Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mammography screening debate rages on

Stamatia Destounis, M.D.
CHICAGO -- Women ages 40 to 49 with no family history of breast cancer have similar rates of invasive disease as those with familial risk, radiologists reported here, firing yet another salvo at government mammography guidelines.

Among a group of more than 1,000 breast cancer patients, 64% of those with no family history of breast cancer had invasive disease, as did 63.2% of those with family history, a non-significant difference, according to Stamatia Destounis, MD, of Elizabeth Wende Breast Care in Rochester, N.Y., and colleagues.

Friday, November 18, 2011

FDA revokes Avastin approval for breast cancer

FDA Commissioner Margaret A.
Hamburg, M.D. speaking at a press
briefing last May in Geneva.
FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., said today she is revoking the agency’s approval of the breast cancer indication for Avastin (bevacizumab) after concluding that the drug has not been shown to be safe and effective for that use.

Avastin will still remain on the market as an approved treatment for certain types of colon, lung, kidney and brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme).

“This was a difficult decision. FDA recognizes how hard it is for patients and their families to cope with metastatic breast cancer and how great a need there is for more effective treatments. But patients must have confidence that the drugs they take are both safe and effective for their intended use,” Dr. Hamburg said. “After reviewing the available studies it is clear that women who take Avastin for metastatic breast cancer risk potentially life-threatening side effects without proof that the use of Avastin will provide a benefit, in terms of delay in tumor growth, that would justify those risks. Nor is there evidence that use of Avastin will either help them live longer or improve their quality of life.”

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Light-Induced, Specific Killing of Cancer Cells

By Anna Azvolinsky
Researchers have developed a novel way to molecularly target and kill cancer cells, called photoimmunotherapy. The method uses a monoclonal antibody against the epidermal growth factor coupled to a near-infrared dye. The result is a target-specific photosensitizer that causes specific cell death of cells bound by the antibody when NIR light is applied.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Small Study Shows Promise of a Vaccine for Metastatic Breast and Ovarian Cancer

By Anna Azvolinsky
Breast and ovarian cancer patients with limited tumor burden and minimal prior chemotherapy appear to have benefited from a novel vaccine, according to trial results just published in Clinical Cancer Research. This trial, and especially the over 3-year sustained response of a patient with advanced breast cancer shows the potential of a therapeutic vaccine for improved outcomes in a selective subset of patients.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Prolonged sitting linked to breast cancer, colon cancer

More than 90,000 new cancer cases a year in the United States may be due to physical inactivity and prolonged periods of sitting, a new analysis shows.

The analysis, being presented today at the annual conference of the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) in Washington, D.C., cites about 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 of colon cancer.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Data links high doses of bone drug to cancer

A Medtronic product, when used in high doses during spinal fusion procedures, might increase patient cancer risks, according to data released Thursday at a national conference of spine surgeons.

The data had been given to the Food and Drug Administration by Medtronic when it sought approval to market a high-strength version of an existing bone growth product called Infuse. Based on those study findings, the F.D.A. rejected that higher-dose formulation, known as Amplify, citing concern about cancer risks.

More evidence obesity tied to colon cancer: study

Nov. 4, 2011 (Reuters) - Older adults who are heavy, especially around the middle, seem to have a higher risk of developing colon cancer than their thinner peers -- and exercise may lower the incidence of the disease, especially for women, a European study said.

Dendreon stock tumbles on Provenge sales forecast

Dendreon stock fell 21.9 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday after the Seattle company said it expected "modest growth" in fourth-quarter sales of its prostate-cancer drug Provenge.Dendreon reported Provenge sales rose 5.6 percent in October to $26.4 million from $25 million in September. But November sales will be "slightly below" October's, CEO Mitch Gold said in a conference call with analysts after the company reported third-quarter results.
Originally published Nov. 2, 2011