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Category: Oncology | Monthly Briefing

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May 2010 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Last Updated: June 01, 2010.

 

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

HER2 Screening on Core Needle Biopsies Found Reliable

FRIDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- Screening breast core needle biopsies (CNB) for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) using immunohistochemistry (IHC) is reliable when applying new American Society of Clinical Oncology-College of American Pathologists (ASCO-CAP) testing criteria, according to research published online May 24 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Genetic Tests That Don't Ease Decision Making Not Desired

FRIDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic information that does not clarify decision making about cancer treatment may not be desired, and its impact differs depending on clinical relevance to the recipient, according to research published online May 24 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Indoor Tanning Beds/Booths Increase Melanoma Risk

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Use of indoor tanning equipment substantially increases the risk of melanoma, with the highest risk found for people who use high-speed/intensity and high-pressure indoor tanning beds, according to a report published online May 26 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Cancer Drug Coverage Based on Cost-Effectiveness Restrictive

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Anticancer drug coverage decisions that take cost-effectiveness into consideration -- common in several European countries -- may result in restrictions and delays in time until coverage is provided, according to research published online May 24 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Selenium Inversely Linked to Gastric, Esophageal Cancers

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Selenium status appears to be inversely associated with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCA), and there may also be an inverse association between esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and selenium status in certain subgroups, according to a study published in the May issue of Gastroenterology.

Abstract
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Hepatitis B Carrier Status Tied to Increased Liver Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with inactive hepatitis B virus (HBV) have a substantially higher risk of hepatocellular carcinoma and liver-related death than those not infected with the virus, according to a study in the May issue of Gastroenterology.

Abstract
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Insulin Use May Lower Cancer Risk in Type 2 Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- In Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes, the use of insulin appears protective against the development of cancer, though hyperglycemia may increase cancer risk, according to research published in the May issue of Diabetes.

Abstract
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Women With IBD at Lower Risk for Colorectal Cancer Than Men

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) than men with the disease, according to a study published in the May issue of Gastroenterology.

Abstract
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Breast Imaging Techniques May Enhance Cancer Detection

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Contrast-enhanced breast magnetic resonance imaging can detect malignancy in probably benign lesions in the accepted range for mammographically detected Breast Imaging and Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) category 3 lesions, and mammographic digital screening offers the potential to increase the rate of invasive cancers detected on the basis of calcifications, according to two studies published in the June issue of Radiology.

Abstract - Weinstein
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Abstract - Weigel
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Study Offers Insights Into Fibrin Assembly Mechanisms

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- A new investigation of synthetic fibrin knob peptide structures in solution and their dynamic binding with fibrinogen/fibrin holes may lead to a more thorough knowledge of fibrin assembly mechanisms, and establish criteria for designing anticoagulants that can inhibit fibrin assembly associated with heart attack, stroke and tissue damage, according to a study published online May 18 in Blood.

Abstract
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Survivors of Childhood Cancer Less Healthy as Adults

TUESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Adult survivors of childhood cancers appear to suffer worse health outcomes and more job limitations than people who never had cancer, according to research published online May 24 in Cancer.

Abstract
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Erlotinib Significantly Improves Survival in Advanced NSCLC

FRIDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Maintenance therapy with erlotinib for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer given immediately after initial chemotherapy is well-tolerated and significantly prolongs progression-free survival, according to research published online May 20 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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NSAIDs Reduce Risks for Gastric Cancer in Ulcer Patients

THURSDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with peptic ulcer disease who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are at reduced risk for the future development of gastric cancer, especially if the ulcer is associated with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, according to a study published online May 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Research Provides Guidance for Stage III Melanoma Follow-Up

THURSDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Stage III melanoma patients or their family members detect nearly half of first relapses -- substantially more than are detected by physicians or screening radiologic tests -- and routine physical exams beyond a certain time frame are likely to detect few first systemic relapses, according to a study in the May 20 Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Depression Common at End of Terminal Cancer

THURSDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Depression is a common condition among patients with metastatic cancer, and those with a combination of psychosocial vulnerability and greater physical suffering are at the highest risk, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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In Prostate Cancer, Selective Alendronate Use Cost-Effective

TUESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- A bone mineral density test followed by selective use of alendronate for fracture prevention in men beginning androgen deprivation therapy for localized prostate cancer is cost-effective, according to research published in the May 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Prompt Thyroid Cancer Treatment Doesn't Improve Survival Odds

MONDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who are definitively treated within a year of diagnosis for papillary thyroid cancer that is limited to the thyroid gland have survival rates that are comparable to those who do not receive definitive treatment, according to a study reported in the May issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Abstract
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Many Have Low Distress During Prostate Cancer Surveillance

MONDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Men with low-risk prostate cancer on active surveillance generally have favorably low anxiety and distress in the first nine months of surveillance, according to research published in the May issue of The Journal of Urology. Another article in the same issue examines how health status and life expectancy influenced selection of men age 75 and older for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screenings before the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against screening them.

Abstract- van den Bergh
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Abstract - Hoffman
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Pernicious Anemia Patients at Higher Risk for Hip Fractures

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Even after years of vitamin B-12 therapy, people with pernicious anemia are still at increased risk for hip fractures, which suggests a mechanism other than B-12 deficiency could be driving their vulnerability, according to research published in the April issue of Gastroenterology.

Abstract
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Disagreement May Be High in Melanoma Diagnoses

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Though histopathologic analysis is still the gold standard for the pathologic diagnosis of melanoma, the discordance rate in routine histopathologic interpretation of melanocytic neoplasms can be high, according to research published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Abstract
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Many General Internists Leave Field by Mid-Career

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Roughly one out of six general internists are leaving internal medicine by mid-career, a substantially higher proportion compared to internal medicine subspecialists, according to survey results published April 29 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Mammograms Before Age 40 May Not Be Appropriate

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Screening mammography for women under age 40 results in high rates of recall and additional imaging but low cancer detection rates, according to research published online May 3 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Abstract
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FDA Warns of Safety Concern Related to Eltrombopag

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and GlaxoSmithKline have alerted health care professionals of a new safety concern in patients with thrombocytopenia resulting from chronic liver disease treated with eltrombopag (Promacta).

More Information

Excessive Antioxidants May Increase Genetic Abnormalities

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Taking excessive amounts of antioxidants, such as high-dose supplements of vitamin C and E, can increase genetic abnormalities in cells, which may raise the risk for developing cancer, according to a study published online May 4 in Stem Cells.

Abstract
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Variables Help Guide Active Surveillance in Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Variables that are available at prostate cancer diagnosis and first surveillance biopsy during active surveillance can be used to inform men of the probability of an unfavorable biopsy, according to research published in the May issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract
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Interval Colorectal Cancer Risk Linked to Colonoscopy Quality

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) in the interval between screening colonoscopy and follow-up surveillance colonoscopy is greater for patients whose endoscopists have lower adenoma detection rates, according to research published in the May 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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Removing Financial Incentives May Reduce Performance

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- The focus of clinicians may change and their performance levels could drop when previously established financial incentives are removed, according to research published May 11 in BMJ.

Abstract
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New FDA Program Targets Misleading Drug Advertising

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the launch of a new program to educate health care providers regarding their role in making certain that advertisements and promotions for prescription drugs are truthful and not misleading.

badad@fda.gov
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Patients Deem Risks of Chemo Error Low, Potential Harm High

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- While patients consider the risk of error in chemotherapy to be low, they perceive the potential harm to be substantial, and most agree patients can help prevent errors, according to research published online May 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Opioid Therapy Linked to Avoidance of Some Screenings

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients using chronic opioid therapy for non-cancer pain may have a lower likelihood of receiving some preventive services, according to a study published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Abstract
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Micrometastases Mean Worse Prognosis in Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients with micrometastases in their lymph nodes have a worse prognosis than node-negative patients, and may be more similar in prognosis to patients with macrometastases, according to research published online May 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Radiation for Wilms Tumor May Affect Future Pregnancies

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have had prior radiation treatment for unilateral Wilms tumor diagnosed in childhood have a higher risk of pregnancy and birth complications, according to research published online May 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Benefits Found Lacking for High-Dose Proton Pump Inhibitors

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with high doses of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is not associated with reduced rates of rebleeding, surgical intervention, or death in patients with bleeding peptic ulcers compared to non-high-dose PPI treatment, according to a meta-analysis published in the May 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine alongside several other studies that explore the side effects associated with PPIs.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Medical Costs for Cancer Have Nearly Doubled Since 1987

MONDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- The medical costs of cancer have nearly doubled since 1987 and have shifted substantially away from hospital inpatient care, and the portion paid for by private health insurers and Medicaid has increased, according to research published online May 10 in Cancer.

