ONCOLOGY Vol 20 No 3 | Oncology

Report Finds Historic Drop in Total Number of Cancer Deaths

March 01, 2006

The American Cancer Society’s annual estimate of cancer deaths says 2006 will see a slight decline in the projected number of cancer deaths compared to estimates made for 2005. The projections are based on a decline in the actual number of cancer deaths reported by the National Center for Health Statistics for 2002 (557,271 deaths) and 2003 (556,902 deaths)--the first decline in the actual number of cancer deaths in over 70 years.

Treating the Troops: A Model for Battling Health-Care Disparities

March 01, 2006

There are many characteristics that set the military apart from the general population. But there was one particularly appealing characteristic: It is an equal-access-to-care culture. Of course, in a country as large and diverse as America, we can't expect to replicate the equal-access model of the US military. But we can try.

Non-BRCA Hereditary Breast Cancer Linked to New Cancers

March 01, 2006

The risk for a new cancer in the unaffected breast substantially increases in women diagnosed with unilateral, hereditary (non-BRCA) breast cancer, according to a new study. Published in the March 15, 2006, issue of Cancer, the study reveals that women under age 50 diagnosed with hereditary (non-BRCA) breast cancer are at significantly greater risk for developing cancer in the other breast. Adjuvant hormonal therapy, however, reduces contralateral breast cancer risk.

NCI Supports Interagency Oncology Task Force Efforts to Develop Faster, Safer Interventions

March 01, 2006

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has offered guidance for exploratory investigational new drug (IND) studies to help streamline the earliest phases of clinical research in the development of life-saving medical interventions for cancer patients. This novel concept has been a major focus for the joint National Cancer Institute (NCI)-FDA Interagency Oncology Task Force (IOTF), which was established in 2003 to enhance and accelerate the overall process of developing new cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.

Popularity of Indoor Tanning Contributes to Increased Incidence of Skin Cancer

March 01, 2006

According to a 2005 survey conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology, 92% of the respondents understood that getting a tan from the sun is dangerous. Yet, 65% said that they think they look better when they have a tan.

FDA Grants Fast-Track Designation to ZD6474 for Thyroid Cancer

March 01, 2006

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted fast-track designation for the investigation of ZD6474 (Zactima) in treating medullary thyroid carcinoma. For advanced thyroid cancer, there is currently no curative modality or approved chemotherapy. ZD6474 also received orphan drug designation last year for the treatment of patients with follicular, medullary, anaplastic, and locally advanced and metastatic papillary thyroid cancer.

NIH Launches Comprehensive Effort to Explore Cancer Genomics

March 01, 2006

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both part of the NationalI nstitutes of Health (NIH), have launched a comprehensive effort to accelerate our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer through the application of genome analysis technologies, especially large-scale genome sequencing.

New Oral Agent Approved for Kidney Cancer and GIST

March 01, 2006

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved sunitinib malate (Sutent) capsules for two types of cancer: advanced renal cell carcinoma and malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), after disease progression on or intolerance to the frontline drug imatinib mesylate (Gleevec).

Rituxan Plus CHOP Approved for Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

March 01, 2006

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved rituximab (Rituxan) for use in the first-line treatment of patients with diffuse large B-cell, CD20-positive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, in combination with CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin HCl, vincristine [Oncovin], prednisone) or other anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimens. Rituximab has previously been approved as a single agent for use in relapsed or refractory, low-grade or follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Commentary (Munarriz): Sexual Health Issues in Men With Cancer

March 01, 2006

While the cancer patient may be affected by sexual dysfunction throughout the entire course of the disease, sexual health is largely underevaluated and undertreated. Sexual problems should be anticipated and patients should be actively screened as they are unlikely to initiate discussion on sexual issues.

Commentary (Rosen): Lymphoma 2006: Classification and Treatment

March 01, 2006

The past 20 years have brought significant advances in our ability to manage patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. More precise classification systems, improvements in diagnosis and staging, and effective new treatments have improved outcomes and made cure a reasonable goal for many patients with these disorders.

Commentary (Burt): Genetics of Colorectal Cancer

March 01, 2006

Approximately 6% of colorectal cancers can be attributed to recognizable heritable germline mutations. Familial adenomatous polyposis is an autosomal dominant syndrome classically presenting with hundreds to thousands of adenomatous colorectal polyps that are caused by mutations in the APC gene.

Commentary (Sweetenham): Lymphoma 2006: Classification and Treatment

March 01, 2006

The past 20 years have brought significant advances in our ability to manage patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. More precise classification systems, improvements in diagnosis and staging, and effective new treatments have improved outcomes and made cure a reasonable goal for many patients with these disorders.

Commentary (Ritenour): Sexual Health Issues in Men With Cancer

March 01, 2006

While the cancer patient may be affected by sexual dysfunction throughout the entire course of the disease, sexual health is largely underevaluated and undertreated. Sexual problems should be anticipated and patients should be actively screened as they are unlikely to initiate discussion on sexual issues.

Commentary (Offit): Genetics of Colorectal Cancer

March 01, 2006

Approximately 6% of colorectal cancers can be attributed to recognizable heritable germline mutations. Familial adenomatous polyposis is an autosomal dominant syndrome classically presenting with hundreds to thousands of adenomatous colorectal polyps that are caused by mutations in the APC gene.

Sexual Health Issues in Men With Cancer

March 01, 2006

While the cancer patient may be affected by sexual dysfunction throughout the entire course of the disease, sexual health is largely underevaluated and undertreated. Sexual problems should be anticipated and patients should be actively screened as they are unlikely to initiate discussion on sexual issues.

Genetics of Colorectal Cancer

March 01, 2006

Approximately 6% of colorectal cancers can be attributed to recognizable heritable germline mutations. Familial adenomatous polyposis is an autosomal dominant syndrome classically presenting with hundreds to thousands of adenomatous colorectal polyps that are caused by mutations in the APC gene.

Lymphoma 2006: Classification and Treatment

March 01, 2006

The past 20 years have brought significant advances in our ability to manage patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. More precise classification systems, improvements in diagnosis and staging, and effective new treatments have improved outcomes and made cure a reasonable goal for many patients with these disorders.