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December 2008 Briefing - Oncology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Oncology for December 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Decision Aid May Benefit Breast Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- In breast cancer patients who are eligible for either mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery, the use of a decision aid before the surgical consultation may promote informed, values-based treatment choices, according to a report published online Dec. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Longer Radiation Delay Improves Glioblastoma Survival

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Glioblastoma patients who wait four to six weeks after surgery before starting radiation treatment have better survival than patients who start sooner, according to a study published online Dec. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Withdrawal Time Policy Not Linked to Polyp Discovery

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A policy calling for endoscopists to devote at least seven minutes to withdrawal time during colonoscopies failed to increase colon polyp detection, according to research published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Higher Breast Cancer Risk from Hormone Therapy

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of certain types of hormone replacement therapy is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, according to two studies published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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New Drug Approved for Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Degarelix was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer, making it the first new drug approved for this indication in the past several years, according to a Dec. 29 FDA news release.

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Chemoembolization Helps to Treat Liver Metastases

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Repeated transarterial chemoembolization is an effective treatment for neoadjuvant, symptomatic or palliative treatment of liver metastases originating from colorectal cancer, according to the results of a study published in the January issue of Radiology.

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Fewer Polyps Detected by Inexperienced Nurses

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Colonoscopy procedures staffed by inexperienced nurses may be less likely to detect polyps, which may be explained by increased detection of hyperplastic lesions, according to research reported in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Imaging Combo Increases Prostate Cancer Detection

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Combining an apparent diffusion coefficient map reading with T2-weighted MRIs improves their diagnostic capability for prostate cancer detection, according to research published in the January issue of Radiology.

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HIV Therapy May Affect Human Papillomavirus

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV-infected women with pre-existing abnormal cervical cytology, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may enhance clearance of human papillomavirus (HPV) in those who already have cervical disease, according to research published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Forced Coughing Reduces Discomfort of Cervical Biopsy

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Forced coughing can reduce the discomfort of a cervical biopsy as much as local anesthesia can, but the method gives physicians much less time for examination, according to a report published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Inorganic Phosphate Linked to Lung Cancer

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- High dietary levels of inorganic phosphate promotes lung tumorigenesis and altered activation of the pro-survival signaling pathway controlled by the Akt protein, according to research published in the January issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Genetics Linked to Increased Lung Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Two common polymorphisms in the 3' untranslated regions of adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette B1 and C1 (ABCB1 and ABCC1) are linked to a greater risk of developing lung cancer, according to research published online Dec. 23 in Cancer.

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Thiazolidinediones Not Linked to Polyp Development

THURSDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 2 diabetes, thiazolidinedione therapy does not appear to increase the risk of colonic neoplasia, researchers report in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Pathway Inhibited in Myeloproliferative Disorders

THURSDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with myeloproliferative disorders, inhibition of the Bcl-xL deamidation pathway may increase DNA damage and the risk of progression to acute leukemia, according to study findings published in the Dec. 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Genetic Factors, Alcohol Use Linked to Colorectal Tumors

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Heavy users of alcohol who are homozygous for the alcohol dehydrogenase 1C (ADH1C*1) allele appear to be more likely to develop high-risk adenomas and colorectal cancer, according to research published in the January issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Hospice Eligibility Criteria Should Be Reconsidered

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Criteria that require cancer patients to end curative treatment before entering hospice care play a role in racial disparities in hospice use, and these criteria may prevent those with the greatest need from receiving hospice services, according to research published online Dec. 23 in Cancer.

