Get a Second Life
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An Effective Complement to the Pap Smear
July 22, 2010
HPV Vaccination Recommendations
July 22, 2010
Resources
July 21, 2010
A Study of Dietary Prudence
November 18, 2009 – Kathy LaTour
Debt Collection: Playing Fair
July 21, 2010
Fast Facts: John Plumb Sr.
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Bearing the Bankruptcy Burden
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Debt-Fighting Strategies
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What to Watch For
July 20, 2010 – Debra Wood, RN
Web Exclusive: Possible Barriers to Palliative Care
March 10, 2008 – The American Cancer Society
Recommended Resources
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Doctors in Training
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Now That I'm An Adult
March 10, 2008 – Claudia Craemer-Meihsner as told to Eric Ness
For When It Hurts
March 10, 2008 – Joanne Kenen
Cancer Around the World
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Making a Difference
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The High-Risk Crowd
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Risk Factors: Close to Home
March 10, 2008 – Nicole LeBrasseur, PhD
What's Behind the Screen?
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Long-Distance Lifesavers
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Intimacy Issues
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Protecting Yourself
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Schools Get Schooled on Parents with Cancer
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DES Exposure: Questions and Answers
March 10, 2008 – The American Cancer Society
Are Public Awareness Campaigns Effective?
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The New Specialty in Cancer Care
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Below the Surface
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Another Deafening Silence
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How Out-of-Towners Stay in the Loop
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Are Minorities Benefiting From Prevention Priority?
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Marriage and Cancer?
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On the Defensive
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When the Ordinary Becomes the Ideal
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Message from the Publisher
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More Radiation in Less Time
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Letters from Our Readers
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Friend in Need: Chemo Duck
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Seventies Musicians Linked by Cancer
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Insurance for Clinical Trial Care a State-by-State Battle
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An Effective Complement to the Pap Smear
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HPV Vaccination Recommendations
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A Shot at Prevention
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Prevention in America
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Resources
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Voices
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Defining Perceptions
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A Study of Dietary Prudence
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Gastronomical Distress
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Debt Collection: Playing Fair
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Fast Facts: John Plumb Sr.
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Snippets
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Debt-Fighting Strategies
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What to Watch For
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Snippets
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Shining Light on Detection
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Letters
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Figurative Testimonials
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Relay for (Second) Life
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Shouldering Debt
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Heart & Lung Watch
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Web Exclusive: Possible Barriers to Palliative Care
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Recommended Resources
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Doctors in Training
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Now That I'm An Adult
March 10, 2008 – Claudia Craemer-Meihsner as told to Eric Ness
For When It Hurts
March 10, 2008 – Joanne Kenen
Cancer Around the World
March 10, 2008 – Jo Cavallo
Making a Difference
March 10, 2008 – Jo Cavallo
The High-Risk Crowd
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Risk Factors: Close to Home
March 10, 2008 – Nicole LeBrasseur, PhD
What's Behind the Screen?
March 10, 2008 – Nicole LeBrasseur, PhD
Long-Distance Lifesavers
March 10, 2008 – Marc Silver
Intimacy Issues
March 10, 2008 – Curtis Pesmen
Protecting Yourself
March 10, 2008 – Katy Human
Schools Get Schooled on Parents with Cancer
March 10, 2008 – Erik Ness
DES Exposure: Questions and Answers
March 10, 2008 – The American Cancer Society
Are Public Awareness Campaigns Effective?
March 10, 2008 – Lacey Meyer
The New Specialty in Cancer Care
March 10, 2008 – Joanne Kenen
Below the Surface
March 10, 2008 – Nicole LeBrasseur, PhD
Another Deafening Silence
March 10, 2008 – Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN
How Out-of-Towners Stay in the Loop
March 10, 2008 – Marc Silver
Are Minorities Benefiting From Prevention Priority?
March 10, 2008 – Jo Cavallo
Marriage and Cancer?
March 10, 2008 – Curtis Pesmen
On the Defensive
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Straight Talk
March 10, 2008 – Erik Ness
Dieting Away Cancer?
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Message from the Publisher
March 10, 2008 – Susan McClure
More Radiation in Less Time
March 10, 2008 – Laura Beil
Letters from Our Readers
March 10, 2008
Friend in Need: Chemo Duck
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Breast Cancer Risk May be Overstated in BRCA Carriers
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Q&A: Predicting Breast Cancer Recurrence
March 10, 2008 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
Journeys Through Cancer: Art of Healing & Hope
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Cancer on $5 a Day (*chemo not included): How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life
March 10, 2008 – Kathy LaTour
Exploring the Origin of Childhood Leukemia
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
We Can Weekend
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Seventies Musicians Linked by Cancer
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington
Insurance for Clinical Trial Care a State-by-State Battle
March 10, 2008 – Elizabeth Whittington

Breast Cancer & Lung Cancer

The FDA approves Avastin for breast cancer and a lung cancer trial involving Nexavar shows no survival benefit.

BY Elizabeth Whittington
PUBLISHED March 10, 2008

The Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval on February 22 for Avastin (bevacizumab) as treatment for metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer. The surprise decision came following an FDA advisory committee’s close 5-4 vote in December to not recommend approval based on lack of evidence that the drug prolongs survival. Final data showing a survival benefit are needed before the FDA grants full approval.

Avastin, an antiangiogenic agent that blocks the blood vessel growth to tumor sites, delayed cancer growth—the primary goal—in phase III trials, but no evidence has yet shown a survival benefit.

The phase III studies paired Avastin with Taxol (paclitaxel) or Taxotere (docetaxel) in patients with recurrent or metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer. In the Taxol trial, the progression-free survival rate with the Avastin combination reached 11.3 months versus 5.8 months for Taxol alone. Overall survival, however, only improved from 24.8 months with Taxol to 26.5 with the addition of Avastin. An increase in severe side effects was also noted—71.1 percent in the Avastin arm compared with 51 percent in the control arm. Progression-free survival also improved in the more recent Taxotere/Avastin trial, and detailed data are expected this summer at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer for women in the United States, and second only to lung cancer in mortality, with an estimated 40,000 deaths in 2007.

The FDA approved Avastin for colorectal cancer in 2004 and for non-small cell lung cancer in 2006. Side effects can include hypertension, diarrhea, and rarely, cardiac or neurological problems. For more on Avastin, go to www.avastin.com

A large phase III trial studying Nexavar (sorafenib) in non-small cell lung cancer was halted in February after an interim analysis found the drug failed to improve survival.

Early results from the ESCAPE trial, which added Nexavar to a combination of carboplatin and Taxol (paclitaxel), showed more deaths in the Nexavar arm among patients with squamous cell carcinoma, a type of lung cancer commonly linked to smoking. The international trial had enrolled more than 900 newly diagnosed patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

Other Nexavar lung cancer trials are continuing, including one combining the drug with Gemzar (gemcitabine) and cisplatin, and several with patients whose disease progressed on other treatments.

Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for about 80 percent of all lung cancers, and is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In 2008, an estimated 215,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 161,000 will die of the disease. Incidence and deaths from lung cancer peaked in 1991, but since then, those figures have fallen in men and somewhat stabilized in women.

Nexavar, approved for liver and advanced kidney cancers, is also being studied in melanoma and breast cancer. Common side effects include diarrhea, rash, and fatigue.

For more information on Nexavar, visit www.nexavar.com

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