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Nov. 2005 Briefing – Oncology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Oncology for November 2005. This roundup includes the latest journal articles and updates from government agencies, including the FDA, NIH, and agencies from the UK and Canada, that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Self-Reported Prostatitis Linked to Prostate Cancer, BPH

MONDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A history of prostatitis is associated with greater odds of prostate cancer and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), however, more study is needed to determine if there is a true link, according to the study in the November issue of Urology. In the cross-sectional study of 5,821 men aged 65 and older, all three diagnoses were self-reported.

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Obesity a Predictor of Prostate Cancer Recurrence

MONDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Men who are obese and undergo radical prostatectomy have a greater risk of cancer recurrence than their leaner counterparts, according to data from CaPSURE, a registry of 10,018 men with prostate cancer. The findings are published in the November issue of Urology.

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Travel Distance Affects Breast Cancer Treatment

MONDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The longer the distance a breast cancer patient needs to travel to receive radiation therapy, the less likely she is to undergo breast-conserving surgery combined with radiation (BCSR) rather than mastectomy, according to a study published in the January 2006 issue of Cancer.

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Cancer Diagnosis Not Enough to Make Many Smokers Quit

MONDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The time of cancer diagnosis is being underused as a teachable moment to help persuade smokers to quit, according to a study published in the January 2006 issue of Cancer. Many patients continue to smoke after diagnosis, which has serious adverse effects on treatment.

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Drug Prevents Bone Loss in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

MONDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- One-year therapy with zoledronic acid can increase bone mineral density and suppress biomarkers for bone turnover in men with hormone-sensitive prostate cancer and bone metastases, according to a study in the November issue of Urology.

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Discovery Sheds Lights on Glucose Control, Metformin

THURSDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A signaling pathway in the liver plays a critical role in controlling metabolism and blood-glucose levels, and is needed for activation of the type 2 diabetes drug metformin, according to research published online in the Nov. 24 issue of Sciencexpress.

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Kaposi's Virus Appears to Be Transmitted Non-Sexually

THURSDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with classic Kaposi's sarcoma (CKS) spread Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) horizontally to family members regardless of their relationship to the index patient, according to a new study published in the November issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Chromosome 11 Linked to Poor Neuroblastoma Outcome

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Deletions on chromosome 11 are strongly associated with poor outcome in the early-childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, according to the Nov. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Radiation Boosts Pelvic Fracture Rate in Older Women

TUESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Pelvic irradiation for cancer treatment almost doubles the risk of pelvic fracture for some female patients, according to a report in the Nov. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Automated Instrument Can Diagnose Melanoma

TUESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- An automated image analysis instrument known as SolarScan can diagnose primary melanoma at least as accurately as a range of clinicians, according to preliminary data published in the November issue of Archives of Dermatology.

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Vitamin A Resistance in Lung Cancer Linked to RAR Loss

MONDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Restoring the function of a newly discovered retinoic acid receptor (RAR) in lung cancer cells appears to resensitize them to vitamin A therapy, according to a report published in the Nov. 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Cancer Risk Persists in Women Who Undergo CIN Treatment

MONDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Twenty years after undergoing treatment for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), women still have an increased risk of cervical cancer, according to a study published in the Nov. 19 edition of the British Medical Journal.

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Gene Therapy Shows Potential For Pancreatic Cancer

MONDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Gene therapy in which the gene for an angiogenesis inhibitor, vasostatin, is delivered with a replication deficient recombinant adenovirus (Ad) may be an effective way to treat pancreatic carcinoma, according to a study in mice published online Nov. 15 in the journal Gut.

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Women Who Exercise Have Lower Breast Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A lifetime of recreational exercise is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer in both black and white women, according to a study published in the Nov. 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Lifestyle Accounts for One in Three Cancer Deaths

FRIDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Nine potentially modifiable risk factors account for more than one-third of cancer deaths worldwide, according to a study published in the Nov. 19 issue of The Lancet.

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Plant Product Inhibits Lung Cancer Tumors in Mice

FRIDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Deguelin, a natural plant product, may interfere with tobacco-induced cellular processes that cause lung cancer, according to a study published Nov. 16 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Combination Treatment Benefits Brain-Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Glioblastoma patients who receive radiotherapy and temozolomide live longer than those who receive radiotherapy alone without a significant effect on their quality of life, according to a study published Nov. 17 in The Lancet Oncology.

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U.S. Endometrial Cancer Rates Higher Than Thought

THURSDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Endometrial cancer incidence rates in the United States are higher than thought because statistics have historically included women who have had hysterectomies, according to a study published in the Nov. 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. After correcting for this, the endometrial cancer rates in women with intact uteri increases 66.8% overall and 95.3% in blacks.

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Diabetes Linked to Colon Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women with diabetes mellitus run an increased colorectal cancer risk, according to a study published in the Nov. 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Fat Cell Hormone Associated with Colorectal Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Adiponectin, an insulin-sensitizing hormone secreted by fat cells, is linked with a lower risk of colorectal cancer in men, according to a study published in the Nov. 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Genetic Profile of Melanomas Vary by Body Area

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Melanomas can be classified based on genetic alterations in BRAF and the cell cycle regulating genes, CDK4 and cyclin D1, according to a report in the Nov. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The mutation type correlates with the anatomic location of the tumor and degree of sun exposure the area receives.

