OBR Daily Commentary

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Genetic Differences Distinguish Stomach Cancers, Treatment Response

(Duke Medicine) Aug 1, 2011 - Stomach cancer is actually two distinct disease variations based on its genetic makeup, and each responds differently to chemotherapy, according to an international team of scientists led by researchers at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.

Richard Goldberg, MD (Posted: August 02, 2011)

quotesThe availability of a molecular signature that differentiates intestinal type from diffuse type gastric cancer using markers other than the visual impression of the reading surgical pathologist would be useful to the clinician. This is especially true if the signatures predict chemoresitance or chemosensitivity to specific agents. This study was done in human gastric cancer cell lines. It needs to be extended by performing the assay in patients and correlated with their response to drug treatment. If the cell line data accurately reflect the situation in patients and predicts drug sensitivity this could be a real step forward in managing patients with these virulent malignacies. The ideal study would be a randomization to standard therapy versus therapy determined by the tumor's individual molecular profile with a comparison of outcomes. quotes

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New Drugs Trump Mammograms for Fewer Cancer Deaths, Study Says

(Bloomberg) July 28, 2011 - Better medicines and more efficient health-care systems, rather than a greater number of mammograms, may explain drops in breast-cancer deaths in Europe over the past two decades, researchers found.

Thomas Marsland, MD (Posted: August 01, 2011)

quotesThis study is certainly interesting. The conclusion however needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The implications for health care economics and potential recommendations should be interperted very carefully. The study was done in Europe where screening is different than in the US. One of the references sited in the reviews in BJM from 2005 talked about the differing survivals between US (89% in the US vs 79% in Europe at 5 years) and Europe in the 80's prior to any of these newer drugs where screening in the US was already well underway and almost non existent in Europe. Also screening in Europe in most of these national programs is offered only every two year which is not the US standard. Also even with coverage the screening rates only increased to 59% of the population in the Netherlands (vs 30% in the period prior to the institution of screening programs) which would seem low by US standards. No question the introduction of newer more effective agents has had a dramatic impact in improved breast cancer survival (and most of us believe biology trumps anatomy) but at this point it is hard to say that screening has not also made a significant contribution and it is very premature to say we need to be cutting back on screening programs.quotes

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No Clear Link Between Statins and Kidney Cancer

(Reuters) July 28, 2011 - The cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are not linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer, suggests a new study. But there also isn't enough evidence to say that they offer any protection against the disease, researchers say.

Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP (Posted: July 29, 2011)

quotesAlthough we continue to search for relationships either positive or negative for the association of a variable with the development of kidney cancer, after controlling for smoking, diet, and weight, the role of statins could not be conclusively demonstrated to effect kidney cancer development in either a positive or negative way. This trial along with other data does not demonstrate a clear association between statin use and the development of renal cell carcinoma.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

Associate Cancer Center Director, Yale Cancer Center P...

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...