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Category: Oncology | Monthly Briefing

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February 2011 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Last Updated: March 01, 2011.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for February 2011. 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.

Type of Radiation Used Affects Response in Anal Cancer

MONDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with anal canal squamous cell carcinoma (SCCA), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is associated with less toxicity, fewer and shorter treatment breaks, and good overall survival (OS) and locoregional control (LRC) compared with conventional radiotherapy (CRT), according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Cancer.

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Radioembolization Promising in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

MONDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have similar survival times whether they are treated with chemoembolization or radioembolization with Yttrium-90, but radioembolization results in less toxicity and longer time-to-progression, according to a study in the February issue of Gastroenterology.

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Trial Results May Have Influenced PSA Testing Trend

MONDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing of men for prostate cancer appears to have declined slightly since the 2009 publication of trials with conflicting findings on the effect of PSA testing on mortality, according to research published online Feb. 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Editorial

Radiation Puts Dialysis Patients at Higher Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Many dialysis patients are exposed to high levels of radiation because of frequent medical imaging procedures, putting them at increased risk of cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Androgenic Alopecia Tied to Prostate Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) - Early-onset androgenic alopecia is associated with the development of prostate cancer later in life, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in the Annals of Oncology.

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Denosumab May Delay Skeletal-Related Events

FRIDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Denosumab prevents skeletal-related events for longer than zoledronic acid in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer with bone metastases, according to research published online Feb. 25 in The Lancet.

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Trastuzumab Tied to Disease-Free Survival at Four Years

FRIDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In women with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive early breast cancer, treatment with trastuzumab for one year after chemotherapy is associated with significant disease-free survival at a four-year follow-up, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)
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Prostate-Specific Antigen Velocity No Indication for Biopsy

FRIDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A current guideline on early detection of prostate cancer, which recommends biopsy based on high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) velocity even without other indications, may lead to many unnecessary biopsies, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Raised Risk of Pulmonary Embolism in Specific Cancers

THURSDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of pulmonary embolism (PE) is significantly higher for outpatients with central nervous system (CNS), pancreatic, upper gastrointestinal, and lung/pleural malignancies, and lower for hematological and breast malignancies, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Cancer.

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New System Detects Tumor Cells Quickly

THURSDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A quantitative micro-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) chip attached to a smart phone appears capable of quickly detecting tumor cells at a patient's bedside, with quicker turnaround and better accuracy than immunohistochemistry, according to research published in the Feb. 23 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Metastatic Breast Cancer Treatment Guidelines Updated

THURSDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology has issued updated guidelines for the use of bone-modifying agents (BMAs) in treating breast cancer patients with bone metastases to include a new drug, denosumab, and provide new advice regarding a potentially serious complication of treatment, osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ); an overview of the guideline update was published online Feb. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Melanoma May Affect Women's Quality of Life More Than Men's

THURSDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Melanoma has a greater impact on health-related quality of life for women than for men, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Distinctions Found Between Types of Hemoglobin H Disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with hemoglobin H disease caused by hemoglobin H Constant Spring (HCS) appear to be at much higher risk for poor outcomes than those whose disease is caused by deletion of three out of four α-globin genes (HbH), according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Livers of Live or Dead Donors Offer Similar Survival

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Recurrence and survival outcomes are similar for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) following living donor liver transplant (LDLT) and deceased donor liver transplant (DDLT), according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Hepatology.

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Cannabis May Improve Appetite in Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Ingestion of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, appears to improve sense of taste and increase appetite in cancer patients with chemosensory alterations, according to the results of a pilot trial published online Feb. 22 in the Annals of Oncology.

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Breast Cancer History Lowers Accuracy of Mammogram

TUESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Mammography screening for breast cancer may be less accurate among women with a personal history of breast cancer (PHBC), despite a higher underlying cancer rate, relative to women without PHBC, according to a study published in the Feb. 23 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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False Positives Fall With Greater Volume of Mammograms

TUESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Interpreting a high volume of mammograms may not lead radiologists to find more cancers but may help them to better distinguish between malignant and non-malignant lesions, according to research published online Feb. 22 in Radiology.