Abstract
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Kidney Removal in Elderly Does Not Improve Survival

MONDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical management of localized renal tumors in elderly patients is not associated with increased survival compared with active surveillance, according to a study published online May 10 in Cancer.

Abstract
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CDC: California Increases HBV Vaccination in At-Risk Adults

FRIDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- In California, a public health project initiative has increased hepatitis B vaccinations among at-risk adults. However, in the United States there is an increasing incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma -- which often results from hepatitis B infection, according to two reports published in the May 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Iron Deficiency in ICU Patients Tied to Higher Transfusion Rate

FRIDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- In patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), functional iron deficiency -- defined as low reticulocyte hemoglobin content (CHr) -- is common, and is strongly associated with higher transfusion requirements, according to a study in the May issue of Anesthesiology.

Abstract
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Article Lays Out Nurses' Role in Safe Handling of Chemotherapy

FRIDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Perioperative nurses can play a crucial role in developing best practices for handling chemotherapy in perioperative practice, and in providing preoperative and postoperative education to patients and their families, according to an article published in the April issue of the AORN Journal.

Abstract
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Estrogen Use Linked to More Mammograms, Biopsies

FRIDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women taking estrogen alone are more likely to have otherwise avoidable mammograms with short-interval follow-up recommendations or breast biopsies, and their biopsies may be less commonly diagnosed as cancer; however, breast cancer detection among these women is not significantly compromised except, perhaps, in the early years of use, according to research published online May 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Panel Urges More Action on Environmental Cancer Risks

THURSDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- The burden of environmentally-induced cancer has been greatly underestimated, and action must be taken to assess the effects of environmental contaminants on human health, according to a May 6 report from the President's Cancer Panel.

More Information

Study Questions Milk Drinking, Renal Cell Carcinoma Link

THURSDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to the findings of previous research, the suggested link between milk drinking and an increased risk for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) may be unwarranted, according to research published in the May issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Abstract
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Participation of Fellow in Colonoscopies Boosts Detection

THURSDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- When gastrointestinal (GI) fellows -- especially third-year fellows -- are involved in the performance of routine screening colonoscopies, the detection rates for adenomas and polyps are increased, according to a study in the May issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Abstract
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Drinking During Pregnancy May Raise Child's Leukemia Risk

THURSDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- In utero exposure to alcohol is associated with a significantly increased risk of childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is relatively rare, according to research published in the May issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Abstract
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White Paper Addresses Pros and Cons of HPV Typing

WEDNESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- A new white paper -- "What is the Role of HPV Typing in the United States Now and in the Next Five Years in a Vaccinated Population?" -- provides guidance to clinicians about the administration of advanced screening technologies for cervical cancer prevention. The paper was published online April 24 in Gynecologic Oncology.

Abstract
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PSA Kinetics Not Reliable in Predicting Adverse Pathology

WEDNESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) velocity (PSAV) and doubling time (PSADT) do not appear to be reliable in predicting adverse pathology, and should not replace annual surveillance biopsy in men undergoing active surveillance for prostate cancer, according to a study published online May 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Editorial

Noncardia Gastric Cancer Rate Up in Young White Adults

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of noncardia gastric cancer has declined overall in America since the late 1970s but increased among whites aged 25 to 39, and the use of adjuvant chemotherapy for gastric cancer is associated with lower mortality risk compared to surgery alone, according to two studies in the May 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract - Anderson
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Abstract - Paoletti
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Kidney Disease Therapy May Increase Cardiovascular Risks

TUESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), therapy with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) that target higher levels of hemoglobin increases the risk of stroke, hypertension and thrombosis, according to a meta-analysis published online May 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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New Parasite Screening Test Approved

MONDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- A new test that spots a deadly blood-borne parasite in donated blood, tissue or organs has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

National Library of Medicine

Anti-Reflux Surgery Not Seen to Prevent Esophageal Cancers

MONDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to arguments supporting the theory that anti-reflux surgery prevents the subsequent development of esophageal and cardia cancers, it does not appear to have any such preventive benefit, according to research published in the April issue of Gastroenterology.

Abstract
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