Archive for 2006

Benchmarks articles from the selected year appear below. To view articles from previous years, use the links to the left, and select the year you wish to see.

Molecular Diagnostics

Slide on Machine

Molecular diagnostics is a new approach to understanding the biology of cancer. It offers the ability to characterize the genes, proteins and biochemical pathways within a cancer cell. Using molecular diagnostics to define the genetic profiles of cancers has been a pivotal development in the delivery of more effective treatments for cancer. For some cancers, clinicians can select the most effective therapy based on the specific genes expressed in a patient’s tumor.

Survivorship Care Plans: An Integral Part of Quality-of-Care

Nurse discussing palliative care choices with a patient

Patricia A. Ganz, M.D., a medical oncologist, is a pioneer in the assessment of quality of life for cancer patients. She has focused much of her clinical and research efforts in the areas of breast cancer and its prevention, and was a member of the NCI Progress Review Group on Breast Cancer. Since 1993, she has been the director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she leads the Patients and Survivors Program Area, as well as directs the UCLA Family Cancer Registry and Genetic Evaluation Program. Her other major areas of research include cancer survivorship and late effects of cancer treatment, cancer in the elderly, and quality of care for cancer patients. Ganz recently served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Cancer Survivorship: Improving Care and Quality of Life.

Passport for Care: An Internet-Based Survivorship Care Plan

A cropped image of a bar graph showing increasing numbers of cancer survivors in the U.S.

The large increase in the numbers of children surviving cancer has been hailed as one of the great successes of this nation’s investment in biomedical research. Many children who otherwise would have died within weeks or months of a cancer diagnosis are now living longer, with life expectancies sometimes extending into adulthood. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that extending lifespan and preserving quality of life for survivors will depend on screening for, and the managing of, the potential long-term effects of therapy.

Because childhood cancer survivors often lack information about the treatments they received and the long-term health implications of those treatments, researchers at Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Collaborative and Interactive Technologies in Houston, Texas, in conjunction with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), are developing an interactive internet resource, called Passport For Care (PFC).