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Category: Oncology | Monthly Briefing

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December 2010 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Last Updated: January 03, 2011.

 

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

Treatment Effective for HCC Patients With Cirrhosis

THURSDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) appears to be safe and effective for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) among patients with cirrhosis, according to a study published online Oct. 21 in Hepatology.

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Conservative Lenalidomide Treatment Effective for CLL

THURSDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The oral immunomodulatory drug lenalidomide appears to be clinically active and well tolerated as a first-line, single-agent treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) if given conservatively, according to research published online Dec. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Mutation May Increase GI Cancer Susceptibility

THURSDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A single mutation in the BUB1B gene appears to result in greater susceptibility to recessively inherited gastrointestinal cancers, according to research published in the Dec. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Primary Sites Identified in Cancer of Unknown Primary

THURSDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The association of cancer of unknown primary (CUP) with families of kidney, lung, and colorectal cancers suggests a genetic basis and shared metastatic mechanisms by several cancer types, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Pain Tied to Smoking Status in Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- There may be an association between increased pain severity plus interference from pain and being a smoker in individuals with a cancer diagnosis, according to research published in the January issue of PAIN.

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Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Prognostic Factors Identified

TUESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Initial treatment of oral squamous cell carcinoma with more than one modality as well as shorter time to recurrence (TTR) appears to be associated with worse outcomes in those who develop locoregional recurrence, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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AML Outcomes Improve With Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin

TUESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) to induction chemotherapy among younger patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) appears to improve survival with little additional toxicity, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Doubt Cast on Need for Some Esophageal Cancer Screening

TUESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Screening for esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is not warranted in younger white men with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or white women of any age with GERD symptoms, according to research published online Dec. 7 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Immunochemical Fecal Testing Speeds Cancer Detection

THURSDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Patients at high risk for colorectal cancer who undergo yearly fecal immunochemical tests (FITs) along with scheduled colonoscopies are likely to have neoplasia detected a median of 25 months earlier than colonoscopy alone, according to a study published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Racial Disparities in HCC Exist Regardless of Treatment

THURSDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Blacks have a higher rate of mortality than whites, Hispanics, and Asians after treatment for early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and this disparity persists even after adjusting for various types of treatment and treatment benefit, according to research published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Many Factors Affect Speaking, Swallowing Outcomes in Cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Factors including gender, smoking history, cancer site, and age correlate with speaking and swallowing outcomes among patients successfully treated for locoregionally advanced cancers of the head and neck, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Drug Combo Found Effective in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of pegylated interferon (peginterferon) alfa-2a to imatinib therapy in patients with chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) appears to result in significantly higher rates of molecular response than other treatments, according to a study published in the Dec. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Genetic Deletions Tied to Poorer Outcomes in Brain Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- NFKBIA deletion appears to promote tumor growth in glioblastomas that do not have epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) alterations, according to research published online Dec. 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Gardasil Approval Expanded to Include Anal Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil has been widened to include prevention of anal cancer and associated precancerous lesions, the agency said Wednesday in a news release.

National Cancer Institute

Cancer Survival Rates Vary Across Six Countries

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Survival rates for colorectal, breast, lung, and ovarian cancers are higher in Australia, Canada, and Sweden than Denmark and the United Kingdom and are intermediate in Norway, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in The Lancet.

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Genes Active in Cancer, Healthy Tissue Predictive of Survival

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have discovered sets of genes in lung tumors and adjacent healthy tissue that appear to be predictive of survival duration and may help physicians tailor treatment based on a patient's genetic information; their study has been published online Dec. 14 in PLoS Medicine.

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Lymphoma Outcomes Better With Rituximab Maintenance

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with follicular lymphoma have significantly better progression-free survival if they undergo two years of rituximab maintenance therapy after immunochemotherapy, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in The Lancet.

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Leukemic Stem Cell Expression May Be Prognostic

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and high expression of self-renewing leukemic stem cells (LSC) appear to experience worse clinical outcomes, according to research published in the Dec. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Germline KILLIN Methylation Common in Cowden Syndrome

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with Cowden syndrome or Cowden-like syndrome, germline KILLIN methylation is common, and it is related to increased risks of renal and breast cancer compared with individuals who are PTEN mutation-positive, according to research published in the Dec. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Few Tie Tanning Bed Avoidance to Lower Skin Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Indoor tanning use is higher among women than men, but few individuals of either gender say that avoidance of tanning beds reduces skin cancer risk, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Cowden Syndrome Tied to Colon Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals who carry the genetic mutation that causes Cowden syndrome -- associated with macrocephaly and an elevated risk of breast and thyroid cancers -- are also at increased risk of colon cancer, according to a study published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Rash After Cetuximab Is Indicator of Clinical Benefit

MONDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- An acne-like rash among patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) undergoing treatment with cisplatin and vinorelbine plus cetuximab is associated with improved outcomes, according to research published online Dec. 20 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Study Investigates Genetics of Pediatric Medulloblastomas

MONDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood medulloblastomas may have a smaller number of gene alterations than the number seen in adult solid tumors, according to research published online Dec. 16 in Science.

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FDA: Anzemet Injection Tied to Abnormal Heart Rhythm

FRIDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified health care professionals of a contraindication being added to the prescribing information of dolasetron mesylate (Anzemet), warning that the injection should no longer be used to prevent nausea and vomiting associated with treatment in pediatric or adult patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy.

