ONCOLOGY Vol 16 No 12 | Oncology

Nursing Shortage to Worsen Over Next 2 Decades

December 01, 2002

Over the next 2 decades, we will see an increasing shortage of nurses if current trends continue, according to a report by the Health Resources and Services Administration. The report points to a worsening shortfall as nurses retire and too few new

Multimillion Dollar Costs Predicted in Screening Mammography Litigation

December 01, 2002

In just 10 years, the cost of screening mammography litigation in the United States could top $250 million a year, a recent analysis has found. The analysis, presented at this year’s American Roentgen Ray Society meeting in Atlanta, is based on a

New Data Suggest Chemotherapy Patients Benefit From Heart Failure Treatment

December 01, 2002

Researchers at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found that cancer patients who develop heart failure as a result of chemotherapy can be treated effectively, with the condition potentially reversed, when standard medication

Plastic Surgery: A Component in the Comprehensive Care of Cancer Patients

December 01, 2002

Plastic surgical reconstruction extends the capabilities of surgical and radiation therapy for cancer patients. Resection defects that are large, involve functional structures, aesthetically sensitive areas, and/or are at increased risk for wound healing complications are successfully reconstructed with a wide variety of techniques. Cancer and the complications of cancer treatment can involve virtually any area of the body, and to address every potential circumstance, the breadth of oncologic reconstruction must be extensive. A multidisciplinary team approach is the optimal method of cancer treatment, and plastic surgical reconstruction has become a critical component of that treatment, with the ability to restore form and function to the involved areas.

Plastic Surgery: A Component in the Comprehensive Care of Cancer Patients

December 01, 2002

This article underscores what I believe is an important concept in the current state of the art of cancer therapy-namely that reconstructive plastic surgery is a key component in the treatment of many cancer patients. Clearly, the treatment of advanced-stage malignancies is now interdisciplinary, multimodal, and comprehensive. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are becoming increasingly complementary modalities in the treatment of patients with more advanced disease.

Pancreatic Cancer: Epidemiology, Genetics, and Approaches to Screening

December 01, 2002

Drs. Konner and O’Reilly have provided a thorough review of current perspectives on pancreatic cancer. The disease is lethal, difficult to diagnose in its early stages, and resistant to standard chemotherapy regimens. Surgery can be curative if performed when the tumor is small (< 2 cm), but only a minority of patients have small tumors.

Advances in the Treatment of Gynecologic Malignancies

December 01, 2002

In their excellent summary of randomized trials examining the management of cancers of the uterus and ovary, Kim and coauthors highlight a significant and worrisome difference that has developed between the two gynecologic malignancies over the past decade, with regard to the direction of clinical research involving chemotherapy. Although it is recognized that cytotoxic chemotherapy is employed in the majority of women with ovarian cancer at initial diagnosis, whereas such treatment is fortunately only required in a minority of individuals with endometrial cancer, it is unclear why there has been such a major divergence in the drugs and combination regimens currently being evaluated in clinical trials.

Plastic Surgery: A Component in the Comprehensive Care of Cancer Patients

December 01, 2002

Part of the multidisciplinary approach to cancer care involves surgical intervention. This is harmoniously interwoven through the efforts of the surgical oncologist and the reconstructive surgeon. As elegantly pointed out by Drs. Hasen, Few, and Fine, the reconstructive surgeon’s role in the management of malignancy is critical, involving the restoration of form and function. Sometimes, as in breast reconstruction, quality of life is improved by the restoration of form; other times, as in head and neck reconstruction, it is improved by the restoration of form and function. In fact, due to the significant morbidity associated with major ablation of head and neck cancer, such radical surgery would not be feasible without concomitant reconstruction.

Advances in the Treatment of Gynecologic Malignancies

December 01, 2002

Historically, two-thirds of patients with endometrial carcinoma had disease confined to the uterus, and the cornerstone of treatment was total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Since the introduction of surgical staging in 1988, however, more patients are found to have disease outside the uterine cavity. Unfortunately, the current rules for staging are not followed by every practitioner, and the required specimens for pathologic examination are not always obtained. Therefore, recommendations for postoperative adjuvant therapy are usually based on the surgico-pathologic information available for each patient.

