Oncology NEWS International Vol 6 No 4

Mucin Markers May Play Role in Finding Breast Cancer Recurrences

April 01, 1997

At a symposium sponsored by Schering-Oncology/Biotech, 16 researchers involved in studies of the investigational antiestrogen agent toremifene (Fareston) discussed its potential role in the treatment of patients with advanced breast cancer and as adjuvant therapy, as well as other breast cancer issues. Previous articles in this series appeared in January 1997 , February 1997 , and March 1997

Myoepithelial Cells May Be Key to Suppression of DCIS Growth

April 01, 1997

LOS ANGELES--Laboratory studies from the UCLA School of Medicine point to a role for myoepithelial cells in suppressing breast cancer invasion, said researcher Mark Sternlicht, PhD. Myo-epithelial cells lie between the epithelium and the basement membrane. They synthesize and maintain the basement membrane and can promote epithelial differentiation. They are found surrounding benign and nonmalignant lesions.

Some Breast Cancer Patients May Not Need Node Dissection

April 01, 1997

BERN, Switzerland--A study of 1,619 breast cancer patients has identified a population subset with a very low incidence of lymph node metastases in whom axillary lymph node dissection might be omitted, Andreas Barth, MD, told Oncology News International.

Irinotecan Easier to Give as Physicians Gain Experience

April 01, 1997

BOCA RATON, Fla--Recent data on the topoisomerase I inhibitor irinote-can (Camptosar) are quite encouraging for its use in refractory colorectal cancer, Dr. Leonard Saltz said at the annual meeting of the Network for Oncology Communication and Research.

Lumpectomy Alone Appears to Be Safe In DCIS Patients

April 01, 1997

MIAMI BEACH, Fla--Radiation therapy may not be necessary after the removal of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), Gordon F. Schwartz, MD, said at the 14th International Breast Cancer Conference. In his experience, only 3% of DCIS patients who received breast-conserving surgery alone later experienced invasive breast cancer.

Multimodality Treatment Appears Safe for Pregnant Women

April 01, 1997

PARIS--The treatment of breast cancer in pregnant women remains controversial, not least because pregnant and lactating women are traditionally excluded from clinical trials. Now a prospective long-term study from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center suggests that multimo-dality treatment does not pose any untoward threat to either mother or child.

McGivney Outlines 'Ambitious Agenda' For NCCN in 7 Areas

April 01, 1997

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla--The member institutions of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) must adapt to the changing health care system and "help to shape that change in a positive manner for all in cancer care," William T. McGivney, PhD, said in his State of the NCCN address at the network's second annual conference. Dr. McGivney was recently named chief executive officer of the alliance.

Capecitabine Studied In Advanced Colon Cancer

April 01, 1997

HOUSTON--A new tumor-selective agent may permit delivery of higher levels of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) with lower toxicity, said Richard Pazdur, MD, of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. A phase III trial of capecitabine is ongoing in colorectal cancer, and it is also under study for the treatment of breast cancer.

When Antiandrogens Work, Patients Have Normal Quality of Life

April 01, 1997

FARMINGTON, Conn--Men with advanced prostate cancer who are in remission while on treatment with an LHRH agonist and flutamide (Eulexin) have a quality of life (QOL) that is similar to an equivalent norm for a matched population of US men without prostate cancer, say Peter C. Albertsen, MD, and his colleagues from Connecticut, Am-sterdam, and Boston.

Role of Transplant in Breast Cancer Still Controversial

April 01, 1997

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla--There still is insufficient evidence about the use of high-dose chemotherapy plus bone marrow or peripheral stem cells to support its inclusion as a path on the updated National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) practice guidelines on breast cancer, said panel chair Robert W. Carlson, MD, at the NCCN's second annual conference

Non-Cross-Resistant Agents for Ovarian Cancer

April 01, 1997

BOCA RATON, Fla--Topotecan (Hycamtin) and other non-cross-resistant drugs appear to be good salvage therapy for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, Robert F. Ozols, PhD, said at the annual meeting of the Network for Oncology Communication and Research.

