Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cancer Treatment Changes Aren't Always Better

A Dutch study has shown the danger in new cancer treatments. Doctors tried combining Erbitux and Avastin, two new cancer-fighting drugs, because lab tests and an earlier small study had shown promising results.

"This will stand out as a warning," said Cornelis Punt, the study's leader. "You have to do the randomized studies to see what really happens." The study shows that instead of treating the cancer better, it actually made the cancer worse.

The new research was done at hospitals throughout the Netherlands involving 755 patients who had colon cancer that had spread. In the U.S. colorectal cancer was expected to kill almost 50,000 Americans last year but rates have been dropping due to better screening and treatments.

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