IN THIS EDITION:
- Oral VEGF inhibitor, cediranib, extends life in refractory ovarian cancer
- Screening has halved colorectal cancer mortality in Europe
- Diabetes associated with increased risk of incidence and mortality from breast and colorectal cancer
- HLA predicts which patients with colorectal cancer can live longer when given aspirin
- Breast screening and treatment budgets: direct link to mortality
- PSA screening for prostate cancer — not recommended!
AMSTERDAM—Important progress in several areas of cancer emerged from the European Cancer Congress. Peter Goodwin and Sarah Maxwell report:
The oral vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor cediranib extended life in refractory ovarian cancer in first relapse. Professor Jonathan Ledermann MD FRCP, Director of Medical Oncology & UCL Cancer Trials Centre, University College, London, discussed findings from the ICON 6 trial.
Reassuring findings about the efficacy of screening for colorectal cancer are reported by Philippe Autier, MD, MPH, PhD, Vice President/Population Research at the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France – a halving of colorectal cancer mortality since 1989 in European countries adopting widespread screening.
Patients with diabetes: at increased risk of developing and dying from breast and colorectal cancer according to research from the Netherlands announced at the Amsterdam congress by Kirstin De Bruijn MD, from Erasmus University Medical Center, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, talking to AudioMedica.com in Amsterdam.
Leiden University researchers have identified a biomarker capable of predicting which patients with colorectal cancer will have prolonged survival by taking 80 mg of aspirin regularly. Dr Marlies Reimers, MD, from the Department of Surgery at Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands explains that patients whose tumors express the HLA class one antigen have their mortality halved.
Researchers from the Breast European Adjuvant Studies Team report that effective treatment and screening for cancers such as breast cancer could be directly linked to the proportion of patients dying within a given period of time after diagnosis. This finding was possible because Europe is — unintentionally — a perfect laboratory for such an investigation, since the different countries have widely varying health-care budgets. There was a linear relationship between healthcare spending and cancer mortality!
Prostate cancer screening: the ERSPC trial found that in European countries there was a 21 per cent reduction in regions where men are routinely screened using PSA — in contrast to the findings of the American PLCO trial which found no effect. London expert Jack Cuzick said in Amsterdam that the difference was because most Americans get PSA screening anyway, so the study was only a measure of organized versus opportunistic screening. And he highlighted the need to look at the risk-benefit ratio of PSA testing. Until factors can be identified to show which patients benefit, his conclusion was that routine PSA screening should not be recommended!