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Single Visit at Age 35 Cuts Cervical Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A program in which women have a once-in-a-lifetime visit at age 35 for combined cervical cancer screening and treatment may be a relatively cheap and effective way to reduce cancer risk in developing nations, according to a study in the Nov. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Most screening programs require three visits, which is often unworkable in resource-poor settings.

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Placental Weight Linked to Breast Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Placental weight is associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer, according to a study published in the Nov. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Fewer Blacks Undergo Early Lung Cancer Surgery

FRIDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Slightly more than half of black patients with early-stage lung cancer undergo surgical treatment, compared to nearly three-quarters of their white counterparts, according to a study published in the November edition of Chest.

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U.S. Smoking Prevalence Dips for Third Year in a Row

THURSDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer Americans are smoking than in the past, but the prevalence of smoking varies almost threefold from state to state, according to a report in the Nov. 11 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Presurgical Radiation Boosts Survival After Eye Melanoma

THURSDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Radiotherapy of an eye before enucleation improves survival for patients with uveal melanoma, according to a study in the October issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Malignant Melanoma May Be Missed in Children

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A lack of awareness can lead to a delayed diagnosis in children with melanoma, which may result in an increased incidence of thick and intermediate lesions, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Genetic Profile of Glioblastoma Affects Treatment Response

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- About 10% to 20% of glioblastoma multiforme patients respond to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase inhibitors and now researchers think they know the reason why. Tumors that co-express EGFR deletion mutant variant III (EGFRvIII) and the tumor-suppressor protein PTEN are 40 to 50 times as likely to shrink in the presence of the inhibitors as tumors without the markers, according to a study in the Nov. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Aspirin May Help Prevent Esophageal Cancer

MONDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, may inhibit the progression of Barrett's esophagus into esophageal cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 8 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Predictive Value of Ovarian Screening Tests is Low

MONDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Two ovarian cancer screening methods can detect cancer but also produce many false-positives, according to a new study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. The findings are published in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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U.S. Leads Six-Nation Survey of Medical Errors

THURSDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The United States leads five other developed nations in the number of medical mistakes, medication errors or inaccurate or delayed lab results, according to an international patient survey conducted by The Commonwealth Fund.

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Longer Course of Tamoxifen Reduces Heart Disease Deaths

THURSDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients treated with tamoxifen for five years have a lower risk of dying of coronary heart disease than their counterparts treated with tamoxifen for only two years, according to a study published in the Nov. 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Linked to Genetic Variant

THURSDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A single nucleotide polymorphism in the B-cell lymphoma 6 (BCL6) gene may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to a study in the Nov. 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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FDA OKs Tarceva for Pancreatic Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week approved the combination of Tarceva (erlotinib) with gemcitabine for the treatment of patients with locally advanced, inoperable or metastatic pancreatic cancer who have not undergone chemotherapy.

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Alcohol Intake Linked to Risk of ER-Positive Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who drink alcohol are at greater risk of developing estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer than abstainers, but there is no association with ER-negative breast cancer, according to a study in the Nov. 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Detection Bias May Skew Familial Cancer Risk Rates

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- When one family member is diagnosed with cancer, an increased surveillance of relatives may lead to an overestimation of familial risk due to detection bias, according to a study in the Nov. 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Women with Barrett's Less Likely to Develop Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- High-grade dysplasia and cancer are half as prevalent in women with Barrett's esophagus as they are in men, according to a study published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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FDA Announces New Electronic Drug Labels

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Under regulations effective Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will require drug manufacturers to submit package insert or labels to the federal agency in a new electronic format known as the structured product labeling (SPL).

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Single-Visit Pap Test, Treatment Yields Good Results

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Low-income women are more likely to get treatment and return for follow-up after an abnormal Pap test result if testing and treatment are combined into a single visit, according to a study in the Nov. 2 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gamma-Linolenic Acid Inhibits Breast Cancer Gene In Vitro

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a substance found in primrose oil, inhibits the Her-2/neu gene in cultured breast cancer cells, according to research in the Nov. 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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ASCO Recommends CT Scan for Colorectal Cancer Surveillance

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) issued updated guidelines for colorectal cancer recurrence detection on Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Key changes include more frequent use of computerized tomography scans and regular doctor visits for follow-up care after diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer.

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Childhood Cancer Limits Daily Activities Later in Life

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood cancer exacts a toll on long-term survivors, often limiting their physical performance and regular daily activities, according to a study published in the November issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Lung-Sparing Cancer Treatment Effective

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Lung-sparing stereotactic body radiation therapy seems to be a safe and effective alternative treatment for early-stage lung cancer in inoperable patients, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics.

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Clinical Trials Stopped for Benefit on the Rise

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Randomized clinical trials stopped early for benefit are becoming more common and often receive considerable attention in top medical journals. Many of these reports should be considered with "skepticism," according to a report in the Nov. 2 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Paternity After Testicular Cancer Depends on Treatment

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Paternity rates after testicular cancer treatment are high, but post-treatment fertility is dependent on treatment intensity. For example, high-dose chemotherapy can cut paternity rates nearly in half, according to a report in the Nov. 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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