NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
November 16, 2004 • Volume 1 / Number 44 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

National Network Will Help More Smokers Quit

On November 10, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced the launch of the National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines, a telephone-based smoking cessation program. The toll-free access number - 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669) - will put callers in touch with local programs that can help them give up tobacco. In addition, the HHS Web site - - offers online smoking cessation advice and downloadable information. The Web site was created by the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), with contributions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society.

The National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines state/federal partnership is the first effort of a larger collaboration that has the potential to have a major public health benefit. With one easy-to-remember number, tobacco users in every state will have the tools and resources they need to quit smoking.

"What starts as a single puff can become a death sentence for millions of Americans," said Secretary Thompson. "Americans want to quit smoking, and they should quit smoking. These initiatives will help Americans kick the habit and save their own lives."  Read more  

Director's Update

Collaboration with CMS Breaking New Ground in Cancer Clinical Trials

One of NCI's important successes over the past several years has been the establishment of partnerships with other government agencies to help improve service to the public. The announcement earlier this month about expanded coverage by Medicare for several NCI-sponsored clinical trials is an excellent example of collaborations between sister health agencies to promote better cancer care.

Under the initiative, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will pay for Medicare beneficiaries to receive off-label treatment with drugs already approved for specific indications in colorectal cancer: oxaliplatin (Eloxatin), irinotecan (Camptosar), bevacizumab (Avastin), and cetuximab (Erbitux). Coverage, however, is contingent upon the beneficiary's participation in designated NCI clinical trials.

This is new territory for CMS that expands on its traditional role as a third-party health care payer. By collaborating with NCI on this venture, CMS is supporting clinical trials that should provide more evidence upon which the agency can base future payment decisions. Indeed, the trials that will be included in this initiative will attempt to answer some important clinical questions that could have a significant impact on patient care.  Read more  

The NCI Cancer Bulletin is produced by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI, which was established in 1937, leads the national effort to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. Through basic, clinical, and population-based biomedical research and training, NCI conducts and supports research that will lead to a future in which we can identify the environmental and genetic causes of cancer, prevent cancer before it starts, identify cancers that do develop at the earliest stage, eliminate cancers through innovative treatment interventions, and biologically control those cancers that we cannot eliminate so they become manageable, chronic diseases.

For more information on cancer, call 1-800-4-CANCER or visit

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