Oncology NEWS International Vol 9 No 8

Irinotecan Plus Cisplatin May Be a Promising Radiation Sensitizer, According to Phase II Study

August 01, 2000

OSAKA, Japan-Induction with irinotecan (Camptosar) and cisplatin (Platinol) followed by thoracic radiation combined with weekly irinotecan in patients with unresectable non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) seems to be a feasible regimen in a cooperative group setting, according to the preliminary results of a phase II study presented in an ASCO abstract.

Major Trial of Four Newest Chemotherapy Regimens for Advanced NSCLC Shows Comparable Survival

August 01, 2000

MADISON, Wis-The first major trial to compare three of the newest chemotherapy regimens for advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with the most commonly used combination found that all offered similar survival benefits.

Irinotecan-Containing Chemotherapy Regimens Active in Pancreatic Cancer and Ovarian Cancer

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-Treatments combining irinotecan (Camptosar) with other drugs are active and well-tolerated in patients with advanced and metastatic pancreatic and ovarian cancer, according to two reports presented at the 36th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Interim Results Show Similar Response Rates for TEC vs CEV in Small-Cell Lung Cancer

August 01, 2000

GROSSHANSDORF, Germany-Initial efficacy results of a randomized phase III trial of previously untreated small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) show that paclitaxel (Taxol)/etoposide/carboplatin (TEC) and carboplatin/etoposide/vincristine (CEV) are both well tolerated with similar response rates. The findings were presented at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Scientists Identify Gene Mutations in Multiple Myeloma

August 01, 2000

NEW YORK-Researchers at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University have identified a collection of distinct chromosome translocations associated with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), a benign preclinical phase of multiple myeloma.

Irinotecan Plus Cisplatin Results in Highly Significant Survival Improvement in Extensive-Disease Small-Cell Lung Cancer

August 01, 2000

KANAGAWA, Japan-According to the results of a randomized, multicenter phase III trial, irinotecan (Camptosar) plus cisplatin (Platinol) was associated with a highly significant improvement in survival, with less myelosuppression, in patients with extensive-disease small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), compared with the standard therapy of etoposide/cisplatin. The findings were presented at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

New Analyses Establish the Addition of Irinotecan to Fluorouracil/Leucovorin as the New Standard of Care for First-Line Rx of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-New data demonstrate that the recently approved combination of irinotecan (Camptosar), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and leucovorin (LV) in-creases overall survival when used as first-line therapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, without a significant increase in side effects.

Single-Agent Herceptin Active in Metastatic Breast Cancer

August 01, 2000

MIAMI, Florida-Results of a recent study suggest that Herceptin (trastuzumab) may be effective as single-agent therapy in chemotherapy-naïve women with metastatic breast cancer, said lead investigator Charles Vogel, MD, clinical professor of medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine.

Brain Metastases Respond to Paclitaxel, Carboplatin, and Brain RT

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-In patients with brain metastases related to non-small-cell lung cancer, adding paclitaxel (Taxol) plus carboplatin (Paraplatin) to standard radiotherapy may increase overall treatment efficacy, French investigators reported at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

AC Comparable to CMF in ER-Negative, Node-Negative Early-Stage Breast Cancer

August 01, 2000

PITTSBURGH-Four cycles of doxorubicin (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide (AC) over 63 days are as effective as six cycles of cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil (CMF) over 6 months in node-negative, early- stage breast cancer, Bernard Fisher, MD, reported at the ASCO annual meeting.

Gemcitabine/Vinorelbine Boosts Survival in Elderly NSCLC Patients

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-In elderly non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, the combination of gemcitabine (Gem-zar) plus vinorelbine (Navelbine) yields better survival than vinorelbine alone, according to the final analysis of a Southern Italy Cooperative Oncology Group (SICOG) phase III trial. Giuseppe Frasci, MD, of the National Tumor Institute, Naples, Italy, reported the results at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Timing Affects Chemotherapy’s Effectiveness and Tolerability in Metastatic Colon Cancer

August 01, 2000

VILLEJUIF, France-Infusions of oxaliplatin, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and leucovorin (LV) timed to circadian rhythms are better tolerated and have better anticancer activity in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer than the same drugs infused traditionally at a constant rate, said Francis Lévi, MD, PhD, chairman of the International Organization for Cancer Chronotherapy in the Department of Medical Oncology, Hôpital Paul Brousse, Villejuif, France.

