ONCOLOGY Vol 12 No 5 | Oncology

American Association for Cancer Research Names Officers and Directors for 1998-1999

May 01, 1998

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has named its officers and directors for 1998-1999. Webster K. Cavenee, PhD, will serve as AACR president for 1998-1999 with Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, assuming the role of President-

UT Southwestern Researchers Test New Radiation Therapy Device for Brain Cancer

May 01, 1998

Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and Zale Lipshy University Hospital are using an experimental radiation therapy device to treat brain cancer patients for whom conventional radiation treatments have not been effective.

AIDS Among Persons Age ≥ 50 Years—United States, 1991-1996

May 01, 1998

Early in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, infection occurred disproportionately among older persons as a result of transmission through receipt of contaminated blood or blood products. Through 1989, receipt of contaminated

Nancy Reagan’s Choice of Mastectomy Seems to Have Influenced Many Breast Cancer Patients

May 01, 1998

A new study from the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center has shown that celebrity role models can influence decisions about medical care. The national study of breast cancer treatment patterns following Mrs. Ronald Reagan’s decision to have a mastectomy in 1987 showed that 25% fewer women than expected underwent lumpectomy or breast-conserving surgery.

Resource Guide for Cancer Patients and Their Families Released

May 01, 1998

Helping Hand: The Resource Guide for People with Cancer, published by Cancer Care, Inc., is designed to “show what kinds of help are available, and where to find that help.” The second edition of A Helping Hand was recently released with updated listings, new sections (eg, using the Internet to find resources), and a myriad of information on national, regional, and local cancer-related organizations that provide important services for people with cancer. Included in the listings of A Helping Hand are the names of support groups, as well as medical information about a specific type of cancer, a second opinion, financial assistance, or hospice care.

Clinical Pathway for Pain Management Released

May 01, 1998

A clinical pathway for pain management, developed by a task force of 18 registered nurses from Fox Chase Cancer Center and its network of community hospitals, was published in the January/February issue of Oncology Issues, the official journal

New Publications About Bone Marrow Transplant Available for Patients

May 01, 1998

Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is now recognized as standard treatment for many diseases. Patients with cancer, especially those with certain types of leukemia, lymphoma, breast and ovarian cancers, multiple myeloma, and aplastic

ASCO’s Bailes Exhorts Cancer Community to Band Together to Influence Public Policy

May 01, 1998

Proposed changes in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement have “enormous implications for appropriate cancer treatment,” according to Joseph S. Bailes, MD, winner of this year’s Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) National Achievement Award. Accepting the prize at the ACCC’s 24th Annual National Meeting, Bailes, chairman of the Clinical Practice Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), added that he’s very concerned about the proposed changes. But he told of plans to streamline and strengthen ASCO’S public policy apparatus by: establishing a “more constant presence” in Congress; bringing all cancer professionals, advocacy groups, and academics under a single “big tent,” and solidifying ties with the patient community.

Herpes Simplex Virus Investigated for Treatment of Brain Tumors

May 01, 1998

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center announced a new phase I clinical trial recently to investigate a genetically re-engineered herpes simplex virus as a treatment of malignant brain tumors.

Individualizing Chemotherapy Dosage Improves Survival of Children With Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

May 01, 1998

Individualizing the dosage of cancer chemotherapy can increase survival rates for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) without causing excessive toxicity, according to a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Keys to Success of BMT Programs in Managed Care Era

May 01, 1998

Although creating and sustaining a successful bone marrow transplant (BMT) program poses tricky challenges in today’s rapidly evolving managed care environment, it can be done, says Albert B. Einstein, Jr., MD, associate director for clinical

David E. Fisher Receives 1998 Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award

May 01, 1998

David E. Fisher, MD, PhD is the recipient of the sixth Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award, sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Since 1993, the award has been presented annually to one nontenured

Estrogens and Women With Breast Cancer

May 01, 1998

I was quite disappointed with Dr. Graham A. Colditz’s review of the literature concerning the use of estrogen replacement therapy in patients with breast cancer, which appeared in the November 1997 issue of ONCOLOGY (pp 1491-1497).

