NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
February 22, 2005 • Volume 2 / Number 8 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

Advisory Panel Weighs COX-2 Inhibitors' Fate

Advisors to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week recommended that "black box" warnings be added to the label of the two COX-2 inhibitors currently for sale in the United States, and to a third that might be reintroduced (rofecoxib, or Vioxx). The warnings would alert physicians and patients to an increased risk of cardiovascular events associated with the drugs' use. The risk, the committee agreed, represents a so-called class effect of COX-2 agents like celecoxib (Celebrex), valdecoxib (Bextra), and rofecoxib that were developed to alleviate pain while limiting gastrointestinal effects by blocking the action of the COX-2 enzyme.

Dr. Robert Temple, of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, told committee members that the agency was "committed to working as quickly as possible" in considering and implementing the recommendations.

Although COX-2 inhibitors' primary indication is to treat pain associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, the committee's recommendation to leave the drugs on the market means that at least celecoxib, which the committee almost unanimously agreed is the least likely to be associated with adverse cardiac events, can continue to be studied for use in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Both aspirin and COX-2 inhibitors have shown promise in preventing polyps that can lead to colon cancer.  Read more  

Director's Update

Guest Update by Dr. Robert Croyle

Health Information National Trends Survey Web Site Unveiled

At this time last year, we made public our dataset from the first-ever survey to collect nationally representative information on the American public's need for, access to, and use of cancer information. Since then, more than 100 researchers have delved into the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) to analyze how people use mass media, new media such as the Internet, and personal channels for health information purposes, and how the use of those communication channels may impact their knowledge and acceptance of healthy living guidelines.

Today, I am pleased to announce that a new HINTS Web site (http://hints.cancer.gov) expands access to HINTS data for multiple audiences, using tables, charts, population estimates, and technical history information on every question in the survey. The updated Web site reflects NCI's commitment to public data sharing by making the science of cancer communication easily accessible to multiple audiences. The new tools within the site were developed with extensive input from federal and private partners in cancer communication research and practice.  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 http://www.cancer.gov.

NCI Cancer Bulletin staff can be reached at ncicancerbulletin@mail.nih.gov.