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

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How Common Is Use of Off-Label Drugs in Breast Cancer?
Many Patients Receive Legal But Non-Approved Drugs

 More than one-third of breast cancer patients receive chemotherapy drugs that, while approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have not been vetted specifically to treat the disease.

The use of drugs for conditions other than those for which they were approved is legal, and, according to a study by M. D. Anderson researchers, prevalent in breast cancer treatment. The study was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) annual meeting in May.

Vaccine Gives Hope Against Advanced Melanoma
First-of-Its-Kind Study Shows Benefit

Patients with advanced melanoma, one of the most dangerous cancers, showed improved response to treatment and length of progression-free survival when a vaccine was added to their treatment with the immunotherapy drug interleukin-2 (IL-2).

Results from the Phase III clinical trial - the first of its kind in melanoma and one of the first in any type of cancer - were presented by M. D. Anderson researchers at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in May.

Two-drug Combo Shows Benefit in Lung Cancer
Targeted Agent, Chemotherapy Slow Cancer Growth

When combined with the standard chemotherapy drug Taxotere® (docetaxel), the oral targeted therapy Zactima® (vandetanib) improves progression-free survival for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Researchers from M. D. Anderson presented the findings of the first-of-its-kind, international Phase III trial at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) annual meeting in May.

Cancer Newsline Audio Podcast Series

Hodgkin's Lymphoma Treatment Anas Younes, M.D., Professor of the Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma discusses frontline, pre-transplant, and post-transplant treatment options for Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Ways You Can Help Without Giving Money: Donate Blood
Andrea Johnson, Community Representative for the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Blood Bank, discusses the challenges blood banks face when getting blood and platelets for their patients and explains how you can help.

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