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Researchers at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit Discover Feasibility of Chemotherapy Alternative
Date:6/1/2009

Abstract # 6053

ORLANDO, Fla., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists from the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit presented data demonstrating the feasibility of long-term, low-dose adjuvant chemotherapy, which resulted in fewer tumor recurrences and cancer metastases in patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The findings were announced today at the 2009 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071106/KARMANOSLOGO )

Karmanos researchers discovered that when they utilized oral chemotherapy agent capecitabine, also known by its pharmaceutical name Xeloda, on 35 study patients over approximately 36 months, the survival rate for 97 percent of those patients was two years and the three-year progression free survival rate was 86 percent.

Research was supervised by George Yoo, M.D., chief medical officer and member of the Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Team at Karmanos. Ammar Sukari, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and fellow member of the Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Team, conducted the poster presentation.

"What the study found is that low-dose, long-term adjuvant therapy is feasible," said Dr. Yoo. "We are pleased with the results. There was a relatively low recurrence rate for the tumors."

Approximately 40,000 new cases of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cases are diagnosed each year, according to Dr. Yoo. A higher proportion of men are diagnosed with carcinomas - approximately four to one as compared to women. Chemotherapy for HNSCC is typically rigorous and even then, 40 to 60 percent of patients experience recurring carcinoma tumors. The survival rate for advanced HNSCC is less than 40 percent.

The exploration of low-dose,
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SOURCE Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
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