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Clinical Oncology

HEALTH
July 6, 2009 | By Jill U. Adams, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
It's a deceptively simple idea: What if doctors could recruit the body's own immune system to fight cancer? The complexities of the immune system have kept this from becoming reality, until now. Three cancer vaccines -- for prostate cancer, melanoma and lymphoma -- have achieved positive results in so-called Phase 3 clinical trials -- the kind of studies that the Food and Drug Administration requires for a medicine to gain approval. At the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology held May 29 to June 2, researchers reported that a vaccine against follicular lymphoma, called BiovaxID, delayed remission after chemotherapy by more than one year, on average.
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NATIONAL
June 2, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A simple blood test may be able to detect lung cancer in its early stages, which would represent a promising strategy to improve survival rates, researchers said. The two-year survival rate averages only about 15%, mainly because the disease, which kills 1.3 million people globally a year, is often diagnosed in advanced stages. Preliminary findings of a study presented in Chicago at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology suggest that a specific genetic profile for lung cancer is present in the blood and can be detected with 88% accuracy.
SCIENCE
May 17, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A growing number of women with early-stage breast cancer seem to be choosing to have the whole breast removed instead of just the cancerous lump, a Mayo Clinic study of about 5,500 women found. Mastectomies were standard treatment until 1990, when studies showed that women whose cancers were small and confined to the breast did just as well if they had less radical surgery followed by radiation. Researchers are not sure what is responsible for the new trend, but speculate that newer tests like MRI scans are finding more cancers, or flagging so many suspicious spots that women want the breast removed for peace of mind.
NATIONAL
March 11, 2008
Taking the breast cancer pill Femara can significantly reduce the chances that a woman's cancer will return, even long after she has stopped taking the estrogen blocker tamoxifen, researchers said in Chicago. They said post-menopausal women who took Femara from one to seven years after finishing a five-year regimen of tamoxifen reduced by 63% the risk the cancer would come back. The study results were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
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