ONCOLOGY Vol 12 No 12 | Oncology

NBCC President Praises Genentech for Partnering With Breast Cancer Advocates in HER-2 Trial

December 01, 1998

In a recently issued statement, Frances M. Visco, president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), commended Genentech for partnering with breast cancer advocates in all aspects of the HER-2 clinical trial. “It is clear that we will only

Response to Increases in Cigarette Prices by Race/Ethnicity, Income, and Age Groups in the United States, From 1976 to 1993

December 01, 1998

Tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking, remains the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. Studies have shown that increases in the price of cigarettes will decrease the prevalence of smoking and the number of

Self-Reported Use of Mammography and Insurance Status Among US Women Over the Age of 39, From 1991 to 1992 and 1996 to 1997

December 01, 1998

In the United States, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy among women and the second leading cause of cancer death. Lack of health insurance coverage often is an important financial barrier to seeking preventive health care,

Teenage Athletes Using Spit Tobacco More Likely to Quit With Intervention

December 01, 1998

A new University of California San Francisco (UCSF) study found that high school baseball players who use spit tobacco are nearly twice as likely to stop using spit tobacco when dentists or dental hygienists, as well as their teammates, actively

Investigational Anti-HIV Drug to Be Made Available Through Early Access Program

December 01, 1998

The investigational anti-HIV protease inhibitor amprenavir (Agenerase), formerly known as 141W94, is now available to patients who have not responded to current protease inhibitor-containing regimens through a novel early access program.

Monoclonal Antibody Approved for Metastatic Breast Cancer

December 01, 1998

The FDA recently licensed a biological approach for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. The intravenous monoclonal antibody, trastuzumab (Herceptin), is approved for use alone in certain patients who have tried chemotherapy with little

Booklet Provides Guidance on Appointing or Being a Health Care Proxy

December 01, 1998

Choice In Dying (Washington, DC) recently released a new booklet entitled, “Healthcare Agents: Appointing and Being One,” intended to serve as a reference when appointing a health care agent (proxy) or acting as one.

3D Conformal Therapy Permits Use of Higher Radiation Doses in Prostate Cancer Patients

December 01, 1998

Higher doses of radiation, delivered through three-dimensional (3D) conformal therapy, have produced far fewer side effects than expected, according to a national, multicenter clinical trial conducted by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group

Lower Genital Tract Neoplasia in Women With HIV Infection

December 01, 1998

Although overall death rates from the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are declining rapidly, the incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in women continues to climb, and HIV-associated gynecologic disease is also likely toincrease over the next decade. In this paper on lower genital tract neoplasia in women with HIV infection, Abercrombie and Korn review some of the many studies documenting the increased incidence of cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV-asso-ciated disease in this population. The clinical importance of these studies is underscored by recent data from New York City, where the incidence of invasive cervical cancer increased significantly from 1990 to 1995 in HIV-positive women, compared to the general popu-lation of 25- to 49-year-old women.[1]

Clinical Status and Optimal Use of Rituximab for B-Cell Lymphomas

December 01, 1998

The article by Dr. McLaughlin and coauthors provides both a useful summary of the clinical trials involving rituximab (IDEC C2B8 [Rituxan]) and a practical guide for its administration. Their review summarizes the most recent clinical results with this monoclonal antibody, which have just been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.[1] The review also includes a section on the potential mechanism of action of rituximab. Several areas merit comment.

Clinical Status and Optimal Use of Rituximab for B-Cell Lymphomas

December 01, 1998

Monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) for cancer have been the subject of intense clinical investigation for nearly 2 decades.[1] Although the concept of MoAb therapy is simple, a host of unforeseen difficulties hindered the realization of clinical benefit from this therapeutic approach.

Predicting Prognosis in Patients With Superficial Bladder Cancer

December 01, 1998

Superficial transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder comprises an extremely heterogeneous group of tumors, both in terms of morphology and, even more importantly, in terms of tumor biology and clinical behavior. Drs. deVere White and Stapp provide a succinct overview of the challenges encountered clinically because of tumor heterogeneity and the availability of different treatment options. The authors also outline the use of traditional prognostic factors (clinicopathologic characteristics) and the current state of development of biological markers that hold promise in providing significant clinically useful prognostic information.

