OBR Daily Commentary

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23andMe Seeks FDA Approval for Personal DNA Test

(Time Healthland/Associated Press) July 31, 2012 - Genetic test maker 23andMe is asking the Food and Drug Administration to approve its personalized DNA test in a move that, if successful, could boost acceptance of technology that is viewed skeptically by leading scientists who question its usefulness.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: July 31, 2012)

quotes I think it's always a challenge when any test, whether it's PET/CT screening at the mall, or genetic testing marketed directly to consumers, is provided without a solid mechanism for putting results into context or managing the potential outcomes. What happens if the results demonstrate that a person as a remarkably higher probability of developing Parkinson's disease or a particular cancer than the general population? One of the central tenets of medicine is to do tests for which you can define how the outcome will change your management. It's always a Pandora's Box to do tests with wide-ranging possible results for which you can't define prospectively how you'd use that information.quotes

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Lung Spots Less Dangerous Than Patients Think

(Fox News/Reuters) July 27, 2012 - Patients learning they have a "spot" on their lung often assume they have cancer, according to a new study - but that's usually not the case.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: July 27, 2012)

quotes This report highlights what we definitely see in the medical world -- that we need to account for the anxiety generated from detection of ambiguous lung nodules detected on incidental chest CT scans or screening scans. Several studies have reported that a majority of lung nodules are benign, certainly in parts of the country where pulmonary infections are common, but the common feature of both benign lung nodules and true cancers detected as small lung nodules is a cascade of anxiety and many additional tests. here is enough evidence now to support routine chest CT screening for people at high risk for lung cancer, with a demonstration of a significant survival benefit, but it would be helpful if we could develop both additional ways to refine our level of concern and also more effective ways to communicate about ambiguous findings and the need for follow-up without these questionable findings clearly representing a diagnosis of cancer.quotes

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Major Milestone Achieved in CytRx’s Phase 2b Global Clinical Trial with Tamibarotene as a First-Line Treatment for Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

(4-traders) June 25, 2012 - CytRx Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in oncology, today announced the recommendation by the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) to continue with the global Phase 2b clinical trial with tamibarotene in combination with chemotherapeutical agents as a first-line treatment for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: June 25, 2012)

quotesThis is a press release highlighting that the trial hasn't been stopped because of prohibitive toxicity from the treatment. I'm not sure that we should have such a low bar for celebration that "we're not horribly dangerous" should be reason to hear champagne corks popping. quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Community Oncology
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Dean Gesme, MD

FACP FACPE FASCO President, Minnesota Oncology...

Breast Cancer
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Debu Tripathy, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncol...

Lung Cancer
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H. Jack West, MD

Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Swedish Ca...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Howard S. Hochster, MD

Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Woo...

Radiation Oncology
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Howard Sandler, MD, MS, FASTRO

Ronald H. Bloom Chair in Cancer Therapeutics
Pr...

Community Oncology
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Jeff Patton, M.D.

CEO Tennessee Oncology...

Precision Medicine Section Editor
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Jennifer Levin Carter, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer and Founder, N-of-One...

Financial Sector
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Michael G. King Jr.

Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Richard Goldberg, MD

Director WVU Cancer Institute Director of Cancer Signa...

Editor-In-Chief
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Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Health Policy
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Ted Okon

Executive Director Community Oncology Alliance...

Community Oncology
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Thomas Marsland, MD

Vice President Integrated Community Oncology Network ...

Community Oncology
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William Harwin MD

Florida Cancer Specialists President and Managing Part...

Health Policy
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William McGivney, PhD

National Health Policy Expert...

Payer
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Winston Wong, PharmD

President, W-Squared Group...