Oncology NEWS International Vol 6 No 5

Precision Dosing a Reality with Intensity Modulated RT

May 01, 1997

BOSTON--Advances in three fields--imaging, medical physics, and computer technology--have led to the development of a radiation therapy modality that may represent a significant breakthrough in cancer treatment.

Breast Cancer Guide on CD-ROM Is Available

May 01, 1997

DENVER--The AMC Cancer Research Center, through its Center of Excellence in Health Communications, has developed The Personal Guide to Breast Cancer, a multimedia CD-ROM guide to breast cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and resources, designed to be understood by the average layperson.

Mammography's Predictive Value May Be Improved

May 01, 1997

COLUMBUS, Ohio--Standardized descriptions of mammographic findings and standardized reporting of final assessments continue to play an important role in improving the predictive value of mammography, Lawrence W. Bassett, MD, said at the Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital and Research Institute's Third Oncology Update.

Oncology Administrators Must Plan for Transition in Mergers

May 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--With regional hospital partnerships on the rise, cancer program administrators often find themselves charged with managing multi-institutional programs melded together within a system. Three middle managers who have been through such transformations offered their insider views at the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) meeting.

Differentiation Agent Improves Myelodysplasia Survival Rates

May 01, 1997

PARIS--Low-dose therapy with the differentiation-inducing agent azaciti-dine is transforming the formerly bleak prognosis for preleukemic myelodys-plastic syndrome (MDS), reported James Holland, MD, of Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY, at the Seventh International Congress on Anti-Cancer Treatment.

NCPB Hears From Several Cancer Groups on Policy Issues

May 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--At its first public meeting, the new National Cancer Policy Board (NCPB) heard from a number of groups about the topics they believe should shape its early agenda. Not surprisingly, access to care proved a recurring theme, in one form or another.

Guidelines Needed for Distress in Cancer Patients

May 01, 1997

NEW YORK--The development of guidelines for the management of psychological distress in cancer patients has lagged far behind that of treatment guidelines for specific cancers, said Jimmie Holland, MD, chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Skin Cancer Project Receives Recognition

May 01, 1997

HOUSTON--Just in time for another of Texas' legendary red-hot summers, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is receiving national and local acclaim for a skin cancer prevention program aimed at fourth- and fifth-grade students.

Few Patients Surveyed Regret Prophylactic Mastectomy

May 01, 1997

MIAMI BEACH, Fla--Few women who undergo voluntary bilateral mastec-tomy as a prophylactic measure have regrets about having the surgery performed, according to a survey of 322 women who had the procedure. Patrick Borgen, MD, chief of the Breast Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, presented the data at the 14th Annual International Breast Cancer Conference.

Gallop Survey Shows Pediatric Pain Is Inadequately Managed

May 01, 1997

NEW YORK--Children's fears about needles and their physical pain during medical procedures are not being adequately managed, according to a Gallop telephone survey of 500 children (aged 6 to 14), 1,000 parents of children under 14 (not parents of the children surveyed), and 300 pediatricians.

Docetaxel Promising as Treatment for NSCLC

May 01, 1997

BOCA RATON, Fla--Docetaxel (Taxotere) is showing promising single-agent activity in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), said James Rigas, MD, director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dart-mouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon, NH).

Lycopene-Rich Tomatoes May Play Role in Cancer Prevention

May 01, 1997

NEW YORK--Researchers are accumulating more evidence that diets rich in tomato products may prevent several types of cancer. Although the chemical components of tomatoes that have anticancer properties remain to be identified, investigators are hopeful that lycopene, a little-known carotenoid responsible for the tomato's red color, will prove an effective tool in cancer prevention.

Oncologists Need to Reach Out to GPs

May 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--In today's evolving health care system, on-cologists and oncology centers must reach out to primary care physicians as never before. And unaccustomed as oncology is to such marketing efforts, the ways to a primary care practitioner's trust and allegiance provoke more than a little puzzlement within the specialty, according to Sara Sprague, RN, EdD, director of cancer services, Phoenix Memorial Hospital. She summed up the important issues of oncologist/primary care physician relationships at a roundtable discussion during the Association of Community Cancer Centers meeting.

Melanoma Initiative To Fund Research

May 01, 1997

NEW YORK--The Cancer Research Institute and Cancer Care, Inc. have announced The Melanoma Initiative, a program to support public awareness of melanoma, resources for melanoma patients, and clinical research. The Initiative is funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Schering-Plough Corporation.

