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Category: Oncology | Monthly Briefing

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September 2010 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Last Updated: October 01, 2010.

 

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

Blacks With Prostate Cancer Have Better Well-Being

THURSDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- African-American men recently diagnosed with prostate cancer may have better emotional well-being than white men with prostate cancer, despite similar physical functioning, according to research published in the September issue of Urology.

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FDG-PET Predicts Need for Resection in Esophageal Cancer

THURSDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A complete response (CR) to chemoradiotherapy (CRT) treatment of esophageal cancer seen on [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) scanning predicts a good outcome, and, if confirmed in larger studies, may be used to identify patients who do not need esophagectomy, according to research published online Sept. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Watchful Waiting Shows Cost Advantage in Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Watchful waiting with active surveillance (WWAS) may steeply reduce costs compared to radical prostatectomy in men with low-risk prostate cancer, according to research published in the September issue of Urology.

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Comorbidities at Prostatectomy Tied to Other Causes of Death

THURSDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Men undergoing radical prostatectomy who have greater comorbidity after surgery also have a higher risk of death from other causes than prostate cancer, so assessing patients' other conditions may be advisable when considering treatment, according to research published in the September issue of Urology.

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In Breast Cancer, Early Fertility Preservation Referral Better

THURSDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Referring young, newly diagnosed breast cancer patients to a reproductive specialist before surgery may speed up fertility preservation (FP) procedures and allow time for two cycles of ovarian stimulation (OS) between surgery and initiation of chemotherapy, according to research published online Sept. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Various Neuroblastoma Treatments Found Effective

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- High-risk neuroblastoma patients may experience increased survival with immunotherapy treatment instead of standard treatment, and intermediate-risk neuroblastoma patients may fare well with a biologically-based treatment and reduced chemotherapy regimen, according to two articles published in the Sept. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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In Endometrial Cancer, Uterus-Sparing Approach Effective

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The combined use of a levonorgestrel-release intrauterine device (LNG-IUD) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) appears to be effective for treating women under 40 years of age with atypical endometrial hyperplasia (AEH) or well-differentiated (G1), endometrioid endometrial cancer (EC) limited to the endometrium, who want to preserve their fertility, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in the Annals of Oncology.

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Elevated Protein Levels Prevent Cancer Cell Death

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Elevation of the stress-related heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) in the cancer cells of breast cancer patients may prevent cancer cell death, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in Molecular Cancer Research.

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Gene Linked to Musculoskeletal Toxicity in Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The T-cell leukemia 1A (TCL1A) gene appears to be associated with musculoskeletal adverse events in women undergoing treatment with aromatase inhibitors (AIs) for early-stage breast cancer, according to a study published online Sept. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Taribavirin Shows Benefit in Hepatitis C Versus Ribavirin

TUESDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Taribavirin (TBV) appears to be a safe and effective alternative to ribavirin (RBV) for treating chronic hepatitis C, with lower associated rates of anemia, according to research published in the October issue of Hepatology.

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Function Scores Linked to Patient Distress in Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Assessing bother -- or patient distress due to functional losses -- provides insight into patients' health-related quality of life (HRQOL) following prostate cancer treatment, according to research published in the October issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Racial Disparities Seen With End-of-Life Discussions

TUESDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients with advanced cancer who have had end-of-life (EOL) discussions with their physicians still tend to receive more life-prolonging care than white patients who have had such discussions, according to a study in the Sept. 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Hospice Disenrollment Tied to Higher Health Care Use

TUESDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with cancer who disenroll from hospice are likely to experience increased hospitalization rates and higher Medicare expenditures than those who remain enrolled in hospice until death, according to a study published online Aug. 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Terlipressin Linked to Sodium Reduction in Bleeding Patients

TUESDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with severe portal-hypertensive bleeding who are treated with terlipressin commonly have an acute reduction in serum sodium concentration that is associated with neurological complications and is usually reversible after the treatment is ended, according to research published in the October issue of Hepatology.

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Partner With Breast Cancer Ups Risk for Severe Mood Disorder

MONDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Male partners of women with breast cancer have a significantly increased risk of an affective disorder severe enough to require hospitalization, and this risk increases with increasing severity of the cancer, according to research published online Sept. 27 in Cancer.

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FDA: Certain Lots of Epogen and Procrit Recalled

MONDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Amgen have notified health care professionals that certain lots of epoetin alfa (Epogen and Procrit) are being recalled, as product vials may contain extremely thin glass flakes (lamellae) that could result in serious adverse events.

