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Category: Oncology | Monthly Briefing

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December 2009 Briefing - Oncology

Last Updated: January 01, 2010.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Oncology for December 2009. 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.

Precautions and Training Can Reduce Scalpel Injuries

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Although less common than needle-stick injuries, cuts from scalpels also put operating room personnel at risk and can be reduced by closely following safety precautions and taking advantage of new technology, according to a study in the December issue of the AORN Journal.

Abstract
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Study Assesses Safety of Figitumumab in Sarcoma

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Figitumumab -- a fully human IgG2 monoclonal antibody -- appears safe for use in sarcoma, with observable anti-tumor activity, according to research published online Dec. 24 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Study Sheds Light on Factors Involved in Brain Tumors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The transcription factors C/EBPβ and Stat3 appear to work together to trigger and regulate the mesenchymal transformation seen in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), according to research published online Dec. 23 in Nature.

Abstract
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Prostate-Specific Antigen Velocity Usefulness Examined

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate-specific antigen velocity (PSAV) may be useful in identifying men with clinically significant prostate cancer, according to research published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract
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Immunocompromised Patients Need Aggressive Flu Treatment

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hematologic malignancies who develop seasonal or H1N1 influenza, aggressive treatment may be required, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in Blood.

Abstract
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Progenitor Cells May Counter Chemotherapy Damage

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- It may be possible to prevent cardiomyopathy caused by chemotherapy by obtaining cardiac progenitor cells before initiating treatment and using them for prevention or management of heart failure, according to the findings of a study in rats published online Dec. 28 in Circulation.

Abstract
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Prostate-Specific Antigen Lower Among Statin Users

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In men preparing to undergo radical prostatectomy for cancer, those using statins have lower prostate-specific antigen (PSA), according to research published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract
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Method Distinguishes Benign and Malignant Breast Tumors

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A new noninvasive spectroscopic method can accurately distinguish benign from malignant breast tumors based on metabolic differences, according to a study in the January issue of Radiology.

Abstract
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PPIs Linked to Lower Cancer Risk in Barrett's Esophagus

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Barrett's esophagus who take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have a lower risk of high-grade dysplasia and esophageal cancer, according to research published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Abstract
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Claustrophobia Common Cause of Refusing Breast Screening

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Only about 60 percent of women at high risk of breast cancer who are undergoing regular mammography and ultrasound screenings agree to supplemental screening by magnetic resonance imaging, with claustrophobia being the most common reason, according to a study in the January issue of Radiology.

Abstract
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Bias in Detecting Bladder Cancer Recurrence Assessed

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with bladder cancer and a positive urine test result are more likely to have a recurrence detected by cystoscopy if the urologist is aware of the positive result, according to a study in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract
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Chemoradiation Effects Can Be Toxic for Cancer Patients

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with head and neck cancer who receive chemoradiation therapy have substantial treatment-related adverse effects, although a current protocol is associated with fewer toxicities, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Abstract
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Higher Surgery Risks in Elderly Demand Special Attention

FRIDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Common and emergency surgery carries elevated risks of mortality and complications in the elderly, and clinicians should counsel patients on these risks and make every effort to mitigate them, according to a pair of studies in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Abstract - Massarweh
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Abstract - McGillicuddy
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Environmental Factors Play Key Role in Skin Aging

THURSDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Certain environmental factors are strongly associated with skin aging, according to a twin study in the December issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Abstract
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Study Finds Stent, Laparoscopy Superior to Open Surgery

THURSDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Instead of performing emergency open surgery on a colon cancer patient with an obstructing tumor, placement of a metal stent can open a bowel pathway until the tumor is removed via less invasive laparoscopy, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Abstract
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History of Cancer Associated With Lower Alzheimer's Risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Caucasian older adults with Alzheimer's disease are less likely than their counterparts without the condition to have cancer, and Caucasian older adults with a history of cancer are less likely to have Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in Neurology.

Abstract
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Ethnic, Racial Disparities Seen in Florida Melanoma Cases

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In Florida, the incidence of melanoma is rapidly increasing among white non-Hispanics and white Hispanics, and there is a significant racial disparity in the proportion of cases presenting with advanced disease, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Abstract
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Cycling Not Linked to Effect on Prostate-Specific Antigen

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Bicycle riding at a professional level doesn't influence serum levels of total and free prostate-specific antigen (PSA), according to research published in the December issue of Urology.