Booklet on Lung Cancer Available

May 01, 1997

NEW YORK--Cancer Care, Inc. is offering a new booket, Learning About Lung Cancer: It Helps to Understand, that attempts to close the "information gap" with regard to how lung cancer is diagnosed and treated, as well as provide help and tips on how to cope with medical and nonmedical issues faced by lung cancer patients.

Adjuvant Interferon, Follow-up Key Issues In Melanoma: NCCN

May 01, 1997

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla--Once primary melanoma is excised, choosing among adjuvant treatment options is a difficult decision, Daniel G. Coit, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, said at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) annual meeting. Dr. Coit presented the network's preliminary guidelines for melanoma, along with John A. Thompson, MD, of the University of Washington, Seattle.

National Cancer Survivors Day '97

May 01, 1997

FRANKLIN, Tenn--National Cancer Survivors Day 1997, the world's largest cancer survivor event, is set for Sunday, June 1. This 10th anniversary Celebration of Life will recognize America's 7.4 million cancer survivors and those who support them.

New York Leads the Way in Getting HIV Medicaid Patients into HMOs

May 01, 1997

BUFFALO, NY--The Medicaid Managed Care Act of 1996 and the pending 1115B waiver in New York State would mandate that all Medicaid recipients be transferred to managed health care plans. (Such transfers are currently voluntary.) In New York State, more than 65% of persons with HIV are either in Medicaid or are Medicaid-pending.

Tumor Biomarkers May Play Role in NSCLC Treatment Choice

May 01, 1997

CHICAGO--Cellular tumor bio-markers may be able to identify patients with N1 non-small-cell lung adenocarcin-oma who could achieve better survival and control of metastasis through aggressive adjuvant therapy, Ritsuko Komaki, MD, said at the Radiological Society of North America meeting.

Terminal Patients Need Facts About DNR, Tube Feeding

May 01, 1997

NEW YORK--Good communication about the dying process can reduce fear and promote decision-making, but accurate information about resuscitation and artificial hydration and feeding is often not communicated, Judith C. Ahronheim, MD, said during a teleconference on communication of end-of-life issues organized by Cancer Care, Inc.

New Drugs for Advanced Stage Pancreatic Cancer in the Pipeline

May 01, 1997

CHICAGO--After many years of frustration, there may finally be a reason for guarded optimism about the development of effective therapy for patients with advanced stage pancreatic cancer, Mace Rothenberg, MD, said at the 9th annual meeting of the Network for Oncology Communication and Research, based in Atlanta.

Prostate Cancer Guidelines Focus on Risk Categories

May 01, 1997

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla--The key feature of prostate cancer that distinguishes it from most other solid tumors is the large discrepancy between annual incidence (about 250,000) and mortality (about 41,000).

Eight-Year NSABP Data Confirm Radiation Benefits in DCIS

May 01, 1997

PARIS--Detection rates of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) have soared thanks to mammography but, to date, only one randomized trial has attempted to quell the resulting therapeutic turmoil. Now, eight-year follow-up results from that NSABP trial indicate that the advantages of breast irradiation following local excision continue to be maintained over the long term. "All patients benefit from radiation," Bernard Fisher, MD, scientific director of the NSABP, said at the Seventh International Congress on Anti-Cancer Treatment (ICACT). "The most optimal prevention of second ipsilateral breast tumors is free specimen margins and post-lumpectomy radiation."

New Strategy for Restoring Tamoxifen Sensitivity Under Study

May 01, 1997

NASHVILLE, Tenn--Inhibition of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) may enhance the activity of tamoxifen (Nolvadex) in breast cancer and restore tamoxifen sensitivity to resistant cells, according to results of laboratory experiments at the Vanderbilt Cancer Center and Georgetown's Lombardi Cancer Center.

Efficacy of Prophylactic Mastectomy Shown

May 01, 1997

SAN DIEGO--In a groundbreaking study, researchers at the Mayo Clinic have documented that prophylactic mastecto-mies may dramatically reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk women. The risk reduction was measured as high as 91%, lead investigator Lynn Hartmann, MD, said at the 88th annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

Survival Advantage Seen for HNPCC Colorectal Cancer

May 01, 1997

Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is a dominantly inherited syndrome that is estimated to be responsible for between 0.5% to 5% of all colorectal cancers.[1] The syndrome is caused by germline mutations in any of at least four mismatch repair genes.

Oncologists in a Survey Detail Managed Care's 'Hassle Factor'

May 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--Managed care, more than other types of medical coverage, imposes a "hassle factor" on oncologists and their patients, and restrains patients from participating in clinical trials, a survey by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has found.