Radiation Therapy Helps DCIS Patients
Radiation therapy appears to substantially benefit older patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a noninvasive cancer of the breast's milk duct.
Benjamin D. Smith, M.D., of the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues used the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database to identify 3,409 women age 66 and over who had undergone conservative surgery for DCIS. They examined whether additional treatment with radiation therapy was associated with lower risks for subsequent mastectomy or invasive breast cancer.
The authors found that radiation therapy was associated with lower risk of subsequent mastectomy and invasive breast cancer in both low- and high-risk patients. Radiation therapy was associated with a 68% reduction in the relative risk for a second breast cancer event.
Contact: Ben Smith, email@example.com
Autoimmune Conditions Linked to Hodgkin Lymphoma Incidence
A personal history of systemic autoimmune disease is associated with an increased risk of Hodgkin lymphoma; a family history of some autoimmune conditions may also be associated with increased risk.
Ola Landgren, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues used data from a Swedish and Danish registry to identify 32 autoimmune and related conditions in 7,476 people with Hodgkin lymphoma, 18,573 controls, and over 86,000 first-degree relatives of patients and controls. Patients with a family or personal history of several autoimmune conditions had an increased risk of Hodgkin lymphoma.
Contact: NCI Press Officers, 301-496-6641, NCIPressOfficers@mail.nih.gov
Algorithm Measures Outcomes of Elderly Breast Cancer Patients
An algorithm based on data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) can give researchers valuable information about how effective post-surgical chemotherapies are for the elderly.
Many clinical trials have assessed the benefits of post-surgical, or adjuvant, chemotherapy in breast cancer patients, but elderly patients have been underrepresented in these trials. Scientists wondered if existing Medicare claims data could accurately measure disease free survival in elderly patients treated in the community, outside of clinical trials.
Elizabeth B. Lamont, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues developed an algorithm to examine disease-free survival in 45 older, node-positive breast cancer patients by combining data from the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) trial 9344 with data from their Medicare claims. Their findings suggest that Medicare claims data can accurately reflect 5-year disease free survival, but data on 2-year disease free survival was not as accurate.
Contact: Eva Tomczyk, Tomczyk@hcp.med.harvard.edu, 617-432-3357
Vaccination Increases Survival in Lymphoma Patients
Idiotypic vaccination can increase the survival times of follicular lymphoma patients.
Considered incurable, follicular lymphoma is often treated with chemotherapy, but patients always relapse. Vaccines designed to illicit an immune response in an individual patient, called idiotype vaccines, have not been proven to have clinical benefit. Maurizio Bendandi, M.D., Ph.D., of the Center for Applied Medical Research in Navarra, Spain, and colleagues treated 25 follicular lymphoma patients who had relapsed after chemotherapy. When patients relapsed a second time, they were treated again with chemotherapy and vaccinated periodically with idiotype protein over 2 years.
The authors found that this idiotypic vaccination induced immune responses in patients and increased their disease-free survival time. "This is the first formal demonstration of clinical benefit associated with the use of a human cancer vaccine," they write.
In an accompanying editorial, Dan L. Longo, M.D., of the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, Md., writes, "I find the data in the paper persuasive that idiotype vaccination is influencing the natural history of disease."
Hormone Sulfation Genotypes Linked To Endometrial Cancer
Women who use estrogen or combined hormone replacement therapies may be at increased risk for endometrial cancer. Researchers have wondered whether that risk is associated with variations in the genes that regulate estrogen metabolism.
Timothy Rebbeck, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues studied 502 endometrial cancer patients and 1,326 controls to identify variations in several genes involved in estrogen regulation. They suggest endometrial cancer risk may be higher in women with these genotypes who have used hormone therapies than in women who have not.
Contact: Timothy Rebbeck, firstname.lastname@example.org
Also in the September 20 JNCI:
Note: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute is published by Oxford University Press and is not affiliated with the National Cancer Institute. Attribution to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is requested in all news coverage. Visit the Journal online at http://jncicancerspectrum.oxfordjournals.org/.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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