Thursday, February 26, 2015

Adding local anesthesia can cut risk of chronic pain after mastectomy

CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 25, 2015 – Up to 60 per cent of women may experience chronic pain three months after they've had a mastectomy for breast cancer, and at least half of those will still suffer from this pain one year later.

Unlike the soreness and aching associated with conventional pain, which may also affect these patients, neuropathic pain also affects sensation. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

New oral drug shows promise for advanced breast cancer

Click to view YouTube explanation of palbociclib
CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 23, 2015 –Women diagnosed with advanced breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body achieved longer progression-free survival after treatment with a new oral drug, called palbociclib.

The new drug was recently approved by the FDA for metastatic breast cancer patients just beginning to undergo hormone therapy after an initial phase I clinical trial conducted by researchers in the Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

New research shows some throat cancers are treatable after spreading

Diagram of the oral cavity and oropharynx – diagram
courtesy of CDC
CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 16, 2015 – A certain type of throat cancer that has spread to other organs remains treatable according to a study by researchers at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Canada. Patients with metastatic throat cancer often undergo treatment aimed at symptom control only as opposed to disease control because it is often considered incurable.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gleevec for Glioblastoma

Fusion protein (red) in tumor cells 
from a histological section of human 
glioblastoma. (Photo courtesy:
Antonio Iavarone Lab)
CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 10, 2015 – Two patients with a lethal form of brain cancer treated with a new approach that targets a particular protein had their tumors stop growing for 115 and 134 days, suggesting the approach could advance survival of the cancer a new study in the January 2015 journal Clinical Cancer Research shows. 

The approach is based on the principle behind the development of Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) or the “leukemia pill” that has been successful in halting chronic myeloid leukemia in some patients. Gleevec acts on a abnormal fusion of two proteins that fuel tumor growth.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Low-dose CT screening for lung cancer to be covered by Medicare

Licensed use - copyright Sebastian Kaulitzki
CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 5, 2015 – Lung cancer screening using low-dose CT scans will be covered by Medicare, which is good news for many older Americans who are at high risk for lung cancer. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its final coverage determination today. Medicare will now cover lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans once per year for Medicare beneficiaries who meet all the following criteria:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Using a team approach improves PSA usefulness

Credit: Image courtesy of Medical
University of Vienna
CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 3, 2015 – Researchers in Austria from multiple specialties are teaming up to make the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test more precise for diagnosing and treating prostate cancer.

In a approach called the Multi-disciplinary team (MDT) urologists join with molecular specialists and pathologists to evaluate PSA tests, and the researchers at the University Department of Urology at the MedUni Vienna and the Vienna General Hospital say the results are greatly improved.