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J&J's Doxil shortage to last until at least end of 2014
FiercePharma
The saga of the shortage of ovarian cancer drug Doxil has hit a new turning point, and not for the better. Johnson & Johnson has indicated it will have no supplies of the popular drug until at least the end of next year because its sole supplier is permanently closing the plant that makes it and it will be unable to get new suppliers approved for another 12 months or more.
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TREATMENT


Weighing surgeries in light of a breast cancer gene
The New York Times
When Tracy Dunbrook, a bioethicist in Sherman, Conn., tested positive for the BRCA gene mutation, she was told she had a 40 to 60 percent chance of developing ovarian cancer in her lifetime. Doctors advised her to have her ovaries removed. She considered going further and having a hysterectomy, in which her uterus would be removed, but in the end opted for the standard of care: a procedure known as risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy, removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes. Five years later, she was given a diagnosis of Stage 3 uterine cancer.
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TRINOVA-1 signals new direction in ovarian cancer
Ob.Gyn.News
Adding the investigational peptibody trebananib to weekly paclitaxel prolongs the time to disease progression or death in women with recurrent, advanced ovarian cancer, the phase III TRINOVA-1 trial has shown. The primary endpoint of median progression-free survival was 7.2 months with paclitaxel plus trebananib and 5.4 months with paclitaxel alone.
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PREVENTION


Vaccine risks overstated due to poor, politically charged 'science communication environment'
Medical Daily
The fear among many Americans to fully embrace vaccines arises not from a distrust in science, misinformation, or failures of understanding, but from divisive forces that turn scientific findings into uninformed politically charged controversies, a new report argues. Published in Science magazine, the study comes from Dan M. Kahan, law and psychology professor and director of the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School. Kahan's report tackles an ongoing topic of research, one that paints science communication as operating in an environment where "cultural cognition," the tendency for groups to fit assessments of risk into ideological compartments, maintains a stranglehold on public perception of vaccines.
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RESEARCH


Study: Hormone therapy less risky for women in their 50s
Boston Globe
In the decade since a landmark study uncovered the risks of taking hormone replacement therapy for disease prevention, some doctors have shied away from prescribing the drugs even for women with severe hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. But the latest followup data from the Women's Health Initiative trial involving 27,000 postmenopausal women suggest that the benefits of symptom relief outweigh the risks — at least for women in their 50s.
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Blood pressure drug may enhance cancer treatment
Medical News Today
A new study reveals that a common class of drug used to control high blood pressure could enhance cancer treatment by improving delivery of chemotherapy drugs and oxygen through tumors. A clinical trial is already in progress as a result of the study. Writing about their work in the online journal Nature Communications, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, describe how the angiotensin inhibitor losartan increased blood flow and improved chemotherapy drug outcomes in mice with breast and pancreatic cancer.
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POLICY


Shutdown hits patients' hopes for federally funded cancer drug trials
Reuters
The U.S. government shutdown is dashing the hopes of critically ill Americans like 30-year-old Michelle Langbehn after federally funded clinical trials of potentially life-saving drugs have been closed. The standoff between Republicans and the White House forced most government offices to close on Tuesday at the start of the new funding year. Republicans are insisting a government spending bill must carry a measure to rollback President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare reform law enacted in 2010. Obama is adamant that he will not accept that condition.
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Globe-athon news: Ghana's queen mothers take up fight against cancers
AllAfrica.com
NANA AGYAKOMAA Dufie, the Queen mother of Mampong Traditional Area has pledged the commitment of all 64 queen mothers who owe allegiance to the Golden Stool to creating awareness about cancers in women. She has tasked queen mothers to also lead the fight in their traditional areas by championing campaigns aimed at reducing cancer infections and deaths. The occasion was the 2013 Globe-athon Day held at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, under the theme: "Globe-athon-A Walk to End Women Cancers," during which queen mothers, female students, traders, women groups and health professionals were educated on general cancers, risk factors, prevention and curative methods.
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