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September 2008 Briefing - Oncology

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

News Media Under-Report Drug Company Funding of Research

TUESDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Reports on medication research published in general news media often fail to disclose that the research received pharmaceutical company funding and frequently refer to drugs by brand name rather than using the generic name, according to an article published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gene Variant Linked to Lower Colorectal Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A variation of the adiponectin (ADIPOQ) gene is associated with a significantly decreased risk of colorectal cancer, according to a report published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Model Can Predict Survival in Breast Cancer Patients

MONDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A model based on tumor characteristics after endocrine therapy can predict survival in women with breast cancer and help individualize treatment, according to a report published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Gender Inequity Observed in Hematuria Referral

MONDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Women with an initial episode or first recurrence of hematuria are less likely to receive urological referral in comparison to men of the same age, which may lead to delays in evaluation and diagnosis for serious urological conditions, researchers report in the September issue of Urology.

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Minimally Invasive Procedures Changing Spinal Surgery

FRIDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Minimally invasive surgery of the spine is an emerging neurosurgical field with multifaceted uses, according to a report in the August issue of Neurosurgical Focus.

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Breast Cancer Incidence Increasing in China

FRIDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- China is on the verge of a breast cancer epidemic, with 2.5 million postmenopausal cases anticipated by the year 2021, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Photodynamic Therapy Opens Blood-Brain Barrier

FRIDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Photodynamic therapy using 5-aminolevulinic acid is highly effective in disrupting the blood-brain barrier, according to the results of a study in rats, published in the October issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Hypnosis May Relieve Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Survivors

THURSDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Hypnosis may be beneficial in reducing hot flashes in breast cancer survivors, according to research published online Sept. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Panel Reviews Cryosurgery for Localized Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Cryosurgery is an appropriate primary treatment for certain men with organ-confined prostate cancer, and salvage cryosurgery can be a suitable option for men who have failed radiation therapy, according to a best practice statement published online Sept. 25 in the Journal of Urology.

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Childhood Cancer Survivors Face Increased Mortality Risks

THURSDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Children and adolescent cancer survivors may continue to face the risk of increased morbidity and mortality due to recurrence of their original cancer, researchers report in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Benefits and Risks Affect Cervical Cancer Screening

THURSDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Among women who regularly screen for cervical cancer, lifetime risk is similar among differing screening approaches, but differences in referral for invasive work-up are significant, researchers report in the Sept. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Test Using AURKA Gene Points to Bladder Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The Aurora kinase A (AURKA) gene -- which promotes progression in several tumors when overexpressed, including urothelial carcinoma -- may provide a novel biomarker for bladder cancer, according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Gene Variant Linked to Increased Risk of Melanoma

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A polymorphism in the vitamin D-receptor gene is associated with a significantly increased risk of melanoma, according to research published online Sept. 24 in the journal Cancer.

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Hormone Therapy May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Among postmenopausal women who carry the BRCA1 mutation, hormone therapy is not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and may be associated with a reduced risk, according to a report published online Sept. 23 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Racial Discrepancies Exist for Asymptomatic Colon Polyps

TUESDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients undergoing colonoscopy reveal a higher prevalence of polyps compared to white individuals, according to data reported in the Sept. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Family History Increases Brain Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a family history of astrocytoma or glioblastoma are at a significantly increased risk for developing primary brain cancer, researchers report in the Sept. 23 issue of Neurology.

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Physicians May Lack Empathy with Lung Cancer Patients

TUESDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians miss many opportunities for empathic communication during consultations with lung cancer patients, according to a report published in the Sept. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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No Change to 2009 Part B Medicare Premium

MONDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- There will be no change to the Part B Standard Medicare premium in 2009 compared with 2008. This is the first time since 2000 that the premium has not risen over the prior year, according to an announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Radiosurgery May Benefit Patients with Spinal Tumors

MONDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Radiosurgery for spinal and paraspinal metastases is a relatively new treatment that provides a minimally invasive option for pain relief and tumor control, according to a review in the August issue of Neurosurgical Focus.

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Needle Core Biopsies of Renal Masses Are Accurate, Safe

MONDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Needle core biopsies are safe and correctly identify benign versus malignant renal tumors in small, asymptomatic renal lesions, according to a report in the October issue of the Journal of Urology.

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Many Prostate Cancers Detected After Initial Biopsy

MONDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Although prostate cancer diagnosed in an initial biopsy has higher volume, a significant number of cancers are detected on subsequent biopsies, researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of Urology.

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Mutation Linked to Leukemia in Down Syndrome

MONDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- About a fifth of Down syndrome patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia have a mutation in the Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) protein, according to a report published online Sept. 20 in The Lancet.

