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Category: Oncology | Monthly Briefing

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May 2012 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Last Updated: June 01, 2012.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for May 2012. 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.

Slow-Growing Melanomas Lose Structure, Vary Color With Time

THURSDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- The diameter of most slow-growing melanomas (SGMs) changes very little over time, but the lesions can become more disorganized, less structured, and change or develop new colors, according to a study published in the June issue of the British Journal of Dermatology.

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Radiation Ups Event-Free, Not Overall Survival in Ped Hodgkin's

THURSDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- For children with Hodgkin's lymphoma who respond to chemotherapy, treatment with low-dose involved-field radiation therapy (IFRT) improves event-free survival (EFS), but has no significant impact on overall survival (OS), in long-term follow-up, according to a study published online May 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Patient Goals for Presenting Internet Research to Docs Vary

THURSDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- When cancer patients approach their doctors with Internet research regarding their disease, their goals for the conversation affect how they perceive their provider's responses (attributions), according to a study published online May 17 in the Journal of Applied Communication Research.

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Pre-Op Chemoradiotherapy Ups Survival in Esophageal Cancer

WEDNESDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with esophageal or esophagogastric-junction cancer, treatment with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by surgical resection is associated with improved survival compared with surgery alone, according to a study published in the May 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Working Night Shift May Increase Breast Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- There may be an increased risk of developing breast cancer among women who work night shifts, according to a study published online May 29 in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

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Pathologic Response Prediction of Survival Aided by Tumor Type

WEDNESDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- Pathologic complete response (pCR) is more highly predictive of recurrence-free survival (RFS) when specific breast cancer tumor type is factored in, according to a study published online May 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Diabetes Linked to Lung Cancer in Postmenopausal Women

WEDNESDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women with diabetes are at a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer, particularly if they require insulin therapy, according to research published online May 22 in Diabetes Care.

Abstract
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NSAID Use Linked to Reduced Risk of Skin Cancer

TUESDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including nonselective NSAIDs and older cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors, are associated with a decreased risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and malignant melanoma (MM), particularly among long-term and high-intensity NSAID users, according to a study published online May 29 in Cancer.

Abstract
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Obesity, Overweight at Diagnosis Ups B-Cell Lymphoma Prognosis

TUESDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- For U.S. veterans with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), being overweight or obese at time of diagnosis correlates with improved survival, according to a study published online May 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Probability of Long-Term Glioblastoma Survival Assessed

FRIDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although the overall mortality rate of glioblastoma is high, compared with patients newly diagnosed with glioblastoma, those who survive two years or more after diagnosis have a favorable conditional probability of future survival, according to a study published online May 8 in Cancer.

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Selenium and/or Vitamin E Do Not Prevent Bladder Cancer

FRIDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Neither selenium nor vitamin E alone or used in combination appears to prevent bladder cancer in men, according to a study published in the June issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract
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Pancreatectomy OK Without Downstaging From Therapy

FRIDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Pancreatectomy improves median survival in pancreatic cancer patients even when presurgical neoadjuvant therapy does not lead to radiographic downstaging of tumors, according to a study published online May 17 in Cancer.

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Vemurafenib, Dabrafenib Linked to Cutaneous Side Effects

THURSDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- The selective small molecule inhibitors of BRAF, vemurafenib and dabrafenib, are associated with diverse cutaneous side effects, including both malignant and benign growths, when used to treat patients with melanoma with the BRAF V600E mutation, according to research published online May 21 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Emily Y. Chu, M.D., Ph.D., of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues evaluated the cutaneous adverse effects of vemurafenib and dabrafenib in 13 patients being treated for metastatic melanoma and one patient being treated for metastatic thyroid cancer.

Abstract
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Brentuximab Vedotin Effective in Large-Cell Lymphoma

THURSDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of patients with relapsed or refractory systemic anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) treated with the CD30-directed antibody-drug conjugate brentuximab vedotin achieve a complete remission, according to the results of a phase II study published online May 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Barbara Pro, M.D., of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a prospective study involving 58 patients with systemic ALCL and recurrent disease after at least one previous therapy. Participants received an outpatient infusion of brentuximab vedotin 1.8 mg/kg every three weeks. Overall objective response rate was the primary study end point.