Virtual Colonoscopy Promising for Colon Cancer Screening

August 01, 2000

SAN DIEGO-Virtual colonoscopy is an accurate screening tool for colorectal cancer in lesions greater than 10 mm with good patient tolerance, Richard J. Farrell, MD, said at the American Gastroenterological Association meeting held during the Digestive Disease Week conference.

NABCO Event Raises Funds for Screening

August 01, 2000

NEW YORK-“Survival rates could be improved if all women understood the benefits of early detection and could utilize high-quality breast cancer screening services in their communities, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Wanda K. Jones, DrPh, leadoff speaker at the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations’ (NABCO) Celebration 2000 fund-raising luncheon.

High Toxic Death Rate Closes Paclitaxel Plus EP Study Early

August 01, 2000

HERAKLION, Greece-A multicenter randomized phase III study comparing paclitaxel (Taxol)/etoposide/cisplatin (Platinol) (TEP) with standard-therapy etoposide/cisplatin (EP) in patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) was stopped prematurely due to a 13% toxic death rate, according to a report given at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

CT Screening for Lung Cancer Will Save Lives and Money Researcher Claims

August 01, 2000

NEW YORK-A new screening procedure to detect early lung cancer has the potential to dramatically reduce mortality, Claudia Henschke, MD, PhD, chief, Division of Chest Imaging, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, said at a media briefing.

House Backs Funding for Justice Department Tobacco Lawsuit

August 01, 2000

WASHINGTON-The House voted to allow the Justice Department to tap funds from three other federal departments to help pay for pursuing a lawsuit against the tobacco industry. Attorney General Janet Reno had said that without funds from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, and Veterans’ Affairs, the government would be unable to go forward with the suit to recover $20 billion in federal funds spent on treating tobacco-related illnesses.

FDA and Wireless Industry to Study Cell Phone Safety in Joint Project

August 01, 2000

ROCKVILLE, Md-The FDA and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) have joined in a collaborative effort to examine the potential health effects of wireless telephones. FDA will provide research recommendations and oversight. CTIA will fund the studies, which will be done over the next 3 to 5 years by researchers who are not connected with FDA or the industry. Initial studies will focus on whether radiofrequent emissions from wireless phones pose any health threat. They will include both laboratory work and studies of mobile phone users.

Dr. Steven Gallinger Discusses the Clinical Implications of Microsatellite Instability Studies

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-Colorectal cancer appears to be two distinct diseases at the molecular and natural history level, but what exactly does this mean in terms of clinical practice? Steven Gallinger, MD, of the Univesity of Toronto, attempted to answer that question in his overview of Dr. Elsaleh’s presentation on microsatellite instability (MSI).

Primary Epirubicin Allows Breast-Conserving Therapy

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-Epirubicin (Ellence) may be an effective single agent for primary treatment of operable breast cancer, according to results of a cooperative group study from the National Tumor Institute, Milan, Italy, presented at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

HHS Officials Describe Their CAM Activities to House Committee

August 01, 2000

WASHINGTON-The National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health are jointly launching a “Quick Trials” research grants program that will enable more rapid evaluation of promising complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies.

Mayo Examines Genetic Influences on Barrett’s Esophagus

August 01, 2000

SAN DIEGO-Although there are some families that have a high prevalence of Barrett’s esophagus, the disease is more frequently sporadic, Yvonne Romero, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, reported at the annual meeting of the American Gastroenterological Association, held during the Digestive Disease Week conference. She and her colleagues studied symptomatic relatives of Barrett’s esophagus patients to determine if family relationships could help predict the disease.