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Report Lauds 2008's Important Cancer Discoveries

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The past year saw many advances in cancer research in areas including hard-to-treat cancers, new drug approvals, personalized medicine and reducing recurrence, according to a report published online Dec. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Semiannual Ultrasound Improves Liver Cancer Outcome

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Semiannual surveillance for hepatocellular carcinoma using ultrasound in patients with liver cirrhosis leads to improved clinical outcomes, researchers report in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Prophylactic Antibiotics Beneficial After Chemotherapy

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- After patients undergo chemotherapy, infection-control interventions that include prophylactic antibiotics are the most effective treatment within a protective environment, according to research published online Dec. 17 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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High-Risk Prostate Cancer Seen in Many Low-Income Men

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Underdetection and undertreatment of prostate cancer may be a particular problem in men with low incomes, and these men may be more likely to present with incurable disease, according to research released online Dec. 16 in advance of publication in the February issue of the Journal of Urology.

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Computer-Aided Mammography Has Pros, Cons

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Computer-aided detection (CAD) mammography can detect breast cancers that single-read mammography might miss, but drawbacks may include false-positive findings and overtreatment of slow-growing cancers, according to an evidence report released by the ECRI Institute, a non-profit organization, in December.

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Diet Impacts Prognosis in Some Breast Cancer Survivors

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A reduced-fat diet high in vegetables, fruit and fiber may reduce the risk of additional cancer events in breast cancer survivors who do not experience hot flashes, according to a report published online Dec. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Oncologist Role in Cancer Prevention Important

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Oncologists have an important role in cancer prevention, risk assessment and recommending preventative interventions such as behavior modification, surgery or drugs, according to a statement published online Dec. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Sorafenib Effective in Advanced Liver Cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The oral multikinase inhibitor sorafenib is a safe and effective treatment option for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, according to the results of a large study published online Dec. 17 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Appointment Date Affects Colorectal Cancer Screening

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Adults are more likely to be screened for colorectal cancer if the appointment is scheduled in December or near their birthday, according to research published online Dec. 17 in BMJ.

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Gene Variant Predicts Adverse Reaction to Chemotherapy

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced urinary-tract cancers, a polymorphism of the CYP3A5 gene may predict the severity of leukocytopenia caused by standard chemotherapy treatments, according to study findings published in the December issue of the Journal of Urology.

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Enzymes Predict Survival in Ovarian Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The levels of two enzymes that process microRNAs (miRNAs), which regulate gene expression, can predict survival in women with ovarian cancer, researchers report in the Dec. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Homocysteine, Folate Linked to Laryngeal Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Metabolic changes in the levels of homocysteine, folate and vitamin B12 may play a role in laryngeal cancer, researchers report in the December issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Smoking Associated with Higher Colorectal Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- There is a strong association between cigarette smoking and incidence of colorectal cancer, as well as disease-specific mortality, according to research published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Diabetic Cancer Patients Have Higher Mortality

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with newly diagnosed cancer are at higher risk of death from all causes if they also have pre-existing diabetes, researchers report in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Colonoscopy Lowers Cancer Death Rates, But Side Matters

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Colonoscopy is associated with a lower rate of colorectal cancer mortality, but this benefit is largely limited to deaths from cancer in the left side of the colon, according to research published online Dec. 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Radiation Addition Improves Survival in Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Adding radiotherapy to hormonal treatment improves survival in men with locally advanced prostate cancer, according to research published online Dec. 16 in The Lancet.

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Antigen Levels Can Help Assess Cancer Surgery Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- As early as six weeks after surgery, carcinoembryonic antigen levels can help determine whether or not a patient requires adjuvant chemotherapy, according to research published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Studies Explore Benefits of Endometrial Cancer Treatments

MONDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For women with early-stage endometrial cancer, additional treatments after surgery such as lymphadenectomy and radiation do not improve survival, according to two studies published online Dec. 13 in The Lancet.