Gemcitabine Matches Efficacy of Cisplatin-Etoposide in Advanced NSCLC

April 01, 1997

VIENNA--Although the majority of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are too ill to tolerate platinum therapy, the more benign safety profile of gemcitabine (Gemzar) is opening up the possibility of palliative chemotherapy for a wider group of NSCLC patients.

Balanced Budget Could Threaten Research

April 01, 1997

SEATTLE--"In every area of government, the most important legacy of the last Congress was the agreement to balance the budget by the year 2002," David Goldston said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

FDA Approves Viracept, New Protease Inhibitor

April 01, 1997

ROCKVILLE, Md--The FDA has given Agouron Pharmaceuticals clearance to market its protease inhibitor Viracept (nelfinavir mesylate), under the accelerated approval process. Viracept was approved in both adult and pediatric formulations, for the treatment of HIV when antiretroviral therapy is warranted.

Viral Sequences Found In Breast Cancer Samples

April 01, 1997

PARIS--A newly identified segment of an RNA retrovirus may be implicated in as many as one third of breast tumors, James Holland, MD, of Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY, said at the Seventh International Congress on Anti-Cancer Treatment (ICACT). The segment of the putative virus, thought to be a human mammary tumor virus (HMTV), was discovered in the laboratory of Dr. Beatriz Pogo at Mount Sinai.

First Data From High-Dose Chemo Trials Due in 3 Years

April 01, 1997

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla--In view of the absence of data from large randomized studies of high-dose chemotherapy in breast cancer, the NCCN breast cancer guidelines' relegation of such therapy to a footnote is appropriate, M. John Kennedy, MD, said in his review of the important issues on this question.

New Analgesics Emerge From Pain Pathogenesis Research

April 01, 1997

NEW YORK--New information about pain pathogenesis is paving the way for future analgesics, Kathryn J. Elliott, MD, said at a conference on chemical dependency and pain management, sponsored by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Presidential Panel Faults Managed Care on Clinical Trials

April 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--The President's Cancer Panel, after nearly a year of study, has concluded that managed care overall has adversely affected clinical cancer research, patient access to clinical trials, and physicians who participate in studies.

Innovative HIV Protocols Underway at Roswell Park

April 01, 1997

BUFFALO, NY--Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute are recruiting patients for enrollment in 19 different protocols testing unique treatments for HIV-infected individuals. The goal of these protocols is to preserve or enhance the fragile immune system while treating and preventing malignancy.

NCI Recommends Mammography Screening for Women in 40s

April 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--Ending what began as a year's evaluation of scientific evidence and became an emotionally charged public debate, the National Cancer Institute has recommended that women between ages 40 and 49 get a screening mammogram every one or two years.

Can HNPCC Be Diagnosed in Presymptomatic Patients?

April 01, 1997

This special series on cancer and genetics is compiled and edited by Henry T. Lynch, MD, director of the Hereditary Cancer Institute and professor of medicine and chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public

More Selective Antiestrogens Under Development

April 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 five articles in this series, based

AUA Urges Congress to Pass Bill for Prostate Screening

April 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--The American Urological Association (AUA) has urged Congress to pass the Medicare Preventive Benefit Improvement Act of 1997, which would provide coverage for annual prostate cancer screening for Medicare-eligible men over the age of 50. The screening procedures covered would include prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests and digital rectal exams.

'To Be or Not to Be,' That's the Question for The National Action Plan on Breast Cancer

April 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--The steering committee of the National Action Plan on Breast Cancer (NAPBC) finds itself confronting its future--whether it should have one. Should the group set a time to end the innovative program, or should it continue?

Guidelines for Antiemesis Emphasize Prophylaxis

April 01, 1997

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla--The new NCCN practice guidelines on antiemesis in patients receiving chemotherapy are divided into four categories based on the emetogenic potential of the chemotherapy regimen, ie, high, moderate, low, and unlikely, and further divided into primary treatment, breakthrough treatment, and use in subsequent chemotherapy cycles. The guidelines also cover antiemesis for radiation-induced nausea and vomiting.