Abstract
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Oncologists Grief at Patient Loss Affects Treatment

THURSDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Oncologists grieve over dead and dying patients, and this grief can affect both their treatment of other patients and their personal lives, according to a research letter published online May 21 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Aspirin Effective in Preventing Thromboembolism Recurrence

WEDNESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with unprovoked venous thromboembolism who have completed oral anticoagulant treatment, aspirin effectively prevents recurrence, with no apparent increase in the risk of major bleeding, according to a study published in the May 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Treatment With rt-PA Within Six Hours of Stroke Beneficial

WEDNESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute ischemic stroke, treatment with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) within six hours is associated with improved outcomes, according to two studies published online May 23 in The Lancet to coincide with presentation at the European Stroke Conference, held from May 22 to 25 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Abstract - Sandercock
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Abstract - Wardlaw
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Imaging Predicts Breast Cancer Response to Chemotherapy

WEDNESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- For women with breast cancer undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy before surgery, measurements taken by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) predict clinical response better than clinical assessment, according to a study published in the June issue of Radiology.

Abstract
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Genetic Testing Doesn't Up Post-Test Health Care Use

WEDNESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Receiving genetic susceptibility testing is associated with an increase in physician visits before testing, but does not impact subsequent health care utilization, according to a study published online May 17 in Genetics in Medicine.

Abstract
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Regorafenib Active in Metastatic GI Stromal Tumors

WEDNESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Regorafenib, an inhibitor of multiple cancer-associated kinases, is active in patients with metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) who have failed to respond to imatinib and sunitinib, according to a study published online May 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Weight Loss Reduces Potential Breast Cancer Biomarkers

TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal weight loss through diet and the combination of diet and exercise is associated with a significant reduction in serum estrogens and free testosterone, according to a study published online May 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Chemoradiotherapy Improves Survival for Elderly With NSCLC

TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- For elderly patients with locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), treatment with radiotherapy plus carboplatin improves overall survival versus radiotherapy alone, according to a study published May 22 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Dabrafenib Safe, Active Against Some Metastatic Melanomas

MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Dabrafenib, the mutant BRAF-selective inhibitor of BRAF kinase, is safe for treating solid tumors and shows antitumor activity against Val600-mutant BRAF melanomas and other solid tumors, including melanomas that have metastasized to the brain, according to a study published in the May 19 issue of The Lancet.

Abstract
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U.S. Task Force Recommends Against PSA-Based Screening

MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against the use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening for men in the general U.S. population, according to new guidelines published online May 21 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Folic Acid Enrichment May Reduce Specific Pediatric Cancers

MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Following mandatory folic acid fortification of enriched grain products in the United States in 1996 to 1998, there has been a decrease in the incidence of some childhood cancers, including Wilms tumor (WT) and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs), according to a study published online May 21 in Pediatrics.

Abstract
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Sunscreen Ingredient May Be Linked to Risk of Endometriosis

FRIDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Benzophenone (BP)-type derivatives may be linked to an increased risk of endometriosis, according to a study published in the April 17 issue of Environmental Science & Technology.

Abstract
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Adjuvant Radiochemotherapy Has Lasting Benefit in Gastric Cancer

FRIDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Ten-year data from the Southwestern Oncology Group-directed Intergroup Study 0116 confirm the benefits of adjuvant radiochemotherapy after gastric cancer resection in terms of overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS), according to research published online May 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Gene Expression Profile Testing Increasing in Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- From 2006 to 2008, the use of gene expression profile (GEP) testing increased, correlating with a decrease in the percentage of women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer receiving adjuvant chemotherapy, according to a study published online May 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Generic Versions of Plavix Approved

THURSDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic versions of Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

this drug

Bisphosphonates Cut Skeletal Morbidity in Multiple Myeloma

THURSDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with multiple myeloma, bisphosphonate treatment is associated with reduced pathological vertebral fractures, skeletal related events (SREs), and pain, but bisphosphonates do not appear to improve overall survival (OS), with the exception of zoledronate, which has been found to be superior to placebo and etidronate for improving OS, according to a review and meta-analysis published online May 16 in the The Cochrane Library.