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Chromosomal Abnormalities Increase with Flying Time

MONDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Pilots who have a long history of flying have an increased frequency of chromosome translocation compared to pilots having a shorter history, according to research published online Dec. 11 in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Fecal Testing Linked to Lower Colorectal Cancer Deaths

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Colorectal cancer screening in an Italian region starting in the 1980s was associated with a drop in colorectal cancer mortality, according to research published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Modern Therapies Linked to Better Breast Cancer Survival

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Many types of modern breast cancer therapy -- whether given alone or in combination -- can offer improved survival compared with older single agents, according to the results of a meta-analysis published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Costs of Cancer Mortality High in United States

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Two different approaches have shown that the costs of cancer mortality are high in the United States and will continue to increase with current cancer mortality rates, according to two studies published online Dec. 9 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Fitness Training Improves Fatigue in Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Fitness training, particularly resistance training, can reduce fatigue and improve quality of life in men with prostate cancer undergoing radiation treatment, according to research published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Insulin Proteins Affect Colon Cancer Mortality

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of two insulin-related proteins associated with lifestyle factors such as obesity, diet and physical activity affect the risk of dying from colon cancer, according to the results of a study published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Teens' Indoor Tanning Rate Unaffected By Legislation

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Legislation restricting teens' access to indoor tanning does little to reduce its prevalence because most states with restrictions permit use with parental permission, according to a report published online Dec. 10 in Cancer.

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Tumor and Body Size Predict Death in Pediatric Cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Both tumor size and body-surface area can predict survival in children with soft tissue cancers, indicating that the 5-centimeter cutoff for tumor size used in risk classification may be inadequate, according to research published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Aspirin, Starch Do Not Prevent Lynch Syndrome Colon Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Neither aspirin nor resistant starch show chemopreventive activity against the development of colorectal adenoma or carcinoma in Lynch syndrome patients, according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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WHO: Global Cancer Burden Is Rapidly Expanding

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The global cancer burden is growing rapidly, particularly in low- and middle-income countries that have the least ability to cope with it, according to the 2008 World Cancer Report released Dec. 9 by the World Health Organization.

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Fear of Prostate Cancer Return Linked to Mental Health

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Fear of recurrence, along with treatment-related symptoms, affect quality of life in prostate cancer survivors, according to research published in the December issue of Urology.

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Vitamin D Growth Inhibition of Prostate Cancer Explained

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The ability of vitamin D to block the growth of prostate cancer can be partially explained by its activation of Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS), according to a report published online Dec. 4 in Endocrinology.

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Long-Term Antioxidant Use Does Not Prevent Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Antioxidant supplementation, specifically with selenium or vitamins C and E, has no role in cancer prevention, according to results of two separate studies published online Dec. 9 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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NSAIDs Are Safe, Effective for Prostatectomy Pain

TUESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) appears to be safe and effective for pain relief following radical retropubic prostatectomy, according to research published in the December issue of Urology.

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Classes After Prostate Cancer Linked to Dietary Changes

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Cooking classes focused on a plant-based diet can encourage prostate cancer survivors to eat a more prostate-healthy diet, according to research published in the December issue of Urology.

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Psychosocial Factors Affect Prostate Cancer Screening

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In middle-aged and older men, decisions about prostate cancer screening may be strongly influenced by factors such as family history of prostate cancer, marital status and worry over developing the disease, researchers report in the December issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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New Transplant Criteria Benefits Liver Cancer Patients

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with liver cancer who do not meet the current strict Milan criteria for a liver transplant can still benefit from a transplant if more precise criteria are used that take tumor size, number and microvascular invasion into account, according to an article published online Dec. 4 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Biomarker Predicts Drug Benefit for Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Women with metastatic breast cancer are more likely to benefit from lapatinib (Tykerb/Tyverb) treatment if their tumors overproduce the biomarker HER-2, researchers report in the Dec. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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PET Imaging Affects Management Similarly Among Cancers

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging affects the intended management of cancer patients similarly regardless of cancer type, researchers report in the Dec. 1 issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

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UK Panel Suggests Erlotinib As Docetaxel Alternative

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has approved erlotinib as a second-line treatment for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer as long as it is supplied at a discounted price equivalent to the cost of docetaxel, according to a special report published online Nov. 26 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Physician's Briefing
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