Oncology NEWS International Vol 6 No 7

Researchers Report Conflicting Data on Cervical Cancer in AIDS

July 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--A review of 10 years' experience with HIV-infected patients treated at University Hospital, Newark, NJ, revealed significantly elevated levels of several types of cancers, but a surprising dearth of invasive cervical cancers, which prompted the study's lead author to suggest dropping cervical cancer from the list of AIDS-associated malignancies.

CIN Website Now Offers Daily Online Cancer Newspaper

July 01, 1997

HUNTINGTON, NY--Health care professionals can now enjoy a daily cancer newspaper with their morning coffee--by logging on to the Cancer Information Network's daily news journal Oncology News International Today.

Members Sought for Director's Consumer Liaison Group: NCI

July 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--The NCI is calling for nominations for a new initiative--the Director's Consumer Liaison Group (DCLG). This group will help the NCI increase the representation of the cancer advocacy community on NCI advisory committees and increase the involvement of consumer advocates in program and policy development.

Breast Cancer Prevention Strategies Should Target Preadolescents, an Expert Suggests

July 01, 1997

NEW YORK--The timing of exposure to environmental factors may be the most powerful determinant in the development of breast cancer, Mary Wolff, PhD, said in a lecture sponsored by the Irvington Institute for Immunological Research.

Trial Attempts to Reverse Taxol Resistance in Ovarian Cancer

July 01, 1997

ASCO--Use of the investigational resistance modulator PSC-833 in combination with paclitaxel (Taxol) is safe and appears to renew paclitaxel response in some patients with refractory advanced ovarian cancer, Abbie L. Fields, MD, said in an ASCO poster presentation of the preliminary results of the phase II study.

Taxotere Bests Adriamycin in Metastatic Breast Cancer

July 01, 1997

ASCO--A phase III multinational trial has shown docetaxel (Taxotere) to be more effective than doxorubicin (Adriamycin) as single-agent treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer who have failed an alkylating-containing regimen.

Aging Population Points to Greater Incidence of Malignant Mesothelioma

July 01, 1997

SAN FRANCISCO--Although malignant mesothelioma, a tumor usually found in the pleurae, is still uncommon, its incidence has been rising over the past two decades, probably due to long-term exposures to asbestos, Henri G. Colt, MD, said at a panel session at the American Lung Association/American Thoracic Society 1997 International Conference.

Antiemetic Tablets Prove Equal in Efficacy to IV Drug Regimen

July 01, 1997

ASCO--Two randomized trials have shown that an oral serotonin antagonist, granisetron (Kytril) tablets, is equal in safety and efficacy to an intravenous drug of the same class in preventing emesis in patients undergoing emetogenic chemotherapy.

Preop Chemotherapy May Have Advantages in Primary Breast Cancer

July 01, 1997

ASCO--A brief, intensive preoperative chemotherapeutic regimen failed to improve breast cancer survival over conventional adjuvant chemotherapy in a 1,500-patient randomized trial, Dr. Eleftherios Mamounas said for the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Project (NSABP). However, preoperative treatment often resulted in complete clinical remission prior to surgery.

Doxorubicin Benefits Older Breast Cancer Patients

July 01, 1997

ASCO--Anthracycline-based chemotherapy should join tamoxifen (Nolvadex) as standard therapy for postmenopausal breast cancer patients who have positive lymph nodes and are estrogen-receptor positive.

BRCA Mutation Risk May Not Be as High as Thought

July 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--Women of Ashkenazi Jewish lineage appear to have a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer from mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes than was first thought, a study from the National Institutes of Health has found.

ACS Announces its Revised Colorectal Screening Guidelines

July 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--Myles Cunningham, MD, president of the American Cancer Society (ACS), announced new ACS guidelines for screening and surveillance for early detection of colorectal polyps and cancer. The announcement came at a press briefing held during Digestive Disease Week.

Delivery of Calicheamicin via New Antibody Is Promising in AML

July 01, 1997

ASCO--Treatment with an investigational immunoconjugate, CMA-676, safely induced remissions in some patients with refractory or relapsed acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), Eric L. Sievers, MD, said in his poster presentation of the preliminary results at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

Thumbs Down for Smoking in Movies

July 01, 1997

SAN FRANCISCO--The movie critics Siskel and Ebert rate good movies with a "thumbs up" sign and bad ones with "thumbs down." Now, the Sacramento-Emigrant Trails Affiliate of the American Lung Association (ALA) is using these symbols to rate movies and TV shows in their portrayal of smoking.

Patients' Melanoma Cells Engineered to Secrete GM-CSF

July 01, 1997

ASCO--Injections of an irradiated autologous melanoma vaccine genetically engineered to secrete GM-CSF proved safe and capable of eliciting an antitumor response in patients with advanced tumor burden, Robert Soiffer, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital, said at an ASCO scientific session.

Directory of Genetic Counselors Is Available

July 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--A directory of genetic counselors, physicians, geneticists, and nurses who have expertise in counseling about familial risk for cancer and testing for genetic susceptibility is available on CancerNet, an online cancer information service developed and maintained by the NCI's International Cancer Information Center (ICIC).

