Tamoxifen, other anti-estrogen therapies may reduce lung cancer mortality in women.
A study presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, "tamoxifen and other anti-estrogen therapies may reduce lung cancer mortality in women." In a study of 6,655 breast cancer patients, Swiss researchers found that "women who took endocrine therapy for breast cancer were 87% less likely to die from lung cancer than the general population...despite similar lung cancer incidence." While "women with breast cancer who didn't take anti-estrogen therapy were no less likely to die from lung cancer than the general population," the results still lend support to the "hypothesis that estrogen plays a role in lung cancer prognosis."
Cannabis-based mouth spray may reduce pain in patients with cancer.
Cancer patients who used a cannabis mouth spray had their level of pain reduced by 30 percent," according to research appearing in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. The "cannabis-based spray" works by activating molecules in the body called cannabinoid receptors which can stop nerve signals being sent to the brain from the site of pain.The spray was developed so that it did not affect the mental state of patients in the way that using cannabis would." The researchers said the study "did not justify smoking cannabis as this could increase the risk of cancer."
Time to progression in metastatic breast cancer may improve with higher fulvestrant dose.
Women with metastatic breast cancer had a modest but statistically significant improvement in time to progression when treated with 500 mg of fulvestrant (Faslodex) -- double the usual dose," according to a study reported at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The study of "736 patients with estrogen receptor-positive advanced breast cancer" showed that "the 500-mg dose led to a median time to progression of 6.5 months, compared with 5.5 months for patients treated with the standard 250-mg dose." Researchers also found that "total clinical benefit was 45.6 percent with 500 mg of fulvestrant and 39.6 percent with 250 mg."
Gel fails to prevent AIDS infection in African women, study shows.
A study reports that after a four-year trial of nearly 10,000 women in South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, and Tanzania, a microbicide gel "containing molecules that clump around" the AIDS "virus before it reaches the vaginal wall," in order "to protect women against infection has failed....researchers said Monday." The Microbicides Development Program, known as MDP 301, "was overseen by the British Medical Research Council." Results showed that "the gel had no effect: 4.1 percent of those who used it were infected, as were four percent of those who used a placebo." The failure marks the end of the council's investigation into that particular "type of microbicide." Researchers are now turning their attention "to gels and rings that release constant doses of antiretroviral drugs to kill the virus or stop it from reproducing."
Novartis' Tasigna may halt CML progression better than Gleevec.
Preliminary results from a clinical trial presented at the American Society of Hematology's annual meeting, show that fewer patients taking Novartis AG's Tasigna [nilotinib] progressed to an advanced stage of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) compared to Novartis' Gleevec [imatinib]. Researchers also found a significant drop in the presence of the disease in nearly twice as many participants taking Tasigna.
The study showed that Tasigna lowered levels of Bcr-Abl, a protein linked to CML, "to less than or equal to 0.1 percent of pre-treatment levels in 44 percent of patients, compared with 22 percent in those given Gleevec." Furthermore, "fewer patients on Tasigna discontinued treatment because of adverse events."
Novartis is expected to seek approval for Tasigna for use in adult patients who are newly diagnosed with CML, Dow Jones Newswire (12/8, Griel) reported. The drugmaker will lose patent protection for Gleevec in the US in 2015. Novartis, therefore, intends to replace Gleevec with Tasigna as the standard of care.