Vandetanib (Zactima) received full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients with nonresectable or metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). Vandetanib was initially approved under the FDA’s orphan drug program, becoming the first medical treatment for MTC.
Timing of Hormonal Replacement Therapy Affects Breast Cancer Risk
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Following a lung cancer diagnosis, patients typically embark on a dizzying journey that takes them from one waiting room to another, as they follow their treatment plan from the medical oncologist to the surgical oncologist to the radiation oncologist and back again. Coordinating these visits imposes yet another burden on the patient and often leads to delays in care. Six years ago, St. Joseph Mercy Cancer Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan, decided to simplify life for their patients by opening a multidisciplinary lung cancer clinic.
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In a randomized trial of patients with cancer who were suffering from vertebral compression fractures (VCFs), balloon kyphoplasty was associated with greater pain relief and better quality of life than nonsurgical care. According to the authors, patients who received kyphoplasty relied significantly less on pain medication, bed rest, and walking assistance 1 month after undergoing the procedure.
Every physician has a preferred way of writing prescription instructions, and pharmacists differ in how they translate those instructions to the pill bottle. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Wolf and associates found that the lack of a universal medication schedule (UMS) to standardize how prescriptions are written and filled contributes to poor patient adherence and increases safety concerns. Elderly patients or those with low health literacy are more prone to confusion when trying to follow a multidrug regimen.
Data published in the Journal of the American Medical As sociation in March indicate that for 20% of women with early-stage breast cancer, removing malignant lymph nodes from the armpit does not improve survival or prevent recurrence. Women in the phase 3 trial who underwent complete axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) had higher rates of lymphedema than those who had sentinel lymph node dissection (SLND) alone (P <.001). They also had higher rates of wound infection, axillary seromas, and paresthesias (70% vs 25%, respectively; P <.001).
Anew study shows that tamoxifen protects high-risk women against breast cancer for as long as a decade after treatment ends. Joyce Noah-Vanhoucke, PhD, Archimedes Inc, San Francisco, Cali fornia, and colleagues conducted the metaanalysis and found that using tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women aged <55 years was cost-effective and saved lives.
Asmall Canadian study found that patients who took delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, slept better and derived more enjoyment from eating than patients given a placebo. The University of Alberta investigators, led by associate professor Wendy Wismer, recruited terminal patients with advanced cancer who were randomly assigned to take 2.5 mg of dronabinol (a pill form of THC) or placebo twice daily for 18 days. Afterward, the participants completed questionnaires to assess whether their quality of life improved during the study.
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