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October 2010 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for October 2010. 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.

Men With Cancer Have High Hypogonadism Prevalence

FRIDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Men with cancer have a high prevalence of hypogonadism and a resulting reduction in quality of life (QoL) and sexual function, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Green Tea Does Not Prevent Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Although animal and in vitro studies have shown green tea to be protective against breast cancer, a large prospective trial in Japan has found no such benefit; the findings have been published online Oct. 28 in Breast Cancer Research.

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No Advantage to Intensified Chemo in Hodgkin's Lymphoma

FRIDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with relapsed Hodgkin's lymphoma who undergo sequential high-dose chemotherapy prior to stem-cell transplantation have similar mortality but suffer more adverse events than those receiving standard high-dose chemotherapy, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Original Mutation to Pancreatic Cancer May Take 10 Years

THURSDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Genomic sequencing of metastatic pancreatic cancers along with mathematical modeling suggests that there is a 10- to 15-year time period in which to find and destroy malignant pancreatic cells before the cancer becomes advanced, according to research published online Oct. 27 in Nature.

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Sprycel Approval Expanded to Include Rare Leukemia

THURSDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Sprycel (dasatinib) has received an additional approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a rare form of blood cancer called Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CP -CML), the agency said Thursday in a news release.

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Coffee, Tea Consumption Linked to Lower Glioma Risk

THURSDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Coffee and tea consumption is associated with a lower risk of glioma, according to research published in the November issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Radiation-Induced Cancers Still a Threat in Middle Age

THURSDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- While standard models and epidemiological data have suggested that radiation-related cancer risks are higher in children and decrease with increasing age at exposure, mathematical models do not support this for all cancer types, according to research published online Oct. 25 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Crizotinib Found to Inhibit Lung Tumor Growth

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Crizotinib, a small-molecule inhibitor of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), appears to be effective in reducing or stabilizing lung tumors with ALK rearrangement, according to research published in the Oct. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Guideline for Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents Updated

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A joint committee of the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology has published an updated guideline for the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) in cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia. The guideline was published online Oct. 25 in both Blood and the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Lifestyle Score, Decision Aid Affect Colon Cancer Prevention

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Each additional healthy lifestyle behavior can decrease colorectal cancer risk by 11 percent, according to research published online Oct. 26 in BMJ. In another article in the same issue, a decision aid to help adults with low education levels make informed colorectal cancer screening decisions appears to cause more patients to avoid the screening entirely.

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Tumor Location Affects Mortality Reduction Benefit of Colonoscopy

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Colonoscopies may significantly reduce the risk of dying from colorectal cancer (CRC), though the benefits appear limited to reducing mortality from distal, not proximal, CRC, according to research published in the October issue of Gastroenterology.

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2 mm Free Margin Minimizes Risk of Residual Disease

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A free margin of 2 mm from the invasive tumor appears to be associated with a low risk of residual disease in patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery, according to research published in the November issue of the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

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Colorectal Cancer Tumor Type Affects Cetuximab Response

TUESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with colorectal cancer who have the KRAS codon 13-mutated tumor type respond better to treatment with cetuximab than patients with other KRAS-mutated tumor types, according to a study in the Oct. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Radiation Oncology Demand Likely to Outstrip Supply

TUESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The demand for radiation oncology may grow substantially faster than supply over the next decade, according to research published online Oct. 18 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Primary Care Trails Other Specialties in Hourly Wages

TUESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care physicians have substantially lower hourly wages than other specialists, and although most physicians find Medicare reimbursement inequitable, they show little consensus on how to reform it, according to two studies published in the Oct. 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Colorectal Screening Strategy for Minority Women Tested

TUESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Offering colorectal cancer screening (CRCS) to low-income minority women during mammography visits can be an effective way to increase screening in this population, but a lack of medical insurance remains an important barrier for many women, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in Cancer.

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CML Patients Stay in Remission Two Years After Imatinib

THURSDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Some chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients achieve complete remission for up to two years after stopping imatinib treatment, suggesting some patients might actually be cured by treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor, according to a study published online Oct. 20 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Educational Campaigns May Improve Skin Cancer Screening

THURSDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Educational campaigns that include specific recommendations for who should be screened for skin cancer may improve skin cancer screening rates and increase the understanding of screening benefits, according to a study published Oct. 18 in the Archives of Dermatology.

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FDA to Update Prescribing Labels of GnRH Agonists

THURSDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified health care professionals and consumers that the prescribing labels of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists will be updated with new safety information.

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Many Types of Tumors Found to Express FSH Receptor

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The endothelial cells of blood vessels in a variety of types of tumors express the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) receptor, according to research published in the Oct. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Weekly INR Self-Testing Not Superior to Monthly Clinic Tests

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In patients using warfarin, self-testing of international normalized ratio (INR) doesn't appear superior to clinic testing for reducing the risk of adverse outcomes, including major bleeding and stroke, according to research published in the Oct. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Pradaxa Approved for Atrial Fibrillation

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help prevent stroke in people with a type of abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation.

