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November 2007 Briefing - Oncology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Oncology for November 2007. 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.

Symptom Reporting System May Help Monitor Chemo Toxicity

FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A computerized system allowing lung cancer patients receiving chemotherapy to report their symptoms offers a promising method for monitoring chemotherapy toxicity, according to research published in the Dec. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Reduced Emergency Admissions Linked to Cancer Screening

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A pilot fecal occult blood test screening program for detecting colorectal cancer is associated with a decline in emergency colorectal cancer workload and a reduced incidence of 30-day mortality, according to study findings published online Nov. 29 in Gut.

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Ultrashort-Course Chemotherapy Cures Spinal Tuberculosis

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with spinal tuberculosis who undergo surgery and an ultrashort-course of chemotherapy for less than six months achieve a complete clinical cure with fewer complications than patients on longer chemotherapy regimens, according to a report in the November/December issue of The Spine Journal.

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Parents, Peers Influence Teens' Indoor Tanning Habits

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Parents -- and to a lesser extent peers -- play an important role in adolescent indoor tanning behavior, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Galvanotherapy Safe, Effective in Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- MRI-guided galvanotherapy, a therapeutic modality that applies a direct current to tumor tissue, is well-tolerated and effective in reducing tumor burden in patients with prostate cancer, according to research published in the December issue of Radiology.

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MR Spectroscopy Distinguishes Between Adrenal Tumor Types

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Proton magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy using various metabolite ratios is useful in non-invasively distinguishing adrenal carcinomas, pheochromocytomas, adenomas and metastases, according to research published in the December issue of Radiology.

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Cancer Risk from CT Scans May Be Underestimated

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The growing use of computed tomography (CT) scans may have serious public health implications, as radiation exposure associated with these scans may increase the risk of cancer, particularly in children, according to an article published in the Nov. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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New Drug Raises Platelet Counts in ITP and Cirrhosis

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Eltrombopag, an oral thrombopoietin-receptor agonist that stimulates platelet production, may be useful in raising low platelet counts associated with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related cirrhosis, according to two articles published in the Nov. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract - Bussel
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Abstract - McHutchinson
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Editorial

High-Carbohydrate Diet Promotes Cancer Growth in Mice

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A high-carbohydrate/high-fat diet promotes tumor growth in a mouse model of prostate cancer more than a low-carbohydrate/high-fat diet, according to study findings published online Nov. 27 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations Linked to Male Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Men who carry germline mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than non-carriers, according to research published online Nov. 27 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Virus Modifies Glioma Microenvironment in Rats

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- An oncolytic virus that targets gliomas in rats modulates the tumor vasculature and increases the infiltration of leukocytes into the tumor, according to a report published online Nov. 27 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Editorial

Model Predicts Higher Breast Cancer Risk in Black Women

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A new model to predict breast cancer risk for counseling and clinical trials gives higher risk estimates for black women compared with a widely used model, according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Blood Vessels Reveal Response of Brain Mets to Treatment

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Using magnetic resonance angiography to follow changes in blood vessel shape in the brain may allow earlier assessment of the response to treatment in patients with cancer and brain metastases, researchers report in a new study published in the December issue of Radiology.

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Sports Participation Reduces Risk of Venous Thrombosis

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Regular participation in sports activities reduces the risk of venous thrombosis, researchers report in the November issue of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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High Testosterone Associated with Lower Mortality

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Men with higher concentrations of endogenous testosterone appear to enjoy lower risks of mortality from all causes, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a report published online Nov. 26 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Breast Cancer Pain Worse Among Non-White Women

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Non-white women experience more severe pain from breast cancer than white women, and pain interferes more with their daily activities, according to a report published online Nov. 26 in the journal Cancer.

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'Mismatch' Treatments Affect Outcomes in Prostate Cancer

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A significant number of prostate cancer patients receive "mismatch" treatments that aggravate pre-existing conditions when alternate treatment options might have avoided those problems and improved outcomes, according to a report published online Nov. 26 in the journal Cancer.

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Lenalidomide Prolongs Survival in Multiple Myeloma

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Lenalidomide, a relative of the teratogen thalidomide, prolongs survival in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma in combination with dexamethasone, according to two studies in the Nov. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract - Dimopoulos
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Abstract - Weber
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Editorial

Pluripotent Stem Cells Created From Human Skin Cells

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have successfully generated induced pluripotent stem cells from adult human fibroblasts, according to research published online Nov. 20 in Cell.

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FDA Warns About Potential Concerns with Chantix

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Due to reports of suicidal ideation and other concerns in patients who have taken Chantix (varenicline), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is urging health care providers to monitor behavior and mood changes in patients taking the smoking cessation medication.

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Cannabidiol Shows Promise Against Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid constituent, may inhibit breast cancer proliferation and invasion by decreasing Id-1 expression in metastatic breast cancer cells, according to research published in the November issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

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Common Notion of Cancer Severity Seems Untrue

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to the popular belief that rural patients present with more advanced cases of cancer than urban patients, the opposite appears to be true, according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Obesity Linked to Reduced PSA Concentrations

TUESDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Obese men undergoing radical prostatectomy have a higher plasma volume than their normal weight counterparts, suggesting that hemodilution may be responsible for the lower serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentrations observed in obese versus normal weight men, according to study results published in the Nov. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Approves Nexavar for Inoperable Liver Cancer

TUESDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced this week that it has approved the drug Nexavar (sorafenib) for use in patients with inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma. Nexavar was previously approved in 2005 for use in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.

