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Radiofrequency Ablation Effective for Primary Lung Tumors and Lung Metastases from Breast Cancer

July 31, 2008

By CancerConsultants.com

The use of radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of lung cancer and lung metastases from breast, colon, and prostate cancers and melanoma is effective and safe for some patients. These results were recently published in the Lancet Oncology.

Lung cancer is responsible for more cancer-related deaths than the next three most deadly cancers combined. If cancer originates in the lung, it is referred to as primary lung cancer. Non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer; “non–small cell” refers to the type of cell within the lung where the cancer originated.

Lung metastasis refers to cancer that has spread to the lung from other sites in the body. Lung metastases are common among patients diagnosed with advanced breast, colon, and prostate cancers as well as melanoma and other solid tumors.

The Same Dose of Anthracycline Is Not Safe for Everyone

July 30, 2008

By Liz Savage, Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Not all patients can tolerate the currently recommended cumulative dose of epirubicin. New models can help physicians calculate the epirubicin dose associated with a 5 percent risk of cardiotoxicity for individual patients.

Oncologists frequently use anthracyclines, including epirubicin and doxorubicin, to treat breast cancer patients. However, the drugs cause lasting heart problems in a substantial number of patients. To limit the problem, current treatment guidelines suggest that patients receive no more than 900 mg/m2 epirubicin over the course of their cancer care.

In the current study, Marianne Ryberg, M.D., of the University of Copenhagen and colleagues followed 1,097 patients with metastatic breast cancer who were treated in a single hospital near Copenhagen between 1983 and 2003. The researchers assessed patients’ risk factors for cardiotoxicity and corrected for the risk of death from all other competing causes of death, including cancer. (The studies that have previously concluded that the upper safe limit of epirubicin is 900 mg/m2 have not generally corrected for other causes of death.) Using these data, they calculated the maximum cumulative dose of epirubicin that is associated with a 5 percent risk of developing heart disease.

“Triple-Negative” Patients Are Biggest Unmet Need in Metastatic Breast Cancer

July 24, 2008

By Market Wire via COMTEX

ST. LOUIS, MO:  In a survey conducted by The Mattson Jack Group, Inc., oncology key opinion leaders (KOLs) have identified “triple-negative” patients, or patients whose tumors do not overexpress HER2, the estrogen receptor (ER) or progesterone receptor (PR),as the biggest unmet need in their treatment of metastatic breast cancer. These patients typically have relatively shorter survival and more aggressive disease, and KOLs describe the treatment field as “wide open” and the development of an efficacious treatment as “a welcome addition.” Currently, cytotoxics are the only available resource.

Drug-Infused Nanoparticles Stop Cancer From Spreading

July 8, 2008

By Brandon Keim, Wired Science

By using tumor-targeting nanoparticles filled with chemotherapy drugs, scientists kept kidney and pancreas cancers from spreading through the bodies of mice.

In an experiment described today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers led by University of California, San Diego pathologist David Cheresh designed nanoparticles that selectively attached to a protein found on the surface of blood vessels that supply tumors with nutrients and oxygen.

Use of Expensive Cancer Drugs Questioned

July 7, 2008

By UPI.com

NEW YORK: The cancer medication Avastin has been called a wonder drug, but may be less effective than U.S. regulators believed when they approved it.   Made by Genentech, Avastin, or bevacizumab, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the use in patients with advanced lung, colon or breast cancer. It works by cutting off tumors’ blood supply, The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) reported Sunday.

 In 2004, the medication was approved for combination use with chemotherapy for metastatic colon cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. It was approved this year for treatment in breast cancer.

Costly Cancer Drug Offers Hope, but Also a Dilemma

July 7, 2008

By Gina Kolata and Andrew Pollack, New York Times

Looked at one way, Avastin, made by Genentech, is a wonder drug. Approved for patients with advanced lung, colon or breast cancer, it cuts off tumors’ blood supply, an idea that has tantalized science for decades. And despite its price, which can reach $100,000 a year, Avastin has become one of the most popular cancer drugs in the world, with sales last year of about $3.5 billion, $2.3 billion of that in the United States.

But there is another side to Avastin. Studies show the drug prolongs life by only a few months, if that. And some newer studies suggest the drug might be less effective against cancer than the Food and Drug Administration had understood when the agency approved its uses.

Breast cancer: How tumor cells break free and form metastases

July 5, 2008

By ScienceCentric.com

When tumour cells acquire the capacity to move around and invade other tissues, there is a risk of metastases and cancer treatment becomes more difficult.

At the Institut Curie, CNRS Director of Research Philippe Chavrier and his group have just discovered how breast cancer cells break the bonds that tether them to the tumour.