ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
CANCER
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
CAREGIVING
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Leafy Greens Top Risky Food List
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
Cats Can Trigger Eczema in Some Infants
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Man Dies of Brain Inflammation Caused by Deer Tick Virus
Can a Bad Boss Make You Sick?
Food and Water Supply Poisoned by Perchlorate
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Gene Variation Found in Boys With Delinquent Peers
When It Comes to Toys, Shop Smart, Shop Safe
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Add your Article

Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- The first genomic test aimed at predicting colon cancer recurrence may help individualize treatment for patients, leading to less toxic and more targeted therapy choices, scientists say.

The Oncotype DX test differentiated which patients with stage II colon cancer were more likely to have a recurrence and which were not. According to the research team, those with lower odds of recurrence might be able to forgo sometimes toxic and costly chemotherapy and stick to surgery alone.

The study is to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, which starts later this month in Florida. The U.K. researchers described their findings Thursday in a special ASCO preview news conference.

The new gene test was not able to show whether or not chemotherapy would actually benefit the higher-risk group, the researchers said.

Still, "we think this will be a clinically useful tool when coming to select which patients will receive chemotherapy," said study lead author Dr. David Kerr, a professor of cancer medicine at the University of Oxford.

The test is very similar to the Oncotype DX test that is already available to stratify breast cancer patients by risk, added Dr. Richard L. Schilsky, president of ASCO and professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. In fact, the new colon cancer test will likely be commercialized by the same company that markets the breast cancer test, Genomic Health, he predicted. That company funded the new study.

The study authors believe the new test, which is not quite as strong a predictor as the existing breast cancer test, will be available for use in hospitals by 2010.

"One of the major challenges facing us as oncologists is selecting the right patients for the right drugs at the right time. That's what this study is all about," Kerr said.

Most individuals diagnosed with relatively early, stage II colon cancer (representing 25 to 30 percent of all cases) can be cured with surgery alone. A small minority benefit from added chemo.

But, Kerr said, "there's no clear consensus on how to select patients" who might gain from this additional chemotherapy, and weed out those who would not.

The research team started out by analyzing almost 800 genes from almost 1,900 colon cancer patients. They then tested an initial, promising gene signature in about 1,500 patients. Half of these individuals received chemo and half did not.

The presence of certain genes was able to predict those with a higher risk of recurrence and those with a lower risk, the team found.

"A seven-gene signature for the first time ever gives a significant prognostic recurrence score," Kerr said. "This allows us to define a population of patients at low risk of recurrence -- about a 10 percent chance of the cancer coming back [in three years] -- in whom I would counsel that chemotherapy would be of very little value indeed."

For the other group, recurrence rates closer to 20 or 25 percent at three years may indicate a benefit to getting chemo, he said.

Doctors already look at "T-stage" of a tumor (is it locally advanced?, etc.) as well as "mismatch repair," which refers to a gene repair mechanism, to predict recurrence. However, according to Kerr, a large group of patients would benefit from this new tool that would not benefit from the two older screens.

"The new tool is an independent important variable," Kerr said. "There would be 70 percent of patients in whom T-stage and mismatch will not be informative and we think that, in this group, the new tool will provide a useful addendum to the clinical decision-making process."

More information

There's more on colorectal cancer at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.



SOURCES: May 14, 2009, American Society of Clinical Oncology press teleconference with David Kerr, M.D., D.Sc., professor, cancer medicine, University of Oxford, and Richard L. Schilsky, M.D., president, ASCO and professor, medicine at the University of Chicago; study abstract

Last Updated: May 15, 2009

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com