Is There a Role for Dose-Intensive Chemotherapy With Stem Cell Rescue in Breast Cancer?

December 01, 2002

During the 1990s, perhaps no other therapy for women with breast cancer was more controversial than high-dose chemotherapy with autologous bone marrow and/or peripheral stem cell support. With encouraging results from late phase I and early phase II trials in the early to mid-1990s, high-dose chemotherapy was promoted by its many enthusiastic proponents as a potentially great leap forward for women with high-risk, node-positive or metastatic disease.

Plastic Surgery: A Component in the Comprehensive Care of Cancer Patients

December 01, 2002

Plastic surgery represents a small but critical component of the comprehensive care of cancer patients. Its primary role in the treatment of cancer patients is to extend the ability of other surgeons and specialists to more

Is There a Role for Dose-Intensive Chemotherapy With Stem Cell Rescue in Breast Cancer?

December 01, 2002

At first glance, high-dose chemotherapy for breast cancer makes sense. The disease is often sensitive to chemotherapy, potentially curable, and highly prevalent, which means that even a modest benefit would be tremendously important. Unfortunately, multiple clinical trials have failed to demonstrate that high-dose therapy is more effective than other chemotherapeutic approaches. Thus far, no prospective study has demonstrated a benefit based on its planned primary objective and planned analysis, and none has shown a survival advantage (see Table 1).[1-5]

Advances in the Treatment of Gynecologic Malignancies

December 01, 2002

Over the past few decades, we have gained a better understanding of the risk factors associated with the recurrence of endometrial cancer. Adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy in an intermediate-risk group of

Is There a Role for Dose-Intensive Chemotherapy With Stem Cell Rescue in Breast Cancer?

December 01, 2002

Over the past decade, high-dose chemotherapy with autologous bone marrow and/or peripheral blood rescue has been increasingly used to treat women with breast cancer. Laboratory and clinical studies have shown that dose intensity may be important in treating selected patients with breast cancer. Initial phase I studies showed good response rates of short durations. Further trials in metastatic disease with high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell rescue earlier in the treatment course had been encouraging. However, the optimal timing of high-dose chemotherapy remains a question. In addition, randomized trials in high-risk early-stage breast cancer have completed accrual. Technologic improvements in stem cell procurement and hematopoietic growth factors have contributed to decreased morbidity and mortality. This review will discuss the role of such therapy in the treatment of women with breast cancer. [ONCOLOGY 16:1643-1656, 2002]

Clinical Trials in Ovarian Cancer, Part 2

December 01, 2002

The American Cancer Society has estimated that 23,300 women will develop ovarian cancer in 2002, and 13,900 women will die from the disease.[1] The 5-year survival rate is about 80% for women with stage I disease, 50% for women with stage II disease, 25% for women with stage III disease, and 15% for women with stage IV disease. Among women with advanced-stage disease, optimal debulking surgery, as well as platinum/taxane-based adjuvant therapy prolongs disease-free and median survival.[2,3] Population-based data suggest that guidelines for therapy are not uniformly followed in community practice.[4] In addition, older patients appear to receive less aggressive treatment than younger patients.

Pancreatic Cancer: Epidemiology, Genetics, and Approaches to Screening

December 01, 2002

The review by Drs. Konner and O’Reilly addresses a number of important issues in pancreatic cancer. Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is a devastating disease,[1] not only because it will occur in approximately 30,000 Americans this year, and perhaps 200,000 people worldwide, but also because of its high associated mortality. Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is one of the least treatable and, therefore, most lethal of all cancers. Fully 95% of all patients with an established diagnosis of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas will die of their disease.

Pancreatic Cancer: Epidemiology, Genetics, and Approaches to Screening

December 01, 2002

Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality. Treatment has limited efficacy, and 5-year survival rates remain less than 5%. Insights from epidemiology and discoveries in molecular genetics have laid

New FDA Commissioner Nominated

December 01, 2002

President Bush has nominated Mark B. McClellan, md, phd, who has held senior positions in both the Clinton and current Bush Administrations, as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If confirmed by the Senate, Dr.