Beacon NewsFlashes – September 25, 2012
Published: Sep 25, 2012 2:14 pm
MD Anderson Cancer Center Announces Program To Combat MDS And Other Cancers – The MD Anderson Cancer Center last week announced the launch of its new program called Moon Shots. The program is an effort to speed up the process of turning scientific discoveries into effective treatments for cancer patients. Over the next 10 years, the program will invest an estimated $3 billion on six Moon Shots research teams that will strive to find comprehensive, life-extending treatments for patients with MDS and acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, melanoma, lung cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and a certain type of breast cancer. For more information, please see the MD Anderson press release.
Baxter Licenses Developmental MDS Drug Estybon – In a $50 million deal, the healthcare company Baxter International will license the rights from Onconova Therapeutics to market Onconova’s lead drug candidate Estybon (rigosertib, ON 01910.Na) in the European Union and other European countries. Estybon is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for use in MDS patients. Baxter develops, manufactures, and markets treatments for a variety of diseases including hemophilia, immune disorders, and cancer. For more information, please see the Onconova press release (pdf).
Certain Symptoms In MDS Patients With Chromosome 5 Deletion May Indicate More Aggressive Disease – In a small retrospective study conducted at the Weill Cornell Medical College, researchers found that MDS patients with the chromosomal abnormality deletion 5q, abbreviated del(5q), plus additional chromosomal abnormalities are more likely to have low blood cell counts, a higher number of immature bone marrow cells, and fibrous tissue build up in their bone marrow (fibrosis) compared to MDS patients with del(5q) alone. The researchers suggest that these symptoms can be used to predict which patients may have a more aggressive form of the disease. For more information, please see the study in Human Pathology (abstract).
Free Conference For MDS Patients And Their Families – The Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation (AA&MDSIF) will host a half-day patient conference on October 5 at the Westin Convention Center in Pittsburgh. The conference, entitled Treating Myelodysplastic Syndromes in 2012, will feature presentations and question and answer opportunities with Drs. James Rossetti from the Western Pennsylvania Cancer Institute and Douglas Smith from the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital as well as nurse practitioner Joan Latsko from Wheeling Hospital. The program, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon, is free and includes a complimentary breakfast; however, registration is required. For more information or to sign up, please see the event description at the AA&MDSIF website.