Oncology NEWS International Vol 6 No 1

New Board to Deal With Cancer Policy Issues

January 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--A new player has entered the cancer policy arena. At the instigation of NCI director Richard D. Klausner, MD, the National Research Council has established the National Cancer Policy Board to aid the NCI in dealing with policy matters and strategic planning issues outside of cancer research.

MoAb Shows Positive Results in Lymphoma Patients

January 01, 1997

ORLANDO--Final results of a phase III trial show that monotherapy with IDEC-C2B8, a new chimeric monoclonal antibody being developed by IDEC Pharmaceuticals and Genentech, pro-duces favorable response rates in patients with relapsed low-grade or follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).

Prostate Cancer Gene Location Narrowed to Chromosome 1 Arm

January 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--An international team of researchers has mapped a major gene that predisposes men to prostate cancer to the long arm of chromosome 1, finally resolving the question of whether genes for this cancer actually exist. Dubbed HPC-1, for hereditary prostate cancer 1, the gene appears to account for about 3% of the 340,000 prostate cancers diagnosed annually in the United States.

New BCG Bladder Cancer Indication Gets Panel Nod

January 01, 1997

ROCKVILLE, Md--TICE BCG vaccine (Organon Teknika Corp.) has won the backing of the Food and Drug Administration's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) as a prophylaxis against recurrent papillary carcinoma of the urinary bladder.

Panel Advises FDA To OK Letrozole for Advanced Breast Cancer

January 01, 1997

ROCKVILLE, Md--The Food and Drug Administration's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) voted, with one abstention, to recommend the approval of Femara Tablets (letrozole, Ciba-Geigy Corp.) for the treatment of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women who suffer a relapse or disease progression after antiestrogen therapy.

Limited Diagnostic Testing After Breast Cancer Treatment Urged

January 01, 1997

COLUMBUS, Ohio--Many of the diagnostic tests and procedures following treatment for breast cancer fail to extend survival, as demonstrated by two randomized, prospective studies and nine retrospective studies, said Victor G. Vogel, MD, MHS, director of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Pressures of Managed Care Spur Interest in Clinical Guidelines

January 01, 1997

Clinical practice guidelines have been a subject of increasing interest for the past several years, and, recently, they have been developed for oncology. In March, 1996, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a coalition of 15 major US cancer centers, presented the first version of their practice guidelines in oncology. These guidelines covered most of the major cancer sites.

Baltimore Will Head New Effort To Develop a Vaccine for HIV

January 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--Nobel laureate David Baltimore, PhD, will lead a National Institutes of Health effort to revive the flagging search for an effective HIV vaccine. NIH Director Harold Varmus, MD, named Dr. Baltimore to head a committee that will search for new ideas and new approaches to a research endeavor that has failed to yield a vaccine after a decade of intense work.

Cancer Care's AIDS Pain Booklet Available

January 01, 1997

NEW YORK--Cancer Care, Inc. has a new booklet, "Pain in HIV/AIDS: Control Your Pain So It Doesn't Control You," that provides information about pain management to people with HIV, to help them advocate for themselves and receive

AIDS Center Director Offers Advice on Selecting a Physician

January 01, 1997

NEW YORK--When selecting a physician, the most important question an HIV patient can ask is, How many HIV/AIDS patients have you treated? Ramon A. Gabriel Torres, MD, medical director, AIDS Center, St. Vincent's Hospital, NY, said at a teleconference sponsored by Cancer Care Inc. and the Gay Men's Health Crisis.

Good Outcomes Seen With Hyperfractionated Conformal RT

January 01, 1997

LOS ANGELES--By using hyper-fractionation, radiation oncologists at Wayne State University were able to deliver an isocenter dose of 85 Gy to the prostate in men with locally advanced prostate cancer, producing a 95% negative biopsy rate.

Goals of Planned National Pain Research Consortium Outlined

January 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--An announcement by NIH director Harold E. Varmus, MD, of a plan to form a national pain research consortium came as a complete, but pleasant surprise to the American Pain Society, Martin Grabois, MD, president of the Society, said in an interview with Oncology News International.

New Evidence Supports Screening in Younger Women

January 01, 1997

CHICAGO--Medical groups that advocate routine screening mammogra-phy for women between the ages of 40 and 49 have new ammunition to challenge the NCI's controversial 1993 decision to raise the suggested age for beginning mammography screening to 50 years.

Interferon Improves Survival in CML

January 01, 1997

ORLANDO--Combination therapy utilizing interferon alfa-2b (Intron A) and cytarabine is associated with improved cytogenetic response and survival over interferon alone in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), a French study, presented at the 38th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), has shown.

Fludarabine Effective as First-Line CLL Therapy

January 01, 1997

ORLANDO--Fludarabine (Flu-dara) improves response, duration of response, and progression-free survival over standard therapy in previously untreated patients with active B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and it should be included in the list of drugs for first-line treatment of this disease, Kanti R. Rai, MD, said at the 38th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

Entries Invited for 1997 Rose Kushner Writing Awards

January 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--The American Medical Writers Association is accepting applications for the 1997 Rose Kushner Awards for Writing Achievement in the Field of Breast Cancer. A cash award of $1,000 for the winning entry in each of five categories will be provided through a grant from Zeneca Pharmaceuticals.

Radiolabeled Monoclonal Antibody Targets Bone Marrow in AML Transplant Patients

January 01, 1997

ORLANDO--A preparative regimen employing a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody (MoAb), coupled with busulfan (Myleran) and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar), yielded a low relapse rate in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) undergoing bone marrow transplantation (BMT) while in first remission.