News from CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
(15 January 2009: VIDYYA MEDICAL NEWS SERVICE) -- PHARMACOGENETICS OF ANTICANCER AGENTS
When it comes to anticancer drugs, not all patients respond alike. Some of the variation among patients in both response and toxicity associated with anticancer therapy is due to a patient's genetic makeup. A new review provides an overview on the progress made in studies of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics, which have successfully identified genetic variants that contribute to this variation in susceptibility to chemotherapy. The authors say technological advances make it feasible to evaluate the human genome in a relatively inexpensive and efficient manner, but that extensive research and education are urgently needed to improve the translation of pharmacogenetic concepts from bench to bedside. CA Cancer J Clin 2009;59:42-55.
PATIENT ADHERENCE AND PERSISTENCE WITH ORAL ANTICANCER TREATMENT
The recent significant increase in use of oral cancer therapies has made patient adherence a crucial element in cancer treatment. Patients not adhering with prescribed therapy or stopping medication altogether may substantially interfere with the delivery of valuable therapies, and may affect prognosis. This review article describes available data regarding adherence and persistence among patients with cancer and also discusses studies of interventions to improve these. It reports that adherence and persistence rates range from 16 to 100 percent for various oral drugs. Potential obstacles to adherence and persistence include personal characteristics, treatment features, and system factors. CA Cancer J Clin 2009;59:56-66.
CANCER SCREENING IN THE UNITED STATES, 2009: A REVIEW OF CURRENT AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY GUIDELINES AND ISSUES IN CANCER SCREENING
Each year the American Cancer Society (ACS) publishes a summary of its recommendations for early cancer detection, a report on data and trends in cancer screening rates, and select issues related to cancer screening. In this report, the authors summarize the current ACS guidelines and recent issues regarding screening in the U.S., address updates of guidelines for testing for early prostate cancer detection and colorectal cancer screening by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, and describe the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) pertaining to participation rates in cancer screening. CA Cancer J Clin 2009;59:27-41.
LYMPHEDEMA: A PRIMER ON THE IDENTIFICATION AND MANAGEMENT OF A CHRONIC CONDITION IN ONCOLOGIC TREATMENT
Lymphedema, a chronic condition that occurs as a result of the body's inability to drain lymph fluid from the tissues, is a common treatment-related side effect experienced by cancer patients. In this review, the authors outline many of the important aspects of lymphedema, including the anatomy, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of this condition, and identify some of the resources available both to cancer patients who suffer from lymphedema and to the clinicians who treat them. CA Cancer J Clin 2009;59:8-24.
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