NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
April 26, 2005 • Volume 2 / Number 17 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

Trastuzumab/Chemo Improves Disease-Free Survival in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

The combination of the targeted agent trastuzumab (Herceptin) and standard chemotherapy cuts the risk of HER-2-positive breast cancer recurrence by more than half compared with chemotherapy alone, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced yesterday. The result comes from two large, NCI-sponsored, randomized trials testing, as adjuvant therapy, a trastuzumab/chemotherapy combination against chemotherapy alone in women with invasive, early stage, HER-2 positive breast cancer.

The Data Monitoring Committees (DMC) overseeing the trials' combined analysis recommended that the results of a recent, combined interim analysis be made public because the studies had met their primary endpoint of increasing disease-free survival in patients receiving combination therapy. There was also a statistically significant improvement in overall survival with the trastuzumab/chemotherapy combination.  Read more  

Director's Update

Imaging: An Integral Tool on the Path to 2015

One of the biggest changes in biomedical research over the past decade is how we view the group of diseases collectively known as cancer. We are moving beyond the notion of cancer as a disease that affects a single tissue or organ; rather, we are increasingly viewing it as a disruption of molecular mechanisms. This is allowing us to make important strides toward more individualized and targeted interventions, based on factors such as genetic polymorphisms, aberrant signal transduction pathways, or how patients respond in real time to a particular therapy. Although there are a number of new tools that are aiding these shifts, imaging technologies in particular are playing a central role.

In fact, whether it's as a minimally invasive screening tool, a surrogate marker for clinical endpoints in clinical trials, or a method of guiding the delivery of treatment, imaging will be an indispensable tool in the march toward the 2015 goal of eliminating the suffering and death due to cancer.

NCI had recognized that biomedical imaging was a critical area for future development and emphasis, establishing in 1997 the Biomedical Imaging Program - now called the Cancer Imaging Program (CIP). More recently, we established the Molecular Imaging Program (MIP) within the NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR). Both programs, along with initiatives such as NCI's collaboration with the American College of Radiology Imaging Network to conduct imaging-focused clinical trials, are just some of the creative ways the institute - guided by the invaluable advice of the research and clinical communities - is bolstering the dramatic advances being made in the imaging sciences.  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.