Thursday, April 21, 2011

Study establishes epidemiology of thyroid cancer by type, demographic group

Study establishes epidemiology of thyroid cancer by type, demographic group

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and several U.S. universities recently analyzed state-based thyroid cancer data in order to determine the incidence of each variety of the disease among American demographic groups.

Their results, which appear in the journal Thyroid, indicate that while diagnoses of follicular, medullary and anaplastic thyroid cancers all appear to be on the rise across nearly every age group, papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is still the most common histological variety of the disease among people of all ages, genders and ethnicities.

Researchers used data taken from the NCI’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results 13 Registries Database, which gathered information on diagnoses of thyroid cancer recorded in 13 states between the years 1992 and 2006.

The team found that among women, who are at least twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with PTC, Asian-Americans had the highest incidence of papillary thyroid tumors, with an estimated 164 cases of PTC per 100,000 female patients. Among men, Caucasians had the highest rate of PTC, at just under 54 cases per 100,000 male patients.

Caucasians also had the highest rate of follicular thyroid cancer among men, with nearly nine cases per 100,000 male patients. Among women, however, this form of the disease remained fairly evenly distributed between all ethnicities.

Hispanic patients of both genders had the highest incidence of medullary thyroid cancer - three cases per 100,000 female patients and two and a half cases per 100,000 male patients, respectively.

Finally, Hispanic women and Asian-American men had the highest rates of anaplastic thyroid cancer, the rarest and most lethal variety of the condition. Two and a half cases of anaplastic tumors occurred per 100,000 female Hispanics, while Asian-American men saw approximately one and a half cases of the cancer type per 100,000 male patients.

Overall, the most at-risk thyroid cancer sub-group was Asian-American women around the age of 40, which is the age at which the risk of PTC typically peaks in American females.

Nearly 45,000 cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed every year in the U.S., according to the NCI.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Advancell Announces the Initiation of a Clinical Phase IIb Study of ATH008 in... -- BARCELONA, April 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Advancell Announces the Initiation of a Clinical Phase IIb Study of ATH008 in Hand-foot Syndrome (or Palmar-plantar Erythrodysesthesia Syndrome)

BARCELONAApril 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- Advancell has announced the initiation of a clinical phase IIb study of its treatment ATH008 for palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome, or hand-foot syndrome, a painful side effect of chemotherapy. This treatment could be available on the market by the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016
- Hand-foot syndrome is a cutaneous reaction involving redness, peeling, blisters and intense pain on the palms of hands or the soles of feet. This syndrome affects every year about 200,000 people in the U.S. and Europe, 18.000 of them in Spain
- Preliminary study already reported promising results. When launched it will be the only treatment for hand-foot syndrome on the market and an important contribution to oncology patient's quality of life
ADVANCELL (, an emerging Spanish biopharmaceutical company, has initiated a phase IIb clinical study of the Company's ATH008, for the treatment of the palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome, also known as hand-foot syndrome, a painful side-effect of certain chemotherapies such as capecitabine and fluoropyrimidines. No treatment currently exists for this condition. ADVANCELL expects to launch the product on the market by the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016.
Hand-foot syndrome ( is a relatively frequent cutaneous reaction to chemotherapy. It begins with the appearance of a painful erythema (redness) on the palms of hands and the soles of feet. This is usually accompanied by paresthesia (tingling and numbness) and when the syndrome worsens the skin starts peeling and blistering and the patient suffers intense pain. As a result, the syndrome can interfere with basic functions such as walking or holding objects. In more severe cases, the patient becomes incapacitated and hand-foot syndrome is the main cause of reduction or interruption in chemotherapeutic treatment. The syndrome disappears once chemotherapy is suspended, but reappears, often more severely, once treatment is reinitiated.
ADVANCELL is eagerly looking forward to results from this study, as a preliminary study has already reported very positive results for this drug. When launched on the market, ATH008 ( will be the first treatment for hand-foot syndrome. In the U.S. and Europe, 200,000 patients suffer from this syndrome, 18,000 of them in Spain. Taking into consideration the potential preventive use of this treatment, the number of patients could be three times higher.
"This drug has the potential to make a substantial contribution in cancer supportive care which is an area of increasing interest with a sizeable and underserved market potential" comments Kenneth Weissmahr, CEO of Advancell. "The product serves a clear unmet need and is expected to have a short development time due to the very promising results reported in preliminary studies where its effects were quickly visible to the naked eye".
"The aim of this new drug is that patients will be able to complete their chemotherapy according to schedule, as well as improve their quality of life during treatment" explains Davide Sirtoli, President of ADVANCELL. The syndrome affects 60% of people who suffer from breast cancer and colorectal cancer and are treated with certain chemotherapies. Among this group, 20% are forced to reduce or even interrupt their chemotherapy treatment, which considerably reduces their chances of survival.
Marta Rayo, Project Manager of ADVANCELL and leading the project, explains: "Our objective is that this drug reaches the market as soon as possible in order to alleviate the suffering of these people and improve their quality of life. In many cases, these patients are forced to stop their cancer treatment because of the syndrome. We estimate that this treatment will be available in four or five years".
When a patient is treated with chemotherapy, their entire body is affected, not only the areas where the cancer is located. Hand-foot syndrome arises when some types of chemotherapy get into the cells rich in keratin (keratinocytes) of the skin, affecting reproduction of the cells. The areas of the body with more keratinocytes, such as the palms and soles, are more badly affected.
According to the WHO, breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in women and each year affects more than 1.3 million people around the world, approximately 22,000 of them in Spain. Colorectal cancer is the second one more prevalent cancer in women, and the third in men, affecting more than 1.2 million people around the world, around 28,600 of them in Spain.
The recruitment for the clinical phase IIb trials has already started and the study will enroll 100 oncologic patients at 21 European hospitals in BelgiumGermany and Spain. The principal investigator leading the project at international level is Dr. A. Awada from the Jules Bordet Institute (Brussels) ( .
ADVANCELL, founded in 2001, is an innovative Spanish biopharmaceutical company that addresses patients' unmet medical needs and well-being by developing value-added products. Headquarters are located in the Barcelona Science Park (PCB).
Advancell mission is to build a portfolio of high value pharmaceutical products based on its enabling nanomedicine technology and from in-licensing of promising pre-clinical candidates.
Advancell focuses on indications with a clear unmet medical need in oncology, dermatology and CNS where our technologies and development capabilities can add distinctive value. The company has four programs in clinical development and pursues a series of preclinical opportunities.
For more information please contact:
    Isabel Mora - Marta Melgosa
    apple tree communications (Communications Agency representing Advancell)
    Tel: +34 93 318 46 69 or +34 607 813 907
    Email: -
SOURCE Advancell

