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October 2006 Briefing - Oncology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Oncology for October 2006. 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.

Gene Deletion Doubles Prostate Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Men who have a large deletion in a gene involved in the response to DNA damage have nearly double the risk of developing prostate cancer as men who do not, according to a report published online Oct. 31 in the Journal of Medical Genetics.

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Partial Nephrectomy for Cancer May Reveal Benign Lesion

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Despite expert radiologic interpretation, about 16 percent of small, solitary renal masses thought to be renal cancer and treated with partial nephrectomy turn out to be benign. Parenchyma-sparing methods should be performed in patients with suspected renal cell carcinoma to prevent undue morbidity, according to a study in the October issue of Urology.

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Breast Reconstruction Complications Analyzed

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In women undergoing immediate breast reconstruction, latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap with or without an implant may represent a compromise between complication risk and a good cosmetic result, researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery.

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Renal Cancer Less Aggressive in Obese Patients

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Although a greater body mass index, or BMI, is associated with a higher risk of developing renal cell carcinoma, it is also linked to less-aggressive disease and longer five-year survival in patients who do develop the cancer, researchers report in the October issue of Urology.

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Prostate Cancer Patients Often Not Told of Fertility Risk

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Although prostate cancer patients are informed about the incontinence and impotence implications of treatments, most doctors fail to address the risks to future fertility, according to a report published in the October issue of Urology.

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Fat Reduction Enhances Cancer Cell Death in Mice

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise or surgical fat removal stimulate the death of damaged skin and skin cancer cells in mice, suggesting that fat cells promote carcinogenesis by blocking the death of damaged cells, according to the results of a study published online Oct. 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Tattooing of Nipple-Areola Complex Usually Successful

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In women who have undergone mastectomy and breast reconstruction, tattooing the nipple-areola complex is a simple and safe procedure that results in a high patient-satisfaction rate, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery.

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Complement Protein May Be Colorectal Cancer Biomarker

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated levels of complement C3a anaphylatoxin (C3a-desArg) in serum may be a useful biomarker for colorectal cancer and, if validated, could help physicians diagnose this cancer in its earlier stages, according to new research published in the October issue of Gastroenterology.

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U.S. Decline in Smoking May Be Stalled

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Data from a 2005 survey indicates that 20.9 percent of U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, a finding that could mean the number of adult smokers in the United States has not declined for the first time in eight years, according to a report in the Oct. 27 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Radiation After Breast Reconstruction Ups Capsule Risk

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- After immediate breast reconstruction, capsule formation is three times more likely in breast cancer patients who undergo radiotherapy, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery.

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EGF Gene Potential Marker for Melanoma Survival

THURSDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Epidermal growth factor (EGF) A61G polymorphism is a potential marker for more aggressive malignant melanoma and can predict earlier progression with shorter disease-free periods, according to study findings published in the October issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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Spiral CT Scans Can Detect Lung Cancer While Still Curable

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Yearly spiral computed tomography (CT) screening exams of at-risk individuals can detect lung cancer at a point when it may still be curable, according to a report in the Oct. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Lymphoma Risk Low Among Psoriasis Patients

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although patients with psoriasis have a higher relative risk of lymphoma, the absolute risk remains low because the disease is rare and the magnitude of association is small, according to a report in the October issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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Nasopharyngeal Cancer More Common in Young Blacks

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Young blacks have a higher rate of nasopharyngeal carcinoma than other patients, but their two- and five-year survival rates are similar to those for Asians and whites who develop the cancer, researchers report in the October issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Bread Intake Linked to Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A diet with a high bread intake is associated with an increased risk of renal cell carcinoma, while consuming high amounts of both raw and cooked vegetables is associated with a lower risk, according to the results of a large case-control study published online Oct. 20 in the International Journal of Cancer.

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Stem Cells Emerge from Human Brain Tumors

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Human brain tumors contain stem-like cells that migrate through tissue and multiply much like normal neuronal stem cells and they can form additional tumors without the need for angiogenesis, according to a report published online Oct. 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Clinical, Pathology Diagnoses of Keratoses May Not Agree

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Lesions clinically diagnosed as actinic keratoses agree with histopathology in more than 90 percent of cases, although histology shows that about one in 25 cases are squamous cell carcinoma, according to a study in the October issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

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Surgical Guidelines Often Ignored in Colorectal Cancer

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients with locally advanced colorectal cancer do not received multivisceral resection as recommended by the National Cancer Institute and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, according to a study published in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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FDA, Novartis Issue Gleevec Safety Alert

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Novartis Pharmaceuticals have issued a safety alert for possible severe congestive heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction in patients taking Gleevec (imatinib mesylate).

