Recruiting minority cancer patients into cancer clinical trials: a pilot project involving the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and the National Medical Association.
PURPOSE: Minority accrual onto clinical trials is of significant interest to cooperative oncology study groups. The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) conducted a study to identify barriers and solutions to African American accrual onto clinical trials. METHODS: We hypothesize that the National Medical Association (NMA) might provide insight into ways to increase minority participation and that ECOG might facilitate that participation. Four sites were selected in which NMA chapters existed and ECOG main institutions with less than half of the corresponding percentage of minorities in their communities entered trials for 1992. Fifteen workshops were conducted using discussions and open-ended, self-administered questionnaires. RESULTS: Seventy percent of NMA physicians cited mistrust of the research centers, fear of losing patients, and a lack of respect from ECOG institutions as the most important barriers to minority cancer patient referrals, compared with 30% for ECOG physicians. Sixty-nine percent of NMA and 43% of ECOG physicians cited a lack of information about specific trials. Nearly half of NMA physicians (47%) cited a lack of minority investigators as a barrier, compared with 4% of ECOG physicians. Solutions by both groups were improved communication (73%) and culturally relevant educational materials (40%). ECOG physicians cited more minority outreach staff as a potential solution (22% v 6%). NMA physicians cited increased involvement of referring physicians (44% v4%). CONCLUSION: NMA physicians who serve a significant sector of the African American population demonstrated a willingness to participate and work with a cooperative group effort to increase participation of minority patients and investigators. (+info)
American Society of Clinical Oncology 1998 update of recommended breast cancer surveillance guidelines.
OBJECTIVE: To determine an effective, evidence-based, postoperative surveillance strategy for the detection and treatment of recurrent breast cancer. Tests are recommended only if they have an impact on the outcomes specified by American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for clinical practice guidelines. POTENTIAL INTERVENTION: All tests described in the literature for postoperative monitoring were considered. In addition, the data were critically evaluated to determine the optimal frequency of monitoring. OUTCOME: Outcomes of interest include overall and disease-free survival, quality of life, toxicity reduction, and secondarily cost-effectiveness. EVIDENCE: A search was performed to determine all relevant articles published over the past 20 years on the efficacy of surveillance testing for breast cancer recurrence. These publications comprised both retrospective and prospective studies. VALUES: Levels of evidence and guideline grades were rated by a standard process. More weight was given to studies that tested a hypothesis directly relating testing to one of the primary outcomes in a randomized design. BENEFITS, HARMS, AND COSTS: The possible consequences of false-positive and -negative tests were considered in evaluating a preference for one of two tests providing similar information. Cost alone was not a determining factor. RECOMMENDATIONS: The attached guidelines and text summarize the updated recommendations of the ASCO breast cancer expert panel. Data are sufficient to recommend monthly breast self-examination, annual mammography of the preserved and contralateral breast, and a careful history and physical examination every 3 to 6 months for 3 years, then every 6 to 12 months for 2 years, then annually. Data are not sufficient to recommend routine bone scans, chest radiographs, hematologic blood counts, tumor markers (carcinoembryonic antigen, cancer antigen [CA] 15-5, and CA 27.29), liver ultrasonograms, or computed tomography scans. VALIDATION: The recommendations of the breast cancer expert panel were evaluated and supported by the ASCO Health Services Research Committee reviewers and the ASCO Board of Directors. (+info)
Huge court fight may be in offing as Ontario college considers penalty for maverick MD.
Physicians who practise alternative medicine are paying close attention to the case of an Ontario physician who was found guilty of professional misconduct. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario says it is simply doing its job. (+info)
British Hyperbaric Association carbon monoxide database, 1993-96.
OBJECTIVES: To study the referral pattern of patients, poisoned with carbon monoxide and subsequently transferred to British hyperbaric oxygen facilities, from April 1993 until March 1996 inclusive. METHODS: A standard dataset was used by hyperbaric facilities within the British Hyperbaric Association. The data on each patient were sent in confidence to the Hyperbaric Unit at Whipps Cross Hospital for analysis. The epidemiology of poisoning and the population studied were analysed. Times of removal from exposure, referral to a hyperbaric facility, arrival at the hyperbaric facility, and start of treatment were recorded. Data on the outcome of the episode were documented in one of the contributing facilities. RESULTS: 575 patients exposed to carbon monoxide were reported as being referred to British hyperbaric facilities in the three years, the busiest facilities being in London and Peterborough. The proportions of accidental and non-accidental exposures were 1:1.05. Of the accidental exposures, central heating faults were responsible in 71.5% of cases (n = 206). Smoke inhalation from fires was responsible for a further 13.5% (n = 39). The mean delay to arrival in a hyperbaric oxygen facility was 9 hours and 15 minutes after removal from exposure. Recovery after treatment was sometimes incomplete. CONCLUSIONS: The reported pattern of referral was regionally weighted towards the south east of England. Smoke inhalation victims were often not referred for hyperbaric oxygen treatment. The delay to treatment was multifactorial; and the mean delay was well in excess of six hours. There is room for improvement in the consistency and speed of referral. Treatment schedules require standardisation. A central advice and referral service would be helpful. (+info)
Terminologia anatomica: new terminology for the new anatomist.
