ONCOLOGY Vol 12 No 6 | Oncology

Radiofrequency Waves Used to Kill Inoperable Liver Tumors

June 01, 1998

By transforming radio signals into a surgical laser, surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center are able to use high-energy radiofrequency sound waves to destroy inoperable primary and metastatic liver tumors.

ONS Receives Educational Grants to Fund Conferences

June 01, 1998

The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) recently received grants from Genentech, Inc., to fund two educational projects. A $96,000 grant will fund the ONS National Conference on Cancer Nursing Research to be held in 1999, and a $30,930 grant

Genetic Markers May Predict Risk for Lung, Prostate, Colorectal, and Cervical Cancers

June 01, 1998

Recent advances in research focused on identifying genetic and other markers that can predict cancer risk were reported at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Included in the presentations were reports of

Salvage Therapy for Ovarian Cancer

June 01, 1998

As Drs. Sabbatini and Spriggs point out in their review, the majority of ovarian cancer patients continue to present with advanced-stage disease, and only a minority are cured after primary surgery and chemotherapy. At present, recurrent disease is best viewed as a chronic illness that requires ongoing management. A number of therapeutic options are available, but opportunities for cure remain limited. My comments will focus on post-remission therapy, small-volume residual disease, intraperitoneal therapy, secondary cytoreductive surgery, choice of second-line chemotherapy, and participation in phase II studies.

Women’s Dissatisfaction With Body Image Can Affect Smoking

June 01, 1998

Women smokers who overestimate their body size may be more likely to continue smoking, said researchers at The Miriam Hospital in Providence. Results of a study led by Teresa K. King, PhD, of the hospital’s Center for Behavioral and

M. D. Anderson Initiates Aggressive Ovarian Cancer Screening Program

June 01, 1998

Approximately, 27,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are reported in the United States each year, and about 15,000 of those result in death. The 5-year survival rate of patients with advanced disease is about 50%. However, when cancer is diagnosed

Gene May Provide Specific Target For Attacking Prostate Cancer

June 01, 1998

A gene discovered by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center may provide a target on prostate cancer cells for antibodies to attack, allowing the antibodies to destroy those cells while ignoring all others.

Medicare Now Reimburses Cancer Patients for Granisetron Tablets

June 01, 1998

Medicare will reimburse cancer patients for granisetron hydrochloride (Kytril) tablets, announced SmithKline Beecham. Granistetron is indicated for the prevention of chemo- therapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Chemotherapy May Improve Quality of Life of Patients With Incurable Cancer

June 01, 1998

Chemotherapy can improve the quality of life of people with incurable cancer if it is administered with the understanding that, although the disease will not be eradicated, the patient can be made to feel better, said an oncologist at Stanford University Medical Center.

Emotional Support Groups Produce Mixed Results For Breast Cancer Patients

June 01, 1998

A Carnegie Mellon University study of women with breast cancer has shown that those with strong social or family networks and a good relationship with their oncologist may not benefit from participation in emotional support groups and may, in fact,

Common Mutations Linked to Increased Breast Cancer Risk

June 01, 1998

Women with common variations in the class of enzyme known as glutathione S-transferase (GST), which detoxify carcinogens, are at increased risk of developing breast cancer, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Salvage Therapy for Ovarian Cancer

June 01, 1998

Despite the activity of initial chemotherapy in ovarian cancer, the majority of women presenting with advanced disease will ultimately experience disease recurrence and be required to consider second-line, or salvage, chemotherapy options. The well-written, informative article by Sabbatini and Spriggs provides a fairly comprehensive overview of important factors to consider when determining the most appropriate treatment options in this clinical setting.

Local Excision for Rectal Cancer: An Uncertain Future

June 01, 1998

Drs. Weber and Petrelli review much of the literature regarding patient outcomes after local excision alone, as well as local excision plus chemoradiotherapy, in patients with various stages of low rectal adenocarcinoma. The authors apparently were unaware that the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) experience with local excision plus chemoradiation, which antedated the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) study, will soon be in print to provide further multi-institutional support for these methods along with much greater follow-up. They also omitted our long-term data (median follow-up of survivors is 67 months) showing the very low locoregional recurrence rates in patients with T2 cancers treated by local excision and chemoradiotherapy.[1]

Local Excision for Rectal Cancer: An Uncertain Future

June 01, 1998

In this extensive review of the literature, Weber and Petrelli have nicely placed into perspective and documented the methods used in and results of most of the studies on local excision for rectal cancer. Although I agree with many of their conclusions, it is difficult for me to agree with the title of their article, "Local excision for rectal cancer: An uncertain future."

