Brain Cancer Study Supports Fluorescence-Guided Surgery
An experimental surgery for brain cancer in which patients take a drug that causes tumor tissue to appear fluorescent during an operation seemed to be superior to conventional surgery in a randomized clinical trial.
The multicenter phase III trial, in Germany, involved 270 patients treated for malignant glioma, the most common brain cancer.
Patients who took the drug were more likely to have their tumors removed completely and to be free of disease 6 months after the procedure than patients who had conventional microsurgery with white light. Read more
Cancer Center Directors Ready to Take on Greater Leadership Role
Last week, NCI's senior leadership hosted our semi-annual meeting in Washington, D.C., of the directors of all NCI-designated Cancer Centers. This was the fourth such meeting with NCI, a dialogue I began during my presidency of the Association of American Cancer Institutes. As with the previous meetings, its goal was to encourage frank discussions and gain honest input from the directors on some of the most pressing issues facing NCI - a dialogue never more important than in this period of decreasing NCI budgets. Every aspect of the Center Directors' mission - from core grant support to Center members' R01s - is feeling the pressure of few dollars.
At the meeting, members of a special Cancer Center Directors' Working Group, led by Dr. John Mendelsohn from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, presented draft reports on their recommendations on how the Centers can help NCI reduce the cancer burden by identifying achievable goals and specific milestones, and by defining the opportunities and potential barriers to achieving our goals. They also presented ideas on ways in which the Centers can extend their research beyond their local communities; provide leadership in the wide dissemination of best practices in cancer care and prevention; and develop innovative ways to work in a collaborative, multidisciplinary way on key opportunities in integrating biology. I am confident that this document will become a vital implementation plan to achieve our promise to our patients. Read more