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Postmastectomy Reconstruction Safe for Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients requiring radiotherapy who undergo reconstructive surgery at the time of mastectomy have no more complications than those who do not have reconstructive surgery, researchers report in the October issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Study Sheds Light on Oral Contraceptives, Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Oral contraceptive use is associated with a small increase in premenopausal breast cancer risk, especially in parous women who use them for four or more years before a first full-term pregnancy, according to a meta-analysis published in the October issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Men With Cancer More Likely to Commit Suicide

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Men with cancer commit suicide six times more often than women with cancer, and those with head and neck cancer or myeloma and limited social support and treatment options are at highest risk, according to a study published in the Oct. 19 online issue of the Annals of Oncology.

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Galectin-1 is Key in Tumor Blood Vessel Growth

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The protein galectin-1 is important for tumor blood vessel growth and may be a new target for anti-cancer drugs, according to a study published online Oct. 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Gene Affects Aspirin Prevention of Colorectal Adenomas

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin therapy may help reduce the risk of colorectal adenomas in patients with certain ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) gene polymorphisms, but not in patients without that particular genotype, according to a study in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Uterine Fibroid Tumor Therapy Costs U.S. Over $2 Billion

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- During the year 2000, the total direct cost to treat uterine fibroid tumors in the United States was $2.1 billion, which was due mostly to the cost of inpatient care for hysterectomy, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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FDA Approves Taxotere for Head and Neck Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Taxotere (docetaxel) Injection Concentrate for advanced, inoperable head and neck cancer. Taxotere, made by Sanofi-Aventis, won approval for use with fluorouracil and cisplatin before radiotherapy.

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Hypothyroidism May Improve Survival in Head, Neck Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Hypothyroidism seems to be associated with better survival in patients with advanced-stage head and neck cancers, according to a report in the October issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Gastric Cancer Risk from H. pylori Varies by Infection Site

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Depending on where in the stomach Helicobacter pylori colonizes, the bacterial infection may either inhibit or promote the development of gastric adenocarcinoma, according to a report in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Childhood Cancer Survivors Have Higher Preterm Birth Risk

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Female survivors of childhood cancer are more likely to have problems during pregnancy including having premature births, researchers report in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Low Vitamin D in Advanced- Stage Breast Cancer Patients

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D, may play a role in the progression of breast cancer, according to a report published online Oct. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

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Older Breast Cancer Patients Under-Treated

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Women over the age of 70 are under-diagnosed with breast cancer, and are subsequently under-treated compared to their younger counterparts, researchers report in the October issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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U.S. Hospital Mortality Rates Improve, But Quality Varies

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Although mortality rates at U.S. hospitals are generally improving, the quality varies widely, with a typical Medicare patient having a 69 percent lower chance of dying in the best hospitals compared with the worst hospitals, according to a report published Oct. 16 by HealthGrades, an independent health care rating group.

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Nano-Hemostat Solutions Quickly Stop Bleeding

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Biodegradable, peptide-containing nano-hemostat solutions stop bleeding in wounded rodents within seconds and could be used to reduce the amount of blood needed during surgery, according to the results of a study published online Oct. 13 in Nanomedicine.

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Living Close to Heavy Industry May Raise Lung Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term residence close to heavy industry areas may cause a modest increase in the risk of females developing lung cancer, according to a study published online Oct. 13 in Thorax.

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Some Tumors Contain Erythropoietin Receptors

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Administration of epoetin beta to treat cancer-related anemia may actually decrease survival among head and neck cancer patients with erythropoietin receptor-positive tumors, according to a study published in the Oct. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Race, Sex, Age Impact Level-I Trauma Center Transfers

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Even after controlling for injury severity, non-clinical factors such as race, gender, age and insurance status significantly impact a patient's risk for hospital transfer to level-I trauma centers, researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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Men with Regular Care More Apt to Discuss PSA Test

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Older men with a usual source of health care and blacks are more likely to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the prostate-specific antigen test with their doctor, according to a report in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Family History of Lung Cancer Increases Lung Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Having a family history of lung cancer increases the risk of developing lung cancer, particularly for women and non-smokers, researchers report in the October issue of Chest.

