Oncology NEWS International Vol 6 No 3

Possible Evolutionary Advantage Seen in Breast Cancer Genes

March 01, 1997

SEATTLE--"Is it possible that at some point in human evolution, there was some selective advantage of BRCA1 and BRCA2?" Mary-Claire King, PhD, asked during her presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Physicians Urged to Listen to Tamoxifen Users' Concerns

March 01, 1997

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 four articles in this series, based on the symposium presentations, appeared in Oncology News International in Oct 1996 , Nov 1996, Dec 1996 , and Jan 1997 . The symposium was sponsored by Zeneca Pharmaceuticals.

Neck Check Exam Aims at Early Detection

March 01, 1997

NEW YORK--Thyroid cancer is diagnosed in an estimated 15,600 Americans every year. As with many cancers, early detection is the key to effective treatment. Yet because thyroid cancer is asymptomatic, an enlarged thyroid or nodule on the gland is often the only sign that a malignancy is present.

Upcoming Multicenter Study Will Compare Digital Versus Film Screen Mammography

March 01, 1997

CHICAGO--Although digital whole breast mammography has a number of possible advantages over conventional mammography, including enhanced image contrast and better exposure of dense tissues, it is not yet known whether the technology will be equal to or better than conventional film screen mammography in detecting breast cancer, Stephen A. Feig, MD, said at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting.

Investigation Clears Fisher of Scientific Misconduct Charges In NSABP Studies

March 01, 1997

PITTSBURGH--Nearly three years after it began its investigation, the federal Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has cleared Dr. Bernard Fisher of any scientific misconduct, stating that he did not include false data in his NSABP reports.

NCAB to Consider Mammography in Forties

March 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--After considering the politically charged and complex issue of mammography screening for women between ages 40 and 49, the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) created a special working group to craft a recommendation for the National Cancer Institute on what it might advise doctors to tell these women.

Endocrinologists Issue Clinical Guidelines for Thyroid Cancer

March 01, 1997

NEW YORK--Cancer of the thyroid, a highly treatable disease, is often overlooked in its earliest stages and, once diagnosed, may be treated too aggressively. In an effort to address these issues and to standardize treatment, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) has published new guidelines for the management of thyroid carcinoma.

Fatigue May Be Most Under-recognized, Undertreated Cancer-related Symptom

March 01, 1997

NEW YORK--Fatigue is a significant problem experienced by the vast majority of cancer patients--and also the most under-recognized and under-treated symptom, Barbara F. Piper, DNsc, RN, OCN, told Oncology News International in a telephone interview.

Hormone Replacement Therapy: Making Informed Decisions

March 01, 1997

PHILADELPHIA--The Board of Directors of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has elected Robert C. Young, MD, to the position of Chairman of the Board. Dr. Young, currently president of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, is internationally known for his work in the treatment of lymphoma and ovarian cancer.

AHCPR Issues Colorectal Cancer Screening Evidence Report

March 01, 1997

ROCKVILLE, Md--In the first report issued under its new Evidence-based Practice Initiative, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) has reaffirmed that early detection and treatment provide the primary means of preventing death from colorectal cancer.

Genetic Advances Allow Early Detection of MEN Syndromes

March 01, 1997

The autosomal, dominantly inherited multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes provide some of the best examples of the practical application of advancing technology, not only in the detection and treatment of neoplastic disease but also in the understanding of the mechanisms involved in the initiation and progression of malignancies.

MRI Used to Detect Local Prostate Cancer Recurrence After Prostatectomy

March 01, 1997

CHICAGO--Because of its high cost and lack of universal availability, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has not been a prominent tool in the initial evaluation of prostate cancer. However, MRI is proving to be a highly accurate method of identifying local recurrence of prostate cancer after radical prostatec-tomy, Jeffrey M. Silverman, MD, said at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting.

Mammography in One's 40s: Considering the Arguments

March 01, 1997

Ann Kelsall is a medical writer who reported on the NIH Consensus Development Panel meeting for Oncology News International. Here she considers, from the woman's perspective, the panel's arguments against mammography screening for women ages 40 to 49.