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More Node+ Breast Cancer, Higher Mortality After HRT

TUESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal estrogen-plus-progestin therapy not only results in an increased incidence of invasive breast cancers but also in more node-positive cancers and an increased mortality rate, according to an analysis published in the Oct. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Vitamin D Levels Lower in Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome

TUESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with basal cell nevus syndrome (BCNS), many of whom routinely protect themselves from the sun due to higher risk of skin cancer, appear to be at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency, according to research published in the October issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Researchers Identify Most Common HPV Types

MONDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Eight types of human papillomavirus (HPV) appear to be responsible for over 90 percent of the world's cervical cancer cases; researchers recommend these eight types be the target for future vaccines and that the three most common high-risk HPV types -- 16, 18, and 45 -- which occur in younger women, should be the focus of type-specific HPV screening. Their findings have been published online Oct. 18 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Soy Lowers Recurrence Rate in Some Types of Breast Cancer

MONDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Although concerns have been raised in recent years about the potential adverse effect of soy consumption on estrogen- and progesterone-receptor positive breast cancers, new research has shown a lower risk for recurrence of these cancers for women who consume high amounts of soy isoflavones; the study has been published online Oct. 18 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Sex Practices Driving Surge in HPV-Linked Oral Cancer

THURSDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Changing sexual practices, including increased oral sex, multiple sex partners, and an early start of sexual activity, are behind an epidemic of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) linked to sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV), according to an article in the November issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Online Screening for Cancer-Related Distress Feasible

THURSDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Online screening for distress in cancer patients is feasible and effective, according to research published online Oct. 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Bisphosphonates Up Risk of A-Fib in Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Older cancer patients who receive intravenous bisphosphonate therapy may be at a modestly increased risk for atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), and stroke, according to research published online Oct. 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Advanced Cancer Patients Still Getting Cancer Screenings

TUESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced cancer continue to undergo common cancer screening tests that are unlikely to provide benefit because of their shortened life expectancy, according to research published in the Oct. 13 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

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New White Paper Issued on Ovarian Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) has issued a comprehensive white paper -- as part the organization's professional GynecoLogic Cancer Collaborative education program -- that provides an overview of and background on the screening, diagnosis, and management of ovarian cancer. The report is published in the October issue of Gynecologic Oncology.

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New Method Shows Promise for Detecting Lung Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The use of partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy to evaluate cells from the cheek may provide a minimally intrusive screening tool for lung cancer, according to research published online Oct. 5 in Cancer Research.

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Lifestyle Can Lower Breast CA Risk Despite Family History

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Following American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines for physical activity, alcohol consumption, and body weight provides similar benefits for postmenopausal women with and without a family history of later-onset breast cancer (FHLBC), according to research published online Oct. 12 in Breast Cancer Research.

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Somatic Symptom Burden High in Cancer Patients

TUESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Regardless of cancer type or phase, there is a high prevalence of somatic symptoms in cancer patients with chronic pain or depression, according to research published Oct. 11 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Breast Cancer Treatment Race Disparities Not Socioeconomic

MONDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Racial and ethnic differences in adherence to guideline-recommended breast cancer diagnostics and care remain even after adjustment for insurance coverage and socioeconomic status (SES), according to research published online Oct. 11 in Cancer.

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Phase 3 Supplemental Application Trials Studied

MONDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- For phase III trials supporting supplemental drug applications, a more focused adverse event data collection strategy can effectively identify significant events, reduce the collection of unnecessary information, and decrease the burden of these large clinical trials, according to research published online Oct. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Usual Prostate Cancer Therapy Linked to Bone Deterioration

FRIDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer is associated with bone deterioration, and a new technology may help identify men at risk for fractures related to this deterioration, according to a study published online Sept. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Quality of Life Varies by Prostate Cancer Treatment

FRIDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Radical prostatectomy, external-beam radiotherapy, and brachytherapy result in several quality-of-life (QoL) issues after prostate cancer treatment in patients not receiving adjuvant hormonal treatment, including either improvement in or worsening of urinary irritative-obstructive symptoms in addition to the more commonly discussed sexual and incontinence issues, according to research published online Oct. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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More Evidence Links Dense Breasts to Later Cancer

THURSDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and mammographically dense breasts may have an increased risk of subsequent breast cancer, particularly in the opposite breast, according to research published in the October issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Diagnostic X-Ray Exposure Linked to Childhood Leukemia

THURSDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Postnatal diagnostic X-ray exposure may be associated with an increased risk of childhood acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL), specifically B-cell ALL, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

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Molecular Tools May Contribute to Effective Cancer Therapy

THURSDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Some patients with refractory cancers may achieve a reasonable period of progression-free survival (PFS) if treatment based on tumor molecular profiling (MP) is initiated, according to research published online Oct. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Childhood Cancer Survivors Often Forgo Screening

TUESDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Many childhood cancer survivors who are at high risk of second malignancies are not undergoing recommended screening procedures, according to a study in the Oct. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Age at Cancer Diagnosis Similar in AIDS, General Populations

TUESDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- After adjustment for the lower proportion of older-age patients among the AIDS population, most cancers in this population are diagnosed at an age similar to that in the general population, according to research published in the Oct. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Cabazitaxel Prolongs Life in Advanced Prostate Cancer

FRIDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Men with advanced prostate cancer that has resisted prior chemotherapy with docetaxel survive a median 2.4 months longer if they take cabazitaxel instead of mitoxantrone, according to the results of a phase III trial published in the Oct. 2, cancer-themed issue of The Lancet.

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No Benefit to Early Chemo in Ovarian Cancer Relapse

FRIDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- For women whose ovarian cancer has been in remission, restarting chemotherapy early on the basis of heightened CA125 concentration does not improve survival compared with postponing treatment until symptoms of relapse appear, according to a study published in the Oct. 2, cancer-themed issue of The Lancet.

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Adding Rituximab to Chemo Improves Survival in Leukemia

FRIDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Adding the monoclonal antibody rituximab to the standard chemotherapy regimen of fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide significantly extends the lives of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients compared to chemotherapy alone, according to the results of a phase III trial published in the Oct. 2, cancer-themed issue of The Lancet.

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