News from the cancer side, June 5



breast_cancer_bands_1News from the survivors

This coming Sunday, June 7  is National Cancer Survivors Day. In commemoration of this event, the author-doctor-cancer survivor Laura Liberman will give a talk on Women Conquering Cancer: A Celebration of National Cancer Survivors Day. Place: Akbar Hall, 1174 Bedford Avenue between Putnam Avenue & Madison Street, Brooklyn; Time: 1:30-4:30 pm. Dr. Liberam is the author of the book I Signed as the Doctor: Memoir of a Cancer Doctor Surviving Cancer.

News from the drug regulators

FDA: First Drug to Treat Cancer in Dogs Approved
The US FDA has approved earlier this week the drug Palladia (toceranib phosphate), the first anti-cancer drug for canine patients. Palladia is approved to treat canine cutaneous (skin-based) mast cell tumors, a type of cancer responsible for about 1 out of 5 cases of canine skin tumors. The drug is approved to treat the tumors with or without regional lymph node involvement.

News from the cancer experts

ASCO’s Annual Meeting
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) had their 45th Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL last May 29 to June 2. This year’s theme was “Personalizing Cancer Care.” Research highlights to be presented are

  • Experimental Vaccine for Treating Advanced Melanoma
  • New Class of Drugs for Treating Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
  • Vaccine Appears to Slow Type of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Combo Chemo for Colon Cancer Appears to Work Differently Depending on Age
  • Childhood Cancer Survivors Not Getting Checked for Later Cancers

About 4000 research studies are expected to be presented.

News from the statisticians

Cancer Death Rate Steadily Declining
Good news from the American Cancer Society’s annual cancer statistics report: death rates due to cancer is steadily declining. Cancer death rates dropped 19.2% among men during 1990-2005 and 11.4% among women during 1991-2005. Cancer incidence rates are also on the decline – they decreased 1.8% per year among men from 2001-2005 and 0.6% per year from 1998-2005 among women. The decrease is attributed to better preventive measures, early screening and detection techniques, and improved cancer treatment.

News from the economists

One in ten advanced colon cancer patients worry about prescription drug costs
As the financial crisis drags on, we are wondering how cancer patients are feeling the financial burden of cancer treatments. In a study by researchers at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the number of patients with advanced colon cancer enrolled in a clinical trial are worried about financing their treatment. The researchers surveyed 409 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who were enrolled in a Cancer Leukemia Group B (CALGB) Phase III clinical trial…”

  • 10% of the patients were very worried about paying for their supportive medications
  • <15% adopted a money-saving strategy (e.g. not filling a prescription, taking less than the recommended dose)
  • 12% of the patients reported speaking with their physicians about drug costs.
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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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