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Sapient Health Network Articles

(Sapient has become part of WebMD.)

These articles on the Sapient website are aimed at an audience of patients, as well as their friends and family. These are people who have an intense personal interest in the topics presented. They can use this information to become more sophisticated and active participants in their treatment.

Researchers Press for Inclusion of Elderly in Cancer Trials June 1998
Cancer researchers say it is time to correct a significant imbalance between the worlds of cancer treatment and cancer  research. While more than half of all cancers occur in people older than 65, one major cancer research group says only a quarter of participants in its studies are elderly. The lack of study may affect the quality of treatment for elderly patients, if doctors lack clear resaerch guidance.

"Suicide Gene Therapy" Shows Promise for Prostate Cancer June 1998
Researchers are trying to trick prostate cancer cells into committing suicide. The key is a type of gene therapy that can make tumors sensitive to a drug, ganciclovir, that normally attack herpes viruses. The researchers point out that this "suicide gene therapy" can be used only against localized tumors. Similar approaches are already being used against other types of cancer.

Herceptin: An Entirely New Weapon Against Cancer June 1998
A new drug to fight breast cancer is pointing the way toward the development of an entirely new type of weapon against cancers of all types. Some experts say Herceptin heralds a new, and more effective method, for finding new treatments to slow, stop, or prevent cancers of all types by understanding what makes tumor cells appear and then grow.

Testing Anti-Angiogenesis Agents in People (not just mice) June 1998
While a flurry of media attention recently focused on a pair of new drugs, angiostatin and endostatin, that eliminated tumors in laboratory mice, other researchers have been quietly moving forward with trials of similar agents in people with cancer. early results for two such drugs were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

Prostate Cancer Vaccine Tests Move Forward May 1998
Beginning this summer, patients with advanced prostate cancer may be able to try treatment with a cancer "vaccine" at several leading cancer centers. The announcement of plans to expand trials of immunotherapy for prostate cancer was made at the 1998 American Cancer Society Science Writers Seminar.

Cancer Treatments on the Cutting Edge  March 1998
A wrap-up of experimental strategies presented at the American Cancer Society Science Writers Seminar, including:
- a gel that holds toxic chemotherapy drugs inside tumors,
- an enzyme-based drug that singles out cancer cells, (this drug became Gleevec, a revolutionary leukemia drug)
- a DNA vaccine against a cancer gene.

The Role of Genetic Mutations in Breast and Ovarian Cancer February 1998
The discovery of genetic mutations that can cause breast and ovarian cancers can today change the lives of some women; and someday it may bring revelations of vital importance to all women. 
Impotence Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer Patients January 1998
Prostate cancer treatment often damages a man's sex life. This is an unpleasant reality. But experts stress men do not need to accept impotence. Exciting new options on the horizon and a solid lineup of available treatments give hope for combatting one of treatment's most unwelcome side effects. (Note: This article forecast the excitement over Viagra while the drug was awaiting FDA approval.)

Tumor Marker CA 125 December 1997
Ovarian cancer is deadly in large part because it grows silently. Patient usually do not know they have ovarian cancer until it is advanced. The desire for an effective screening test is intense. Is CA 125 that test?

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