Breakthroughs Boost Cancer Patients' Hopes

Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma yield to new approaches
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2010 2:35 PM CDT
These undated images show a standard mammogram (left) and molecular breast imaging of a patient with dense breasts. The mammogram was interpreted as negative; the MBI image shows a cancerous growth.   (AP Photo/The Mayo Clinic)

(Newser) – New treatments for cancer—breast, ovarian, and skin—raised hopes at this weekend's meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago. The findings aren't enough for Robert Langreth of Forbes, who sees "serious questions about whether big drug companies may be rushing too fast." Judge for yourself.

  • A single dose of radiation administered at the site of tumor removal deterred recurrence of breast cancer as well as the standard grueling course of radiation on the entire breast, the Chicago Tribune reports.

  • A drug derived from sea sponges extended the lives of some patients suffering a recurrence of breast cancer, Reuters reports.
  • A newly developed drug significantly increases survival rates in patients with advanced metastatic melanoma, HealthDay News reports.
  • Long-term use of Avastin, which cuts off tumors' blood supply, works better on ovarian cancer than chemotherapy alone, USA Today reports.
(Read more medical breakthrough stories.)

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