NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
January 8, 2008 • Volume 5 / Number 1 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

Gene Variant May Identify Cirrhosis Patients at High Risk of Liver Cancer

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have found that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) - a change in a single unit of DNA - in the epidermal growth factor (EGF) gene may significantly increase the likelihood that a patient with cirrhosis will develop hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

HCC is difficult to treat and most commonly arises in patients with cirrhosis, often caused by chronic infection with the hepatitis B or C viruses. The results of this study, published in the January 2 Journal of the American Medical Association, may help identify a subset of patients who would benefit from intensified screening and possibly chemoprevention strategies.  Read more  

Clinical Research Highlights

Sunitinib Linked to Heart Failure and Hypertension

Patients taking sunitinib (Sutent) should be monitored for cardiovascular side effects such as hypertension and signs of heart failure, especially those patients with a history of coronary artery disease or cardiac risk factors, a team of oncologists and cardiologists said last month in The Lancet. The recommendation is based on evidence of cardiac side effects among some patients taking sunitinib to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). Sunitinib is approved to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma and metastatic GIST after resistance to imatinib (Gleevec) develops.

Dr. Ming Hui Chen of Harvard Medical School and her colleagues retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 75 GIST patients treated at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute during a phase I/II study. A total of 11 percent of patients had a cardiovascular event - two patients had heart attacks and six others experienced heart failure. In addition, 47 percent of patients developed hypertension - systolic and diastolic blood pressure increased during the first cycle of treatment - and 20 percent had reduced heart function.  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.

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