such test to be approved. The test is expected to cost approximately $50, the company said.

New Legislation to Protect Genetic, Health Privacy

May 01, 1996

Should an insurance company be able to deny children medical coverage because their mother died of an inherited heart defect that her children may or may not carry? That is the dilemma facing a California father who cannot get family medical coverage under his group plan as a result of his wife's death. And that is a dilemma crying out for congressional intervention.

SGO Presents Its Awards for Best Gyn Oncology Papers

May 01, 1996

CHICAGO--The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) and the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) presented awards in four categories at the SGO's 27th annual meeting in New Orleans. The awards are funded by the GCF and were chosen from the more than 115 abstracts presented at the meeting.

HPV Is the Culprit in Virtually All Cervical Cancers--NIH Panel

May 01, 1996

BETHESDA, Md--Of the 4,900 US deaths each year from cervical cancer, virtually all could have been prevented by routine Pap smears, and nearly all cases could be prevented by practicing safe sex to avoid infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), a panel of independent experts appointed by the NIH said in a consensus statement.

New Antibody for B-Cell Lymphoma

May 01, 1996

BUFFALO, NY--Adding a chimeric anti-CD20 antibody to standard CHOP chemotherapy appears to produce a synergistic therapeutic effect in low-grade B-cell lymphomas. Patients on the regimen have achieved complete remissions and disappearance of the bcl-2 translocation, principal investigator Myron Czuczman, of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, said at the annual Chemotherapy Foundation symposium.

New Awards for DNA Sequencing

May 01, 1996

BETHESDA, Md--The National Center for Human Genome Research at the NIH has announced six research grants that are expected to propel forward the final phase of the Human Genome Project, headed by Dr. Francis Collins.

PRN Analgesia Leads to Expectations of Peak-and-Trough Pain

May 01, 1996

MADISON, Wis--An anomaly of pain management is that patients generally report satisfaction with their pain management, even though they are still experiencing pain. The downside of this finding is that if patients are truly satisfied, institutions may see no need to improve pain management programs.

Preventing Metastasis: New Approach at NCI

May 01, 1996

AMSTERDAM--Innovative strategies for thwarting metastasis are now at the brink of clinical application, Lance Liotta, MD, of the National Cancer Institute, reported at the 9th NCI-EORTC Symposium on New Drugs in Cancer Therapy.

Expert Panel Reviews Noncancer Benefits of Adjuvant Tamoxifen

May 01, 1996

An expert panel of seven cancer researchers and a representative of the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO) came together at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium for a roundtable discussion of

Free PSA Test Awarded US Patent

May 01, 1996

ABBOTT PARK, Ill--Abbott Laboratories and the Finnish-based company Wallac Oy, a subsidiary of EG&G Inc. (Wellesley, Mass), have received a US patent for two methods of assaying free PSA (prostate-specific antigen).

Peto Explores Latest Metaanalysis of Early Breast Cancer Trials

May 01, 1996

PARIS--New analyses from the mega-databank of the Early Breast Cancer Trialists' Collaborative Group (EBCTCG) have confirmed that both ovarian ablation and polychemotherapy make a small but real difference in survival, Professor Richard Peto, of the University of Oxford's ICRF Clinical Trial Service Unit, said at the Sixth International Congress on Anti-Cancer Treatment (ICACT).

Vaccine Study Suggests Role of Cytokines in Progression of HIV

May 01, 1996

BALTIMORE--A small study of HIV-infected patients conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) shows that inoculation with a common vaccine can temporarily increase the amount of HIV that is circulating in the bloodstream.