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Idea of 'Safe' Tan Rebutted in Series of Papers

FRIDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is an important risk factor for cancer in humans, and evidence does not support the safety of tanning bed use, according to three review articles published in the October Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research.

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Alendronate Boosts Bone Density in Prostate Cancer Therapy

FRIDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Alendronate (Fosamax) improves bone density in men receiving androgen-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, but discontinuing the drug leads to bone loss and increased bone turnover, according to the results of a study published in the Sept. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Folate, B6 Intake Linked to Colon Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Reduced intake of folate and vitamin B6 is associated with an elevated risk of p53-overexpressing colon cancers but not wild-type tumors, according to research published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Cream and Light Therapy Effective for Actinic Keratoses

FRIDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The precancerous skin growths known as actinic keratoses can be effectively treated with a topical cream and photodynamic therapy, researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Antibiotic Resistance Has Become a Global Pandemic

FRIDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A concerted international and national response, behavior change by consumers and providers, and the development of antibacterial agents are all urgently needed to tackle the global problem of rapidly increasing antibiotic resistance, according to an article published online Sept. 18 in BMJ.

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Lifestyle Changes Increase Telomerase Activity

THURSDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Significant increases in telomerase activity and telomere maintenance capacity were found in patients following a comprehensive lifestyle intervention, according to an article published online Sept. 16 in The Lancet Oncology.

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CT Colonography Sensitive for Large Adenomas

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomographic (CT) colonography is a sensitive method for detecting large adenomas and cancers in asymptomatic adults, while individuals negative for adenomas are at low risk of developing cancers five years later, according to two studies published in the Sept. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Abstract - Imperiale
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Screening May Point to Lung Cancer Before Symptoms Arise

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Diagnosing lung cancer before symptoms become evident may be possible by screening for autoantibodies to particular antigens, according to research published online Sept. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Assessment Tool Helps Predict Head and Neck Cancer Survival

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In the first year after a head and neck cancer diagnosis, the trend for the subjective physical component of the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey score is predictive of long-term cancer survival, according to a report in the September issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Massage Helpful for Immediate Pain Relief in Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Massage may offer short-term pain relief for patients with advanced cancer, according to research published in the Sept. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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DNA Vaccine Developed for Drug-Resistant Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Drug-resistant breast cancer, especially due to overexpression of Her-2/neu, can now be safely and effectively controlled with targeted DNA vaccines, according to research published in the Sept. 15 issue of Cancer Research.

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Phone Counseling Improved Diet During Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Telephone-based dietary counseling is effective in increasing vegetable consumption and lowering fat intake in men with prostate cancer, according to research published in the September issue of Urology.

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Protein Important in Colorectal Cancer Development

MONDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A protein that controls the activity of another protein is important in colorectal cancer development, and two gene variants are associated with bladder cancer, according to two letters published online Sept. 14 in Nature and Nature Genetics.

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Models for BRCA1/2 Mutation Prediction Miss Mark in Asians

FRIDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Two common prediction models for BRCA1/2 mutations -- BRCAPRO and Myriad II -- underestimated the number of mutation carriers in a sample of Asian Americans, compared to their accurate prediction of mutation carriers in whites, according to research published online Sept. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Chronic Disease Is Heavy Burden in Developing World

FRIDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Although many countries have made significant progress in reducing mortality, the burden of chronic and non-communicable disease remains heavy and requires integrated strategies to tackle it, according to three papers published in the Sept. 13 issue of The Lancet, which has a special focus on the legacy of the 1978 International Conference on Primary Health Care in Alma-Ata.

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Mediterranean Diet Lowers Risk of Death and Cancer

FRIDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals and fish, and involving a moderate intake of red wine with meals is associated with a lower risk of death, cancer and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, according to research published online Sept. 11 in BMJ.

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Clinical Breast Exams in India Offer Cost-Effective Benefits

THURSDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The potential cost-effectiveness of clinical breast examination screening for cancer in India appears at least comparable to the cost-effectiveness of mammography in developed countries, but still may be challenging to implement, researchers report in the Sept. 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Antiangiogenic Drugs' Role in Cancer Explored

THURSDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Circulating endothelial progenitors (CEPs) from bone marrow can contribute to the regrowth of chemotherapy-treated tumors, but combining chemotherapy with antiangiogenic drugs may inhibit this recovery, according to research published in the Sept. 9 issue of Cancer Cell.

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Liver Tumor Down-Staging Feasible for Some Patients

THURSDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In selected patients with liver cancer, successful tumor down-staging can usually be achieved and is associated with excellent outcomes after liver transplantation, according to study findings published in the September issue of Hepatology.