NCI, US TOO Form Educational Partnership

March 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--It's called "Know Your Options: The National Prostate Cancer Education Program," and it's a joint effort by the National Cancer Institute and US TOO International, the world's largest men's cancer group.

Improving Quality Will Reduce Costs

March 01, 1997

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla--"The best way to reduce health care cost is to improve health care quality," said Lee N. Newcomer, MD, MS, in his keynote address at the Second Annual Conference of the National Cancer Center Network (NCCN). And managed care organizations are attempting to do this via measuring and improving the performance of physicians in its networks, he added.

Probe Assesses Engraftment in Sex-Mismatched Transplants

March 01, 1997

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill--Vysis, Inc. has received FDA clearance to market its CEP X SpectrumOrange/CEP Y SpectrumGreen DNA Probe Kit, an in vitro diagnostic used as an adjunct to standard cytogenetic analysis to identify and enumerate the presence of X and Y chromosomes in bone marrow specimens from patients who have received sex-mismatched bone marrow transplants.

NCCN Takes First Steps in Creating Outcomes Database

March 01, 1997

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla--Preliminary data on the treatment of breast and colorectal cancer patients at National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) member institutions show that the members are in compliance with the network's guidelines, Jane Weeks, MD, MSc, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said at the second annual NCCN conference.

Lipid Doxorubicin Is Active in Ovarian Cancer

March 01, 1997

PARIS--A new formulation of doxorubicin in "stealth" liposomes (Doxil) provides durable responses in refractory epithelial ovarian cancer and primary peritoneal cancer, while apparently sidestepping the cardiotoxicity that limits the continued use of free doxorubicin in responding patients, according to two phase II studies performed at the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles.

Best Approach to Mild Pap Abnormalities?

March 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--A new NCI study will evaluate three techniques to manage atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance that show up on Pap smears, including their cost effectiveness and acceptability to women.

Panel Urges Continued AZT Use in Pregnancy, Policy Review

March 01, 1997

Survey Show Americans Favor Higher Tax WASHINGTON, DC--Americans strongly favor raising the federal excise tax on tobacco, and the majority want Congress to do something to provide health care coverage for the uninsured, according to two polls conducted for the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Friends Carry the Cancer Research

March 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--Friends of Cancer Research, a coalition of major cancer organizations, was organized last year to mark the 25th anniversary of the National Cancer Act, signed into law on December 23, 1971.

Poll Shows Incidence, Adverse Effects of Cancer-Related Fatigue

March 01, 1997

NEW YORK--A nationwide survey of US cancer patients, oncologists, and caregivers documents that fatigue has profound effects on patients, including their ability to work, meet family needs, and cope with the disease.

Key Issues Noted for Toremifene Adjuvant Studies in Breast Cancer

March 01, 1997

PALM SPRINGS, Calif--Data from preclinical studies of the antiestro-gen agent toremifene (Fareston), and their correlation with data from clinical studies, may provide information useful in designing trials comparing toremifene with tamoxifen (Nolvadex) as adjuvant breast cancer therapy, Michael DeGregorio, PharmD, said at the symposium.

New Program to Educate Late-Stage Patients About Pain Management

March 01, 1997

NEW YORK--Medical leaders and prostate cancer patient advocacy groups have joined with Immunex Corporation to launch Empowered Patients in Control (EPIC), an education program designed to help men with late-stage prostate cancer confront the physical and emotional issues related to their disease.

Hormone Replacement Therapy: Making Informed Decisions

March 01, 1997

The controversies regarding the association between hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) and cancers, the questions about HRT use in women with a high risk of breast cancer, and the increasing number of women with breast cancer and menopausal symptoms make HRT a significant cancer issue.

Panel Urges Continued AZT Use in Pregnancy, Policy Review

March 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--A federal advisory committee has recommended continuing the use of AZT (zidovudine) in HIV-infected pregnant women to prevent them from passing the virus on to their newborns. The group also urged the US Public Health Service to thoroughly reassess its guidelines for the use of AZT in pregnant women.