Author Archives: Kate Murphy

FDA Takes Action on Two Critical Cancer Drugs in Shortage

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg announced yesterday during a teleconference that the FDA has arranged to meet critical needs for methotrexate and Doxil® (doxorubicin). FDA has approved temporarily importing Lipodox, which has the same active ingredient — doxorubicin — and the same concentration as Doxil. There should be enough to meet needs for Doxil treatment.  FDA has inspected and approved the foreign plants that manufacture Lipodox. APP Pharmaceuticals and Hospira both have ramped up production of methotrexate. Together they expect to be able to ship the drug immediately and have enough to meet future needs.  Methotrexate is especially needed by children with leukemia where it can produce remissions rapidly and cure

NCCN Colon Cancer Guidelines for Patients Now Online

Would you like to know what top colon cancer experts recommend for diagnosing, treating, and following up colon cancer? The National Comprehensive Cancer Network has just published NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Colon Cancer in an online version. It’s simple to read. Just turn the pages like a book. You can also download a PDF copy with an easy to use, clickable table of contents. There is also more patient-focused information on a, a website for patients, caregivers, and families. The Guidelines for Patients are based on NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology.  Updated frequently, the NCCN Guidelines are widely used by doctors to help them with making treatment decisions

Fake Avastin Discovered in US

The Food and Drug Adminstration and Genentech have reported that counterfeit Avastin is being distributed in the United States. The counterfeit medicine does not contain bevacizumab, Avastin’s active ingredient. The packaging is different from genuine Avastin marketed here by Genentech. It includes a Roche logo which isn’t on the real drug, along with different codes. Avastin is not in shortage now, and there are adequate supplies to meet the need. Patients being treated with Avastin are urged to let their doctors know immediately if they have unusual symptoms.

Choosing to Make a Difference: Call on Congress 2012

We are glad to welcome advocate Pat Steer to the Fight Colorectal Cancer Research and Treatment News.  She’s been living with stage IV rectal cancer since 2004.  A writer, she’s blogs about her life with cancer, training her beloved dogs, and her passion for good food at Life Out Loud. Since my cancer diagnosis in 2004, my life has been full of choice and decisions. Cancer forces you to prioritize. Some days, it has seemed like cancer and treatment were calling all the shots in my schedule, changing my plans, and forcing decisions I didn’t want to have to make. But I’ve made a few choices in the last eight

New Help with the Tough Struggle with Cancer Costs

Difficulty managing the cost of their cancer care stressed three out of four patients, according to a study recently completed by the Cancer Support Community.  In addition two out of three said their health care team didn’t discuss financial aspects of care with them. In an effort to help patients struggling with cancer expense, the Cancer Support Community has just released Frankly Speaking about Cancer: Coping with the Cost of Care. You can order a free print copy of the book, read sections online or download it.

Eating Chocolate Stops Colon Cancer. Really?

With Valentine’s Day on its way, I was intrigued to see lots of information in the media about how eating chocolate could prevent colon cancer. The headlines were almost as enticing as unwrapping a large bar of Godiva with hazelnuts. Eating chocolate can stave off bowel cancer, say scientists. Chocolate shown to protect against colon cancer: study Study Shows Chocolate Prevents Colon Cancer As the news spread like chocolate melting in August from a medical journal article to a news release to online media to blogs to Twitter, I didn’t know whether to consider the rats who were fed cocoa for 12 weeks and had changes in their intestinal tract

Avastin with XELIRI or FOLFIRI: Is There Any Difference?

When Avastin is added to the combination of Xeloda and irinotecan as an initial treatment for advanced colorectal cancer, the treatment is equally effective as Avastin with FOLFIRI. But side effects are more difficult. After a randomized clinical trial comparing Avastin with XELIRI (Xeloda, irinotecan) to Avastin with FOLFIRI (5-FU, leucovorin, irinotecan), researchers concluded that excessive side effects made using the XELIRI combination unwise.

Fight Colorectal Cancer Headed for San Francisco and the 2012 GI Symposium

We’re getting ready for the 2012 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium next week at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Kim Ryan, Nancy Roach, and I will be there checking out the latest colon and rectal cancer prevention and treatment research and talking with leaders in the colorectal cancer field. Colon and rectal cancer is featured on Saturday, January 21, but we’ll also be looking at research results for cancers in the upper digestive tract, liver, and pancreas on Thursday and Friday, visiting exhibits, and meeting with members of the Fight Colorectal Cancer Medical Advisory Board.   Watch for our reports from the Symposium on the Fight Colorectal Cancer Research and Treatment

Happy New Year

Another year, full of hope and promises. Won’t you help make our dream of a world free from colorectal cancer come true in 2012. Raise awareness that screening prevents colorectal cancer. Make sure you, your family, and your friends are screened for colorectal cancer as soon you reach 50 — earlier if you are at higher risk. Tell your friends living with colon or rectal cancer that they can call the Answer Line with their questions and concerns. Join us for supportive discussions in the Fight Colorectal Support Community and let others know they’ll find help there. Come to Call on Congress and make sure that programs and funding for