NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
September 23, 2008 • Volume 5 / Number 19 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

Virtual Colonoscopy Identifies Large Polyps

Results from the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) National CT Colonography Trial, published in the September 18 New England Journal of Medicine, show that computed tomography (CT) colonography - also known as virtual colonoscopy - can detect 90 percent of adenomas (noncancerous tumors that can progress to cancer) or colorectal cancers measuring 1 centimeter or more in diameter.

These results compare favorably with standard optical colonoscopy, "which misses roughly 8 to 10 percent" of lesions of this size, says Dr. Carl Jaffe, chief of the NCI Cancer Imaging Program's Diagnostic Imaging Branch.

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Clinical Research Highlights

Extra Copies of Chromosome Affects HER2 Test Results

Women with invasive breast cancer whose tumor cells have extra copies of chromosome 17, where the HER2 gene resides, are more likely to have borderline or "equivocal" results on HER2 testing, a team of Belgian researchers reports. In a study released September 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), the researchers found that tumors with extra copies of chromosome 17 (a condition called polysomy 17) but not HER2 amplification - that is, extra copies of the HER2 gene - behaved like HER2-negative tumors.

The results of HER2 tests have significant implications for breast cancer patients, including whether they are candidates for the drug trastuzumab (Herceptin), which was specifically developed to treat HER2-positive disease.

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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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