• A consensus panel convened by the NIH endorsed active surveillance in lieu of immediate surgery or radiation for patients with low-risk prostate tumors. The draft statement listed unanswered questions about the proper role of active surveillance that should be examined in future research and recommended that federal funding be directed to multi-institutional trials and prostate cancer registries.

  • A congressional resolution that reaffirms the national commitment to understanding and controlling cancer on the 40th anniversary of the National Cancer Act has been sponsored by 42 U.S. senators.

  • Hispanic women who receive chemotherapy are about 1.5 times more likely to die from breast cancer compared with non-Hispanic white women who receive chemotherapy, after adjusting for age, stage, lymph node involvement, and estrogen receptor status, according to a recent analysis of the New Mexico Women's Health Study presented at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) and American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS).

  • Among postmenopausal women who undergo treatment for estrogen-sensitive breast cancer, 36% quit early because of the medications' side effects, which are more severe and widespread than previously known, a Northwestern Medicine team reported at SABCS.

  • A recent commentary (JAMA 2011; 306:2376–7) argues for the regulation of direct-to-consumer genetic testing and suggests that people who order whole-genome sequencing should have an independent expert interpret the results.

  • In cancer screening, “we have spent a staggering amount of time and energy over the past several decades developing, discussing, and debating guidelines,” notes Michael Edward Stefanek, PhD, associate vice president of collaborative research at Indiana University, in a commentary (J Natl Cancer Inst 2011; published online November 21). “It seems that it would be much more productive to devote such energy to educating screening candidates about the harms and benefits of screening and to engaging patients in shared decision making.”

For more news on cancer research, visit Cancer Discovery online at www.AACR.org/CDnews.