Archive for April, 2007

Another VEGF Inhibitor Shows Activity Against Kidney Cancer

Monday, April 30th, 2007

PARIS, Oct. 30 — Treatment with axitinib resulted in at least a partial response in nearly half of patients with cytokine-refractory metastatic kidney cancer, investigators in a multinational trial have found. Action Points
Explain to interested patients that a drug that blocks a tumor’s ability to form blood vessels has shown promise for treating advanced kidney cancer.

Note that the drug is the third of its type to demonstrate activity in kidney cancer.

Note also that this particular drug is not yet available, although two others like it are available.

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Retinoic Acid Linked to Reduced Lung Cell Growth in Ex-Smokers

Monday, April 30th, 2007

HOUSTON, Oct. 30 — Retinoic acid, a vitamin A derivative, reduced cell proliferation in the bronchial epithelium of former smokers, according to a preliminary study.Action Points
Explain to patients who ask that these findings came from a preliminary phase II trial, and that more studies are required to explain and document the role of these retinoids in protecting former smokers.

Tell them that the lung cancer risk for ex-smokers remains elevated for many years and never reaches the risk levels of never-smokers.

Successful modulation of a proliferation biomarker suggests a potential role for retinoids in chemoprevention for ex-smokers, Walter N. Hittelman, Ph.D., of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center here, and colleagues, reported online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Medicare to Use Cash Bonuses to Stoke Office-Based Electronic Health Records

Monday, April 30th, 2007

CINCINNATI, Oct. 30 — To encourage small and medium-sized physician practices to adopt electronic Men’s health records, Medicare will start providing them with financial bonuses under a five-year demonstration project announced here today.

The government wants to recruit 1,200 “physician pioneers” around the country who will track how they complete tasks online, such as ordering prescriptions or recording the results of lab tests, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced at a forum at Good Samaritan Hospital.

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ASTRO: Routine Shots Get Short Shrift for Cancer Patients

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Neha Vapiwala, M.D.
Univ. of Pennsylvania

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 30 — Routine vaccinations for cancer radiotherapy patients may be slipping through the cracks, a researcher said here.
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Cancer Benefit of Vitamin D May Be Limited to Colon Cancer

Monday, April 30th, 2007

BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 30 — Vitamin D levels do not appear to protect against cancer, with the possible exception of colorectal disease, according to data from a nationwide study. Action Points
Explain to interested patients that this study suggests that there may be an association of higher levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D with reduced risk of colon cancer mortality but not with mortality from other types of cancer.

Note that the findings came from a review of a large database, not a randomized, controlled clinical trial and cannot determine causality.

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PODCAST: Recent Developments in the Treatment of Renal Cell Carcinoma

Monday, April 30th, 2007

PODCAST: Recent Developments in the Treatment of Renal Cell Carcinoma

Nazar M. Tannir, M.D.
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston
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ASTRO: Breast Cancer Local Relapses Higher for Black Women

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Meena Moran, M.D.
Yale University

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 30 — Black women with breast cancer are more likely to have a local relapse after a lumpectomy and radiation therapy than are white women, a researcher said here.
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AMA Wants Extension of Medical Student Loan Deferment

Monday, April 30th, 2007

CHICAGO, Oct. 30 — The American Medical Association has asked the federal education department to postpone the sudden elimination of a long-standing loan deferment program for young doctors in residency training.

Thousands of residents who thought they had years before having to pay back student loans are being told the bill is due — right now. Because of a quirky provision of a new law, repayment of the loans must start immediately.

The program, which allowed residents to defer loan payment until after residency training, was eliminated on Oct. 1 through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. The new law inadvertently created a 21-month gap in the deferment plan, said the AMA. A new income-based loan repayment program doesn’t start until July 1, 2009.

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ASTRO: Temozolomide (Temodar) Offers Long-Term Survival for Glioblastoma

Monday, April 30th, 2007

R. Mirimanoff, M.D.
University Hospital Center in Lausanne

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 30 — More glioblastoma patients are living longer when the oral alkylating agent temozolomide (Temodar) is combined with radiation therapy, found Swiss researchers.
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ASTRO: Statins May Slow Prostate Cancer Relapse

Monday, April 30th, 2007

ASTRO: Statins May Slow Prostate Cancer Relapse

Michael Zelefsky, M.D.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 30 — Statins may lower the risk of biochemical relapse after external radiotherapy for prostate cancer, said a researcher here.

In a retrospective analysis of nearly 900 patients treated with high-dose radiation, those taking statins were significantly less likely (P=0.001) to relapse five and 10 years later, said Michael Zelefsky, M.D., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.Action Points
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