A New Era for Bone Marrow Transplantation

Seminal research led by James Ferrara, MD, DSc, Ward-Coleman Chair in Cancer Medicine, has produced a promising approach to treating patients with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)—a sometimes fatal complication of bone marrow transplantation in which the donor’s immune cells attack the recipient’s body. Bone marrow transplants are often used to treat patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood diseases. Read more

Cooking Classes Help Cancer Survivors Make Nutrition Changes

When Ann Ogden was first diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2001, she had no idea that creating a cooking network for cancer patients would someday become her great life’s work. Ann was, professionally, a fashion designer, but she found her culinary knowledge to be particularly useful while managing the side effects of treatment for a later diagnosed breast cancer. She would swap recipes with other patients, who found her guidance helpful and encouraged her to do more with her skills. In 2007, Cook for Your Life–a website dedicated to providing healthy recipes, cooking tips and nutrition information to cancer survivors–was born. Read more

Woman to Woman: Supporting Patients Who Have Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer can be a challenging and isolating ordeal. Mount Sinai provides a program that helps women who are suffering from this disease and allows them to stay positive.

The Woman to Woman program offers mentoring to women undergoing treatment for gynecologic cancer, including cervical cancer, to help them and their families get through this tough time. The program helps empower women to advocate for themselves and offer ongoing emotional support.

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Chemo Costs in U.S. Driven Higher by Shift to Hospital Outpatient Facilities

A Kaiser Health News article noted: “The price of cancer drugs has doubled in the past decade, with the average brand-name cancer drug in the U.S. costing $10,000 for a month’s supply, up from $5,000 in 2003, according to a new report by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, a health information, services and technology company.”

“And those are just average prices; some drugs may cost as much as $30,000 a month.In Europe, where governments negotiate for national discounts, the list prices of cancer drugs are at least 20 to 40 percent lower than in the U.S., the report found.” Read more

Does a Robotic Cystectomy Offer a Superior Outcome to Open Cystectomy?

Currently, the standard of care worldwide for the treatment of patients who have cancer invading the bladder muscle (muscle invasive bladder cancer) is chemotherapy followed by surgery. In men, the surgery is called radical cystoprostatectomy (removal of the bladder, prostate, and the seminal vesicles). In women, the surgery is called anterior pelvic exentration (removal of bladder, uterus, ovaries, and part of the vagina which can sometimes be avoided). In addition, a critical part of the surgery in both men and women is removing the lymph nodes within the pelvis.

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The Cancer Related Benefits of Brussel Sprouts (Recipe Included!)

Brussel sprouts have a history of under appreciation, being boiled or steamed to an olive colored mush and strongly eliciting smells of sulfur. Over the past few years, however, they’ve taken a turn in the eyes of the public and have become a favorite of foodies, bloggers, and some of the best restaurants in NYC. This is good news for the health minded and flavor-seeking alike!

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“Incidentalomas” + – Concerns about Overdiagnosing and Overtreating Cancer

The Wall Street Journal article noted “Removing the word ‘cancer’ from the terminology used for many slow-growing lesions in the breast, prostate, lung, skin and other body areas could ease patients’ fears and reduce the inclination of doctors to treat them aggressively, says a panel of experts advising the National Cancer Institute.”

“…new diagnostic technology is finding ever smaller abnormalities that are unlikely to be lethal, but are being labeled cancer and treated as if they were. The result: billions of dollars in unnecessary surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.”

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“Robot versus Surgeon: No Clear Winner”

An article in Medpage Today noted “Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) led to complication rates, readmission rates, and rates of additional cancer therapy similar to those of conventional surgical prostatectomy, a review of almost 6,000 cases showed.”

“First-year reimbursements were greater for patients undergoing robot assisted compared with open radical prostatectomy.”

“Introduced a decade ago, robot-assisted prostatectomy has become the dominant surgical technique for patients with localized prostate cancer. Investigators in some studies have suggested that robotic prostatectomy has driven the overall prostatectomy rate to a level beyond what would have been expected given current demographic and clinical trends.”

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