Safety and Efficacy Placebo Controlled Study of ATH008 Cream in PPES Patients Secondary to Capecitabine - Full Text View -

Safety and Efficacy Placebo Controlled Study of ATH008 Cream in PPES Patients Secondary to Capecitabine - Full Text View - - This Clinical Trial doesn't have a U.S. location, darn it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cycles 33 & 34 Clinical Trial Update

Hi, Folks - I went down to St. Louis  last week for my 12-week visit and to get the results of my latest CT scan.  The results were good - no new tumors and no growth in the existing tumors:  Yea, Sutent!

I found out a little bit more about the clinical trial.  Of the 28 people who started the trial in St. Louis, I am the longest-serving participant.  Unfortunately, they won't tell me if the other 27  were cured or died or moved on to other clinical trials because they couldn't stand the side effects of the Sutent.  

When I started in this study on April 25, 2007, I was the youngest person in it.  This has probably helped as the side effects of the drug get worse at the patient ages and I know many of the original group were older folks.  I don't know how many are in the study now or what their ages are.  The study was still recruiting participants after I joined, although it is closed now.  There are other sites that are still recruiting participants, so the research is ongoing.  I keep hoping someone will open a study in Nebraska.  As long as I have success with the drug (i.e., have no growth in existing tumors and no new tumors), I'll be able to get the drug in the St. Louis location.

I'll go down to St. Louis next on June 29.  Unfortunately, the Cardinals are out of town that week. Oh, well, there are always our beloved Lincoln Saltdogs.

Thanks for all your continuing prayers and support.  On to Cycle 35!


New radiation treatment practice recommendations for thyroid disease

New Radiation Treatment Practice Recommendations for Thyroid Disease

ScienceDaily (Apr. 7, 2011) — New recommendations from the American Thyroid Association (ATA) on outpatient radioiodine (131I) treatment aim to minimize unintended radiation exposure and maximize the safety of patients, their families, and the public. The new ATA recommendations are presented in the April issue ofThyroid, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

In a Commentary in the February issue of Thyroid, Richard T. Kloos, MD, Professor, The Ohio State University and Secretary/Chief Operating Officer of the ATA, states that the new ATA document "aims to provide simplified, consistent, and safe instructions for care providers and patients."The ATA convened a task force to update radiation safety information related to outpatient 131I therapy to treat hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer. The new ATA practice recommendations cover a broad range of topics including travel; safety precautions at home, work, and school; personal hygiene; and pregnancy and breastfeeding. These recommendations comply with the most up-to-date U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations, including a recent guidance statement that advises medical professionals administering 131I therapy to ask patients about their intended destination after the treatment and to discourage them from staying at hotels to limit public radiation exposure.
"The strength of these practice recommendations is that the task force included representatives across the range of disciplines that use radiation to treat thyroid patients. It is essential that our patients receive clear and consistent information from those ordering, administering, and monitoring these treatments," states Gregory A. Brent, MD, Professor of Medicine and Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles and President of the