NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
May 15, 2007 • Volume 4 / Number 17 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

The information and links on this page are no longer being updated and are provided for reference purposes only.

Featured Article

FDA Advisory Committee Suggests Changes to ESA Use

An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that the agency consider adding new restrictions on the use of antianemia drugs in cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia. The advisory committee's May 10 meeting was the most recent stage for debate about what has become a matter of significant concern: whether use of a blockbuster class of drugs that reduces the need for blood transfusions in the estimated 450,000 cancer patients who receive them annually could be putting them at a greater risk of death.

None of the recommendations offered by the agency's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) were highly specific. The committee did, however, advise FDA to evaluate all available and forthcoming data to determine if the use of these drugs, often called erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), should be limited in patients with certain tumor types; whether a specific hemoglobin level to trigger the drugs' use in asymptomatic patients should be established; and whether limits should be placed on their use within a certain time frame after chemotherapy is completed.  Read more  

Director's Update

Celebrating Women's Health

As we are all aware, last Sunday was Mother's Day. Fittingly, it was also the first day of National Women's Health Week, an annual opportunity to educate women about important health screenings and to encourage them to take advantage of every opportunity to prevent diseases like cancer.

Now in its eighth year, this federally sponsored event particularly emphasizes mammography, which - along with adjuvant chemotherapy - was responsible for a 24-percent reduction in breast cancer mortality between 1990 and 2000, according to an NCI-funded study published in 2005.  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

NCI Cancer Bulletin staff can be reached at