Substance Abuse Issues in Cancer Patients:

May 01, 1998

Passik and colleagues address an important and badly neglected issue in cancer care. Alcoholism has been reported to occur in 5% to 15% of the North American population, and drug abuse in approximately 5%. In hospitalized patients, the prevalence of alcoholism increases to approximately 20%.[1] In 200 patients admitted to a tertiary palliative care program in a health care system providing universal access, the prevalence of alcoholism was 27%.[2]

Pregnancy After Breast Cancer: From Psychosocial Issues Through Conception

May 01, 1998

Since physicians have stressed complete rehabilitation after breast cancer treatment, including breast reconstruction and psychosocial aspects, it follows that young women who have undergone such treatment may wish to resume their life roles, which often include motherhood. Consequently, the issue of pregnancy after breast cancer treatment has assumed paramount importance. This pertinent, accurate review of such a complex issue can be so brief because there are so few data on the subject. Given the diversity of the issues presented in the review, it is helpful to consider them individually.

Pregnancy After Breast Cancer: From Psychosocial Issues Through Conception

May 01, 1998

Breast cancer, the most common malignancy in women, frequently develops during the premenopausal years. The great majority of these breast cancers can be successfully treated, and the decision to have children remains a real and important consideration. The relationship between breast cancer and a subsequent pregnancy is complex, and decisions regarding one may ultimately affect the course or outcome of the other.

Substance Abuse Issues in Cancer Patients:

May 01, 1998

Among the most challenging problems in medicine is the management of patients with simultaneous cancer, pain, and psychological chemical dependency (substance abuse). It has been our experience at the UT

Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Treatment Progress and Prospects

May 01, 1998

Although small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) represents only 20% of all lung cancer cases in the United States, it is the most lethal subtype. Combination chemotherapy unequivocally offers the best chance for improved survival in

Management of Malignant Tumors of the Salivary Glands

May 01, 1998

Results of treatment for patients with salivary gland carcinoma have improved in recent years, most likely due to earlier diagnosis and the use of more effective locoregional therapy. Salivary gland tumors are treated surgically, often in conjunction with postoperative radiation therapy when the tumor is malignant. Good results rest strongly on the performance of an adequate, en bloc initial resection. Radical neck dissection is indicated in patients with obvious cervical metastasis, and limited neck dissection may be appropriate in patients with clinically negative nodes in whom occult nodal involvement is likely. Postoperative radiation therapy should be administered when the tumor is high stage or high grade, the adequacy of the resection is in question, or the tumor has ominous pathologic features. Neutron beam therapy shows promise in controlling locoregional disease but requires further study. No single chemotherapeutic agent or combination regimen has produced consistent results. At present, chemotherapy is clearly indicated only for palliation in symptomatic patients with recurrent and/or unresectable cancers. Patients with salivary gland carcinomas must be followed for long periods, as recurrence may occur a decade or more following therapy. Distant metastasis appears to occur in approximately 20% of patients.[ONCOLOGY 12 (5): 671-683, 1998]

Substance Abuse Issues in Cancer Patients:

May 01, 1998

The relationship between the therapeutic use of potentially abusable drugs for symptom control and the multifaceted nature of abuse and addiction is extremely complex. Research is only beginning to elucidate the

Prostate-Specific Antigen: Chronology of Its Identification

May 01, 1998

I was pleased to read the timely update on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) by Drs. Jürgen Pannek and Alan W. Partin in the September 1997 issue of oncology (pp 1273-1278) and the accompanying review by Dr. Steven J. Jacobsen (pp 1281-

Commentary (Armitage): Quality of Life in Low-Grade Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

May 01, 1998

The management of patients with the less aggressive subtypes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma remains a clinical challenge. As pointed out by Webster and Cella, this challenge relates, at least in part, to the comparatively long median survival that can be achieved in such patients with a wide variety of treatment approaches. However, it is very important to realize that not all patients with the indolent varieties of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are the same.

Commentary (Basen-Engquist/Cohen): Quality of Life in Low-Grade Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

May 01, 1998

Cancer treatment often has debilitating effects on the patients who receive it. Chemotherapy regimens can produce toxicities, such as gastrointestinal disturbances, hematologic deficiencies, fatigue, and neurotoxicity. Patients typically undergo these chemotherapy regimens to increase their disease-free survival time. Given that these therapies can negatively affect a patient’s quality of life (QOL), treatments need to provide clear curative potential and/or survival benefits to offset detrimental effects on QOL.

Quality of Life in Low-Grade Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

May 01, 1998

Low-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is an indolent form of the disease with a generally slow course of progression. Although still usually incurable, low-grade disease has shown responsiveness to some of the newer

Arizona Cancer Center Receives $500,000 Unrestricted Grant for Research

May 01, 1998

The Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson has received a 5-year, $500,000 unrestricted cancer research grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb, making the center one of a select group of institutions worldwide to receive this no-strings-attached funding.