Oncology NEWS International Vol 9 No 3

Rituximab/CHOP Combo Effective in Low-Grade NHL

March 01, 2000

Among patients with low-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), combining CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) chemotherapy with rituximab (Rituxan) adds therapeutic benefit

3D CT-Guided Seminal Vesicle Biopsy for Staging

March 01, 2000

CHICAGO-Three-dimensional, CT-guided transischiorectal biopsy of the seminal vesicles in patients with biopsy-proven prostate cancer resulted in upstaging of 10% of patients, according to a report at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting.

Elderly Patients Tolerate Breast Cancer Therapy

March 01, 2000

There is no clear consensus among oncologists about the degree to which elderly breast cancer patients should be subjected to aggressive diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Physicians consequently have tended to treat elderly women

Coaxial Breast Biopsy Device Provides Diagnostic Specimens

March 01, 2000

CHICAGO-A simple coaxial breast biopsy tool that can be guided by mammography provides a larger tissue specimen than standard core needle biopsies, causes less bleeding and scarring than surgical biopsy, and carries a smaller price than stereotactically guided biopsy procedures, according to Lincoln Russin, MD, who devised the new biopsy tool. Dr. Russin is a radiologist at Noble Hospital, Westfield, Massachusetts, and associate clinical professor of radiology, Yale University.

3D Digital Camera Accurately Calculates Breast Shape, Volume

March 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-A novel imaging system-consisting of a three-dimensional digital camera mounted on a tripod, an LCD display monitor, and a standard desktop computer (see Figure 1)-may be the harbinger of the future of breast surgery,

Thermoacoustic CT Under Development for Breast Imaging

March 01, 2000

SAN ANTONIO-Measurement of radiowave absorption could offer a new noninvasive approach to the identification and diagnosis of breast cancer, investigators involved in an ongoing evaluation of the technology reported at the 22nd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Early Local Recurrence After Lumpectomy Predicts Metastasis

March 01, 2000

Breast-conserving treatment of early-stage breast cancer confers a low risk of locoregional recurrence that does not adversely affect survival, but early local recurrence increases the likelihood of metastatic disease, M.D.

Panel Recommends Listing 9 Substances in Carcinogen Report

March 01, 2000

ARLINGTON, Va-A scientific panel has recommended listing nine substances as either “known” or “reasonably anticipated” to be human carcinogens. If upheld after review, the substances will be listed in the 10th “Report on

State of the Union on Youth Smoking ‘Clearly Not Good’

March 01, 2000

WASHINGTON-The most comprehensive survey of tobacco use among young people has found that 12.8% of middle school students and 34.8% of those in high school reported using some form of tobacco product in the month prior to answering a questionnaire. Cigarettes were favored by most of the students, with cigars second.

Low-Dose CT Screening Detects NSCLC: ELCAP Update

March 01, 2000

Although the incidence of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is similar to that of other types of cancer, the death rate tends to be higher because lung cancer often is not detected until it is the size of an orange. “There is no reason why

ASCO Launches Large-Scale Study on Quality of Cancer Care

March 01, 2000

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia-The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has launched the first study aimed at developing a national monitoring system for cancer care in the United States. A panel of ASCO physicians and other health experts will oversee the study, which will be conducted by researchers at Harvard University and the RAND Corporation, the organization said in a news release.

Advocate Urges Greater Attention to Cancer Prevention Research

March 01, 2000

ALEXANDRIA, Va-Since she founded the Cancer Research Foundation of American (CRFA) in 1985, the year after her father’s death from head and neck cancer, Carolyn “Bo” Aldigé has become a persuasive and respected advocate for cancer

Poor Literacy, Low Income May Deter Cancer Screening

March 01, 2000

CHICAGO-Poor reading ability and low income affect many aspects of health care, including cancer screening. Preliminary analysis of data from a study of new enrollees in a Medicare managed care program showed that women with low or inadequate functional literacy were less likely than literate patients to have a Pap smear, and those with yearly incomes below $20,000 were less likely to have mammography.

Monthly Breast Pain May Signal Lower Breast Cancer Risk

March 01, 2000

VIENNA, Austria-Women with monthly breast pain appear to have a reduced risk of breast cancer, S. A. Khan and colleagues reported at a poster session of the 9th World Congress on Pain. The study also showed that women with a high consumption of dairy products had less severe pain and that regular consumption of soy products appeared to increase the likelihood of regular breast pain. Dr. Khan is in the Departments of Surgery, State University of New York Health Science Center, Syracuse.