Abstract
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STAT3 Mutations ID'd in Rare Lymphoproliferative Disorder

THURSDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately 40 percent of patients with T-cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia have mutations in the Src homology 2 (SH2) dimerization and activation domain of the signal transducer and activator of the transcription 3 (STAT3) gene, according to a study published in the May 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Sex Influences Survival in Esophageal Cancer

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Sex is an independent prognostic factor for patients with locoregional esophageal cancer (LEC) and metastatic esophageal cancer (MEC), according to a study published online May 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Pazopanib Active in Metastatic Soft-Tissue Sarcoma

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with metastatic non-adipocytic soft-tissue sarcoma, progressing in spite of previous chemotherapy, pazopanib improves progression-free survival, according to the results of a phase 3 study published online May 16 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Blacks, Hispanics Have Increased Adenoma Prevalence

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to whites, Hispanic and black patients have an increased prevalence of adenomas and an increased risk of advanced adenomas, according to a study published in the June issue of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

Abstract
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PET More Sensitive Than CT for Merkel Cell Carcinoma

TUESDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- Fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (F-18-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) is significantly more sensitive and equally specific compared with traditional computed tomography (CT) imaging for evaluation of the regional lymph node basin in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), according to research published online May 2 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Abstract
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Beta Blocker Use Is Not Linked to Reduced Colon Cancer Risk

MONDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of beta blockers is not associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), according to a study published online May 14 in Cancer.

Abstract
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Higher Melanoma Mutation Rate Tied to Chronic Sun Exposure

FRIDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Metastatic melanomas from patients with chronic sun exposure have higher mutation rates, and a single gene is mutated in 14 percent of metastatic melanomas, according to a study published online May 9 in Nature.

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New Technique Removes Inoperable Abdominal Tumors

FRIDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Multivisceral ex vivo surgery can successfully remove invasive abdominal tumors previously deemed unresectable due to location and vascular involvement, according to a case report published in the May issue of the American Journal of Transplantation.

Abstract
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Genetic Profile of Circulating Tumor Cells Is Heterogeneous

FRIDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Gene expression of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), rare cells in the blood of patients with solid tumors, is heterogeneous and is distinct from the profiles of single cells from cancer cell lines commonly used to study cancer, according to a study published online May 7 in PLoS One.

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DNA Methylation Level Is Marker of Breast Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Women with high levels of white blood cell (WBC) DNA methylation at the ATM loci have a significantly increased risk of breast cancer, regardless of family history or menopausal status, according a study published in the May 1 issue of Cancer Research.

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Sun Protective Behavior on the Rise in U.S. Adults

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Adults in the United States may be taking more precautions to avoid sunburn outdoors, but many are still getting burned, and a substantial proportion are utilizing indoor tanning, according to research published in the May 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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JAM-A Has Inhibitory Role in Platelets

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- A platelet protein, junctional adhesion molecule A (JAM-A), inhibits integrin outside-in signaling and prevents premature platelet activation, according to a study published in the April 5 issue of Blood.

Abstract
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Lenalidomide Maintenance Beneficial in Multiple Myeloma

WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with multiple myeloma, maintenance treatment with lenalidomide is associated with improved progression-free survival (PFS) for newly-diagnosed patients ineligible for transplantation and for those who have undergone stem-cell transplantation, according to three phase 3 studies published in the May 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Review: Physical Activity Cuts Mortality for Cancer Survivors

WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Physical activity correlates with reduced all-cause and breast and colon cancer-specific mortality, according to a study published online May 8 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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New Technique Predicts Prostate Cancer Relapse

WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Copy number variation (CNV) in both malignant and benign prostate tissue is predictive of prostate cancer relapse, according to a study published online May 9 in The American Journal of Pathology.

