Oncology NEWS International Vol 6 No 12

Team-Based Approach to Managed Specialty Care

December 01, 1997

NORWALK, Conn-A new team-based program instituted by Oxford Health Plans, Inc. is returning clinical autonomy to the specialists delivering care. Oxford has recently formed a subsidiary company-Oxford Specialty Management-through which integrated medical teams will deliver specialized patient care. To date, these teams have been established in 10 medical specialties, and more than 700 specialists have joined the program.

Children’s Art Project at M.D. Anderson

December 01, 1997

HOUSTON-For 24 years, young cancer patients at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center have celebrated the holiday season through their original creations of greeting cards and other gift items . Proceeds from 1996 sales totaled $891,000, which funds programs that benefit M.D. Anderson patients.

Office of Cancer Survivorship Grants Awards for First 20 Studies

December 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md-The National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Survivorship (OCS) has allocated $4 million ($2 million a year for 2 years) for the study of cancer survivorship issues in cancer-free individuals who have survived their disease at least 5 years. An additional $350,000 annually for 2 years from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and its Baltimore affiliate will help fund the research.

Laparoscopic Colectomy May Prove Equivalent to Open Surgery

December 01, 1997

CHICAGO-Laparoscopic colec-tomy increasingly is being performed for colorectal cancer, and, despite concerns about wound tumor implantation, it may be only a matter of time before this type of minimally invasive surgery is shown to be equivalent to open surgical resection, said Heidi Nelson, MD, associate professor of surgery, Mayo Clinic, at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Surgeons.

Komen Debuts New Websites on Breast Cancer

December 01, 1997

DALLAS-The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, known for raising awareness and community support for breast cancer research and programs through its Race for the Cure, has unveiled three new websites that form a comprehensive online source of breast health and breast cancer information.

‘MDs Too Often Fail to Give Adequate Analgesic Doses’

December 01, 1997

NEW ORLEANS-In the treatment of cancer pain, physicians often withhold adequate analgesia out of fears that are largely unfounded in this population. As a result, cancer pain often robs patients of the opportunity “to see life as good” in their final days, Dr. Daniel Brookoff said at a cancer update, sponsored by the Ochsner Medical Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty-How to Defend Against It

December 01, 1997

SANTA MONICA, Calif-It can be especially difficult for physicians and managed care organizations to defend against patient lawsuits that include legal causes of action other than medical malpractice or negligence, said Michael Gonzalez, Esq, a defense attorney and partner in the Los Angeles firm of Kern, Streeter & Gonzalez.

Survivors Help Women Deal With Breast Cancer Diagnosis

December 01, 1997

NEW YORK-Two breast cancer survivors-one an oncologist from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the other, the head of the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO)-were among those offering special perspectives at a public meeting on clinical and public policy issues related to breast cancer, sponsored by NABCO and held at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Few Absolute Contraindications to Breast Conservation

December 01, 1997

CHICAGO-The clinical rationale for breast-conserving surgery has been unequivocally established by prospective, randomized clinical trials that show no difference in survival between this form of surgery and mastectomy. In many parts of the country, however, less than 50% of women with early-stage breast cancer are having breast-conserving surgery.

‘Electronic Inhaler’ for Rapid Delivery of Morphine in Cancer Pain

December 01, 1997

HAYWARD, Calif-Aradigm Corporation is working with SmithKline Beecham to develop a self-administered pulmonary drug delivery system to provide rapid pain relief. The new product is being developed for the treatment of cancer-related pain, especially breakthrough pain, as well as postoperative pain.

Life-Saving Oral Cancer Exam Takes Only a Minute

December 01, 1997

NEW ORLEANS-Although a good examination for oral cancer takes less than a minute to perform, most physicians do inadequate exams or fail to screen for oral cancer at all, according to the professor and head of oral pathology at Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans.

Brachytherapy Offers Early-Stage Prostate Cancer Patients High QOL

December 01, 1997

ORLANDO-Permanent trans-peritoneal ultrasound-guided radioactive implants (brachytherapy) get high marks for quality of life (QOL) in men with clinically localized prostate cancer, V. Elayne Arterbery, MD, reported in a poster session at the annual meeting of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO).

Patients Sought for New Trial of Adoptive Immunotherapy

December 01, 1997

CHICAGO-Researchers from three midwestern centers are seeking patients with leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma who have relapsed after an allogeneic stem cell transplant for a new trial of adoptive immunotherapy.

Phase III HER-2/neu MoAb Trial Results Due Next Year

December 01, 1997

PHILADELPHIA-The anti-HER-2/neu monoclonal antibody is now in the final stages of phase III testing, in combination with an anthracycline, in patients with advanced breast cancer tumors that overexpress the gene product, Dennis Slamon, MD, of the UCLA School of Medicine, said at a breast cancer symposium at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Informed Patients Can Choose Method of Colon Cancer Screening

December 01, 1997

CHICAGO-Recent clinical evidence clearly indicates that primary care physicians should offer colon cancer screening to all patients over age 50. “If you are not having this discussion, if you are not making this offer, you will be viewed as providing incomplete care,” said Steven H. Woolf, MD, MPH, professor of family practice, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond.

NCI Releases a Training Program on Cancer Survivor Issues

December 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md-As life after a cancer diagnosis grows longer for more patients, how these survivors live with their disease grows more important. Now, the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Communications has issued The Cancer Journey: Issues for Survivors, a training program for all health care professionals, including nurses, doctors, social workers, and therapists, to help them understand issues cancer survivors face.

Panel Looks at the Pulmonary Effects Of Cancer Therapy

December 01, 1997

NEW ORLEANS-Improved treatment of cancer has not come without a price, including pulmonary complications directly related to radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. These were described in a symposium at the American College of Chest Physicians annual meeting.