Abstract
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TAK1 Protein Found Essential for Proper Liver Function

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Deletion of a cellular signaling protein specifically in hepatocytes leads to hepatocyte death and compensatory liver damage and cancer, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Abstract
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Contraceptives Have Benefits Beyond Pregnancy Prevention

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hormonal contraceptives have useful non-contraceptive benefits, including prevention of endometrial and ovarian cancer and treating menstruation-related disorders, according to an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists practice bulletin published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Abstract
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Gefitinib Found Beneficial in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), gefitinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, may provide longer progression-free survival as compared to standard platinum doublet chemotherapy with cisplatin and docetaxel, according to a Japanese study published online Dec. 21 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Fatty Acid Synthesis Important for Brain Tumor Survival

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Fatty acid synthesis is important for the survival of glioblastomas with a continuously active epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and, inhibiting fatty acid synthesis leads to reduced tumor growth and increased tumor death, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of Science Signaling.

Abstract
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Cisplatin Linked to Complete Response in Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients who are carriers of mutations in a breast cancer susceptibility gene are more likely to have a complete response after treatment with cisplatin, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a related study published in the same journal at the same time, researchers report that geriatric assessment domains can predict treatment response and mortality in elderly breast cancer survivors.

Abstract - Byrski
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Abstract - Clough-Gorr
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Editorial

Melanoma-Associated Retinopathy Biomarkers Found

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of antibodies to aldolase A and aldolase C proteins may be useful as markers of melanoma-associated retinopathy (MAR), while other antibodies may indicate if the disease has an autoimmune component, according to a study in the December issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

Abstract
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No Adverse Effect of Statins Seen on Lymphoma Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Statins have no effect on outcomes in patients with B-cell lymphoma treated with rituximab, but improve event-free survival in patients with follicular lymphoma regardless of rituximab treatment, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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More Computed Tomography May Mean More Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The growing use of computed tomography (CT) scans will cause thousands more cases of cancer in the future, according to a study published in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while a second study in the same issue found that the dose and cancer risk of CT scans varies widely from case to case.

Abstract - Berrington de Gonazález
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Abstract - Smith-Bindman
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Mutations Less Common in Nonsmokers With Lung Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Lung cancer patients who never smoked are less likely to have gene mutations commonly found in smokers, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a related study published at the same time in the same journal, researchers report that childhood cancer survivors who had indicated an intention to smoke were more likely to start smoking within five years.

Abstract - Lee
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Abstract - Klosky
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Breast Cancer Needle Biopsy Results Similar to Open Biopsy

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Using stereotactic- and ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy to conduct breast biopsies gives results almost as accurate as open surgical biopsy, and carries a lower risk of complications, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Spiritual Care Often Benefits Terminally Ill Cancer Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In terminally ill cancer patients, adequate spiritual support is associated with an increased usage of hospice care and an improved quality of life, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Racial Disparities Seen in Breast Cancer Radiotherapy

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Older Caucasian women with invasive breast cancer were more likely to receive radiotherapy following surgery than women of other races, a disparity seen nationwide, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Cancer.

Abstract
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Milk Thistle Could Be Useful During Leukemia Treatment

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of the herb milk thistle may reduce liver toxicity in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia undergoing chemotherapy, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Cancer.

Abstract
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No Strong Ties Found Between Body Mass Index, PSA Level

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A man's body mass index (BMI) does not appear significantly associated with his level of prostate specific antigen (PSA), and need not be considered in evaluating PSA tests for the possibility of prostate cancer, according to a study in the December issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract
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Prostate Cancer Detection Via Biopsy Varies by Operator

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The detection rate for prostate cancer by transrectal ultrasound guided prostate biopsies varies by operator performing the procedure, but it is not clear what factors lead to the difference, according to a study in the December issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract
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Patients Often Lack Knowledge of Their Own Medications

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients routinely under-report, or even over-report, their outpatient and inpatient medications, and should be included in hospital medication management to improve safety, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Abstract
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Male Breast Cancers Resemble Advanced Female Cancers

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Though rare, male breast cancers often resemble late-onset female breast cancers, and breast cancer incidence and death rates have not declined in males as much as females over the last few decades, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Quality Varies on Internet Urological Cancer Information

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The quality of Web sites providing information about urological cancers may have improved in recent years, but many sites offer reason for concern, according to research published in the November issue of Urology.

Abstract
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Model Compares Impact of Breast Cancer Mutations

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A computer model can help compare the impact of various treatment strategies on survival in women with mutations in the BRCA genes that increase the risk of breast cancer, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a related study published at the same time in the same journal, researchers report that BRCA mutations are associated with lower responses to fertility treatment.

Abstract - Kurian
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Abstract - Oktay
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Editorial

Young Cancer Survivors Face Later Cardiovascular Risks

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer in childhood or adolescence substantially increases the risk of a cardiac condition later in life, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in BMJ.

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Soy Foods Linked to Improved Outcomes in Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Among female breast cancer survivors, eating soy foods is associated with a lower risk of death and breast cancer recurrence, according to research published in the Dec. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Team Approach Best for Safe Handling of Cytotoxic Agents

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Cytotoxic agents used in the treatment of bladder tumors present a threat to perioperative nurses' safety, and a team approach is the best way to develop safe handling policies and procedures, according to a study in the December issue of the AORN Journal.