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Test Improves Sensitivity of Cervical Cancer Detection

THURSDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Overexpression of a protein associated with viral infection and cell growth in women positive for human papillomavirus (HPV) can improve the sensitivity of cervical cancer detection compared with conventional cytology, according to the results of a study published online Sept. 9 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Survival Rising for Several Child Hematologic Cancers

THURSDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The past two decades have seen considerable improvement in survival of several common childhood hematologic malignancies, according to research published in the Sept. 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Drug Improves Survival in Head and Neck Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of cetuximab to platinum-based chemotherapy improves survival in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer, according to a study in the Sept. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Smoking Cessation Services Fail to Attract Young People

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking cessation services fail to attract young people and have only a modest impact on smoking behavior among the young, according to an editorial published online Sept. 10 in BMJ.

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Race-Specific Model Better Predicts Lung Cancer in Blacks

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Risk models of lung cancer developed in white populations may not accurately predict risk in black populations, researchers report in the September issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

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Painkillers Affect Prostate-Specific Antigen Levels

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels may be reduced by regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), according to research published online Sept. 8 in Cancer.

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Many Hospitals Still Not Doing Exam of 12 Lymph Nodes

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Most hospitals weren't compliant in recent years with a recommendation to examine at least 12 regional lymph nodes in patients with colon cancer, according to research published online Sept. 9 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Lung Cancer in Lifelong Non-Smokers Found to Be 'Rare'

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Among people who have never smoked, the death rate from lung cancer is higher in men than women, but the risk of the disease doesn't appear to have increased over time in this group, according to research published online Sept. 9 in PLoS Medicine.

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Height May Affect Risk of High-Grade Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood environmental exposure as measured by height has only limited impact on men's overall risk of prostate cancer, but may be associated with risk of high-grade tumors with a poor prognosis, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Researchers Evaluate Possibility of Cure for Human Aging

MONDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Recent aging research indicates that life span models in organisms such as yeast, nematodes, flies and mice can be manipulated by genetic, nutritional or pharmacological interventions, but more research is needed before application to human senescence is possible, according to an article in the Aug. 28 issue of Nature.

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Genetic Mutations Found in Deadly Cancers

MONDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Comprehensive genomic analyses have uncovered genetic alterations in pancreatic and brain cancer that may point the way toward treatments for the diseases, according to research from a pair of articles published online Sept. 4 in Science, and another published online Sept. 4 in Nature.

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Shortage of Nuclear Imaging Agents May Delay Scans

MONDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Heart imaging, bone scans and some cancer detection tests may be subject to delays or even cancellation due to a global shortage of medical isotopes, according to a letter and article published online Sept. 5 in BMJ.

Abstract - Perkins
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Twin Study Highlights Breast Cancer Risk Over Time

FRIDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In the twin of a sister with breast cancer, risk of disease is not affected by time since the occurrence, researchers report in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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High Serum Calcium Linked to Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Men with high levels of serum calcium are at greater risk of developing prostate cancer and dying from the disease, researchers report in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

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Structure of Protein Involved in Aging and Cancer Solved

THURSDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The three-dimensional structure of the telomerase enzyme, which is necessary to maintain proper chromosome length and is implicated in cancer and aging, has been solved and resembles some viral enzymes, according to the results of a study published online Aug. 31 in Nature.

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Endometrial Cancer Risk Declines with Raloxifene Use

THURSDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Raloxifene significantly lowers the odds of developing endometrial cancer and is associated with a more favorable histologic type in patients who do develop cancer, according to an article published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Obesity Not Linked to Colon Cancer Survival

THURSDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Increased body mass index (BMI) wasn't associated with a higher risk of cancer recurrence or death in individuals with colon cancer, according to research published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Anastrozole Does Not Impair Cognitive Performance

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women at high risk for breast cancer given anastrozole as a chemopreventive do not suffer cognitive performance impairment, according to study findings published online Sept. 2 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Study Probes Genetic Role in Papillary Thyroid Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In survivors of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima atomic bombings, rearrangements of RET/PTC, rather than BRAFV600E mutation, appear to be closely linked to radiation-associated adult-onset papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), according to research published in the Sept. 1 issue of Cancer Research.

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Education Not Associated with Lung Cancer Survival

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Education level is associated with performance status, but is not associated with survival in small-cell or non-small-cell lung cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials, according to research published in the September issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Imaging Often Changes Colorectal Cancer Management

TUESDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The results of positron emission tomography (PET) scanning often changes disease management in patients with suspected colorectal cancer recurrence and can identify those whose disease is more likely to progress, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

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Vytorin May Increase Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Ezetimibe plus simvastatin (Vytorin) may be associated with an increased risk of cancer, according to two studies published online Sept. 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress held Aug. 30-Sept. 3 in Munich, Germany.

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