[MOL] Keepig up with the latest..... [00120] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Keepig up with the latest.....

September 2000

Welcome to Lately@MSKCC!

Included in This Issue...

-Treatment Advances in Colorectal Cancer, Prostate Cancer,
and a Leukemia

-CancerSmart Seminar Features Breast Cancer Specialists

-Overview of Pancreatic Cancer

-Healing Arts

Treatment Advances in Colorectal Cancer, Prostate Cancer,
and Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia

This week, years of clinical research showed fruit in
important contributions to the treatment of three cancers.
this issue, Lately@MSKCC reports on these advances: a new
step in therapy for advanced colorectal cancer; a tool to
help prostate cancer patients and their doctors make early
treatment decisions; and the Food and Drug Administration's
approval of a new leukemia treatment with a 2,000-year

-New First-Line Treatment for Advanced Colorectal Cancer: A
new chemotherapy regimen, developed by researchers at
Memorial Sloan-Kettering, is the most effective first-line
treatment for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer,
according to an international study published this week in
The New England Journal of Medicine. The combination
consists of irinotecan (also called CPT-11) along with the
standard drugs fluorouracil and leucovorin. The study
patients receiving the new regimen had improved tumor
response rates and improved overall survival compared to
those on standard treatment. Dr. Leonard B. Saltz, a
oncologist who specializes in gastrointestinal tumors at
Memorial Sloan-Kettering and principal investigator of the
multi-center study, answers some important questions about
the findings at:

-A Tool for Making Difficult Treatment Decisions in
Cancer: Although advances in diagnostic testing for
cancer have improved the ability to detect the disease at
early stage, deciding which treatment approach will yield
most beneficial results for which patient can be
in the earliest stages of the disease. A new prognostic
developed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, could aid physicians
and patients in decision making regarding treatment options
for early-stage prostate cancer, and in identifying those
patients who are at high risk of recurrence following
radiation therapy. A combination of disease factors
stage of the cancer, prostate specific antigen (PSA) level,
biopsy pathology, use of hormone therapy, and radiation
dosage have been incorporated into a nomogram -- a
statistical device that predicts outcomes based on a
combination of individual factors. A study published in the
September 28 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology
concluded that the nomogram is more accurate than other
models in predicting the probability of recurrent prostate
cancer within a five-year period, following treatment with
radiation therapy. Read more about this useful aid to men
with prostate cancer and their physicians at:

-FDA Approves Arsenic Trioxide for a Rare Leukemia: As the
result of research pioneered at Memorial Sloan-Kettering,
United States Food and Drug Administration approved on
September 26 the use of arsenic trioxide for the treatment
acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), a fatal cancer that
affects the blood and bone marrow. Approximately 2,000
are diagnosed with this type of leukemia each year. Led by
investigators at MSKCC, clinical trials began with arsenic
trioxide in 1998. Arsenic-based compounds were first shown
be effective by scientists in China who used low doses of
agent to treat patients with APL. Preparations containing
arsenic have been used for more than 2,000 years, but were
thought to have been displaced by modern chemotherapy and
antibiotics until scientists took note of reports of their
possible anti-leukemic activity. For more information,
including a link to the FDA talk paper on the approval,

**CancerSmart Seminar Features Breast Cancer Specialists
The first CancerSmart program for Fall 2000 will provide an
opportunity for women and the people who care about them to
learn about and discuss the many physical, emotional, and
other issues they face during their breast cancer
This program is sponsored in conjunction with the Gillette
Women's Cancer Connection and will be held on Saturday,
October 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon. This event is one of
Gillette's "Connecting to Wellness" seminars.

A panel of leading breast cancer specialists who will led
the program includes Memorial Sloan-Kettering staff
Dr. Clifford Hudis, Chief of Breast Cancer Medicine, Dr.
Jane Massie, psycho-oncologist, Department of Psychiatry,
Bernadette McGovern, Nurse Practitioner, Cancer Prevention
and Wellness Program. In addition, Joanna Bull, Gillette
Women's Cancer Connection's Advisory Board Member, and
psychotherapist will be a panel member. Ms. Bull is also
founder and Executive Director of Gilda's Club. To
visit CancerSmart on-line at:

**Next Step in the Treatment of Primary Nervous System
A new treatment regimen for primary central nervous system
lymphoma (PCNSL), an aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that
arises within the brain, eyes, and spinal cord, promises to
improve the standard of care for newly diagnosed patients.
Clinical researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering reported
this month that by increasing the dose of methotrexate and
adding procarbazine and vincristine to the standard
they could improve disease control and overall survival in
patients with newly diagnosed PNCSL.

**Pancreatic Cancer Update
Approximately 28,000 persons are diagnosed with pancreatic
cancer annually in the United States, and pancreatic cancer
is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths among
More than 400 new patients with cancer of the pancreas come
each year to Memorial Sloan-Kettering, which has one of the
largest referral programs for this disease in the nation.
Read an updated backgrounder on pancreatic cancer this
on our web site, which highlights key components of our
diagnosis, treatment, and research programs.


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