Resection Benefits High-Risk Liver Met Patients

August 01, 2000

SAN DIEGO-Historically, cancer patients with liver metastases that were bilobar or noncolorectal, or who were simply elderly, have been considered inappropriate candidates for hepatic resection. A new study from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine suggests that these indications for resection should be liberalized.

NCI Is Sponsoring Chemoprevention Trials of COX-2 Inhibitor

August 01, 2000

BETHESDA, Md-The National Cancer Institute (NCI), in collaboration with Searle (Skokie, Illinois, now a part of Pharmacia Corp, Peapack, New Jersey) and Pfizer Inc. (New York), is sponsoring a series of clinical trials testing celecoxib (Celebrex) for the prevention of a variety of cancerous and precancerous conditions.

Education Boosts Pain Control in a Cancer Hospital

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-An educational intervention for both patients and health care professionals led to significant improvements in pain control at the RUSH Cancer Institute of RUSH-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago. David Frame, PharmD, reported the results at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

High-Dose Chemo/ABMT Ups Survival in High-Risk NHL

August 01, 2000

CRETEIL, France-In a study of patients with high-risk aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), those receiving high-dose chemotherapy and autologous bone marrow transplant (ABMT) after induction therapy lived longer than those receiving sequential chemotherapy, said Corinne Haioun, MD, of Hospital Henri Mondor, Créteil, France.

CT Option for Varian’s Respiratory Gating System

August 01, 2000

PALO ALTO, Calif–Varian Medical Systems, Inc. has been given the go-ahead to begin marketing the new CT Option for its RPM (Real-time Position Management) Respiratory Gating System. The FDA determined that it is a class 1 device exempt from premarket notification requirements.

SLN Mapping Highly Accurate in Detecting the Presence or Absence of Nodal Micrometastases in Colorectal Cancer

August 01, 2000

FLINT, Michigan-The debate continues on the use of sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping in colon cancer. How many nodes need to be analyzed to improve the outcome for this patient group? The current thought is the more nodes harvested, the better the predictive value, and Dr. Thomas LeVoyer made the case that removing more nodes yields a better survival benefit.

ColorectAlert Appears More Specific than FOBT Screening

August 01, 2000

SAN DIEGO-A new type of colorectal cancer screening test appears to be as sensitive as fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) with higher specificity, according to a Canadian study. Norman E. Marcon, MD, of the Centre for Therapeutic Endoscopy and Endoscopic Oncology, Toronto, reported results of a study comparing the new test, ColorectAlert, with FOBT at an American Gastroenterological Association research forum held during the Digestive Disease Week conference

Docetaxel Alleviates Bone Pain in Advanced Prostate Cancer

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-In a phase II study, weekly docetaxel (Taxotere) significantly reduced bone pain and PSA levels in men with hormone-refractory prostate cancer, and these results led to enhanced quality of life. Lead investigator Tomasz Beer, MD, of Oregon Health Sciences University, reported the results at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

‘Critical Disconnect’ Between Cancer Research and Cancer Care

August 01, 2000

BETHESDA, Md-The United States can be proud of its scientific progress against cancer, but the nation has failed to adequately address the equally important issue of access to and delivery of quality cancer care, according to the President’s Cancer Panel (PCP).

September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

August 01, 2000

CHICAGO-Every hour, approximately 10 women in the United States will be diagnosed with a cancer of the reproductive organs-ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal, vulvar, or tubal cancer. In response to this sobering statistic, the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation is educating women on the importance of early detection and prevention throughout Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM) in September.

Survival Benefit Seen With Irinotecan/Cisplatin in Metastatic Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

August 01, 2000

OSAKASAYAMA, Japan-Irinotecan (Camptosar) plus cisplatin (Platinol) significantly improves survival, compared to vindesine/cisplatin, in patients with metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to an analysis of two studies presented by Masahiro Fukuoka, MD, of Kinki University School of Medicine, Osakasayama, Japan, at a poster session at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting

Radiofrequency Ablation Promising Therapy for Early-Stage Breast Cancer

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-A pilot study of ultrasound-guided percutaneous radio-frequency ablation (RFA) in patients with early-stage breast cancer suggests that the technique might someday be an alternative to surgical resection in carefully selected patients.

