Oncology NEWS International Vol 5 No 9

AgeAwareness Group Urges the Media to Keep Breast Cancer Issues on the Public Agenda

September 01, 1996

NEW YORK--Public discussion has played a large part in the recent declines in breast cancer mortality, say the sponsors of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), and they urge the media to keep breast cancer on the public agenda.

Multimodality Approaches Used in Esophageal Cancer

September 01, 1996

NIJMEGEN, The Netherlands--With 12,000 new cases of esophageal cancer diagnosed every year in the United States, and 5-year postoperative survival rates still hovering under 20%, the need to develop more effective multimodality treatment strategies remains crucial, said David Ilson, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Talking With Your Doctor About Cancer and Its Therapy

September 01, 1996

The period immediately after a cancer diagnosis is generally a time of stress and uncertainty, and the need to make treatment decisions may further add to the distress. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you need to be able to talk openly with your doctor about your treatment options, and continue to ask questions and stay informed throughout your treatment and follow-up.

Guttman Institute Reopens With Expanded Screening Services

September 01, 1996

NEW YORK--The Guttman Institute, a pioneering breast cancer screening center in Manhattan that provided low-cost screenings to women for almost 30 years, has become a cancer diagnostic center serving both men and women.

Knowing When to Bow Out Gracefully

September 01, 1996

Here is a true story, one that you won't see on ER or Chicago Hope--A 64-year-old man is referred to me with cancer that started somewhere in his intestines and is now replacing liver and lung. He is bed-bound, losing weight quickly, and has no appetite. He has been treated with two types of chemotherapy, both of which have made him sick, yet the cancer has continued to grow.

Chemo Appears Not To Raise Birth Defect Risk in Offspring

September 01, 1996

BUFFALO, NY--Despite a history of aggressive chemotherapy, survivors of childhood cancer are capable of conceiving and giving birth to healthy children, Daniel M. Green, MD, of the Department of Pediatrics, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, said at the 4th International Conference on Long-Term Complications of Children and Adolescents for Cancer.

Discovery of HIV-1 Protein Structure Could Lead to New Therapies

September 01, 1996

BALTIMORE--Following the battlefield tactic of divide and conquer (in this case, dividing a molecule into two fragments), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) researchers have determined the three-dimensional structure of a key part of the HIV-1 p24 capsid protein (see illustration on page 1).

'Friends of Cancer Research' Will Lead New Public Education Campaign

September 01, 1996

BETHESDA, Md--As part of its resolution commemorating the 25th anniversary of the National Cancer Act, the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) has voted to initiate a 1-year public education program to reaffirm the national commitment to cancer research.

Cost of the New HIV Therapies Creates a Doctor's Dilemma

September 01, 1996

VANCOUVER, BC--The goals of cost-effective therapy for HIV infection are to suppress viral replication to a level that halts disease progression, maximizes immune recovery, and limits the emergence of drug resistance, Margaret Fischl, MD, said at the 11th International Conference on AIDS.

FDA Clears Aredia for Use in Treating Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer

September 01, 1996

ROCKVILLE, Md--The FDA has cleared Chiron Therapeutics' Aredia (pamidronate disodium for injection) for the treatment of patients with osteolytic bone metastases of breast cancer, in conjunction with standard antineoplastic therapy.

Advance Directives Registry Offers Instant Access

September 01, 1996

NEW YORK--Choice In Dying is offering a new service that electronically stores advance directives (living wills and health care proxies). The service provides instant access to these documents with one phone call, thus avoiding the search for documents at a critical time, as, for example, when a patient becomes unconscious or unable to speak for himself.

Gene Mutation Provides Resistance to HIV Infection

September 01, 1996

NEW YORK--Scientists at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center appear to have solved one of the long-standing enigmas of HIV infection--why some people remain uninfected even after repeated exposures to the virus. The answer lies in the genes, and in basic research published only a few months earlier.

Jury Decision Rattles Tobacco Company Stock Prices

September 01, 1996

JACKSONVILLE, Fla--In a scenario out of a recent John Grisham novel (The Runaway Jury), a Florida jury has returned a verdict in favor of a plaintiff suing a large tobacco company, causing a precipitous fall in the price of stocks of all the major tobacco companies. Philip Morris shares, for example, lost more than 10% of their value.

Community Activities Help Some Smokers Quit

September 01, 1996

BETHESDA, Md--A smoking-cessation study involving 11 pairs of communities and more than 20,000 smokers found a slight advantage for intervention among light-to-moderate smokers but no statistically significant difference among heavy smokers.

First Annual National Lymphoma Awareness Week

September 01, 1996

LOS ANGELES, Calif--The first annual National Lymphoma Awareness Week, sponsored by the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America, is scheduled for October 13 to 19. Members of the Foundation will launch local awareness activities and educational events throughout the week to inform the public about lymphatic cancers.

Solid Tumor Oncology Education Foundation Sponsors Free Local Seminars

September 01, 1996

SECAUCUS, NJ--To accommodate community-based physicians who may not be able to attend national professional meetings, the newly formed not-for-profit Solid Tumor Oncology Education Foundation, Inc. will sponsor a series of free local seminars and audioconferences, led by a faculty of expert physicians.

Study Shows Testosterone Levels Predict Prostate Cancer Risk

September 01, 1996

BETHESDA, Md--Physicians have long hypothesized that natural variation in sex hormones may influence prostate cancer risk, said Meir Stampfer, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health. Efforts to prove this, however, have yielded unclear results. Now, by examining the interrelationship of different sex hormones, Dr. Stampfer and his colleagues have achieved what he calls the first clear demonstration that circulating levels of sex hormones can predict a man's risk of developing prostate cancer.

Kaposi's Sarcoma Advances Include New Gel, PDT, More

September 01, 1996

VANCOUVER, BC--Discussions of Kaposi's sarcoma at the 11th International Conference on AIDS included reports on a promising topical treatment, photodynamic therapy (PDT), a chemotherapy regimen that could save up to $1,000 per course, and the possibility of prevention using antiherpes drugs.

Mandated ABMT Coverage May Not Lead to More Procedures

September 01, 1996

PHILADELPHIA--A Massachusetts study suggests that legislation requiring insurers and HMOs to cover high-dose chemotherapy/autologous bone marrow or stem cell transplantation for metastatic breast cancer does not lead to significant increases in the number of procedures performed.

Hospitals Urged to Forego New Stem Cell Centers

September 01, 1996

SAN DIEGO--For hospitals that haven't already established a hematopoietic stem cell program, Bruce E. Hillner, MD, advises them not to do so. "If you don't have a program now, buy the services elsewhere. That is a much smarter way to go," said Dr. Hillner, associate professor of medicine, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond.

Preventing Hepatitis B, Hepatocellular Cancer: Made in Taiwan

September 01, 1996

In most developed nations, cancer is second only to heart disease as a cause of death; in less developed countries, it is second to infectious disease. It is estimated that if the current trends of rising worldwide incidence continue, cancer will become the leading cause of death in the 21st century. This is particularly troubling since many of the factors contributing to cancer (eg, occupation, diet, lifestyle, and tobacco use) are known.

New PSA Values Better Detect Prostate Cancer in Black Men

September 01, 1996

BETHESDA, Md--Physicians who screen for prostate cancer using prostate-specific antigen (PSA) need to use a different set of normal age-adjusted values for their African-American patients, say Judd W. Moul, MD, LTC, MC, USA, and colleagues from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences funded by the Department of Defense (DOD) Center for Prostate Disease Research.