Mucositis Pain Moderate After Transplant but Hard to Treat

July 01, 1997

NEW ORLEANS--Oral pain and mucositis occur predictably after bone marrow transplant for leukemia, and although the pain is usually described as mild to moderate, it is unlikely to be completely relieved, Deborah B. McGuire, PhD, of Emory University, said at the Oncology Nursing Society's 22nd Annual Congress.

Temodal Active in Anaplastic Astrocytoma

July 01, 1997

ASCO--The investigational agent temozolomide (Temodal) has shown activity in patients with relapsed anaplastic astrocytoma or oligoastrocytoma, with a tolerable side effects profile, said Victor Levin, MD, speaking for the Temodal Brain Tumor Group, a multidisciplinary worldwide group that participated in the investigation.

Medical Groups Critical of Proposed Tobacco Settlement

July 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--The Marlboro Man's long-anticipated final ride into the sunset will likely be delayed, as the proposed tobacco settlement that would ban his image appears to be headed for a long and heated debate.

Five Years of Tamoxifen Superior to 2-3 Years

July 01, 1997

ASCO--Data from a large multi-center European study has confirmed the superiority of five years of tamoxifen (Nolvadex) therapy as opposed to two or three years in postmenopausal breast cancer patients. When longer follow-up data are available, the trial will be able to determine whether even longer duration of tamoxifen (12 to 13 years) might provide additonal benefits.

Prognostic Variables Affect How Brain Metastases Are Treated

July 01, 1997

HOUSTON--Controversy continues to shroud the issue of how single and multiple brain metastases should be treated, Moshe H. Maor, MD, said at a symposium on CNS cancer, sponsored by The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where he is a radiation oncologist.

Market Is Driving Increased Brachytherapy Use in Prostate Cancer

July 01, 1997

PALM BEACH, Fla--With more early-stage prostate cancers being detected, and with growing demand from patients, use of brachytherapy in prostate cancer is expected to increase substantially over the next decade, John C. Blasko, MD, said at the American Brachytherapy Society meeting.

Colorectal Cancer Rate Rises in Black Men

July 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--The colorectal cancer rate continues to rise in African-American men while dropping for whites of both sexes and for black women, reported David S. Alberts, MD, associate dean for research, Arizona Cancer Center of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson.

NCI Seeks Young Research Talent

July 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--The National Cancer Institute has announced a new program to give outstanding new scientists their first crack at independent research, and to do so for up to four years in NCI labs.

Sulindac Appears an Effective Treatment of Sporadic Polyps

July 01, 1997

WASHINGTON--Sulindac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), is known to prevent the growth of adenomas and cause their regression in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis, but data are limited for its effects in the more common sporadic adenomas.

Irinotecan Benefits Seen in Three US Trials

July 01, 1997

ASCO--Pooled data from the three pivotal US phase II studies of irinotecan (Camptosar) show that, at the preferred 125 mg/m² dose, the agent has consistent antitumor activity and manageable toxicity in patients with previously treated metastatic colorectal cancer.

Repeat Biopsies May Improve the Reliability of Gleason Scores

July 01, 1997

NEW ORLEANS--Repeat biopsies enhance detection and improve the reliability of Gleason grading in the evaluation of prostate cancer, according to two reports from the American Urological Association annual meeting.

Bernard Salick Launches a New Health Care Enterprise

July 01, 1997

Bernard Salick, the man some call a medical visionary, does not brood on his setbacks. A mere 24 hours after Zeneca Group PLC had assumed total control of Salick Health Care, the Southern California nephrologist had launched yet another medical enterprise--Bentley Health Care.

New NIH Vaccine Center an Add-ON To Ongoing AIDS Research Efforts

July 01, 1997

BETHESDA, Md--The new Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institutes of Health will expand upon efforts to find an effective AIDS vaccine and will neither replace research at universities and other institutions nor diminish their federal funding, William E. Paul, MD, told a meeting of the NIH director's advisory committee. "We see this as an add-on activity," said Dr. Paul, associate NIH director for AIDS research.

Hereditary Pancreatic Cancer: Part II. Candidate Genes

July 01, 1997

This special series on cancer and genetics is compiled and edited by Henry T. Lynch, MD, director of the Hereditary Cancer Institute, professor of medicine, and chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Creighton University School of Medicine, and director of the Creighton Cancer Center, Omaha, Nebraska. Part I of this three-part series on pancreatic cancer appeared in June 1997. Part II (below) reviews the gene mutations thought to contribute to the development of hereditary pancreatic cancer, and Part III will explores the clinical recognition of a hereditary predisposition to pancreatic cancer.

Van Nuys Experience Contradicts NSABP B-17 Findings

July 01, 1997

In the May, 1997, issue of Oncology News International , the updated eight-year results of NSABP protocol B-17 were reported as presented by Dr. Bernard Fisher in Paris. B-17 randomized patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) into two groups: One group received excision only, the other excision plus postoperative radiation therapy.