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Kyphoplasty Effective for Vertebral Fractures

MONDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Balloon kyphoplasty appears to be a safe and effective means for reducing pain and improving function in cancer patients with vertebral compression fractures (VCFs), according to research published online Feb. 17 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Partial Nephrectomy Cuts Renal Cancer Death in Elderly

MONDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Older patients are less likely to die of renal cell carcinoma when treated with partial nephrectomy; however, they are less likely to undergo partial nephrectomy than are younger patients, according to a study published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Low Pay for New Female Doctors Tied to Gender, Not Job

MONDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In 2008, male physicians who were newly trained in New York State made an average of $16,819 more than newly trained female physicians, compared to a $3,600 difference in 1999, according to a study published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

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Lower Risk of False Positive With Digital Mammography

FRIDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of false-positive results is lower with digital mammography compared to screen-film mammography, with no significant difference in the cancer detection rate between the two, according to a study published in the February issue of Radiology.

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Warfarin Lot Being Recalled Due to Mislabeled Bottle

FRIDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Upsher-Smith Laboratories Inc. is voluntarily recalling a single lot of warfarin after one bottle labeled to contain 3 mg tablets was found to contain 10 mg tablets, the company and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have announced.

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Oral Bisphosphonates May Lower Colorectal Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Use of oral bisphosphonates for more than one year in postmenopausal women is associated with a 59 percent decrease in the relative risk of colorectal cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Mutation Tied to Reduced Cancer, Diabetes Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with growth hormone receptor (GHR) mutations manifesting in abnormally short stature have reduced prevalence of diabetes and cancer, according to a study published in the Feb. 16 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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New U.S. Report on the Nation's Health 2010 Released

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics' 34th annual report, presenting the latest information on health status and determinants, utilization of health care, health care resources, expenditures, and a special feature on death and dying, was published Feb. 16.

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Mammogram Sensitivity Varies by Week of Menstrual Cycle

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Premenopausal women who schedule regular mammograms may benefit by undergoing screening during the first week of their menstrual cycle, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

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Higher Bilirubin Tied to Lower Respiratory Disease Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with bilirubin levels in the normal range, an increased level is associated with a reduced risk of respiratory disease and all-cause death, according to a study published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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MRI With Mammography Useful for High-Risk Women

TUESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- When used together with mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a useful screening tool for high-risk women who have undergone chest irradiation, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Radiology.

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Most Recalled Medical Devices Given Lenient Approval

TUESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of medical devices recalled from 2005 to 2009 for risk of serious health hazard or death were approved by the less strict 510(k) process intended for devices considered low or moderate risk, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Researchers Explore Nature of Difficult Clinical Encounters

MONDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Both patients and physicians can bring qualities to a clinical encounter that result in its being perceived as difficult, and patients involved in these types of encounters have worse short-term outcomes, according to research published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Single-Lung Tumors Respond to Radiofrequency Ablation

MONDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Pulmonary radiofrequency (RF) ablation is a safe and effective treatment option for lung tumors in patients with a single lung, according to a study published in the February issue of Radiology.

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First 3-D Mammography Test Cleared

FRIDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The first three-dimensional mammography system has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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X-Rays in Utero, Early Infancy Could Raise Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In utero and early infancy exposure to diagnostic X-rays may increase the risk for childhood cancers, according to research published online Feb. 10 in BMJ.

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CDC: Smoking Prevalence in Minnesota Down

FRIDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In Minnesota, tobacco control efforts to limit the harm caused by tobacco use appear to have substantially reduced the state's smoking prevalence, according to data published in the Feb. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin May Not Prevent Thrombosis

THURSDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) - Low-dose low-molecular-weight-heparin (LMWH) does not effectively prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE) in high-risk pregnant women, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Paternal Cancer Offspring Risk Major Birth Anomalies

THURSDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Children of male cancer survivors are slightly more likely to have major congenital birth abnormalities than those born to fathers without a history of cancer, regardless of whether they were conceived naturally or using assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), according to research published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Drugs Promising for Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The results of two phase 3, randomized controlled trials suggest that two therapies, sunitinib and everolimus, hold promise in the treatment of patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors; the findings of these trials have been published in the Feb. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Public Sector Plays Big Role in Drug Research

