Up-to-the-Minute: News for the Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumor Community

The first device that simultaneously performs PET and MRI scans, a new alpha-emitter-based therapy for NET cancer patients with progressive therapy-resistant tumors, the first–ever randomized virtual clinical trial, over 100  abstracts on carcinoid and neuroendocrine tumors presented during the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) 2011 Annual Meeting, a virtual walk to benefit carcinoid-related organizations, and several videos about NET cancer survivors are some of the latest news items of interest for the carcinoid and neuroendocrine cancer community.

Siemens' Biograph mMR system simultaneously performs PET and MRI scansThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration just approved the Siemens’ Biograph mMR system, the first device to simultaneously perform a positron emission tomography (PET) scan and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. PET scans allow physicians to see how the organs and tissues inside the body are actually functioning by injecting a radioactive chemical tracer into the patient’s bloodstream. MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of organs, soft tissues, bone and other internal body structures. A significantly lower dose of radiation than the PET/CT scan is one of the most important benefits of this new scanning system.

According to research introduced at the SNMMI’s (Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging) 58th Annual Meeting, held in San Antonio, Texas earlier this month, there may be new hope for neuroendocrine cancer patients who have not responded well to standard therapies.  The study, which focuses on a therapy called 213Bi-DOTATOC, was presented by lead author Clemens Kratochwil, MD, of the University of Heidelberg in Germany. It employs alpha particles, rather than isotopes that emit beta radiation, which are potentially more potent.  In fact, one single atom could be enough to kill an entire cancer cell.

The first clinical drug trial in which patients participate from their homes using computers and mobile phones has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  The pilot project will be conducted by Pfizer Inc. and involves the company’s overactive-bladder drug Detrol.  Pfizer will compare the results of this study with those previously obtained from a traditional trial of the same drug.  If successful, this approach “ . . . holds considerable promise in speeding up clinical trials while improving their quality,” said Briggs W. Morrison, M.D., Pfizer’s senior vice president of Worldwide Medical Excellence. “This program and similar programs that may follow could lead to an entirely new way for patients to participate in trials and contribute to biomedical research.” READ MOREPfizer receives FDA approval for first virtual clinical drug trial

READ MORE from The Wall Street Journal

Studies on octreotide use in patients with metastatic pancreatic NETs, hepatic artery embolization, oral LX1606 (aka LX1032) in patients with refractory symptomatic carcinoid syndrome, the risk of anxiety/depression events in patients newly diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumors, and the combination therapy of sorafenib and bevacizumab for advanced neuroendocrine tumors were among the more than 100 abstracts about carcinoid and neuroendocrine cancer presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) from June 3-7.  To see a complete list of the abstracts, CLICK HERE and in the Search box type in carcinoid or neuroendocrine.

ASCO, the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Another virtual program is iWalk for Carcinoid, a virtual walkathon that helps support carcinoid-related organizations. It’s fun and easy. Find out how to “walk” without leaving home, while learning more about carcinoid syndrome and raising money for a good cause. The sponsor of the iWalk for Carcinoid is Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Here are several excellent videos about carcinoid and neuroendocrine cancers:

David Connick, carcinoid survivor, talks about the “Dream Team” of carcinoid/NET specialists in Kenner, Louisiana.  Dr. Lowell Anthony from the Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at Ochsner describes the multidisciplinary team approach and the signs and symptoms of NET cancer.  CLICK HERE for the 4:43 minute interview with Sally Ann Roberts, Eyewitness News, WWLTV.com.

Here’s a very short, uplifting video with NET cancer patients. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrNtg1EucOA?rel=0]

For a comprehensive overview of neuroendocrine tumors with carcinoid/NET specialists and patients, watch this fascinating video (26 minutes) on the Healthy Body, Healthy Mind television series.  Read more and see the video by CLICKING HERE.

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