ACRO 2012: Register today!
Undecided? Listen to a presentation from the 2011 meeting!
Over the next few weeks, ACRO will be promoting audio briefs of popular and insightful content from past annual meetings. This week's audio brief features a presentation titled "Low Grade Glioma Controversies, Treatment Paradigms and Late Effects" by Dr. Lawrence Kleinberg, a radiation oncologist from the Johns Hopkins University. Click here to listen to the brief.
Like what you hear? Register today for the ACRO 2012 Annual Meeting, Feb. 23-25 at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott in Fort Myers, Fla. If you register before Jan. 20, you can save up to $100 on registration fees! The ACRO Annual Meeting is known for its fundamental, clinically focused program and faculty, intimate nature, unparalleled access to speakers, clutter-free schedule and a full slate of CME and SAM credit. Click here to register today.
Extra radiation lowers risk of breast cancer recurrence
From June 8: Giving women with early-stage breast cancer an extra dose of radiation to their lymph nodes appears to lower the risk of the cancer recurring or spreading to other parts of the body, according to Canadian research presented at a large cancer conference. The study from researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, could change the way that many with breast cancer are treated. The study involved more than 1,800 women with early-stage breast cancer, who either had one to three lymph nodes test positive for cancer, or who had a high-risk form of breast cancer. More
Doctor-owned centers spark criticism, scrutiny
The Washington Post Share
From March 2: When Kenneth Baker found out he had prostate cancer, his urologist detailed his options: The 84-year-old was too old for surgery, but he could pick from two forms of radiation or simply wait to see if he really needed treatment. The wait-and-see option didn't appeal to the retired salesman. But Baker was drawn to a radiation regimen he could undergo at a center his urologist's practice had opened near his home outside Baltimore. More
An immune system trained to kill cancer
The New York Times Share
From Sept. 14: A year ago, when chemotherapy stopped working against his leukemia, William Ludwig signed up to be the first patient treated in a bold experiment at the University of Pennsylvania. Ludwig, then 65, a retired corrections officer from Bridgeton, N.J., felt his life draining away and thought he had nothing to lose. Doctors removed a billion of his T-cells — a type of white blood cell that fights viruses and tumors — and gave them new genes that would program the cells to attack his cancer. Then the altered cells were dripped back into Ludwig's veins. At first, nothing happened. But after 10 days, hell broke loose in his hospital room. More
Las Vegas doctor to pay $5.7 million in false claims case
U.S. Department of Justice Share
From July 6: Rakesh Nathu, a Las Vegas physician, has agreed to pay the United States $5.7 million plus interest to settle allegations that he submitted false claims to federal health care programs for various radiation oncology services, including intensity modulated radiation therapy, the Justice Department announced. The government alleges that Nathu submitted improper claims to Medicare, TRICARE and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan from 2007 through 2009 in which he double billed for several procedures affiliated with radiation treatment plans, billed for certain high reimbursement radiation oncology services when a different, less expensive service should have been billed and billed for medically unnecessary radiation oncology services. More
How bright promise in cancer testing fell apart
The New York Times Share
From July 13: When Juliet Jacobs found out she had lung cancer, she was terrified, but realized that her hope lay in getting the best treatment medicine could offer. So she got a second opinion, then a third. In February 2010, she ended up at Duke University, where she entered a research study whose promise seemed stunning. Doctors would assess her tumor cells, looking for gene patterns that would determine which drugs would best attack her particular cancer. She would not waste precious time with ineffective drugs or trial-and-error treatment. The Duke program — considered a breakthrough at the time — was the first fruit of the new genomics, a way of letting a cancer cell's own genes reveal the cancer's weaknesses. But the research at Duke turned out to be wrong. More
New York Times author Walt Bogdanich speaks on NPR about medical radiation errors
From May 18: On May 16, Walt Bogdanich, the New York Times reporter who spoke at ACRO's recent annual meeting in San Diego via video feed from New York about medical radiation errors, continued to discuss the subject on the National Public Radio show, "Fresh Air," with host Terry Gross. Bogdanich told Gross that he had become interested in investigating the dangers of medical radiation approximately two years ago when a source told him that premature babies were receiving full-body scans for chest evaluations at a New York hospital, resulting in their exposure to higher doses of radiation than were necessary. What disturbed Bogdanich further was that, despite his report of the situation in The New York Times, the procedures continued. More
Radiation exposure: Fast facts about thyroid cancer, other health risks
From March 23: There's growing alarm worldwide about radiation poisoning, with an explosion at the No. 3 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex. A similar blast at the No. 1 reactor in the same complex released radiation into the environment, and while officials in Japan and the World Health Organization since have described the public health risk as "quite low," concern about the potential of serious health problems abound. Officials in the U.S. and U.K. have released statements assuring the public that there is no imminent radiation threat in these countries. Philippine authorities have had to quash a text hoax that caused some offices and classes to shut down after it warned of thyroid health issues and the dangers of stepping outdoors without a raincoat. The following are quick facts on radiation exposure and its possible health consequences. More
Radiation beam strays, harming instead of helping
The New York Times Share
From Jan. 5: The initial accident report offered few details, except to say that an unidentified hospital had administered radiation overdoses to three patients during identical medical procedures. It was not until many months later that the full import of what had happened in the hospital last year began to surface in urgent nationwide warnings, which advised doctors to be extra vigilant when using a particular device that delivers high-intensity, pinpoint radiation to vulnerable parts of the body. Marci Faber was one of the three patients. More