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More Efforts Needed to Reduce U.S. Sunburn Rates

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of sunburn in the United States are very high, with risk of sunburn highest among younger adults and those with higher education and incomes, according to a study in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Childhood Cancer Survivors Have Lifelong Health Problems

WEDNESDAY, Oct.11 (HealthDay News) -- Most survivors of childhood cancer experience additional chronic and life-threatening conditions in adulthood, according to a report in the Oct. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Monitoring survivors should be an important part of their overall care, the authors suggest.

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Antisense Drug May Help in Metastatic Melanoma

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Adding the antisense oligonucleotide drug, oblimersen, to dacarbazine therapy may increase survival among patients with advanced melanoma, particularly those with normal baseline serum lactate dehydrogenase, researchers report in the Oct. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Drug May Help Female Smokers Kick the Habit

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In female smokers, a combination of behavioral therapy, nicotine patches and the opiate blocker naltrexone may increase the odds of quitting, according to study findings published in the October issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

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Acrolein from Cigarettes Causes Cancer-Specific p53 Mutations

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Acrolein, an abundant aldehyde found in cigarette smoke, may be a major etiological agent for cigarette smoke-related lung cancer because of its ability to cause mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene and prevent DNA repair, according to a report published online Oct. 9 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Iron Levels and Transport Abnormal in Colon Cancers

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Colon cancers produce high levels of iron and iron import proteins and have defects in iron export proteins, according to a study in the October issue of Gut.

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Obesity Affects Levels of Prostate-Specific Antigen

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Obese men have lower baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels than thinner men, suggesting that physicians should be wary of slight PSA increases in this group of patients, according to a report published online Oct. 9 in Cancer.

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Exercise May Prevent Anemia During Radiation Treatment

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients who exercise regularly are less likely to become anemic during radiation therapy than sedentary women, according to a report published online Oct. 9 in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

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FDA Approves New Drug for Intractable Skin Cancers

MONDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new skin cancer drug, Zolinza, for the treatment of persistent cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Zolinza (vorinostat) is made by Pantheon, Inc., of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, for Merck & Co., Inc.

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Gene Abnormalities Predict Endometrial Cancer Prognosis

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The pathologic expression of the tumor suppressor genes p53 and p16 in curettage specimens may identify high-risk endometrial carcinoma patients with a poor prognosis, according to a study in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Past Chemotherapy Alters Cognitive Function

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer survivors who had received chemotherapy five to 10 years earlier have alterations in brain metabolism and worse cognitive function, according to study results published online Oct. 5 in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

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Increased Suicide Risk Seen in Breast Cancer Survivors

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Among women diagnosed with breast cancer, there is a small but statistically significant increase in the long-term risk of suicide, according to a report published in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Sex Steroid Levels Associated with Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Circulating levels of sex steroid hormones may be important in the etiology of premenopausal breast cancer, according to a study in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Lenalidomide Improves Myelodysplastic Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Lenalidomide can promote cytogenetic recovery and reduce or eliminate the need for transfusion due to chronic anemia in some patients with myelodysplastic syndrome associated with 5q31 deletion, according to a report in the Oct. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Failure to Order Test Common Mistake in Malpractice Claims

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A failure to order an appropriate diagnostic test is the most common mistake that results in harm to patients in the ambulatory care setting, although multiple breakdowns and individual and system factors play a role, according to a review of malpractice claims in the Oct. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Common Antibiotic Works Against Eye Lymphoma

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Doxycycline is a safe and effective treatment for ocular adnexal lymphoma linked to chlamydia infection, researchers report in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Hormone Therapy May Increase Ovarian Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The prolonged use of hormone-replacement therapy, including estrogen alone and estrogen plus progestin, may increase a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to study results published in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Five Gene Variants Associated with Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A pooled analysis of studies examining the association of 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with breast cancer has shown that only five have a borderline significant association while the remaining 11 have no association, according to a study in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Small-Cell Lung Cancer Rates Fall; Survival Rates Modest

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Although the incidence of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) has fallen in the past 30 years, survival rates have improved only modestly, according to a report in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Prostate Cancer Patients Prefer Less Aggressive Therapy

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Most men treated for localized prostate cancer choose less aggressive radiation therapy over high-dose treatment, preferring higher quality of life over improved survival, according to a study in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Modulated Radiation Safe and Effective for Prostate Cancer

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of men with prostate cancer who are treated with high-dose, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) remain disease-free eight years later, according to a report in the October issue of the Journal of Urology.

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Physician's Briefing