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Adverse Pathology Not Seen in Deferred Prostatectomy

FRIDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Men with low- to intermediate-risk prostate cancer undergoing prostate-specific antigen surveillance who later have deferred radical prostatectomy do not have significantly worsened pathologic features after surgery than men undergoing primary radical prostatectomy, according to research published in the October issue of The Journal of Urology.

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More Than Quarter Readmitted in 90 Days After Cystectomy

FRIDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients are readmitted to the hospital in the three months after radical cystectomy, and several factors can offer guidance on which patients have a higher risk of requiring readmission, according to research published in the October issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Salpingo-Oophorectomy Recommendations Released

FRIDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists has released recommendations for the performance of prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) based on a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer. The recommendations have been published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Cytotoxic Testicular Cancer Treatment May Raise CVD Risk

FRIDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Men who receive chemotherapy, radiotherapy (RT), or a combination of the two as treatment for testicular cancer (TC) may be at increased long-term risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to research published online Sept. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Factors Tied to Higher Risk of Liver Cancer in Hep C Patients

FRIDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- People with elevated hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA and ALT levels and HCV genotype 1 appear to be at increased risk for developing hepatocellular carcinoma, according to research published online Sept. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Workday Exercise Tied to Invasive Breast Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who get regular exercise during their workday or at home appear to have a reduced risk for developing invasive breast cancer, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Incidental Adnexal Masses Not Uncommon at Colonography

THURSDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Among older women undergoing colonography, incidental indeterminate adnexal masses identified at unenhanced computed tomography (CT) are relatively common, though additional work-up isn't likely to find ovarian cancers; however, women with normal findings at CT aren't protected from developing ovarian cancer in the next few years, according to research published in the October issue of Radiology.

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Halting Imatinib After 3 Years May Lead to Tumor Progression

THURSDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Interruption of imatinib after three years of treatment among patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) who had been responding to treatment is likely to result in rapid disease progression, according to a study published online Sept. 22 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Novel Genetic Variants Linked to Ovarian Cancer Discovered

THURSDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- An international consortium of scientists has discovered new genetic variants affecting a woman's risk for ovarian cancer. Their findings were published online Sept. 19 in Nature Genetics.

Abstract
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In Unresectable Gall Bladder Cancer, Chemotherapy Benefits

THURSDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Chemotherapy, particularly modified gemcitabine and oxaliplatin (mGEMOX), appears to be superior to best supportive care (BSC) in the treatment of patients with unresectable gall bladder cancer, according to research published online Sept. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Venous Thromboembolism Seen After 1% of Hip Replacements

THURSDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Venous thromboembolism following total hip replacement occurs in roughly 1 percent of patients who receive pharmacological thromboprophylaxis, and factors associated with increased risk of venous thromboembolism include osteoarthritis, a history of cardiovascular disease, and previous thromboembolism, according to research published in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Fondaparinux Effective in Superficial-Vein Thrombosis

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Fondaparinux appears to be safe and effective for reducing symptomatic superficial-vein thrombosis of the legs and may reduce the risk of that condition progressing to deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, according to the results of a large randomized trial published in the Sept. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Mammography Program in Norway Tied to Drop in Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The availability of a breast cancer screening program in Norway is related to a reduced rate of breast cancer mortality, though only about a third of the reduction can be attributed to the screening mammography itself, according to a study in the Sept. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Home-Based Intervention Beneficial for Anemic Infants

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Infants with iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) who receive a home-based intervention -- consisting of weekly visits to foster child development -- show improvements in cognitive and social-emotional scores, but don't quite catch up with nonanemic peers in the latter category, according to research published online Sept. 20 in Pediatrics.

Abstract
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Depth of Melanoma Excision Varies by Physician Type

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The depth of excision of invasive melanomas differs substantially among different types of physicians, according to a study in the September issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Telomere Length Linked to Outcomes in Aplastic Anemia

TUESDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with severe aplastic anemia receiving immunosuppressive therapy, telomere length is related to risk of relapse, clonal evolution, and survival, according to research published in the Sept. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Stool DNA Tests Not Cost-Effective for Cancer Screening

TUESDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Screening Medicare beneficiaries for colorectal cancer (CRC) using stool DNA testing is not currently cost-effective, but could be if the cost per test dropped dramatically or if adherence to the testing were substantially better than for other screening tests, according to an analysis published in the Sept. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Testicular Cancer Screening in Asymptomatic Men Not Needed

TUESDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- No new evidence has emerged warranting a change in the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's (USPSTF's) 2004 conclusion that screening asymptomatic men for testicular cancer is unlikely to offer benefits over clinical detection, according to a literature review in the Sept. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Sentinel-Lymph-Node Surgery Safe, Effective Option

TUESDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Outcomes for women with breast cancer with clinically negative lymph nodes who undergo sentinel-lymph-node (SLN) surgery are clinically equivalent to outcomes for those who undergo the more invasive axillary-lymph-node dissection (ALND), according to a study published online Sept. 21 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Studies Assess Immediate Breast Reconstruction Issues

MONDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In breast cancer patients who undergo immediate breast reconstruction (IBR), post-mastectomy irradiation (PMRT) is linked to surgical complications and implant loss, but the risk of noninfectious postoperative complications isn't higher after mastectomy and IBR in women who receive chemotherapy, according to two studies published in the September issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Abstract - Christante
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Abstract - Peled
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Pazopanib Promising for Differentiated Thyroid Cancers

MONDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Pazopanib results in a partial response in nearly half of patients with metastatic, rapidly progressive, and radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancers, according to research published online Sept. 20 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Molecule's Role in Lung Cancer Tumor Growth Clarified

THURSDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Among mice with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), overexpression of the molecule microRNA-21 (miR-21) enhances the development of lung tumors, while miR-21 underexpression retards tumor growth, compared to mice with normal miR-21 expression, according to a study in the Sept. 14 issue of Cancer Cell.

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Gene Therapy May Successfully Treat Blood Disorder

THURSDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic therapy may free patients with severe β-thalassemia from the necessity of receiving regular blood transfusions, according to a letter published in the Sept. 16 issue of Nature.

Abstract
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Lowest Dose of Aspirin Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Regular use of low-dose aspirin appears to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) in the general population, which is evident after just five years of use, according to a study published online Sept. 15 in Gut.

Abstract
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Anemia Therapy in Diabetes Patients With CKD Carries Risk

THURSDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), type 2 diabetes, and anemia treated with an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) who have a poor initial response are at higher risk for cardiovascular events and death than better-responding patients, according to a study in the Sept. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Myelofibrosis Drug Associated With Clinical Benefit

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) and JAK2 inhibitor appears to be an effective targeted treatment for advanced myelofibrosis, according to research published in the Sept. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Hyperglycemia Linked to Poor Outcomes in Ischemic Stroke

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients who suffer ischemic stroke, hyperglycemia at admission may increase the risks for poor outcomes after thrombolysis, according to a study in the September issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Abstract
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Adherence Low for Colorectal Cancer Screening Program

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to biennial fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) to detect signs of colorectal cancer (CRC) was low among members of a Washington State health plan, which potentially compromised its effectiveness in reducing CRC mortality, according to a study in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Routine PSA Screening Does Not Cut Prostate Cancer Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening does not ultimately reduce prostate cancer deaths, but a single PSA test at age 60 may identify men at higher risk of developing and dying from the disease, according to a pair of studies published online Sept. 14 in BMJ.

Abstract - Djulbegovic
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Abstract - Vickers
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Depression, Burnout Have Dire Impact on Medical Training

TUESDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed medical students are more likely to endorse depression stigma attitudes than nondepressed students, and those with burnout are more likely to engage in unprofessional conduct and less likely to hold altruistic views of physicians' social responsibilities than those without burnout, according to two articles published in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract - Schwenk
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Abstract - Dyrbye
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Sacrifice Makes Industry Gifts Seem More Acceptable

TUESDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Residents who are reminded of the sacrifices they made to attain their medical education tend to rate the acceptability of industry-sponsored gifts higher than those who are not reminded, according to research published in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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African-Americans May Be Reluctant Blood Donors

TUESDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- African-Americans are less likely to donate blood because of a general distrust of the health care system, according to research conducted at African-American churches in Atlanta and published online Sept. 14 in Transfusion.

Abstract
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Home Hospice Cancer Deaths Easier on Patients, Caregivers

TUESDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Terminal cancer patients who die in the hospital have higher distress levels and worse quality of life (QoL) at the end of life (EOL) than those who die at home with hospice care, and their bereaved caregivers are more likely to experience psychiatric illness, according to research published online Sept. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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ADHD Drug Helps Childhood Cancer Survivors in Long Term

TUESDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Methylphenidate (MPH), the stimulant drug most commonly prescribed to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, appears to ameliorate behavior and attention problems in childhood cancer survivors over the course of a year, according to research published online Sept. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Genetic Mutations Linked With Deadly Ovarian Cancer

MONDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC), a particularly aggressive form of ovarian cancer often resistant to standard therapy, appears to be associated with mutations of two specific genes, according to research published online Sept. 8 in Science.

