While therapy has improved quite a bit since 1985, the greatest benefit derives from most women avoiding the need for life-long treatment by having small tumors found and removed before they’ve spread.
The problem with Tamoxifen is that it has anti-estrogen effects that many young (and older) women consider undesirable. Already our breasts have been cut. Feeling “feminine” is not trivial.
I’m optimistic, because it looks as though, in my lifetime, BC treatment will be tailored to each patient. There’ll be less surgery and better drugs.
If a drug helps, keep it going; if it hurts, stop. There are so many algorithms in medicine, and molecular tools, but maybe the bottom line is how the, one, your patient is doing.
This week the NIH launched a new website, NIH Clinical Research Trials and You. In a Feb 6 press release, NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins said “The ability to recruit the necessary number of volunteers is vital to carrying out clinical research.” The idea behind the website is to help patients understand how clinical research […]
Last week’s NEJM delivered an intriguing, imperfect article on a new approach to treating hepatitis C (HCV). The paper’s careful title, Preliminary Study of Two Antiviral Agents for Hepatitis C Genotype 1, seems right. The analysis, with 17 authors listed, traces the response of 21 people with hepatitis C (HCV) who got two new anti-viral agents, with or […]
Tomorrow the American Society of Clinical Oncology* will host its 9th annual GI Cancers Symposium. Bloomberg and the LA Times have already reported findings of a paper, still in abstract form, to be presented on Saturday. The drug of interest is regorafenib, a pill that loosely inhibits quite a few kinases – enzymes critical in […]
Something I learned at the MBCN conference is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA, a.k.a. HCR), will require that private insurance companies cover the routine costs of medical care for patients participating in approved clinical trials. Medicare does so already, said Dr. Tatiana Prowell, an oncologist on the Johns Hopkins […]
Well, it’s the day after Labor Day, time to resume our discussion of Bending the Cost Curve in Cancer Care. We’ve reached the end of the list, on ideas to reduce oncology costs put forth by Drs. Smith and Hillner in the May 25 issue of the NEJM. Really this 10th and final point intended for […]
Today’s word comes from Nature News that the NIH is dropping a proposed requirement for universities to disclose researchers’ financial ties to industry on websites. This is a loss for patients, who may not be aware of their doctors’ relationships with pharmaceutical companies and others who fund clinical trials, fellowships, conference junkets and other perks […]