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Infectious Agents Cause About One in Six Cancers Worldwide

WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Globally, nearly two million new cancer cases are caused by infectious agents each year, according to a study published online May 9 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Health-Related QoL Evaluated for Children With Brain Tumors

WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- In children and adolescents with brain tumors treated with proton radiation, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) scores are affected by both disease type and treatment, with assessments made by the patients correlating well with those of their parents, according to a study published online May 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Metformin May Have Dual Effect in Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- For women without diabetes and with operable breast cancer, administration of metformin prior to surgery does not significantly affect the proliferative marker Ki-67 overall, but drug effects are observed according to homeostasis model assessment (HOMA), particularly in luminal B tumors, according to a study published online May 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Sun/Skin Cancer Counseling Recommended for Youth

TUESDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that physicians counsel children, adolescents, and young adults who have fair skin about ultraviolet radiation exposure and skin cancer prevention, according to new recommendations published online May 7 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Criteria for Surveillance of Small Renal Mass Examined

MONDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Active surveillance of patients with small renal masses is driven by a tumor size less than 3 cm, poor performance score (PS), and an endophytic lesion, among other patient, tumor, and surgeon characteristics, according to research published in the May issue of Urology.

Abstract
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FISH + Cytology Beats Cytology Alone for Neoplasia Detection

FRIDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with diverse pathologies who undergo endoscopic ultrasonography with fine-needle aspiration, adding fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) detection methods to conventional cytology improves the sensitivity of cytology alone for detection of neoplastic lesions, according to a study published in the May issue of Gastroenterology.

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CMS Policy Helping Hospitals to Prevent Targeted Infections

FRIDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals seem to be paying greater attention to preventing targeted health care-associated infections (HAIs) as a result of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) nonpayment policy, according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Many COPD Comorbidities Independently Tied to Mortality

FRIDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Twelve comorbidities that include cancer and cardiovascular problems are associated with a higher risk of death in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published online May 3 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Abstract
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Complementary Medicine Not Tied to Prostate Cancer Outcome

FRIDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Although widely used, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) does not impact patient satisfaction with treatment or patient-reported outcomes after treatment for localized prostate cancer, according to a study published in the May issue of Urology.

Abstract
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For Thyroid Cancer, Thyrotropin + Low-Dose Radioiodine Effective

THURSDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with thyroid cancer who undergo complete surgical resection, low-dose radioiodine plus thyrotropin is as effective as high-dose radioiodine, according to two studies published in the May 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Mitotane + Chemo Combo May Benefit Adrenocortical Cancer

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced adrenocortical cancer, mitotane plus a combination of etoposide, doxorubicin, and cisplatin (EDP) is superior to streptozocin-mitotane for rates of response and progression-free survival, but does not improve overall survival, according to a study published online May 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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Chemo Combination Promising for Multiple Myeloma

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, combination treatment with elotuzumab, lenalidomide, and low-dose dexamethasone is generally well tolerated, with encouraging response rates, according to a study published online April 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Erlotinib Plus Chemo Doesn't Improve Efficacy in NSCLC

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Adding chemotherapy with carboplatin plus paclitaxel to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib does not improve efficacy in the treatment of chemotherapy-naive, never or light former smokers with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a study published online April 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Methodological Heterogeneity Seen in Clinical Trials

TUESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical studies registered with ClinicalTrials.gov from 2007 and 2010 are predominately small, single-center trials and contain significant heterogeneity in methodology, according to a study published in the May 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Breast Brachytherapy May Not Be Best Choice in Older Women

TUESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- For older women with invasive breast cancer, treatment with brachytherapy following a lumpectomy is associated with a decreased likelihood of long-term breast preservation and an increased likelihood of complications, but no difference in overall survival, compared to whole-breast irradiation (WBI) treatment, according to a study published in the May 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Elelyso Approved for Type 1 Gaucher Disease

TUESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Elelyso (taliglucerase alfa) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a long-term enzyme replacement therapy for people with Type 1 Gaucher disease.

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Caloric Restriction Linked to Reduced Inflammation Markers

TUESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a caloric restriction weight-loss diet, with or without exercise, is associated with measurable reductions in markers of inflammation for obese or overweight postmenopausal women, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of Cancer Research.

Abstract
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Women Have Clear Melanoma Survival Advantage Over Men

TUESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women with localized melanoma have a consistent advantage over men of approximately 30 percent for survival and progression, according to a study published online April 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy Offers Benefits

TUESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with open transthoracic esophagectomy, minimally invasive transthoracic esophagectomy is associated with significantly fewer pulmonary infections and with other short-term benefits in patients with resectable cancer of the esophagus, according to research published online May 1 in The Lancet.

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