Abstract
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Re-Consent Important Before Secondary Use of Genetic Data

MONDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Most research participants want to be asked for secondary consent -- referred to as re-consent -- before their existing personal genetic data are added to the federal database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP), according to research published in the September issue of the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics.

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If Baseline PSA <2, Further Screening May Not Be Beneficial

MONDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Men with low baseline levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) at ages 55 to 74 are unlikely to have a survival benefit from additional screening or treatment of prostate cancers, according to research published online Sept. 13 in Cancer.

Abstract
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Little Between-Surgeon Variation Seen for Mastectomy

FRIDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- For breast cancer patients, between-surgeon variation is wider for patients' receipt of breast reconstruction than for receipt of mastectomy, according to research published online Sept. 8 in Medical Care.

Abstract
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Women's Weight Before Colon Cancer Linked to Mortality Risk

THURSDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Among postmenopausal women with colon cancer, those who are underweight or obese or have increased abdominal obesity before the diagnosis appear to be at increased risk of mortality, according to research published in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Abstract
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Melanoma Sentinel Node Score Stratifies Risk

THURSDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A weighted score of non-sentinel node (NSN) indices could predict which patients with sentinel node (SN)-positive melanoma could possibly be spared completion lymph node dissection (CLND), according to research published online Sept. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Marginally Low Birth Weight Ups Iron Deficiency Risk

THURSDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Iron supplementation at 2 mg/kg per day from 6 weeks to 6 months of age reduces the elevated risk of iron deficiency (ID) and iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in marginally low birth weight (MLBW) infants, without short-term adverse effects on growth or morbidity, according to a study published online Sept. 6 in Pediatrics.

Abstract
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New Assay Effectively Predicts Risk for Ovarian Cancer

THURSDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A novel assay that uses serum HE4 and CA125 to predict epithelial ovarian cancer in women with pelvic masses appears to have a significantly higher sensitivity than the Risk of Malignancy Index (RMI), according to research published in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Abstract
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Annual Medical Liability Costs Surpass $50 Billion

THURSDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The annual costs of the medical liability system in the United States total more than $50 billion, which accounts for a relatively small but non-trivial portion of total health care spending, according to an article in the September issue of Health Affairs.

Abstract
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Mutation May Underlie Endometriosis-Related Cancers

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers may have discovered the molecular pathway by which endometriosis begins to progress to ovarian clear-cell and endometrioid carcinomas, according to a study published online Sept. 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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U.S. Adult Smoking Rate Stabilizes After Decline

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The proportion of U.S. adult smokers has remained stable since a decline between 2000 and 2005, with rates of secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmokers remaining high despite recent decreases, according to two early-release reports published Sept. 7 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Gemcitabine Not Superior for Resected Pancreatic Cancer

TUESDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For patients who undergo complete resection of pancreatic cancer, treatment with gemcitabine does not result in improved overall survival compared to treatment with fluorouracil plus folinic acid, though it may lead to fewer adverse events, according to a study in the Sept. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Psilocybin Improves Anxiety, Mood in Advanced Cancer

TUESDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate doses of the hallucinogen psilocybin appear to be safe and feasible for reducing anxiety in patients with advanced-stage cancer, according to a study published online Sept. 6 in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Abstract
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Bowel Disease Is Risk Factor for Recurrent VTE

FRIDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who have had a venous thromboembolism (VTE) have a higher risk of having a recurrence than those with a prior VTE but no IBD, according to a study in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

Abstract
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Bisphosphonates May Raise Esophageal Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Oral bisphosphonate use over five years may double one's risk of developing esophageal cancer, according to a study published online Sept. 2 in BMJ.

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Debulking of Ovarian Cancer Can Be Before or After Chemo

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Debulking surgery for advanced ovarian cancer results in similar outcomes whether it is done before or after adjuvant chemotherapy, according to a study published in the Sept. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Metformin Shows Promise As Cancer Chemopreventive Drug

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A trio of studies published online Sept. 1 in Cancer Prevention Research highlight the possibility that metformin and possibly other biguanide drugs may eventually prove useful in chemoprevention of various cancers, including lung and colon cancer.

Abstract - Memmott
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Abstract - Hosono
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Abstract - Pollak
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Higher Selenium Level Linked to Lower Bladder Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Increased selenium intake may decrease bladder cancer risk by 39 percent, according to a meta-analysis published online Aug. 31 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Abstract
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