Category: Oncology

Smarter Screening Strategies for Prostate Cancer Hotly Debated

By Annette M. Boyle Ruth Etzioni, PhD, of FHCRC SEATTLE, WA – For the VA, the ongoing discussion about use of the controversial prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer is far from academic. Veterans Health Administration physicians diagnose more… Read More

First Lymph Node Mapping Drug Approved in More than 30 Years

DUBLIN, OH – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Lymphoseek (technetium Tc 99m tilmanocept) Injection, the first new drug used for lymph node mapping to be approved in more than 30 years. Lymphoseek is a radioactive diagnostic imaging… Read More

VA Proposes Team-Based Model for Prostate Cancer Care

  By Michael Kelley, MD National Program Director for Oncology, Specialty Care Services, Patient Care Services, VHA, Chief, Hematology-Oncology, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, NC, Associate Professor of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC Dr. Michael Kelley, MD Introduction… Read More

Stivarga Approved for Some Stromal Tumors After Use of First-Line Therapies

WAYNE, NJ – Tthe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Bayer’s Stivarga (regorafenib) tablets to treat patients with locally advanced, unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) who have been previously treated with imatinib mesylate and sunitinib malate,… Read More

Kadcyla Approved for Treatment of HER2-positive Metastatic Breast Cancers

SAN FRANCISCO – The FDA has approved Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine or T-DM1) for the treatment of people with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (mBC) who have received prior treatment with Herceptin® (trastuzumab) and a taxane chemotherapy. Kadcyla is the fourth medicine… Read More

John P. Murtha Cancer Center Named for Late Congressman Who Supported Research

By Sandra Basu Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA) Bethesda MD – Walter Reed National Military Medical Center honored the late Rep. John P. Murtha last month by renaming its comprehensive cancer center in memory of the Pennsylvania congressman. At an… Read More

VA Study Urging Watchful Waiting for Early Prostate Cancer Sparks Controversy

By Brenda L. Mooney MINNEAPOLIS — New research out of the Minneapolis VAMC finds that radical prostatectomy does not significantly reduce the risk of death in prostate cancer patients, when compared to observation over more than a decade. While that… Read More

The Old-Old Under the Knife – VA Surgeons Research Treatment Options for Aging Cancer Patients

MINNEAPOLIS–Often, clinical research and resulting guidelines are based on studies of subjects much younger and healthier than typical patients. That is especially an issue at the VA which has an aging veteran population faced with cancer diagnoses late in life.… Read More

When Is Screening Excessive? Researchers Offer Some Practical Advice Amidst PSA Controversy

By Rachel Pomerance SAN FRANCISCO —The American Board of Internal Medicine, together with Consumer Reports, recently launched a public education campaign called “Choosing Wisely” to cut down on excessive medical procedures that might do patients more harm than good. The… Read More

VA Looks to New Treatment Programs to Combat Alarming Rise in HCV-Related Cancer

Alarmed by a near tripling of the number of veterans developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) during the past five years, VA has strengthened its programs for the prevention, screening and treatment of veterans with hepatitis C (HCV), which is a major… Read More

Drug Shortages Tripled in Last Five Years; Critical Medications Unavailable

WASHINGTON — The number of drug shortages reported annually has nearly tripled over the last five years, with much-needed drugs such as chemotherapy, anesthetics and electrolytes disproportionately affected. FDA sometimes can mitigate or even prevent a shortage, but this… Read More

Cigarettes Linked to Half of Bladder Cancers in Women

Half of bladder cancer seen in women can be linked to cigarette smoking, a National Cancer Institute study reports. Previous studies had shown only 20% to 30% of bladder cancer cases in women being caused by smoking. However, new data… Read More

Just the Beginning: Genomics Research Now Used to Identify, Treat Diseases

BETHESDA, MD — A wave of genetic research projects sparked by last decade’s completion of the Human Genome Project are slowly making their way to fruition. Researchers, many of whom are based at NIH, are busy teasing apart the genetic… Read More

Coordination, Quality Focus Makes VA Cancer Care as Good or Better than Private Sector

WASHINGTON — VA oncology care was found to be some of the best in the nation, according to a new study looking at older men treated for cancer at VA facilities. The study compared treatment at VA with non-VA hospitals… Read More

New Study Seeks to Quantify Association Between Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune, Health Effects

WASHINGTON — When Mike Partain got the news from his doctor in 2007 that he had male breast cancer, he was shocked. There was no history of breast cancer in his family and certainly not among men. “I am 6… Read More

Congressional Funding to DoD for Cancer Research Approved Despite Resistance from Sen. John McCain

WASHINGTON—Cancer organizations were pleased that funding was not reduced for the peer-reviewed prostate, breast and ovarian cancer programs in DoD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) in the FY 2011 Defense budget. “It is great that especially in this really… Read More

VA’s Expedited Process to Diagnosis, Treat Lung Cancer Can Make Bad Experience More Tolerable for Patients

PITTSBURGH—In 2000, if you were a patient at the Pittsburgh VAMC and were found to have a lung nodule, it took an average of six weeks to be evaluated for lung cancer. With the possibility of being diagnosed with a… Read More

VA Improves Follow-up In Colon Cancer Screening But Still Falls Short of Goal

WASHINGTON—In 2005, VA initiated a Colon Cancer Care Collaborative (C4) to help improve the timeliness of follow-up after positive fecal blood occult tests (FOBT). The initiative was in reaction to studies released at the time showing considerable delays between screening… Read More

New IRB for Military Cancer Research Offers One-Stop Shop

WASHINGTON—If there is one fact that Marianne Elliott, chair of the U.S. Military Cancer Institute (USMCI) Institutional Review Board (IRB), wants investigators to know, it is that the USMCI’s new cancer research review board is “open for business.” The USMCI… Read More

Electronic Record Used to Track Colon Cancer Follow-up

WASHINGTON—With a number of conflicting studies over the last five years looking at the effect of delays between positive colon cancer screenings and the subsequent colonoscopy that could confirm a diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC), VA researchers have struggled to… Read More