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December 12, 2005
African-american Women's Decisions To Join A Screening
Their results, published in today's issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, indicate that African-American women who decided to join PLCO held significantly different beliefs regarding the benefits and risks of participation than those who did not join - the majority of those who joined were much more likely to report that African-Americans benefit as much as whites from participating in clinical trials. Interestingly, the study also found that none of the women surveyed had reported learning about clinical trials from their doctors or other health care providers.
"By interviewing women who joined the PLCO as well as those who did not, we were able to analyze their responses and suggest a strategy for improving the recruitment of African-American women to cancer clinical trials," said Jeanette Trauth, Ph.D., lead author of the study and associate professor of behavioral and community health sciences, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
The scientists interviewed 299 African-American women between the ages of 55 and 74 who were eligible for the PLCO; 230 of these women decided not to participate in PLCO (non-joiners) and 69 of these women decided to participate in PLCO (joiners). The investigators found that joiners had a better understanding of cancer and the role of early detection and screening, and appeared to be motivated to join a trial by the experience of having a loved one with cancer. Joiners also tended to seek out information more than non-joiners and were willing to take the next step and take part in a study of a new therapy for a health problem that they perceived was important, particularly if they or one of their loved ones had the problem.........
December 12, 2005
Phase II Study for Advanced Bladder Cancer
"There is currently no standard treatment for patients with advanced bladder cancer who have received chemotherapy and their cancer is getting worse," said Dr. Assikis. "This study is promising and could make a major impact for that specific patient population." TCC refers to cancers of the layer of cells lining the inside of the bladder, the kidneys, ureters, or the urethra. More than 90 percent of bladder cancers begin in these transitional cells.
The use of Vinflunine as an anti-cancer agent is still in the experimental stage, but studies have demonstrated that the new drug exhibits anti-tumor activity by inhibiting cell division.
The primary purpose of the clinical trial, which is sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb, is to assess whether Vinflunine will shrink tumors or slow their growth. Doing so could potentially improve the condition of those patients with locally advanced-staged TCC of the urothelium who have been previously been treated with chemotherapy and whose disease has progressed. Patients participating in the clinical trial will be administered the drug Vinflunine intravenously.........
December 12, 2005
Two Treatments Similar Results
Paclitaxel and docetaxel are members of a class of drugs called taxanes, and both are approved for the therapy of patients with breast cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes. Eventhough these drugs have been shown to be beneficial in treating breast cancer, this is the first time they have been directly compared and the first time that a weekly dosing schedule has been compared with a standard every three-week dosing schedule in the therapy of early-stage breast cancer.
"Eventhough both drugs are used as adjuvant breast cancer therapys, which taxane and which schedule are most effective has been a question for a number of years," said JoAnne Zujewski, M.D., who oversees breast cancer trials for NCI's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. "Now doctors and patients will be able to consider side effects, convenience, and cost in determining taxane therapy without concern that effectiveness will be compromised."
A total of 4,988 women were enrolled in the trial between 1999 and 2002. All of the women had axillary lymph node (a lymph node in the armpit region that drains lymph channels from the breast) positive or high-risk (their tumor was at least 2 centimeters in size) node-negative breast cancer. All of the women were first treated with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, a standard therapy protocol referred to as AC (representing the drugs doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide). Following AC chemotherapy, patients were randomly assigned to groups that received either paclitaxel or docetaxel, administered weekly for 12 weeks or every third week over a 12-week period.........
December 11, 2005
TLR4 Gene Against Tumor DevelopmentA new study finds that a gene which plays an important role in immune function, known as toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), may also play a critical role in suppressing chronic lung inflammation and tumor development in mice.
"We know that chronic inflammation predisposes people to a number of types of cancer," says NIH Director Elias Zerhouni, M.D. "By using this new information we may be able to suppress chronic inflammation and reduce our Nation's cancer burden."
In the December 7, 2005 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a part of the National Institutes of Health, report that mice prone to lung cancer that had TLR4 removed or altered had 60 percent more tumors than mice that had intact receptors, illustrating a new protective role for this gene. There were no differences in overall tumor size or structure between the mice. TLR4 is part of what immunologists refer to as the "innate immune system" which acts as the body's first line of defense against harmful substances.........
Computer-Aided Polyp Detection Software (December 11, 2005)
A study led by the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center finds that computer-aided detection (CAD) software in conjunction with a procedure usually called virtual colonoscopy can deliver results comparable to conventional optical colonoscopy for detecting the most worrisome types of polyps.
Smoking After Cancer Diagnosis (December 11, 2005)
A pair of articles from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center makes the case that patients would receive better care if physicians and scientists would address the issue of tobacco use after a cancer diagnosis and monitor tobacco use during clinical trials that test new agents.
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