Cancer in the headlines, 28 January

January 28, 2011 by  
Filed under CANCER

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Some bad news…

Breast Implants: FDA Review Indicates Possible Association With A Rare Cancer
Women who had breast implants have a small but still measurable increased risk for developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare type of blood cancer, according to a recent announcement the US FDA. Women who had implants, even if they have no symptoms, should schedule follow-ups with their doctors. Women who are considering having implants should talk it over with their doctors to weigh the risks and benefits.

According to the Breast Cancer Action group (BCA), it has “long advocated that the FDA stop approving products for the marketplace before we fully understand their potential impact on human health. The fact that the risk was only revealed through postmarketing data, after the implants have been approved and implanted drives home the point of BCA.

Diabetes/Cardiovascular Risk with Prostate Cancer Drugs
The FDA has ordered an update of the labelling of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, drugs used in the treatment of prostate cancer The new label should warn about “an increased risk of diabetes and certain cardiovascular diseases.”  GnRH agents are available in the market under the following brand and generic names:

  • Lupron (leuprolide acetate)
  • Zoladex (goserelin acetate)
  • Trelstar (triptorelin pamoate)
  • Viadur (leuprolide acetate)
  • Eligard (leuprolide acetate).

Some good news…

New Drug Shows Promise Against Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Iniparib is an experimental drug currently being tested in a Phase III clinical trial. The drug shows promise in treating triple-negative breast cancer which is an aggressive form of breast cancer. Data from a small Phase II trial showed that iniparib treatment can shrink tumors and prolong life. “Triple-negative breast cancer is difficult to treat because its tumor cells lack certain receptors that some common breast cancer treatments, such as tamoxifen and trastuzumab (Herceptin), target.”

No Increased Cancer Risk Seen in Stem Cell, Marrow Donors
Does donation of stem cell and bone marrow present a risk for the donors? A recent study should reassure people that this is not the case. A study collected data spanning “55,228 observation-years of health data on 12,559 donors of bone-marrow and/or peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC)” and looked especially at the incidence of common as well as rare cancers. The results found no evidence of increased risk associated with donation thereby indicating that bone marrow or PBSC donation are safe for donors.

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Heart(y) news, 28 January

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