HHS Committee Explores Issues Raised by Clinton’s Clinical Trials Order

August 01, 2000

BETHESDA, Md-President Clin-ton’s executive memorandum directing Medicare to pay the costs of routine care delivered to beneficiaries who participate in clinical trials left some major questions unanswered, NCI director Richard D. Klausner told the National Cancer Advisory Board.

Advanced Age Usually Not a Factor in Platinum-Based Therapy for NSCLC

August 01, 2000

PHILADELPHIA-Fit, elderly patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) can handle platinum-based therapy as well as younger patients, according to a secondary analysis of data from Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) study 5592. Corey Langer, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, presented the analysis at the ASCO annual meeting.

Cigar Companies Agree to Health Warnings on Products and Ads

August 01, 2000

WASHINGTON-The seven largest US cigar companies will place health warnings on their products and advertisements as the result of an agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission. The warnings read: “Cigar smoking can cause cancers of the mouth and throat, even if you do not inhale.” “Cigar smoking can cause lung cancer and heart disease.” “Tobacco use increases the risk of infertility, stillbirth, and low birth weight.” “Cigars are not a safe alternative to cigarettes.” “Tobacco smoke increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease, even in nonsmokers.”

Irinotecan Every 3 Weeks for Colorectal Cancer May Result in Reduced Late Diarrhea

August 01, 2000

BOSTON-Interim results from an ongoing multicenter study suggest that an irinotecan (Camptosar) dosing regimen of every 3 weeks for patients with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-refractory colorectal cancer may be associated with a lower incidence of grade 3-4 late diarrhea when compared to a four-times-a-week schedule. The results were presented at the 36th ASCO Annual Meeting.

Study Validates Shorter Radiation Schedule

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-A 3-week radiation schedule after lumpectomy is as effective as the standard 5-week schedule in terms of local control, overall survival, and cosmetic outcomes, Canadian researchers reported in a plenary presentation at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Reasonable to Add Immunochemical FOBT to Sigmoidoscopy Screening

August 01, 2000

SAN DIEGO-Based on preliminary test results, researchers at Kaiser Permanente Northern California and the University of California, San Francisco, believe that immunochemical fecal occult blood testing (IFOBT) would be a reasonable addition to a managed care plan’s flexible sigmoidoscopy colorectal cancer screening program, depending on patient preference, the practice setting, and cost constraints.

Number of Lymph Nodes Removed Determines Colon Cancer Survival: A Second Analysis of INT-0089

August 01, 2000

PHILADELPHIA-Nearly 45% of all cases of colon cancer have lymph node involvement. Surgical resection is the gold standard of treatment, with adjuvant chemotherapy used in an attempt to improve survival in patients with late-stage disease, but the outlook is often dismal.

Wheat Bran Fiber Fails to Reduce Recurrence of Colorectal Adenomas

August 01, 2000

SAN DIEGO-Wheat bran fiber does not appear to reduce the recurrence of colorectal adenomas, Richard E. Sampliner, MD, said at the American Gastroenterological Association annual meeting, held during the Digestive Disease Week conference. Dr. Sampliner is professor of medicine and chief of gastroenterology, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson.

Gemcitabine Plus Vinorelbine Offers Better Survival Than Vinorelbine Alone in Elderly NSCLC Patients

August 01, 2000

NAPLES, Italy-In elderly non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, gemcitabine (Gemzar) combined with vinorelbine (Navelbine) was associated with significantly better survival in comparison to treatment with vinorelbine alone, Giuseppe Frasci, MD, reported at the 36th ASCO Annual Meeting.

Nolvadex Approved to Reduce Risk in Patients With DCIS

August 01, 2000

WILMINGTON, Del-AstraZen-eca announced in a news release that the FDA has approved Nolvadex (tamoxifen) to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) following breast surgery and radiation. Nolvadex is the first medication to be approved for DCIS, which accounts for nearly 20% of all newly diagnosed breast cancers, the company said.

