|ISSUE 31 - AUG. 1, 2014|
Ethicon, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that manufactures nearly three-quarters of laparoscopic power morcellators on the market, has requested a withdrawal of the controversial devices.
“Immediately review inventory to determine if you have any Ethicon Morcellation Devices which are the subject of this market withdrawal,” the company wrote in a letter to hospitals worldwide.
“If you have provided Ethicon Morcellation Devices to any hospital within your system, you are responsible for notifying the appropriate parties immediately,” said the letter dated July 31.
|FDA Moves to Regulate Lab-Developed Tests
FDA announced two plans to resolve a cluster of problems that have emerged as impediments to personalized cancer care:
• Targeted drugs will need to be approved simultaneously with companion diagnostics that would determine who should—and shouldn’t—get the drug.
• At the same time, the agency will begin phasing in oversight of an essentially unregulated terrain: “laboratory-developed tests.”
Tests that are intended to select therapy for deadly diseases including cancer would be among the first to be subjected to regulation.
|Surgeon General Issues Call To Reduce Skin Cancer Rates
The surgeon general issued a call to action this week, addressing the rising epidemic of skin cancer in the U.S. and around the world.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., but is also easily preventable. Billions can be saved on treatment if we adopt new standards and strategies, argued acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak.
|PCORI Approves $54.8 Million For Clinical Effectiveness Research
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute approved $54.8 million for 33 clinical effectiveness projects.
The projects, approved by the institute’s board of governors July 29, will study ways to improve outcomes for patients with cancer and other diseases, including diabetes, nervous system disorders, cardiovascular diseases, mental health conditions and kidney diseases.
|Anonymous $100 Million Gift Moves OHSU Within $82 Million Of Reaching $1 Billion Goal
The Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute moved one step closer to meeting a spectacular fundraising goal.
The institution said it received a $100 million gift from an anonymous donor, leaving the institution 17 months to raise the remaining $82 million needed to match the $500 million challenge set by Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny.
|Letter to the Editor
Expanding the Horizons Of Proton Beam Therapy
By Minesh P. Mehta, Katja Langen and William F. Regine
The Cancer Letter recently published information regarding proton therapy facilities in the U.S., highlighting a contention that 85 percent of patients treated with protons have prostate cancer, the logical implication of which would be that this important resource is utilized minimally for other cancers. In this response, we wish to correct this erroneous impression and also wish to highlight the direction that this technology is moving in.