NCI Cancer Bulletin
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200th Issue
December 16, 2008 • Volume 5 / Number 25 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article
Trials Suggest Potential Expanded Use for HER2-Targeted Agents

Cancer Research Highlights
Surgery Alone May Be Best for Early Uterine Cancer

Studies Assess the Economic Impact of Cancer Deaths

Meta-analysis Highlights Progress in Treating Advanced Breast Cancer

Rituximab Improves Outcomes for CLL Patients

Director's Update
Cancer Research in a New Light

Two Prevention Trials Show Antioxidants Do Not Cut Cancer Risk

Special Report
Researchers Uncover Gene for Melanoma of the Eye Update
Insurance Coverage Laws for Patients in Clinical Trials

Profiles in Cancer Research
Dr. David Sidransky

Tweaking and Testing Cancer Stem Cell Models

Featured Clinical Trial
Targeted Treatment for Advanced Solid Tumors

Winn Named DCCPS Deputy Director

Cancer Snapshots Collection Updated

New Spanish Language Education Resources Available

Community Update
Cancer Communications Initiative Expands into the Real World

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Featured Article

Trials Suggest Potential Expanded Use for HER2-Targeted Agents

Results from two phase III clinical trials presented last week at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) suggest that there may be an expanded role for HER2-targeted therapies in breast cancer treatment, according to the trials' leaders.

The smaller of the two trials, dubbed NOAH, tested the combination of trastuzumab (Herceptin) and chemotherapy given prior to surgery, called neoadjuvant therapy, compared with neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone in 327 patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.

Data on "event-free survival" (time between randomization and disease recurrence, disease progression, or death from any cause) and response rate were available. According to the trial's principal investigator, Dr. Luca Gianni from the Istituto Nazionale Tumori Milano in Italy, the 3-year event-free survival rate for patients receiving the combination therapy was significantly better than that of patients receiving chemotherapy alone, 70.1 percent vs. 53.3 percent.   Read more  

Cancer Research Highlights

Surgery Alone May Be Best for Early Uterine Cancer

Most uterine cancers are diagnosed at an early stage, while still confined to the body of the uterus. In addition to surgery to remove the uterus and ovaries, some doctors perform lymphadenectomy (lymph node removal), external-beam radiation therapy (EBRT), or both, in the hope of preventing local recurrence. However, a large randomized trial, published online December 13 in The Lancet, showed no improvement in survival associated with lymphadenectomy or EBRT.

Investigators leading the international ASTEC study randomly assigned 1,408 women to receive surgery or surgery plus pelvic lymphadenectomy. Women in both groups at intermediate or high risk of recurrence were randomly assigned a second time to receive either EBRT or no EBRT.   Read more  

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