The Challenge of Designing Clinical Trials for AIDS-Related Kaposi’s Sarcoma

June 01, 1998

The need for an article such as the one by Little et al is a clear sign that progress is occurring in the treatment of AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS). Without such progress, there would be no urgent need to refine the tools currently used to evaluate the activity of KS treatment.

Salvage Therapy for Ovarian Cancer

June 01, 1998

Patients with epithelial ovarian cancer must receive optimal surgical care and state-of-the-art chemotherapy in the primary treatment setting. The salvage treatment of women with recurrent or persistent ovarian cancer remains a

Variations in Charges for Two Major Breast Cancer Surgeries, U.S., 1996

June 01, 1998

In 1996, the total in-hospital charges for the primary treatment of women with breast cancer with a modified radical mastectomy averaged $10,000 throughout the United States. The total charge (hospital plus physician’s fees) varied by 95% between the high charge reported in New York ($12,690) and the low charge in Michigan ($6,510). The hospital portion of the bill averaged 65% of the total and ranged from 51% in New York to 74% in Virginia. The average length of stay for these women was 2.39 days and ranged from 3.18 days in New York to 1.69 and 1.66 days in Washington and Arizona, respectively. The average charge for a partial mastectomy was $8,760, with notable variations between states. The Texas total charge was the highest ($12,890, some 47% above the US norm) and more than twice the low charge in Ohio ($6,080, 31% below the US average). The physicians’ charges averaged $3,330 for the country as a whole and accounted for 38% of the bill. This proportion ranged from 46% of the total in New York to 70% in Indiana and Colorado. The average length of hospitalization for a partial mastectomy was 1.84 days. On average, women remained in the hospital for the longest time in New Jersey (2.78 days) and for the shortest time in Oregon and Massachusetts (1.40 days and 1.45 days, respectively).[ONCOLOGY 12(6):889-902, 1998]

The Challenge of Designing Clinical Trials for AIDS-Related Kaposi’s Sarcoma

June 01, 1998

Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) is a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Several characteristics of KS pose challenges for the conduct of clinical trials. Kaposi’s

Local Excision for Rectal Cancer: An Uncertain Future

June 01, 1998

Adenocarcinoma of the rectum remains a significant public health challenge, with 39,000 new cases and 8,500 deaths predicted for 1998. Radical surgery, the current standard therapy, frequently necessitates the formation of

Commentary (Frazee)-Stereotactic Breast Biopsy: Indications and Results

June 01, 1998

Methods for detecting breast cancer are evolving as new technology provides a wider range of options for screening and definitive diagnosis. In addition to mammography and physical examination, screening techniques now include ultrasonography, technetium-99m sestamibi nuclear scanning, and magnetic resonance imaging.

Commentary (Parker)-Stereotactic Breast Biopsy: Indications and Results

June 01, 1998

A decade has passed since the first stereotactic-guided histologic breast biopsy was performed. Initially, the large-scale implementation of this technique met with a great deal of resistance from most surgeons, and more surprisingly, from many breast radiologists in academia.

Extraovarian Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma

May 31, 1998

Extraovarian primary peritoneal carcinoma (EOPPC), a relatively newly defined disease that develops only in women, accounts for approximately 10% of cases with a presumed diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Characterized by

Commentary (Scully): Extraovarian Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma

June 01, 1998

The distribution of abdominal serous carcinoma in the female ranges from ovarian carcinoma with no tumor involvement of the peritoneum to peritoneal carcinoma with no evidence of carcinoma in the ovary. For the purposes of investigation and patient care, it has been necessary to formulate criteria to distinguish tumors that are most probably primary ovarian carcinomas from those that are most likely primary peritoneal cancers.

Commentary (Gillette/Disaia): Extraovarian Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma

June 01, 1998

Drs. Eltabbakh and Piver present a comprehensive review of the management and prognosis of patients with extraovarian primary peritoneal carcinoma (EOPPC). Increased recognition and more precise definition have led many physicians and scientists to recognize EOPPC as a distinct clinical entity with a unique etiology. However, staging and treatment criteria for EOPPC have been modeled after criteria for papillary serous ovarian cancer, which is clinically and histologically similar. The Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) has allowed the inclusion of patients with EOPPC into clinical trials designed for patients with epithelial ovarian cancer.

10-Minute Exercise Sessions Are Effective Treatment for Obesity

June 01, 1998

Several short sessions of exercise with available home training equipment may be the most effective exercise program for obese patients, according to study results presented by University of Pittsburgh researchers at a recent meeting of the Society

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy: Indications and Results

June 01, 1998

This paper will address various issues relevant to core-needle biopsy of the breast under stereotactic imaging guidance. Patient and equipment selection, indications, contraindications, complications, limitations, and advantages will be discussed. The role of stereotactic core biopsy in patient management will also be addressed.