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Fat Distribution Tied to Higher Risk of ER-Negative Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Abdominal adiposity does not appear to play a significant role in the risk for premenopausal breast cancer overall, though it does seem to be associated with an increased risk of estrogen receptor (ER)-negative cancer, according to research published online Dec. 16 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Decreasing Depression Tied to Longer Survival in Breast CA

FRIDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers studying women with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) have found a correlation between a reduction in depressive symptoms and increased duration of survival; their findings have been published online Dec. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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FDA: Bevacizumab Should Not Be Used for Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recommended that the breast cancer indication on the label for bevacizumab (Avastin) be removed because the drug has not been proven a safe and effective breast cancer treatment. The drug is manufactured by Genentech.

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Immunotherapy May Inhibit Tumor Growth

THURSDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A combination therapy of immune stimulants and regulatory molecules appears to block angiogenesis critical to tumor development, according to research published in the Dec. 15 issue of Cancer Research.

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Mutations Associated With Adrenal Gland Tumors ID'd

TUESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have uncovered genetic variations associated with a type of tumor found in the adrenal gland, and their findings have been published in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Many With Brain Tumors Use Alternative Therapies

TUESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Many individuals with glial tumors use alternative therapies in combination with standard treatments, according to a study published in the Dec. 14 issue of Neurology.

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Transvaginal Ultrasound Detects Endometrial Cancer

MONDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Transvaginal ultrasound (TVS) screening appears to be effective in detecting endometrial cancer prior to symptom onset in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Annual Screening for Ovarian Cancer Likely Not Helpful

MONDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Widespread screening for ovarian cancer likely would result in no more than a slight reduction in mortality, even when basing estimates on a model that incorporates two cancer phenotypes, according to research published online Dec. 13 in Cancer.

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Brachytherapy Increasing After Breast-Conserving Surgery

FRIDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Nonclinical factors, including health policy decisions, appear to play an important role in the increasing use of partial breast irradiation with brachytherapy after breast-conserving surgery (BCS), according to research published online Dec. 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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More Skin Cancers Occur on the Left Side of the Body

FRIDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- There is an increased prevalence of left-sided skin cancers compared with right-sided skin cancers, especially in men and particularly with malignant melanoma in situ, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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U.S. Falling Short on Women's Health Goals

FRIDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In terms of women's health, the United States hasn't met a number of its goals, many of which are found on the Healthy People 2010 list, according to a new report from the National Women's Law Center and the Oregon Health & Science University.

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New 3-Drug Regimen Improves Outcomes for Myeloma Patients

FRIDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of bortezomib to the standard induction therapy before double autologous stem cell transplantation for patients with multiple myeloma appears to improve rates of complete or near complete response nearly three-fold, according to research published online Dec. 10 in The Lancet.

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Death Rate in U.S. Down, but So Is Life Expectancy, Slightly

THURSDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Life expectancy has declined slightly in the United States, stroke is no longer the third leading cause of death, and heart disease and cancer still account for nearly half of U.S. deaths; these and other statistics can be found in a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, entitled "Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2008."

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Brief, Slight Exposure to Smoke Can Still Cause Damage

THURSDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Even very brief exposure to tobacco smoke may cause immediate damage that can have serious long-term consequences, according to a recently released Surgeon General's report, "How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease."

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Benefits of Radiotherapy in Breast Cancer Confirmed

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A long-term follow-up study has confirmed the effectiveness of radiotherapy in reducing the incidence of ipsilateral breast events and found that tamoxifen has a role in preventing local and contralateral new breast events for women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The research has been published online Dec. 8 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Low-Dose Aspirin May Not Hamper Fecal Blood Testing

TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Among people screened with immunochemical fecal occult blood tests (iFOBTs), the tests may have higher sensitivity for detecting advanced colorectal neoplasms in those using low-dose aspirin, according to research published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Radiographic Emphysema Not Predictive of Lung Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Airflow obstruction in people at high risk of lung cancer appears to be a risk factor for the disease, a finding that falls in line with previous research, though there is not a clear relationship between quantitative radiographic evidence of emphysema and lung cancer, according to a study published in the December issue of Chest.

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Many New Cancer Drugs Require Updated Safety Labels

TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Many serious or potentially fatal adverse reactions associated with new, targeted anticancer agents are not reported in the original published research on the drug and are not known to oncologists until years later, when updated drug labels, including boxed warnings, are required, according to research published online Dec. 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Daily Sunscreen Use May Reduce Melanoma Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The use of daily sunscreen among adults may reduce the risk of melanoma, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Prostate CA Treatment Should Not Be Based on Age Alone

TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Potentially curative local therapy is underused among older men with high-risk prostate cancer, which may partially explain age-related differences in cancer-specific survival, according to research published online Dec. 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Daily Aspirin Tied to Decreased Risk of Cancer Mortality

TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Daily aspirin over at least five years appears to greatly reduce mortality from gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal cancers, according to research published online Dec. 7 in The Lancet.

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IV Iron of No Benefit in Chemo-Associated Anemia Treatment

THURSDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Intravenous (IV) iron supplements given to patients with chemotherapy-associated anemia (CAA) do not significantly improve their response to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) compared to oral iron supplements or placebo, according to a study published online Nov. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Burnout Driving Away Many Emergency Physicians

THURSDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Conflicts between work and family and poor on-the-job teamwork contribute to burnout and drive many physicians, particularly emergency physicians, to want to leave their profession, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

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Docetaxel Regimen Superior in Node-Negative Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The taxane drug docetaxel, known to be superior to fluorouracil when given with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (TAC and FAC) for node-positive breast cancer, is also superior when used in this combination for high-risk, node-negative breast cancer, according to research published in the Dec. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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