Friday, September 23, 2011

Hospitalization risk following prostate biopsy higher than thought

Transrectal ultrasound-guided needle biopsy of the prostate.
(Illustration courtesy of National Institute of Diabetes and
Kidney Diseases)
Sept. 23, 2011 – Cancer Digest – Men who undergo prostate biopsy for suspected cancer are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized within a month of the biopsy compared to men who don’t have the procedure, a new study shows.

Monday, September 19, 2011

For first time lung cancer rates for women drop

Sept. 19, 2011  (Cancer Digest) – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported this week that the number of men and women being diagnosed with lung cancer dropped over the recent decade of 1999 to 2008, that’s the first time the rate for women has dropped.

While men have been quitting steadily over the past decade the rates for women had been going up until 2006, when the trend reversed, and lung cancer rates for women began to decline.

The CDC's report, which was issued Sept. 18, showed that the decrease in lung cancer cases corresponds with decreases in smoking. States that have made the greatest investments in effective tobacco control strategies are seeing larger reductions in smoking and greater savings in smoking-related health care costs. 

Such states with the lowest lung cancer rates among men were in the West, and lung cancer rates among women declined in California, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Washington. 

The CDC published the study results in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. To read the full report, visit the CDC's Vital Signs report: Adult Smoking in the US.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Daughters' breast cancer showing up earlier than their moms

(Photo courtesy National Institutes
of Health)
Sept. 12, 2011 (Cancer Digest) – What you don’t know can hurt you, and now researchers know that what you do know may hurt you sooner, at least as far genetic mutations for breast cancer are concerned.

A new study shows that women carriers of two genetic mutations that dramatically boost the risk of breast cancer are being diagnosed with breast cancer at an average age of 42 compared to age 48 for their mothers and aunts. The study was published online ahead of print in the journal Cancer.

Co-Author Dr. Jennifer Litton, assistant professor in MD Anderson Cancer Center’s department of Breast Medical Oncology, and colleagues say the study raises the possibility that having the genetic mutations in BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 may be causing cancer at an earlier age with each successive generation, a phenomenon called anticipation.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bone Cancer Drug Reconsidered by UK's National Health Service

SEPT. 7, 2011 – Japanese drugmaker Takeda won acceptance of its bone cancer drug, Mepact, to be included in the approved formulary of the state-funded National Health Service after reducing the price of the drug. The drug had failed to meet the National Health Service's cost-benefit profile last October. Takeda revised its proposal by adding a price-reduction scheme that would make the drug free for the first seven doses.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Chemotherapy before surgery gives big boost to women with BRCA1 gene

Women with the BRCA1 gene mutation
are more likely to achieve a complete
response with chemotherapy before
surgery. (Photo courtesy NCI.)
SEPT. 6, 2011 (CancerDigest) – If there is a silver lining to being a woman with the BRCA1 gene mutation that increases the risk of breast cancer, it is that they also have a good chance of responding to therapy. Almost half the women with the BRCA1 gene mutation who underwent chemotherapy before surgery achieved a complete response, meaning disappearance of all cancer based on microscopic examination of tissue samples in a recent study.

The study, led by Dr. Banu Arun, professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, is the largest to date to find that complete response rate is significantly higher in women with the BRCA1 mutation than for women with BRCA2 mutations. The study showed that 46 percent of the BRCA1 women achieved the complete response compared to 13 percent of those with BRCA2, and 22 percent of women without either gene mutation. The study was published online Sept. 6, 2011 in The Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Skin-Cancer Diagnostic Device Gains EU Approval

SEPT. 6, 2011 – A device to detect the deadly form of skin cancer that has been ruled as not approvable by the U.S. FDA, has been approved by The European Union. The handheld imager and a computer program that analyzes images of the skin in an attempt to distinguish melanoma from harmless blemishes. The company says its study showed MelaFind was 98.3% effective in identifying melanoma. The study, which examined 1,632 skin lesions on 1,383 patients, was published in the Archives of Dermatology