Cancer Chemoprevention: Hormones, Nonclassic Antioxidant Natural Agents, NSAIDs, and Other Agents

December 01, 1998

Of the many novel new cancer therapeutic concepts under development, chemoprevention recognizes that malignancies derive from a long, complex interaction of environmental stress modulated by individual genetic phenotypic expression. As described in depth by Drs. Singh and Lippman in this two-part article, published in last and this month’s issues of oncology, substances with potential chemopreventive activity have been identified from multiple sources. These include: (1) human cancer epidemiology, with an emphasis on dietary assessment, geographic dietary and environmental variation, and differences in cancer incidence among similar regional populations; (2) from mechanistic hypotheses; and (3) clinical observations after treatment of cancer (eg, tamoxifen [Nolvadex] for breast cancer). Drs. Singh and Lippman ably demon-strate the wide variety of sources of potential chemopreventive agents and describe current research studies and outcomes.

Clinical Status and Optimal Use of Rituximab for B-Cell Lymphomas

December 01, 1998

The standard management of low-grade lymphoma remains controversial. Long-term follow-up studies of patients treated with conventional regimens have shown that currently available treatments are not curative.

Clinical Status and Optimal Use of Rituximab for B-Cell Lymphomas

December 01, 1998

Rituximab (IDEC-C2B8 [Rituxan]) is a chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (MoAb) that was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of patients with low-grade or follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Its potential efficacy in other B-cell malignancies is currently being explored. This article reviews the mechanisms of action of rituximab, as well as preclinical data and results of the clinical trials that led to its approval. Also discussed are the mechanics of administering rituximab on the recommended weekly ´ 4 outpatient schedule. Finally, the article describes ongoing and planned trials of rituximab in other dosage schedules, in other B-cell neoplasms, and in conjunction with chemotherapy. As the first MoAb to gain FDA approval for the treatment of a malignancy, rituximab signals the beginning of a promising new era in cancer therapy. [ONCOLOGY 12(12):1763-1770, 1998]

Predicting Prognosis in Patients With Superficial Bladder Cancer

December 01, 1998

Bladder cancer is the most common urologic malignancy and is expected to affect approximately 54,000 people in 1998. Superficial bladder tumors (Tis, Ta, and T1 lesions) account for approximately 70% to 80% of these

Use of Percent-Free PSA Improves Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer, Studies Show

December 01, 1998

Determination of the percentage of free prostate specific antigen (PSA) via a simple blood test improves the diagnosis of prostate cancer and may limit the need for biopsies, according to two studies published in the September issue of Urology.

Duke Receives $3.5 Million to Set up Cancer Genetics Center With University of North Carolina and Emory University

December 01, 1998

Duke University Medical Center is receiving $3.5 million over the next 5 years to set up a collaborative research effort to focus on discovering genetic links to cancer. The three-institution center will be one of five nationwide that will make up the

Chemical Extracted From Green Coffee Beans May Help Fight HIV Infection

December 01, 1998

A chemical extracted from green coffee beans may be a new weapon in the fight against acquired immune deficiency (AIDS). The chemical-chicoric acid-comes from chicory, which is derived from coffee, and is identical to substances

Lower Genital Tract Neoplasia in Women With HIV Infection

December 01, 1998

Drs. Abercrombie and Korn raise critical concerns regarding the need for vigilant monitoring and early intervention to prevent cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women who have concomitant human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. The evidence is clear that women with HIV are at risk of both more virulent HPV infections and more rapid progression from infection to neoplasia. The authors underscore another critical finding: Women with HIV are at increased risk of developing noncervical condylomas, which are more difficult to detect by standard screening mechanisms and more difficult to treat with standard therapies.

Lower Genital Tract Neoplasia in Women With HIV Infection

December 01, 1998

Women who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are at greater risk for the development of lower genital tract neoplasia than are HIV-negative women. Among HIV-positive women, those who are more