Over many years, anatomical terminology has been the subject of much controversy and disagreement. Previously, the International Anatomical Nomenclature Committee has been responsible for the production of six editions of Nomina Anatomica. In 1989 a new committee, the Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology (FCAT), was created by its parent body, the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA). FCAT has worked for 9 years and published Terminologia Anatomica (TA) in 1998. FCAT's aim has been to democratize the terminology and make it the internationally accepted, living language of anatomy. The worldwide adoption of the same terminology would eliminate national differences, which were causing extreme confusion in instances where the same structure was known by several names. The new terminology is thus the result of worldwide consultation and contains Latin and equivalent English terms. It is indexed in Latin and English and contains an index of eponyms in order to find the correct non-eponymous term. The future goal of FCAT is to continue to improve the terminology-new structures are described, different terms come into use, and the terminology needs to be expanded to include terms used by clinicians for structures that currently do not appear in the list. Future versions of the terminology must accommodate the needs of all who use it, both in the clinical and scientific worlds. (+info)
Impact of new diagnostic criteria for diabetes on different populations.
OBJECTIVE: For epidemiological purposes, it has now been recommended that a fasting plasma glucose value of 7.0 mmol/l can be used to diagnose diabetes, instead of a 2-h value of 11.1 mmol/l. This study assesses the impact of making this change on the prevalence of diabetes and on the phenotype of individuals identified. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Data were collated from nine population based southern hemisphere studies in which a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test was performed. Comparisons were made between the prevalence derived from fasting values only and the prevalence derived from 2-h values only. Cardiovascular risk was assessed in all individuals. RESULTS: There were 20,624 subjects in the nine surveys of whom 1,036 had previously diagnosed diabetes and 1,714 had newly diagnosed diabetes, according to either fasting or 2-h glucose. The differences in prevalence within each population resulting from changing the diagnostic criteria ranged from +30 to -19% (relative difference) and +4.1 percentage points to -2.8 percentage points (absolute difference). BMI was the most important determinant of disagreement in classification. A total of 31% of those individuals who were diabetic on the fasting value were not diabetic on the 2-h value, and 32% of those with diabetes on the 2-h value were not diabetic on the fasting value. Apart from obesity, there were no differences in cardiovascular risk between those identified by the fasting and the 2-h values. CONCLUSIONS: Changing the diagnostic criteria is likely to have variable and sometimes quite large effects on the prevalence of diabetes in different populations. Furthermore, the fasting criterion identifies different people as being diabetic than those identified by the 2-h criterion. (+info)
Advocacy--answering old mail. Canadian Association of General Surgeons.
Since its inception in 1977, the Canadian Association of General Surgeons (CAGS) has struggled with its responsibility to represent general surgeons in practices across this country. The CAGS has tended to be mute in the presentation of many of its accomplishments, which have improved the role of specialists in community practice, training programs and the subspecialties of general surgery. With the forthcoming changes in direction for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, based on a recent external survey, the CAGS has a golden opportunity to advocate for a clear identity, autonomous from the Royal College for the purposes of scientific meetings, continuing professional development, scientific and practice affiliation with other surgical specialty societies, and new developments with corporate sector support for advancements in science technology and education. Advocacy for general surgery must be stressed as the priority for the CAGS into the future. (+info)
British HIV Association guidelines for prescribing antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy (1998).
The aim of antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy is to deliver a healthy uninfected child to a healthy mother, without prejudicing the future treatment opportunities of the mother. The use of zidovudine monotherapy rapidly became standard practice once it had been shown to reduce by 67% mother to child transmission in women with CD4+ lymphocyte counts above 200 x 10(6)/l. High rates of transmission are seen when maternal disease is advanced (high viral load, low CD4+ lymphocyte counts) despite zidovudine. In these women highly active antiretroviral therapy gives the best prospect for prolonged health and it is anticipated that reducing plasma viral load below the limits of detection will further reduce transmission rates. However, safety data for antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy are limited and each additional treatment exposes a significant proportion of uninfected infants to potential long term hazards. Where maternal therapy is not indicated and the sole objective of treatment is to reduce mother to child transmission, recent data suggest that short course zidovudine (especially in conjunction with prelabour caesarean section) is a reasonable option. This may minimise the emergence of viruses with reduced sensitivity to zidovudine and preserve maternal options for later therapy. (+info)