In research this week, chemotherapy directly to the liver after surgery had good outcomes, enrollment of women in clinical trials lags, and children who were physically abused grow up to have more cancers. A proposed screening test for heart disease may result in radiation-induced cancers.
In other headlines, the Chalk River nuclear reactor won’t be back producing medical isotopes before the end of the year. Zoot Suit Boogie, a play focused on colorectal cancer for Hispanics, is scheduled for July 20 in Houston, and ASCO is looking for artwork for its 2010 wall calendar.
- An early phase I trial found that adding a chemotherapy infusion directly to the liver (hepatic arterial infusion or HAI) in addition to FOLFOX chemo after surgery to remove liver mets was feasible and appeared effective. For the 35 patients in the trial, four-year survival was 88 percent and 50 percent were alive without cancer progression. Dr. Nancy Kemeny and her colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York report on the study in Annals of Oncology, July 2009.
- Guidelines calling for routine multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) screening to find coronary artery calcification, a risk for heart disease, could result in 5,600 radiation-induced cancers. The number of additional cancers per 100,000 men or women varied greatly depending on the radiation protocol used, but median extra risk was 42 per 100,000 men and 62 per 100,000 women. On the other hand, supporters of heart screening say that the test could save 24,000 lives if patients at high risk for heart disease followed a prevention strategy. Projections were developed by Kwang Pyo Kim Ph.D, from the National Cancer Institute and reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine on July 13, 2009.
- Women are aren’t part of cancer clinical trials as often as men, even when they are equally likely to have a particular cancer being studied. In medical journal reports in 2006 foriimportant non-sex specific cancer studies, less than 39 percent of participants were women. Women were more likely to be enrolled in government funded trials, but in studies focused on treatment an even lower percentage of women participated. Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil and the team at the University of Michigan report their findings in the July 15, 2009 issue of Cancer.
- Adults who were physically abused as children were almost 50 percent more likely to be diagnosed with cancer. Of 13,000 people in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan who responded to the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey, 1,025 (7.4 percent) said that they had been physically abused by a person close to them as a child. Writing in Cancer, July 15, 2009, Esme Fuller-Thomson, PhD called for research focusing on what was behind the links between childhood abuse and cancer saying, ” A significant and highly stable association between childhood physical abuse and cancer was found even when adjusting for 3 clusters of risk factors.”
- The Chalk River nuclear reactor in Canada will probably not return to service before late 2009, according to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). Prior to shutdown due to a leak in May, the reactor supplied medical isotopes for more than half of US hospitals and clinics that do nuclear medicine testing for more than 20 million patients a year. On June 15, the Society of Nuclear Medicine convened an International Medical Isotope Summit in Toronto to address the growing worldwide crisis.
- Zoot Suit Boogie, a play focusing on colorectal cancer prevention for Hispanics, will be presented on July 20 through the Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Written and directed by local playwright Richard E. Reyes, the musical comedy offers the facts about colorectal cancer and its prevention using live music, hip-hop dancing and a family story. The play is free and open to the public. It will be held July 20 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the West End Multi-Service Center, 170 Heights Blvd, Houston, Texas. More information is available by calling 713-798-2338 or e-mail Anna Perales.
- ASCO is looking for artwork for its 2009-2010 wall calendar Expressions of Hope. Work needs to be submitted by July 31. See images from the 2008 calendar.