Straus, Director of NCCAM, Outlines Research Priorities

August 01, 2000

ARLINGTON, Va-The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a division of the National Institutes of Health, has undertaken the task of making a science out of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Elderly Colon Ca Patients Benefit From and Tolerate Adjuvant Chemo

August 01, 2000

ROCHESTER, Minnesota-Despite their age, people over 70 who have colon cancer can benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy, Daniel Sargent, PhD, assistant professor of biostatistics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, reported at the 36th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Post-Treatment PET Scan Results Correlate Strongly With Survival in Unresectable Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

August 01, 2000

EAST MELBOURNE, Australia-Positron emission tomography (PET) response to radical chemoradiotherapy or radical radiotherapy can be used to separate non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients into groups with widely differing survival probabilities, Michael P. MacManus, MD, reported at the 36th ASCO Annual Meeting.

Mitoxantrone Yields Better Quality of Life in Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer Than Combination Therapy in German Trial

August 01, 2000

STUTTGART, Germany-Mitoxantrone (Novantrone) alone gives high-risk metastatic breast cancer patients a better quality of life than a combination of fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FEC), according to results presented at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Yet the single agent appears to work as well as combination therapy when compared for several endpoints.

MSI May Predict Survival Benefit From Chemotherapy in Colorectal Cancer

August 01, 2000

NEDLANDS, Australia-If the implications of an Australian study are validated in further prospective studies, microsatellite instability (MSI) could potentially predict those patients with Dukes’ C and possibly Dukes’ B colorectal cancer who will respond best to chemotherapy.

Leading Investigators Say Breast Cancer Research Is Paying Off Paying Off

August 01, 2000

NEW YORK-Dramatic advances in the treatment, detection, and prevention of breast cancer are occurring because of research efforts of the past 30 years, experts emphasized at the International Roundtable on Breast Cancer: Today’s Choices, Tomorrow’s Chances for a Cure, sponsored by the American-Italian Cancer Foundation and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

ET-743, Compound From Sea Tunicate, Promising in Soft-Tissue Sarcomas

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-Results of three phase II trials suggest that ET-743 (ecteinascidin), a novel marine compound (see box at right), may have a role to play in treating certain soft-tissue sarcomas, George D. Demetri, MD, said at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Micromets in Marrow Linked to Poor Breast Cancer Prognosis

August 01, 2000

MUNICH-The presence of bone marrow micrometastases in breast cancer patients, as determined by detection of cytokeratin-positive cells, predicts a poor prognosis regardless of lymph node status, according to a German study.

Smokers Can Benefit From Free TRAM Breast Reconstruction

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-Smokers can reduce smoking-related complications of breast reconstruction by quitting smoking several weeks before surgery. For heavy smokers, delaying reconstruction may result in fewer complications, according to a study presented at the 68th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (now known as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons).

Histamine + IL-2 Improves Melanoma Survival

August 01, 2000

PITTSBURGH-An immunomod-ulating agent, histamine dihydrochloride (Maxamine), used in combination with interleukin-2 (IL-2) may improve survival in certain patients with stage IV malignant melanoma.

Angiogenesis Inhibitor SU5416 a Safe Addition to Therapy for Colorectal Cancer

August 01, 2000

LOS ANGELES-A new angiogenesis signaling inhibitor called SU5416 can be safely used with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin to treat metastatic colorectal cancer, according to results presented at the 36th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

IL-2 Appears to Enhance Effects of Antiretroviral Therapy

August 01, 2000

BETHESDA, Md-The addition of interleukin-2 (IL-2) to standard anti-retroviral therapy significantly improved CD4 cell response in HIV-infected patients, reported Richard T. Davey Jr, MD, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Biologic Markers Predict Recurrence Risk in NSCLC

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-A study of biologic markers in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has identified several that appear to predict disease recurrence. They also offer some insight into the mechanisms by which NSCLC tumors spread.

