Cancer drug hits setbacks
Bad news for Roche, bad news for colon cancer victims. The cancer drug Avastin (generic name bevacizumab) reported disappointing results in its latest Phase III clinical trial. Avastin, a monoclonal antibody, works by choking off the blood supply to tumors. It has been approved in the US and the EU in treating later-stage colon cancer. However, the recent trial data indicate that the drug does not well in the treatment of early-stage colon cancer compared to chemotherapy alone. Avastin was one of the reasons why Roche paid $47 billion for the biotech firm Genentech which developed the drug.
News from the charity sponsors
Boston Red Sox
Since 1953, the Boston Red Sox has officially adopted The Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as its official charity organization. The bond between the winning baseball team and the cancer charity group for children has grown stronger over the years despite the fact that Red Sox is Boston’s team while The Jimmy Fund is New England’s charity. Truly, advocacy and support do not recognize geographical boundaries.
News from the budget makers
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has published its budget proposal for 2010. In doing so, it gives the public a view of how the US is investing in cancer research.
News from the international agencies
New cervical cancer declaration prompts more urgent action
Last March 27, health ministers, doctors, activists and NGO and pharma industry representatives from Africa met in the UK to discuss cervical cancer. Although this is one of the most preventable types of cancer, mortalities due to cervical cancer is still very high in the African continent. “It is hoped that the ‘Oxford Declaration’ will stimulate governments into implementing comprehensive national cervical cancer control programmes for the sake of African women and their families.”
News from the legislators
WLF commends UK government on tobacco tax increase
The World Lung Foundation (WLF) as well as other advocacy groups are happy about the UK’s government’s decision to raise taxes on tobacco. Here is part of the statement from WLF executive director Peter Baldini
“Kudos to Alistair Darling for raising taxes on tobacco in this year’s budget. Abundant research and economic modeling has shown that consumption will decrease meaning that there is a real, tangible public health benefit from at least this part of the budget… Rare is the policy tool that can save lives and simultaneously boost government coffers. Now the job is to implement the policy well.”
News from the cancer researchers
People who never sunburn may still get melanoma
Do you have blond or red hair, very fair skin, and are prone to getting sunburned? Then you have a high risk of getting melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. However, just because you are the dark skinned type and never sunburn does not mean you are safe. It may depend on a certain gene mutation, according to a study presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research.
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