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Cancer Timelines


Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) discovery - Researchers discover that the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, is actually two distinct diseases, explaining why only 40 percent of patients with NHL can be cured by chemotherapy. The da Vinci robotic surgery system becomes the first robotic system approved by the FDA for general laparoscopic surgery. Use of robot-assisted surgery was first documented in 1985 and is now used for prostatectomy to treat prostate cancer, hysterectomy to treat cervical and endometrial cancers, as well as surgery to treat bladder and kidney cancers.


First Targeted Therapy - The drug imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) is shown to be effective against chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Imatinib mesylate is the first anticancer drug developed specifically to target the molecular defect that causes a particular type of cancer. The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is established to coordinate Federal nanotechnology research and development. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick - veeeeery small


NCI launches the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) to determine whether spiral computed tomography is better than single-view chest x-ray in reducing deaths among current and former heavy smokers. Tobacco smoke update - The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) publishes a monograph on tobacco smoke and involuntary smoking (second-hand smoke) that classifies second-hand smoke as carcinogenic to humans


Aspirin and colon cancer - Two randomized controlled trials show that taking aspirin daily for as little as three years reduces the development of colorectal polyps by 19 percent to 35 percent in individuals at high risk for colorectal cancer. A new class of targeted agents approved - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the drug bortezomib (Velcade) for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Bortezomib represents a new class of targeted agents that inhibit proteasomes, structures inside cells that degrade proteins.


Letrozole is approved by the FDA for the adjuvant treatment of early-stage breast cancer after five years of tamoxifen therapy. Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study - Data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study show that women who take estrogen in combination with the hormone progestin have a greater risk of developing breast cancer than women who take estrogen alone and that estrogen-alone hormone replacement therapy has no overall benefit in disease prevention, specifically on the risks of breast and colorectal cancer. Avastin update - The monoclonal antibody bevacizumab (Avastin) is approved by the FDA for use with other drugs in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. Bevacizumab targets a protein

called vascular endothelial growth factor, which stimulates the growth of new blood vessels to tumors (a process called tumor angiogenesis).

Erbitux - The monoclonal antibody cetuximab (Erbitux) is approved by the FDA for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. Cetuximab targets a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor, which is overexpressed in some cancers.


Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Project - The NCI and the National Human Genome Research Institute announce the launch of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Project, which, in its initial phase, will systematically explore the genomic changes in lung, brain (glioblastoma), and ovarian cancer. Oncotype DX - Data presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium show Oncotype DX, a 21-gene profiling test, successfully predicts whether chemotherapy is needed based on a recurrence risk score. Abraxane - The FDA approves an albumin-stabilized nanoparticle formulation of paclitaxel (Abraxane) for use in the treatment of metastatic or recurrent breast cancer. 2006:

Gardasil - The FDA approves the vaccine Gardasil, which protects against persistent infection by the two types of HPV that cause approximately 70 percent of cervical cancers worldwide. NCI scientists developed the underlying technology used to make this vaccine. Second-hand smoke - The U.S. Surgeon General releases a report on the harmful health consequences of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke (second-hand smoke). Trastuzamab - The FDA approves trastuzumab (Herceptin) for use with other drugs in the adjuvant treatment of women with early-stage, node-positive, HER2-overexpressing breast cancer. TAILORx Trial begins - NCI launches the TAILORx trial to determine whether gene expression patterns in early-stage breast cancer can distinguish between women who are at high risk of cancer recurrence and, therefore, most likely benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy and women who have a low risk of recurrence and, thus, can be spared the toxic side effects of chemotherapy.

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Promyelocytic leukemia update - Results from a large phase III clinical trial show that adult patients with previously untreated acute promyelocytic leukemia who were treated with arsenic trioxide after standard chemotherapy had longer disease remissions and better overall survival than patients who received standard chemotherapy alone. The FDA approves Nexavar (sorafenib) for primary liver cancer, making it the only dru


Results from a large multicenter study show that the accuracy of computerized tomographic colonography (virtual colonoscopy) is similar to that of conventional, optical colonoscopy in detecting intermediate-size and large colorectal polyps, suggesting that the procedure could serve as an initial screening exam for colorectal cancer. KRAS - Data presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting validates KRAS as the first molecular marker to determine targeted treatment in metastatic colorectal cancer. Studies show that patients with cancer expressing the wild-type (normal) gene respond better to Erbitux plus chemotherapy than patients with certain mutant forms of KRAS

Basic Theory in Cancer Developments and defense

At the 11th International Conference "Biological Cancer Defense" in Heidelberg, Germany (May 3-5, 2002), Prof. F. A. Popp presented his basic theory of cancer development and defense. This theory was recently successfully discussed at the Heidelberg Cancer Research Institute (DKFZ) as well. In view of the positive response on the part of the scientists and the highly controversial nature of these ideas at rather clear evidence, we consider it worthwhile to publish a concise review of the substance of Popps theory: Popp started by pointing out that over the last years, cancer death rates have not dropped but rather significantly increased (Fig. 1, [1]), indicating that mainstream science has been pursuing a fundamentally erroneous direction in its attempts at combatting this scourge of humanity. Popp compared this flawed approach with attempts at scientifically answering the question: How high is the temperature of a gas? by proceeding to catch the gaseous molecules and to investigate them under the microscope. While the technique may thus improve step by step to the use of electron microscopy and even higher resolution microscopy, it will forever fail to produce any essential result concerning the gas temperature, and not even yield a result clueing the investigator in to the fundamentally erroneous direction of his experiments. Similarly, tumor growth is doubtless nothing but a collective phenomenon of the cell population as a whole. Consequently, the central questions should focus on the control of cell division rate rather than on the molecular properties of individual cells. A basic example which simultaneously provides the starting point of Popps theory is cell division, i.e. the mitotic figures (Fig. 2a). As is well known, the molecular content is divided here into two equal parts, where the daughter cells will always contain just half of the entire number of biomolecules without deviations, while the statistical laws require a surplus or undershoot of , where N is the number of molecules. This would always be about 105 molecules more or less in one of the daughter cells. The fact that practically no aberration takes place can be explained only in terms of a regulating electromagnetic field that stabilizes itself by the interaction with the cell(s). The electric and magnetic biforces take care of the correct movement (and reactions) of all the molecules. Actually, such a field is known and can be calculated. It is the electromagnetic field within conducting and/or dielectric cavities which spreads out over the interior of a cell according to the Maxwell equations.