Abstract
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FDA Issues Recommendations to Prevent Excess CT Radiation

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Following news that 206 patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles were overexposed to radiation during computed tomography (CT) perfusion imaging over an 18-month period, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued interim recommendations to help prevent similar incidents.

Press Release
Initial Notification
Issue a Voluntary Report to the FDA's MedWatch

Medroxyprogesterone Found Helpful in Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In men receiving hormone therapy for prostate cancer, medroxyprogesterone should become the new standard treatment for preventing hot flushes, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Smoking, Drinking Linked to Multiple Cancer Effects

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term cigarette smoking is linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer, and alcohol consumption before or after diagnosis of head or neck cancer reduces the chance of survival, according to two studies in the December Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Abstract - Hannan
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Abstract - Mayne
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Carcinogen Levels Similar in Herbal, Regular Cigarettes

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers of regular cigarettes and herbal cigarettes -- products containing tobacco and extracts of Chinese medicinal herbs that are gaining popularity in China -- have similar levels of nicotine and carcinogens, according to research published in the December issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Abstract
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Aromatase Inhibitors May Be More Effective Than Tamoxifen

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term treatment of breast cancers with aromatase inhibitors (AIs) such as anastrozole may reduce recurrence and breast cancer deaths compared with tamoxifen, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Decision Aid Can Increase Tamoxifen Awareness

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Among women at high risk of breast cancer, a state-of-the-art decision aid increases knowledge about tamoxifen prophylaxis but does not increase willingness to initiate therapy, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

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Research Finds Exercise Helps Men With Prostate Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- An exercise program improves muscle mass and strength, function, and well-being in men with prostate cancer undergoing androgen suppression treatment, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In another study published at the same time in the same journal, researchers identify risk factors for impaired fertility in male survivors of childhood cancers.

Abstract - Galvao
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Abstract - Green
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Hysterectomy Linked to Better Cervical Cancer Survival

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Radical hysterectomy may provide better survival outcomes compared with radiation in women with early-stage cervical cancer whose tumors are less than 6 cm in diameter, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Abstract
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Passive Smoking May Increase Risk of Breast, Lung Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In nonsmokers, exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with a modestly increased risk of breast cancer and a significantly increased risk of lung cancer, according to two studies published in the December Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Abstract - Reynolds
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Abstract - Olivo-Marston
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Protein May Be Useful Target for Cancer Therapy

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In several types of tumors, targeting the cell surface protease known as fibroblast activation protein (FAP) can inhibit tumor growth, according to research published in the Dec. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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HPV Vaccine Can Maintain Effectiveness Beyond Six Years

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (Cervarix) provides protection beyond six years from infection by HPV-16 and HPV-18, the HPV types most commonly associated with cervical cancer, according to a study published online on Dec. 3 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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End-of-Life Video May Change Preferences of Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced cancer who watch a video with end-of-life options after a verbal description of those options are more likely to prefer symptom relief and avoid life-prolonging care such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) compared with patients who only receive the verbal description, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Toxic in Mice

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Titanium dioxide nanoparticles, found in products such as paint and cosmetics, damage DNA and cause inflammation in mice, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of Cancer Research.

Abstract
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Contrast Medium Can Increase DNA Breakage in CT Scan

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The use of contrast medium (CM) in computed tomography (CT) scanning can significantly increase DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in the peripheral blood lymphocytes, according to a study in the December issue of Radiology.

Abstract
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Volume CT Scans May Improve Lung-Cancer Workups

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients at high risk for lung cancer, volume computed tomography (CT) scanning of non-calcified pulmonary nodules over time may provide important diagnostic information, according to a study in the Dec. 3 New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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Cetuximab Linked to Resection of Liver Metastases

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with colorectal liver metastases, chemotherapy with cetuximab was associated with high rates of tumor response and resection of metastases, according to research published online Nov. 25 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Short-Term Follow-Up Enough for Some Benign Breast Lumps

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Women with palpable breast lesions with benign imaging features can be given short-term follow-up and have similar outcomes to those who undergo biopsy, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Abstract
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Morphologic Changes Gauge Liver Cancer Therapy Response

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A method to assess the effect of chemotherapy on liver tumors based on morphologic changes observed on computed tomography (CT) was found to be significantly associated with pathologic response as well as with patient survival, according to a study in the Dec. 2 Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Women Researchers Lag Behind Men in Grant Awards

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Female physicians with a proven interest in research are less likely to receive prestigious research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than are male physicians, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Consideration of Competing Events Important for Survival

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Several risk factors may help predict the chances of competing mortality -- or death from non-cancer causes -- in patients with head and neck cancer, according to research published online Nov. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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