Pediatric Cancer Patients May Not Receive Adequate Pain Relief

March 01, 2000

BOSTON-In a survey of 103 parents of children who had died of cancer, 89% said their children suffered “a lot” or “a great deal” from at least one symptom of the cancer or its treatment during their last month of life. The symptoms mentioned most often were pain, fatigue, and dyspnea. “Our results suggest that greater attention to symptom control and the overall well-being of children with advanced disease might ease their suffering,” the researchers, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital, Boston, said in their report (N Engl J Med 342:326-333, 2000).

More Convenient Dosing for Erythropoietin in Cancer Fatigue Patients

March 01, 2000

A less frequent dosing schedule of recombinant human erythropoietin (epoetin alfa, Epogen, Procrit) may offer effective and more convenient treatment for the fatigue and malaise associated with cancer therapies, said George D.

JCO Goes to Twice-Monthly Schedule

March 01, 2000

ALEXANDRIA, Va-The Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) has doubled the number of issues it publishes each year, but not the number of articles it will accept. The JCO, a publication of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), now publishes two issues monthly, one mailed in the middle and the other at the end of the month.

FDA Seeks Injunction Against ‘Anticancer’ Drug Maker

March 01, 2000

ROCKVILLE, Md-The FDA has accused Lane Labs-USA, Inc., of Allendale, NJ, with illegally promoting three products as treatments for cancer and other diseases, and is seeking a permanent federal court injunction against the marketing of the products: BeneFin, produced from shark cartilage; SkinAnswer, a glycoalkaloid skin cream; and MGN-3, a rice-bran extract.

Funds Sought for Studies of Environment-Cancer Links

March 01, 2000

WASHINGTON-The Clinton Administration wants to sharply increase funding for studies to determine environmental causes of cancer, particularly of the breast and prostate. The President is asking Congress to provide $27 million in fiscal year 2001 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Environmental Health Lab, an increase of 56% over the current budget.

Accelerated RT + Mitomycin Improves Head & Neck Cancer

March 01, 2000

SAN ANTONIO-Accelerated radiation therapy given concomitantly with mitomycin C (Mutamycin) produced significantly improved results over standard radiation in patients with advanced head and neck cancer, Werner H. Dobrowsky, MD, reported at the at 41st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

South African Researcher Breaches Scientific Trust

March 01, 2000

-“Science relies on trust,” Peter Cleaton-Jones, chairman of the Committee for Research on Human Subjects (Medical), University of Witwatersrand, said in an interview about the recently discovered scientific misconduct by

NCI Awards Cancer Trials Support Unit Contract to Westat Corp.

March 01, 2000

ROCKVILLE, Md-The NCI has awarded the contract to develop and implement the Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU) to Westat Corporation (Rockville, Md), a health and social sciences research organization. Westat will work with the Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups and Oracle Corporation’s Health Informatics Consulting Practice.

Women’s Art Center Plans Artist-in-Residence Institute

March 01, 2000

The program currently sends artists to work in cancer units at New York Hospital (oncology, bone marrow transplant, and pediatric oncology units), Lenox Hill Hospital, Beth Israel Hospital, Roosevelt-St. Luke’s Hospital, and Columbia

Temozolomide Equal to DTIC in Melanoma

March 01, 2000

MANCHESTER, UK-Oral temo-zolomide (Temodar) is as effective as intravenous dacarbazine (DTIC) in advanced metastatic malignant melanoma and is a reasonable alternative for many patients, according to a phase III trial. Temozolomide

MRI Used as Surrogate for Response, and as Surveillance

March 01, 2000

San Antonio-Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) continues to show promise as a means of diagnosing and evaluating breast cancer, according to study results reported at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Guidelines for HIV Treatment Are Updated

March 01, 2000

Newly updated guidelines for treating HIV-infected adults and adolescents are now available and include recommendations for the use of recently developed tests that help determine whether the virus carried by a patient has become

Oncology Nurses Are Playing Key Roles in Clinical Trials

March 01, 2000

With ever more new therapeutic agents in development, more practitioners are needed to shepherd patients through clinical trials-coordinating the trials, developing standardized treatment orders, managing symptoms, providing patient

Consortium to ‘Build Better Mice’

March 01, 2000

BETHESDA, Md-Seeking better mice for research, the National Cancer Institute has funded the Mouse Models of Human Cancer Consortium, which will consist of 19 new research groups involving investigators at 30 US institutions. The teams will seek to create models that duplicate the ways human cancers develop, progress, and respond to therapies or preventive agents.

AUA Releases Best Practice Policy on PSA Testing

March 01, 2000

BALTIMORE-Physicians should consider a biopsy to confirm a prostate cancer diagnosis when a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test reading is at least 4.0 ng/mL, the PSA level of a patient significantly increases from one test to the next, or a digital rectal examination is abnormal, according to a Best Practice Policy released by the American Urological Association (AUA).