Cancer Newsline... This Month in Cancer News - July 2009

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Metastatic Colon Cancer Survival Jumps Dramatically
Almost a Third of Patients May Live Five Years

Novel chemotherapy and biological agents, combined with advances in liver surgery, have increased five-year survival rates for metastatic colorectal cancer from 8% to 30% in the past 20 years.

Acupuncture Eases Radiation-Induced Dry Mouth
Ancient Technique Shows Promise
The traditional Chinese medical technique of acupuncture may safely help patients whose radiation treatments cause extreme dry mouth, or xerostomia.

"The quality of life in patients with radiation-induced xerostomia is impaired profoundly," says Mark Chambers, D.M.D., professor in the Department of Dental Oncology and the study's senior author. "Conventional treatments have been less than optimal, providing short-term response at best."

Genetic Variants Predict Bladder Cancer Recurrence, Survival
SNPs Play Roles After Standard Treatment

Variations in genes that modulate inflammation in the body can influence survival rates and recurrence in patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) who are treated with one of the most common therapies for this disease.

In this study of 596 patients at M. D. Anderson, Yang and his colleagues evaluated 59 gene variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 35 major inflammation genes to try to find the roles they might play in preventing or facilitating recurrence.

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