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Eisai drug extends survival in patients with rare cancers
30 May 2015 at 8:05am
A drug made by Japan's Eisai Co that was originally derived from sea sponges helped extend lives of patients with soft-tissue cancers known as sarcomas by two months, a significant advance for these rare cancers with few treatment options, Belgian researchers said on Saturday. The researchers studied the drug, known as eribulin, in 452 patients with two forms of sarcomas - leiomyosarcoma, which starts in smooth muscles, and adipocytic sarcoma, which starts in fat tissue. "For a disease where such few treatment options exist, a two month improvement in survival is significant," said Dr. Patrick Schoffski, a medical oncologist at University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium, who presented the findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting on Saturday.
J&J multiple myeloma drug offers hope after others stop working: study
30 May 2015 at 8:03am
An experimental biotech drug being developed by Johnson & Johnson may offer hope to multiple myeloma patients who have run out of options, according to data from a midstage study released at a cancer meeting on Saturday. J&J plans to use the Phase II study to seek U.S. and European approval of its antibody daratumumab to treat the blood cancer. The drug received breakthrough designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which can help speed the approval process.
New research shows immunotherapy targeting several cancers
30 May 2015 at 7:38am
Immunotherapy, which has shown remarkable success against advanced melanoma skin cancers, is now being used to target other cancers that are tough to treat. The results of several clinical trials were presented on the opening day of the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) annual conference in Chicago on Friday. In some cases, immunotherapy has been shown to completely eradicate cancer.
Study sees benefit from more extensive breast cancer surgery
30 May 2015 at 7:26am
CHICAGO (AP) ? Having a little extra tissue taken off during breast cancer surgery greatly lowers the risk that some cancer will be left behind and require a second operation, according to a new study that could change care for more than 100,000 women in the United States alone each year.
Drug boosts long-term survival after breast cancer: study
30 May 2015 at 7:24am
After a diagnosis of localized breast cancer, women are often prescribed tamoxifen for five years to help prevent a recurrence, but researchers said Saturday another drug, anastrazole, may work better. The federally funded phase III study involved more than 3,100 postmenopausal women with a kind of breast cancer known as ductal carcinoma in situ, which was treated by removing the cancerous lump followed by a radiation regimen. Some women were then randomly assigned to receive tamoxifen and others anastrazole.
Pfizer's Ibrance drug slows progression of breast cancer
30 May 2015 at 6:53am
By Deena Beasley CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Phase III trial of Pfizer Inc's drug Ibrance showed that, in combination with hormone therapy, the drug more than doubled the duration of disease control for women with the most common type of breast cancer. At the time of an interim analysis, patients given Ibrance in combination with AstraZeneca Plc's Faslodex (fulvestrant), a widely used treatment to block estrogen, lived an average of 9.2 months before their cancer worsened. The trial enrolled 521 patients whose breast cancer was classified as estrogen-receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (ER+/HER2-).
U.N. warns of coming hunger in North Korea
30 May 2015 at 2:58am
By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - A drought in North Korea could lead to huge food shortages this year, the top U.N. official in the country told Reuters in an interview. Rainfall in 2014, the lowest in records going back 30 years, was 40-60 percent below 2013 levels, and reservoirs are very low, said Ghulam Isaczai, the U.N. resident coordinator.
U.S. military orders review as anthrax mishap widens
29 May 2015 at 10:31pm
By Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military said on Friday it discovered even more suspected shipments of live anthrax than previously thought, both in the United States and abroad, and ordered a sweeping review of practices meant to inactivate the bacteria. The Pentagon said a total of 11 states, two more than it first acknowledged, received "suspect samples," as did Australia and South Korea. It had previously only identified a foreign shipment to a U.S. air base south of Seoul.
Rights activists protest award for ex-Montana judge who blamed victim of rape
29 May 2015 at 8:07pm
A small group of women's rights activists rallied in Montana on Friday to protest a lifetime achievement award for a state judge censured for suggesting that a 14-year-old girl was partly to blame for her rape by a teacher. More than two dozen protesters led by the Montana chapter of the National Organization for Women attended the candlelight vigil outside the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings where former state District Judge G. Todd Baugh was to be given the annual award by a local bar association, said Marian Bradley, regional NOW head.
Kansas hospital monitoring patient for possible Ebola infection
29 May 2015 at 5:43pm
The University of Kansas Hospital said on Friday it was monitoring a patient for a possible Ebola infection after he returned from the West African nation of Sierra Leone and developed a fever. "The patient is extremely low risk. It's just the fever that tipped the balance," Dr. Lee Norman at University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas, told a news conference.
Pentagon: Anthrax shipments broader than first thought
29 May 2015 at 4:07pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Pentagon said Friday that the Army's mistaken shipments of live anthrax to research laboratories were more widespread than it initially reported, prompting the Defense Department's second-ranking official to order a thorough review.
U.S. military orders broad review as anthrax mishap widens
29 May 2015 at 3:39pm
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military said on Friday it discovered even more suspected cases of inadvertent shipments of live anthrax than previously thought, both in the United States and abroad, and ordered a sweeping review of its practices for inactivating samples. "As of now, 24 laboratories in 11 states and two foreign countries are believed to have received suspect samples," the Pentagon said in a statement. (Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Sandra Maler)
Zimmerman gets GPS protection from Florida shooter
29 May 2015 at 3:29pm
A Florida man who this month fired a shot at George Zimmerman, the man acquitted of murder in the 2012 death of an unarmed black teenager, was ordered on Friday to wear a GPS tracking device to warn of possible future attacks, according to local news reports of the court hearing. Matthew Apperson, 36, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, shooting into a vehicle and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after an encounter with Zimmerman on a road in Lake Mary, central Florida, on May 11. In a motion asking for the GPS requirement, prosecutors said Apperson has a history of mental illness including bipolar disorder and general anxiety disorder.
Genetic glitch can predict response to new class of cancer drugs
29 May 2015 at 2:59pm
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Patients with colon and other cancers who have a specific defect in genes needed for DNA repair are far more likely to respond to a new class of drugs such as Merck & Co's Keytruda, which enlist the immune system to attack tumors, a new study has shown. The small study, financed not by Big Pharma but by swimmers who raised charitable donations, tested Keytruda in patients with advanced colon and rectal cancers and found 92 percent of patients with the genetic defect had their disease controlled compared with 16 percent who did not carry the defect. The findings, announced on Friday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, point to a new way to predict who will respond to the treatments, which are known as PD-1 inhibitors and can cost $150,000 a year.
Obesity increases risk for common heart rhythm disorder
29 May 2015 at 2:57pm
By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Obesity increases the risk for atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder that can lead to blood clots, stroke and heart failure, a new analysis suggests. Researchers reviewed data from 51 previously published studies covering more than 600,000 people and found that obesity also made it more likely that patients with atrial fibrillation would have complications after surgery to treat the condition. ?A lower risk of developing heart rhythm disorders such as atrial fibrillation can be added to the list of health benefits from weight reduction,? senior study author Dr. Prashanthan Sanders, director of the center for heart rhythm disorders at the University of Adelaide in Australia, said by email.