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FDA OKs bevacizumab for late-stage cervical cancer
Medscape (Free login required)
The Food and Drug Administration approved a sixth indication for bevacizumab — treating patients with persistent, recurrent, or late-stage cervical cancer. The new indication calls for administering bevacizumab with paclitaxel along with either cisplatin or topotecan. In a news release, the agency said that bevacizumab is the first drug approved for late-stage cervical cancer since the debut of topotecan in combination with cisplatin in 2006.
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HEALTH POLICY


Senators want more companies to pull surgical device from market
The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)
Two U.S. senators are urging the Food and Drug Administration to ask manufacturers of a common surgical tool called a power morcellator pull their devices from the market because of a risk of spreading undetected uterine cancer in women, a spokeswomen for one of the senators said recently. The letter from New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand is expected to be sent and marks the first evidence of political pressure on the FDA to further limit power morcellation. The Wall Street Journal reviewed a draft of the letter, which the senators plan to send to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, a spokeswoman for Sen. Gillibrand said.
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Too many cancer screenings wasted on those facing death
Bloomberg
Older patients who aren’t expected to live more than another decade are still being screened too often for cancers, causing more harm than good, a study found. More than half of men 65 and older who had a very high risk of dying in nine years were screened for prostate cancer, a slow-moving disease, according to research today in JAMA Internal Medicine. Almost 38 percent of older women with a similar life expectancy were screened for breast cancer and 31 percent were screened for cervical cancer despite some having undergone a hysterectomy, which means they often had no cervix.
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BREAST CANCER


Pfizer seeks FDA approval for palbociclib
OncLive
Pfizer has submitted a New Drug Application for palbociclib plus letrozole as a frontline treatment for postmenopausal women with ER-positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer, based on findings from the phase II PALOMA-1 trial. The FDA will review the application within 60 days, at which point the agency will establish a review timeline for the novel CDK 4/6 inhibitor under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act. The fastest review under this program provides a decision within 6 months.
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Aspirin may benefit obese breast cancer patients
Cancer Network
Overweight and obese women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer may benefit from daily non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin. In a retrospective study published in Cancer Research, overweight and obese women who took an NSAID daily had a 52 prercent lower recurrence rate of their breast cancer — even after controlling for statin and omega-3 fatty acid use, both of which are also known anti-inflammatory agents.
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HPV


Study shows lasting benefit of quadrivalent HPV vaccine for teens
HealthDay News via Healthcare Professionals Network
A new study appearing in the September 2014 issue of Pediatrics examined whether the HPV vaccine remains effective eight years after initial vaccination. The results showed that these pre-adolescents and adolescents still showed vaccination-induced anti-HPV response eight years later and that no new, significant adverse effects were reported. Among these preadolescents and adolescents who received the HPV vaccine at a mean age of 12, none developed disease related to the HPV types covered by the vaccine. According to the CDC, each year HPV vaccination rates remain near the current level of 33 percent, an additional 4,400 women will be diagnosed annually with cervical cancer.
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RESEARCH


Researchers identify priority targets for immunotherapy in epithelial ovarian cancer
Medical Xpress
Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) have found that the expression pattern of a unique class of tumor-associated antigens, known as the MAGE cancer-testis antigens (CTAs), correlates with clinical outcome in epithelial ovarian cancer. Based on their findings, the researchers publishing in the Aug. 7 issue of the open access, peer-reviewed journal Plos One, identified priority targets for ovarian cancer immunotherapy. "The MAGE family of proteins is part of a class of CTAs that may serve as a target for directed immunotherapy in ovarian cancer and other types of cancer," said senior author Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, at RPCI.
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A bacterium that destroys tumors' dark heart shows promise
Los Angeles Times
A mutant form of a bacterium that lives in soil and thrives in low-oxygen environments appears to be a precise and aggressive killer of malignant tumors as well as an energetic activator of the body's immune system, according to research published this month in Science Translational Medicine. When scientists injected spores of a weakened form of the bacterium Clostridium novyi directly into the soft-tissue tumors of dogs and that of a single human subject, the results were not only abscesses, fever and pain at the site — all inflammatory responses that showed the immune system had been drawn to the area. In a matter of hours, the bacterial spores quickly found their way into these tumors' necrotic cores and began replicating madly, in several cases killing the malignant tissue.
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Women's Cancer News
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