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Public-sector research institutions (PSRIs) appear to play a bigger role in drug discovery than was previously thought, contributing to the discovery of about 10 to 20 percent of drugs approved for new drug applications since 1990, according to research published in the Feb. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Axillary Lymph Node Dissection Does Not Affect Survival

TUESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have limited sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastatic breast cancer have similar survival rates when treated with sentinel lymph node dissection (SLND) or axillary lymph node dissection (ALND), according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Radiation Exposure After Heart Attack May Raise Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Acute myocardial infarction patients exposed to low-dose ionizing radiation for cardiac imaging or therapeutic procedures may be at an increased risk for developing cancer, according to research published online Feb. 7 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Cancer Prognosis Similar After Biologics Therapy

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Cancers that develop after anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are similar with respect to stage at presentation and survival rates, according to a study published online Jan. 18 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Recommendations for Post-Prostatectomy Radiation Static

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations for post-prostatectomy radiation therapy (PPRT) have not increased despite the recent presentation of studies reporting its association with improved biochemical disease-free survival (bDFS), according to research published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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U.S. Task Force Mammogram Recommendations Questioned

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Initiating mammography at a younger age and screening more frequently than the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends will likely result in more lives saved, according to a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Breast-Feeding May Boost Health of Cancer Survivors

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Female childhood cancer survivors should be encouraged to breast-feed as a health behavior that is protective against many late effects of cancer treatment, according to a review published online Jan. 21 in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.

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Cirrhosis Patients at Increased Risk of Extrahepatic Cancer

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with liver cirrhosis have more than double the risk of developing extrahepatic cancer than the general population, and they also have a significantly increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to a study published in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Allergies May Protect Against Glioma

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Allergies may be protective against gliomas, with an inverse relationship between the number of allergies and the risk of developing a glioma, according to a study in the March issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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340,000 U.S. Cancer Cases Preventable Annually

FRIDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- More than 300,000 U.S. cancer cases could be prevented annually with changes in diet, physical activity, and alcohol intake, according to a report released Feb. 4 by the World Cancer Research Fund. In addition, another report published online Feb. 4 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians notes that cancers associated with lifestyles and behaviors related to economic development will keep increasing in developing nations if preventive measures are not widely adopted.

World Cancer Research Fund Report
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Early Prophylaxis Effective for Children With Hemophilia

THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Prophylactic treatment of bleeding and arthropathy in children with hemophilia A is effective, particularly when initiated early in life, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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HIV Does Not Impact Survival After Liver Transplant

THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- HIV status does not impair the likelihood of survival after liver transplant for liver cancer, according to a study published in the February issue of Hepatology.

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Timing of Hormone Therapy Influences Breast Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- For women taking postmenopausal hormone therapy, breast cancer risk is greater among users of estrogen-progestin formulations, and those who begin treatment earlier, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Carboxypeptidase E Splice Variant Predicts Metastases

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- An alternative splicing variant of the carboxypeptidase E gene (CPE-ΔN) is elevated in pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas (PHEO/PGL) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Tumor Recurrence May Predict Stage Progression

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Frequency of tumor recurrence is a predictor of subsequent stage progression in patients diagnosed with nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer, according to a study published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Adoptive Immunotherapy Used to Treat Epithelial Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A T-cell receptor (TCR)-based gene therapy directed against NY-ESO-1 cancer/testis antigen may represent a new therapeutic approach for patients suffering from melanoma and synovial cell sarcoma, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Bevacizumab Plus Chemo Increases Mortality Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The number of fatal adverse events (FAEs) in cancer patients treated with the angiogenesis inhibitor bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy or biological therapy is higher than those treated with chemotherapy alone, according to a review published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Racial Gap in Death Rates Narrows for Some Cancers

TUESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer death rates are declining among African-Americans, but they still have higher death rates and shorter survival than any other racial/ethnic group in the United States for most cancers, according to the American Cancer Society's "Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2011-2012" report.

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