Sunday, August 08, 2010
Gastrointestinal complications of chemotherapy may be serious and potentially life-threatening. Familiarity with and awareness of the potential complications associated with various chemotherapeutic agents/regimens is paramount to enable accurate and timely diagnosis. In this article we review the radiological manifestations of the most notable gastrointestinal complications associated with chemotherapeutic administration.
How to Avoid a Heart Attack: Putting It All Together -Journal of the American Osteopathic Association
Note: this is not specific to treatment-related cardiovascular concerns
The central question posed in the letter to the editor by Juhl et al2 is whether supplements of vitamins E and C and the B vitamins have demonstrated an evidence-based reduction in patients' cardiovascular risk. Unfortunately, the authors' criticism of the perceived deficiencies of a previously published study1 does not constitute evidence to support their position; it serves only to point out those perceived flaws.
Multiple meta-analyses and reviews of published medical literature have convincingly established that there are few, if any, objective, evidence-based, well-designed trials to support the use of supplements of vitamins E or C or those in the B family to reduce risk of cardiovascular events. Furthermore, I am unaware of any study that advocates the use of these supplements to help patients or to rejuvenate our ailing medical delivery system.
If Dr Juhl and his coauthors2 seek to establish the medical value of these supplements, I would recommend that they design, participate in, and publish a study to establish their yet unproven hypothesis. Until such a goal is accomplished, my opinion (shared by researchers at the Mayo Clinic,3 the Cleveland Clinic,5 the AHRQ,12 and the American Heart Association19) is that published evidence clearly does not support the use of vitamins E, C, B6, B9, or B12 to improve patients' cardiovascular health.
A prospective study of dietary acrylamide intake and the risk of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers — Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
Acrylamide is a probable human carcinogen formed during cooking of many common foods. Epidemiological studies of acrylamide and breast cancer risk have been null; however, positive associations with ovarian and endometrial cancers have been reported. We studied acrylamide intake and risk of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers in a prospective cohort study.
We assessed acrylamide intake among 88,672 women in the Nurses' Health Study using food frequency questionnaires administered every four years. Between 1980 and 2006 we identified 6301 cases of invasive breast cancer, 484 cases of invasive endometrial adenocarcinoma, and 416 cases of epithelial ovarian cancer. We used Cox proportional hazards models to study the association between acrylamide and cancer risk.
We found no association between acrylamide intake and breast cancer overall or according to estrogen and progesterone receptor status. We found an increased risk of endometrial cancer among high acrylamide consumers (adjusted relative risk [RR] for highest versus lowest quintile=1.41, 95% CI: 1.01-1.97, p-value for trend=0.03). We observed a non-significant suggestion of increased risk for ovarian cancer overall (RR 1.25, CI: 0.88-1.77, p-trend=0.12), with a significantly increased risk for serous tumors (RR 1.58, CI: 0.99-2.52, p-trend=0.04). Associations did not differ by smoking status.
We observed no association between acrylamide and breast cancer. Risk of endometrial cancer and possibly ovarian cancer was greater among high acrylamide consumers.
This is the second prospective study to report positive associations with endometrial and ovarian cancers. These associations should be further evaluated to inform public health policy.
abstract: (Aug 6, 2010) Histotype predicts the curative potential of radiotherapy: the example of ovarian cancers
1) assumption - WAR (whole abdominal radiation - low dose/dosage; 2) ratio of cell types/RT; 3) study time period; 'apparent' stage 1/11; 4) surgical intervention by ?; 5) primary and/or secondary surgical debulking; 6) 'enhanced' as a %..... many questions in the absence of the full paper
Background: To explore the influence of ovarian cancer histotype on the effectiveness of adjuvant radiotherapy (RT).
Methods: A review of a population-based experience included all referred women with no reported macroscopic residuum following primary surgery who underwent adjuvant platin-based chemotherapy (CT), with or without sequential RT, and for whom it was possible to assign histotype according to the contemporary criteria.
Results: Seven hundred and three subjects were eligible, of these 351 received RT. For those with apparent stage I and II tumors, the cohort with clear cell (C), endometrioid (E), and mucinous (M) disease who additionally received RT exhibited a 40% reduction in disease-specific mortality and a 43% reduction in overall mortality.
Conclusions: The curability of those with stage I and II C-, E-, and M-type ovarian carcinomas was enhanced by RT-containing adjuvant therapy. This benefit did not extend to those with stage III or serous tumors. These findings necessitate reassessments of the role of RT and of the nonselective surgical and CT approaches that have characterized ovarian cancer care.
"There is no question that research participants need protection. But regulations have grown so burdensome that they are overwhelming the very things they are meant to support and safeguard. Consequently, clinical research has been substantially decreased among industrialized countries."
How to follow-up patients with epithelial ovarian cancer
Miller, Rowan E; Rustin, Gordon JS
Purpose of review: Despite optimal primary treatment most patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer will relapse. This review discusses the controversy regarding surveillance and the timing of treatment for recurrent disease.
Recent findings: Routine physical examination has a limited role in the detection of recurrent ovarian cancer. PET/computed tomography (CT) has been shown to be useful in detecting small volume disease not apparent on traditional imaging in patients with suspected recurrence based on symptoms and/or rising CA125. The results of PET/CT can alter treatment plans and have particular use in guiding site-directed therapy. The benefits of early detection and systemic treatment of recurrence are now in doubt following the presentation of the MRC/EORTC CA125 surveillance trial. The impact on survival of secondary cytoreductive surgery requires more investigation.
Summary: Uncertainties remain in the surveillance and timing of treatment for relapsed disease. Patients should be informed of these uncertainties and become involved in decisions regarding their follow-up.