Modulators of FUDR May Improve Outcomes in Patients Receiving Hepatic Artery Infusion

December 01, 1997

CHICAGO-Hepatic artery infusion of fluorodeoxyuridine (floxuridine or FUDR) theoretically should benefit colorectal cancer patients with metastases in the liver because it delivers chemotherapy directly into the tumors. This not only raises intratumoral drug levels but also prolongs the duration of exposure of the tumors to chemotherapy without increasing toxicity.

Nutritional Intervention Trials to Prevent Cancer Move Forward

December 01, 1997

NEW ORLEANS-There have been mountains of evidence from laboratory and epidemiologic studies about cancer prevention through nutrition, but only a “molehill” of intervention trials that will move the cancer prevention field forward, Dr. Daniel W. Nixon, president of the Society for Nutritional Oncology Adjuvant Therapy (NOAT), said at the 4th International Symposium on Nutrition and Cancer, jointly sponsored with the Cancer Treatment Research Foundation.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty—New Legal Approach for Plaintiffs

December 01, 1997

SANTA MONICA, Calif-The managed care system of delivering medical benefits has not only altered the way physicians provide care but also drastically changed the landscape in health care law, said Mark O. Hiepler, Esq, a plaintiff attorney and partner in the firm of Hiepler & Hiepler, Oxnard, California.

Miraluma Test Now an Option for Indeterminate Mammograms

December 01, 1997

PHOENIX, Ariz-A woman with an indeterminate mammogram is often told to “wait and see what develops,” and to schedule another mammogram in 3 to 6 months. The radiodiagnostic test Miraluma (Kit for the Preparation of Technetium Tc99m Sestamibi) offers a noninvasive second step to women who might otherwise have to “wait and see,” Hirsch Handmaker, MD, said in an interview.

Alcohol Linked to Some Cancer’s, But Mechanism Is Unclear

December 01, 1997

NEW ORLEANS-Heavy drinking can lead to cancer of the head, neck, esophagus, and liver, but whether moderate alcohol consumption increases risk at these sites is still unclear, said Matthew P. Longnecker, MD, of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sci-ences, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Panel Says to Keep Saccharin an ‘Anticipated’ Carcinogen

December 01, 1997

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, North Carolina-Saccharin just missed winning a reprieve. By a 4-to-3 vote, an advisory panel recommended that the federal government continue to list the artificial sweetener as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”

Little to Be Gained by Quinolone Prophylaxis in Cancer Neutropenia

December 01, 1997

TORONTO-Neutropenic cancer patients are often given quinolones in an attempt to ward off infection, but a recent metaanalysis suggests that little is gained from prophylaxis. Furthermore, development of quinolone resistance in such patients may deprive clinicians of an effective oral therapy that could be used as outpatient treatment in patients who do develop infections.

Antibiotic Resistance Project Gives First Report

December 01, 1997

TORONTO-A worldwide, longitudinal surveillance program of antimicrobial resistance, known as Sentry, is showing alarming resistance rates at sites in the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe, and some interesting geographical differences.

‘One Third of Cancers Could Be Prevented by Diet’

December 01, 1997

WASHINGTON-In a 650-page report prepared collaboratively by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, international cancer experts have established that approximately one-third of all cancers are preventable through dietary changes, combined with physical activity and maintenance of recommended body weight. Avoidance of tobacco and alcohol could prevent another one-third of all cancers.

NCI Director’s Consumer Liaison Group Is Named

December 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md-Fifteen consumer advocates will form the first Director’s Consumer Liaison Group (DCLG) at the National Cancer Institute. Panel members, most of them cancer survivors, were selected from a pool of 136 candidates. They will serve 3-year terms on the new advisory board, which will hold its first meeting in December.

Roswell Park Cancer Institute Plans Spring 1998 Move to its New Campus

December 01, 1997

BUFFALO, NY-In 1998, the year of its 100th anniversary celebration, Roswell Park Cancer Institute will move into its new $241 million campus, including a new hospital building (see photograph) and major renovations.

Campaign Launched to Improve Awareness of Mammography

December 01, 1997

WASHINGTON-President Clinton, with Mrs. Clinton joining him, highlighted a three-pronged effort to ensure that women over age 40 have information about and access to regular and high-quality mammograms. The Clintons spoke during one of the President’s regular Saturday morning radio broadcasts.

Device Helps Surgeons Locate and Spare Cavernous Nerves in the Prostate

December 01, 1997

NEEDHAM, Mass-UroMed Corporation has received FDA clearance for marketing of its nerve-locating product, the CaverMap Surgical Aid. The device is intended to guide surgeons during radical prostatectomy in mapping and ultimately sparing the cavernous nerves responsible for potency.

NCI Starts New Program to Investigate HIV Resistance

December 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md-The National Cancer Institute has established a program to investigate drug resistance in the AIDS virus. NCI director Richard D. Klausner, MD, told the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) that the new effort will cut across NCI’s intramural program and that he expects it to involve extramural researchers and scientists from other institutes within the National Institutes of Health.

Oral Regimens Prevent Most Chemo-Induced Emesis

December 01, 1997

NEW ORLEANS-It is possible to prevent most cases of chemotherapy-induced emesis by simple, convenient, and cost-effective regimens, Richard J. Gralla, MD, director of the Ochsner Foundation Cancer Institute, New Orleans, said at a cancer update sponsored by the Ochsner Medical Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

Agenda for NCI’s New Cancer Control Division

December 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md-The National Cancer Institute’s mint-new Division of Cancer Control and Population Science got its marching orderings only days before officially beginning operations. The National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) accepted the recommendations of a committee report titled “A New Agenda for Cancer Control Research” as a basic operating plan for the division.