News from the cancer side, January 30



Good morning, everyone. Here is our latest news roundup for this weekend. Happy reading.

News from the experts

February Is National Cancer Prevention Awareness Month
Oncologists and researchers at University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center are encouraging people to participate in cancer prevention studies to help researchers learn more about the causes of cancer and how to prevent the disease. Prevention studies offer participants the best options for individual care, improving one’s overall health and well-being,” says Ernest T. Hawk, M.D., M.P.H, vice president of M. D. Anderson’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. “These studies also offer the best chance for reducing the number of future cancer cases.”

News from health care

Medicare Widens Drugs It Accepts for Cancer
Some good news from Medicare. It has expanded its coverage of cancer drugs and treatments, even beyond those approved by the US FDA. It is especially good to know that off-label uses may now be covered. Off-label drugs are those “prescribed for uses other than those for which they have been specifically approved.” While many doctors and patients are happy about this decision, there are others who express concerns about abuse of this ruling resulting in overspending, and worse, using patients as guinea pigs for treatments not approved for their conditions.

News from the pharma industry

In Wyeth, Pfizer Sees a Drug Pipeline
The biggest merger/acquisition news of the month. Pfizer buys Wyeth, and in doing so, it might become a major player in biologics and other biotech products.

News from the innovators

OncoVue offers improved estimation of risk for breast cancer
This new predictive model – OncoVue® – seems to give a more accurate estimation of breast cancer than the one currently used – the Gail Model. OncoVue is a new genetic-based breast cancer risk test that uses a combination of a questionnaire and a saliva test in order to assess risk.

News from the critics

America’s Best Hospitals
This 2008 survey by the US News and World Report gives us the list America’s top medical facilities, in general as well as for specific specialty areas. The top five on overall rankings are:

  1. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
  2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  3. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
  4. Cleveland Clinic
  5. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

For the specialty field of cancer/oncology, the following institutions were ranked top 5:

  1. University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  2. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York
  3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
  4. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  5. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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