Lisa A. Kachnic, M.D., president-elect of American Board of Radiology
[Mar. 14, 2014]
The American Board of Radiology (ABR) has elected SWOG Executive Officer Lisa A. Kachnic, MD, as president-elect. She will succeed current ABR President-Elect Milton J. Guiberteau, MD, who will become ABR president on July 1, 2014. Dr. Kachnic has served as an ABR trustee since 2010.
Dr. Kachnic is chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Boston Medical Center and professor of radiation oncology at Boston University School of Medicine. She also serves on the radiation oncology faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital. She earned her undergraduate degree from Boston College and her medical degree from Tufts University. Dr. Kachnic completed her residency in radiation oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, serving in her last year as chief resident.
Dr. Kachnic’s areas of interest include gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies, image-guided radiation delivery, and outcomes/symptoms management research. She is actively involved in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group’s (RTOG’s) GI and Outcome strategic committees and has been the RTOG chairperson of symptom management since 2003. At SWOG, in addition to her role as executive officer, she also directs GI radiation oncology and is discipline vice-chair of the Radiation Therapy Committee. As such, she has been given the opportunity to serve as principal or co-principal investigator on several national trials. Dr. Kachnic has been awarded funding as an NCI principal investigator and is the 2008 recipient of the first RTOG “Next Generation Investigator” Award.
SELECT sub-study: Selenium supplements can increase prostate cancer risk
[Feb. 21, 2014]
A sub-study of a selected cohort of men in the SWOG-led SELECT prevention study finds that while selenium supplements did not change prostate cancer risk across the full group of participants, men who started the study with high selenium levels increased their prostate cancer risk by taking selenium supplements.
The new work, published in the February 21st issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, also offers insight into SELECT results that found vitamin E supplements alone increased prostate cancer risk, but the combination of vitamin E and selenium did not.
The case-cohort study was led by Alan Kristal, Dr.P.H., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. A press release from that institution quotes Kristal as saying "Men using these supplements should stop, period. Neither selenium nor vitamin E supplementation confers any known benefits – only risks."
The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial, or SELECT, enrolled more than 35,000 healthy men from 2001 through 2003 to test whether vitamin E and selenium supplementation, either alone or in combination, could lower prostate cancer risk. The study was closed early because it became clear the supplements provided no benefit. Long-term follow-up on the study found that vitamin E supplements increased men's prostate cancer risk by 17%.
The National Cancer Institute, which funded the SELECT study, has updated it's authoritative SELECT Questions & Answer page to incorporate these latest findings.
Changes in NCI programs, under both CTEP and DCP, mean site membership categories within SWOG will be changing somewhat for some of our sites. The latest information we have is presented in these three tables, which detail the relationships among the proposed SWOG membership categories. Although these categories are not yet set in stone, for most of our core members and affiliates, little will change.
There is mounting evidence that elevated levels of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the bloodstream of women being treated for metastatic breast cancer are associated with a poor prognosis.
Researchers on the SWOG S0500 clinical trial sought to learn whether elevated CTC levels soon after starting chemotherapy could be used as an early indicator -- earlier than other indicators such as clinical evidence of progression -- that the given therapy was not working and that it was time to switch to an alternate treatment. They found that though an elevated CTC level (>= 5 cells per 7.5 mL of blood) at a first follow up visit after starting chemotherapy was associated with a poorer prognosis for the patient, switching at that early point to an alternate chemotherapy regimen did not generally prove beneficial to these patients.
Performing early stem cell transplants in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma does not improve overall survival in high-risk patients, SWOG-9704 has found. But early transplantation does appear to be beneficial among a small group of patients who are at the very highest risk. Results are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Patrick Stiff, MD, director of Loyola University Medical Center’s Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center and lead author on the NEJM paper, said this finding "hopefully will trigger discussions between such patients and their physicians as to the feasibility of doing early transplants."
The study was developed by the SWOG cancer research cooperative group and funded by the National Cancer Institute. Stiff is chair of the SWOG Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation Committee.
Data from up to 18 years of follow-up of men on the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial show finasteride reduced the overall risk of a prostate cancer diagnosis by about one-third, raised the risk of a high-grade diagnosis slightly, and had no effect on overall survival times.
S0221 results show lower dose, weekly regimen of adjuvant paclitaxel (Taxol) chemotherapy for women with early-stage breast cancer was comparable to the standard dose, biweekly regimen, but caused substantially fewer side effects. G. Thomas Budd, M.D., reports the findings today at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2013 Annual Meeting in Chicago.