The Lynx Group

Clinical Research

A new meta-analysis confirmed that patients with breast cancer who achieve a pathologic complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant therapy have a more favorable outcome than those who do not.
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Observational studies have sug­gested that the antidiabetes agent metformin (Glucophage) may have anticancer effects. New studies have attempted to confirm this, but the results and their meaning still remain unclear.
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More evidence is accumulating that vitamin D levels play a role in breast cancer outcomes. Investigators from the United Kingdom reported that postmenopausal women with sufficient vitamin D levels were significantly less likely to develop bone metastases when taking zoledronic acid (Zometa) compared with women with lower vitamin D levels.
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The antidepressant venlafaxine (Effexor) is often prescribed to patients with breast cancer who are taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex) to help reduce the side effect of hot flashes. But according to research presented at the meeting, venlafaxine may reduce the effectiveness of tamoxifen.
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Concerns about the future of cancer research exist among the spectrum of researchers and regulators, and in remarks prepared for the President’s Cancer Panel: The Future of Cancer Research—Accelerating Scientific Innovation (held September 22, 2010, in Boston), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) President George W. Sledge, Jr, MD, outlined some of the organization’s concerns regarding new biological therapies and the future of cancer research.
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Clinical cancer research is hampered by an overly complex and cautious regulatory system, which slows the development of lifesaving drugs, increases costs, and may be unethical, according to David J. Stewart,MD, of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and colleagues (Stewart DJ, et al. Equipoise lost: ethics, costs, and the regulation of cancer clinical research. J Clin Oncol. 2010;28:2925-2935).
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