Soon after diagnosing a patient with advanced cancer, a doctor should begin discussing options for palliative care—the management of symptoms—according to a new policy statement from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). ASCO also released a new, free guide called Advanced Cancer Care Planning for patients to help initiate those conversations.
Serious side effects were reduced when research radiologists used a special technique to target the most radiation on anal cancer tumors, while sparing nearby normal tissue.
Reported at the recent 2011 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) did not reduce overall side effects during chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but it did cut down on the most serious bladder, bowel, and skin problems.
At the same time, IMRT was a good as traditional external beam radiation in preventing local recurrences and the need for colostomies. Survival after two years was also similar to a previous study that did not use the technique. Read the rest of this entry »
This evening, the President gave his annual address to Congress and called for a freeze in domestic spending while at the same time calling for innovation and acknowledging the importance of biomedical research.
“As someone who is committed to winning the fight against cancer, I was pleased to hear the President talk about the importance of innovation. However, it is counterproductive to proclaim that ‘this is our generation’s Sputnik moment’ while calling for a spending freeze for domestic programs.
Now is not the time for across the board cuts to domestic spending. If we are going to find a cure for cancer in our lifetimes, we need a sustained investment in proven research programs – programs that encourage innovation and ensure discoveries make it from bench to bedside as quickly as possible.
On behalf of the thousands of Americans who will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year and on behalf of the millions of Americans living with colorectal cancer I urge the President and Congress to renew the fight against cancer with smart and sustained investments in biomedical research that will not only save thousands of lives but encourage innovation and help stimulate the economy by creating much-needed jobs.”
- Carlea Bauman, President of the Colorectal Cancer Coalition
A second randomized clinical trial has confirmed what the first one found — adding Avastin to standard chemotherapy does not reduce recurrences after surgery for stage III colon cancer.
The AVANT trial compared standard FOLFOX chemotherapy to either FOLFOX plus Avastin® (bevacizumab) or XELOX plus Avastin. Chemo was given for 6 months, and Avastin was added during that time and for another 6 months after chemo ended. Nearly 2,870 stage III patients took part in the study.
Like in the C-08 trial, there was a temporary benefit during the year that patients got Avastin, but it didn’t last. By the end of three years the percentage of people who were alive and cancer-free was slightly less in the two Avastin arms. Read the rest of this entry »
The U.S. sticker price for cancer care by 2020 will likely increase at least 27% over the next decade, to a minimum $158 billion yearly by 2020, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Those are just two of many facts in an important paper published in the Jan. 19 Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The predicted costs are much higher than previous estimates because the authors used the most current cost data (2006 Medicare) which, for the first time, includes costs of expensive targeted treatments.
The study is powerful because it analyzed different scenarios and assumptions, and broke down costs of three stages of care (initial and final years, and middle years of continuing care) for each type of cancer. Read the rest of this entry »