Topotecan After Standard Therapy Fails to Improve Overall Survival in Small-Cell Lung Cancer Patients

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-Topotecan (Hycamtin) after standard therapy with etoposide/cisplatin (Platinol) improved progression-free survival but failed to improve overall survival in extensive-disease small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) when compared to observation, according to a randomized phase III trial presented at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Short-Term Continuous-Infusion 5-FU Appears as Effective as 6 Months of Bolus Administration in Colorectal Cancer

August 01, 2000

LONDON-Early trial results from the Royal Marsden GI Collaborators, in the United Kingdom, show that 12 weeks of protracted venous infusion 5-fluorouracil (PVI 5-FU) results in the same efficacy as 6 months of bolus 5-FU for colorectal cancer. This results in less toxicity and impairment of quality of life (QOL).

Expanded Role Seen for Retinoic Acid in Chemoprevention

August 01, 2000

NEW YORK-Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College are investigating retinoic acid in the hope of extending its use in cancer chemoprevention as well as chemotherapy. Various vitamin A derivatives have already been shown to be useful in reversing premalignant changes such as leukoplakia and in treating pro-myelocytic leukemia.

Etoposide/Carboplatin/Paclitaxel Effective in Extensive SCLC

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-The addition of paclitaxel (Taxol) to a regimen of etoposide and carboplatin (Paraplatin) led to a modest improvement in response rate and a trend toward improved survival in patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), investigators from Response Oncology Inc., Memphis, Tennessee, reported at the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Radiation Still Needed in Very Small, Node-Negative Invasive Breast Cancer

August 01, 2000

NEW ORLEANS-Preliminary results of National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) protocol B-21 have ended the “lingering, perhaps illusory hope of identifying a subset of women in whom radiation could be eliminated or replaced with another intervention” for treating early-stage invasive breast cancer, said Norman Wolmark, MD, chairman of the NSABP.

Three Cancer Centers Institute Complementary Medicine Units

August 01, 2000

ARLINGTON, Va-One measure of the influence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) on the world of conventional medicine may be the acceptance by major cancer centers of programs designed to integrate these therapies into their services.

Taxol 3-Hour Infusion Approved for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

August 01, 2000

PRINCETON, NJ-Bristol-Myers Squibb Company announced in a press release that the FDA has approved a novel, shorter administration regimen for Taxol (paclitaxel) injection for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer. The new 3-hour regimen offers patients the advantage of administration in an outpatient setting.

Camera Catches Melanoma at Early Stage

August 01, 2000

The SIAscope uses light and sophisticated computer software to construct an image of each part of the skin. The technique shows when a mole is invading deeper into the skin than normal, allowing early diagnosis of malignant melanoma. The SIAscope, based on spectrophotometric intracutaneous analysis (SIA), was researched at Birmingham University and developed by Cambridge-based Astron Clinica. It is in clinical trials at various sites in the United Kingdom. Dr. Marc Moncrieff (pictured, left) is one of the doctors conducting the trials.

Docetaxel Plus Irinotecan Promising as Nonplatinum Regimen for Advanced Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

August 01, 2000

OSAKA, Japan-Docetaxel (Taxotere) plus irinotecan (Camptosar) seems to have activity comparable to docetaxel plus cisplatin (Platinol) in advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to the results of a randomized phase II study reported at ASCO.

Culturally Specific Interventions Can Improve Cancer Screening Among Minorities

August 01, 2000

Over the past decade, extensive research and promotion efforts have led to increased awareness and utilization of cancer prevention and screening methods. Many minority groups, however, have not benefited equally from these advances, and continue to have elevated cancer incidence or mortality rates compared with whites.

Grim News From the 13th International AIDS Conference

July 31, 2000

DURBAN, South Africa-Leading experts on HIV/AIDS gathered at the 13th International AIDS Conference, held for the first time in Africa, the continent most severely affected by the pandemic. Experts estimate that 70% of the 34 million people infected with HIV worldwide live in sub-Saharan Africa.