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Chemotherapy Reduces Death Risk in Multiple Myeloma

MONDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients with multiple myeloma who receive chemotherapy have a lower risk of death, with survival differing based on factors such as age, gender and ethnicity, according to a report in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Men in 40s Less Interested in PSA Testing Than Older Men

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Men between the ages of 45 and 49 accept invitations for prostate cancer screening at a much lower rate than older men, according to research published Nov. 15 in BMJ Online First.

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Human Examiner Holds Edge for Judging Adnexal Masses

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Experienced examiners recognizing patterns on ultrasounds of adnexal masses -- ovarian, paraovarian or tubal -- did a better job at classifying the tumors as benign or malignant compared with a blood sample tested for serum CA-125, according to research presented in the Nov. 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Ovarian Cancer Survival High After Taxane Chemo

THURSDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The five-year recurrence-free survival after adjuvant taxane-carboplatin-based chemotherapy in patients with early-stage ovarian cancer is 79 percent, according to the results of a Swedish study published in the November/December issue of the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer.

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Gail Model Predicts ER+ Breast Cancer Risk, But Not ER-

THURSDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The Gail model for predicting invasive breast cancer risk identified postmenopausal women at higher risk of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive cancers but not ER-negative ones, according to research in the Nov. 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Conjugation of Brain Cancer Drug May Improve Efficacy

THURSDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A study in rats has resulted in a pharmacokinetic model to develop the optimum drug-polymer conjugate for the brain cancer chemotherapy drug camptothecin and the water-soluble polymer poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) or dextran, according to a paper published online in October in Bioconjugate Chemistry.

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Drug Improves Survival for Some Colorectal Cancers

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The antibody cetuximab improves overall and progression-free survival and improves quality of life better than supportive care alone in a subpopulation of patients with colorectal cancer who have failed other treatments, according to the results of a study published in the Nov. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Smoking Linked to Higher Colorectal Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Seeking to investigate the relationship between cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer -- for which current evidence is inconsistent -- researchers found that active smokers have an increased risk of rectal cancer. The research is published in the Nov. 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Genes Predict Chemo Response in Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Two chemotherapy regimen-specific gene signatures are highly accurate in predicting which patients are not likely to respond to these treatments, according to research published online Nov. 14 in The Lancet Oncology.

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BRCA1 Gene Modulates Estrogen Receptor Expression

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The BRCA1 gene plays a critical role in estrogen receptor (ER) gene expression, which explains why most BRCA1-mutant breast cancers are ER-negative, according to research published in the Nov. 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Editorial

Selection Most Important Factor in Cancer Progression

MONDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A mathematical model of colorectal cancer progression predicts that the selective advantage of cancerous mutations is more important than the size of the at-risk cell population and the mutation rate, according to research published in the November issue of PLoS Computational Biology.

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Weight Affects Prostate Cancer Mortality Risk

MONDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Baseline body mass index affects the odds of dying from prostate cancer, according to the results of a study published online Nov. 12 in the journal Cancer.

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Current Oral Contraceptive Use Linked to Cervical Cancer

FRIDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Current users of oral contraceptives have an almost double risk of developing cervical cancer compared to never-users and the risk declines after oral contraceptives are discontinued, but the mechanisms are unclear, researchers report in the Nov. 10 issue of The Lancet.

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FDA: Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agent Labels Revised

FRIDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Revised boxed warnings for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) such as Aranesp, Epogen and Procrit -- which are used to treat anemia -- were approved Nov. 8 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to address risks that such drugs represent to patients with conditions including cancer and chronic kidney failure.

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Chemotherapy Plus Radiation Best for Early Hodgkin's

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In early-stage Hodgkin's disease, patients with favorable prognostic features should receive chemotherapy plus involved-field radiotherapy while those with unfavorable prognostic features should receive four courses of chemotherapy plus involved-field radiotherapy, researchers report in the Nov. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Psychosocial Health of Cancer Patients Important

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The psychosocial needs of cancer patients are important and should be an integral part of high-quality cancer care, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine.

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Cancer Risk Related to Body Mass Index

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of 10 different cancers increases as body mass index rises, according to research published online Nov. 6 in BMJ Online First.

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Cervix-Sparing Hysterectomy Requires Careful Screening

MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A method of hysterectomy in which the cervix is not removed should only be offered to women deemed to be low risk for cervical or endometrial cancer, and patients electing this method should be counseled regarding the lack of evidence demonstrating benefits over total hysterectomy, according to a report published in the November issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Parent's Cancer Survival May Predict Child's Cancer Survival

MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- When a parent and a child both contract lung, colorectal, breast or prostate cancer, the post-diagnosis survival of the parent may predict the post-diagnosis survival of the child, researchers report in the November issue of The Lancet Oncology.

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Editorial

Protein Tyrosine Nitration Blocks Morphine Tolerance

FRIDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Biochemical changes that produce morphine tolerance in mice can be blocked by inhibition of NO synthesis or removal of superoxide, pointing to peroxynitrite (ONOO-) as a signaling mediator in this setting, researchers report in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Obesity, Alcohol Primary Dietary Risk Factors for Cancer

FRIDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The World Cancer Research Fund's second report on diet and cancer confirms the consensus view of alcohol and obesity as primary risk factors, and highlights red and processed meats as a significant dietary risk factor, according to an editorial published in the Nov. 3 issue of BMJ.

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Classification Rule Aids in Detection of Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A statistically based classification rule that incorporates polyamine information with the choline plus citrate-creatine ratio aids radiologists in detecting prostate cancer with magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopic imaging, according to a report published in the November issue of Radiology.

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Physicians Use Imaging More Within Their Own Ranks

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who refer patients to themselves or physicians in the same specialty for diagnostic imaging are more likely to use imaging than practitioners who refer their patients to radiologists, according to research published in the November issue of Radiology.

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