NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
April 29, 2008 • Volume 5 / Number 9 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

Costs of Cancer Care Estimated for Elderly Patients

The 5-year cost of caring for elderly people with cancer in the United States is projected to be $21.1 billion, according to a report today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI).

The estimate is part of a detailed analysis of the per-person and aggregate 5-year costs of caring for Medicare patients (age 65 and older) with cancer. The findings show that costs vary by type of cancer, stage at diagnosis, phase of treatment, and survival.

"The estimates provide a basis for future projections of health care costs that can be used to plan health care programs," said lead investigator Dr. Robin Yabroff of NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. The estimates could also be used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of anticancer interventions aimed at prevention, screening, or treatment.   Read more  

Clinical Research Highlights

Cisplatin No Better than Standard Therapy for Anal Canal Cancer

Replacing mitomycin with cisplatin in chemoradiotherapy for cancer of the anal canal failed to improve either disease-free or overall survival and resulted in more patients needing colostomies, according to a study in the April 23 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Current standard therapy for anal canal cancer consists of fluorouracil plus mitomycin and radiotherapy. Previous studies have established that chemoradiation is more effective for smaller tumors. Researchers wondered whether initial chemotherapy with fluorouracil and cisplatin could improve outcomes by shrinking tumors before they were treated with the same agents and radiotherapy.   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.