Cancer Drug Responses Hickory NC

new way to predict which brain cancer patients will respond to the drug Avastin has been developed by U.S. researchers.

Piyapong Vongkovit, MD
(828) 324-9550
Hickory, NC
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Mahidol Univ-Ramathibodi Hosp, Fac Of Med, Bangkok, Thailand
Graduation Year: 1987

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Terry Sarantou
(828) 327-9178
415 N Center St
Hickory, NC
Specialty
General Surgery, Surgical Oncology

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John Oscar Del Charco, MD
(828) 326-3856
810 Fairgrove Church Rd
Hickory, NC
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Radiation Oncology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of South Fl Coll Of Med, Tampa Fl 33612
Graduation Year: 1993

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Shannon K Tomlinson, MD
810 Fairgrove Church Rd
Hickory, NC
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Oncology (Cancer), Radiation Oncology
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Female
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Medical School: Med Coll Of Ohio, Toledo Oh 43699
Graduation Year: 1998

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Christopher R McDonald, MD
(828) 879-7536
PO Box 700
Valdese, NC
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Oncology (Cancer)
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Male
Education
Medical School: La State Univ Sch Of Med In New Orleans, New Orleans La 70112
Graduation Year: 1972

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Richard Orlowski, MD
(828) 324-9550
PO Box 3710
Hickory, NC
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Hematology-Internal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Washington Univ Sch Of Med, St Louis Mo 63110
Graduation Year: 1978
Hospital
Hospital: Catawba Mem Hosp, Hickory, Nc; Frye Reg Med Ctr, Hickory, Nc
Group Practice: Northwestern Carolina Oncology & Hematology

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Michael Noah Tate, MD
(828) 324-9550
PO Box 3710
Hickory, NC
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Internal Medicine
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Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Nc At Chapel Hill Sch Of Med, Chapel Hill Nc 27599
Graduation Year: 1982
Hospital
Hospital: Catawba Mem Hosp, Hickory, Nc
Group Practice: Northwestern Carolina Oncology & Hematology

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Piyapong Vongkovit, MD
(828) 324-9550
225 18th St SE
Hickory, NC
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Mahidol Univ-Ramathibodi Hosp, Fac Of Med, Bangkok, Thailand
Graduation Year: 1987

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William Reginald Sigmon, MD
(828) 326-3856
810 Fairgrove Church Rd
Hickory, NC
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Radiation Oncology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Nc At Chapel Hill Sch Of Med, Chapel Hill Nc 27599
Graduation Year: 1987

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Emmett Royce White, MD
PO Box 700
Valdese, NC
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Radiation Oncology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Bowman Gray Sch Of Med Of Wake Forest Univ, Winston-Salem Nc 27157
Graduation Year: 1954

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Cancer Drug Responses

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A new way to predict which brain cancer patients will respond to the drug Avastin has been developed by U.S. researchers.

Avastin, which shrinks tumors by cutting off their blood supply, was approved this spring by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of aggressive brain cancer. However, half of those with the cancer don't respond to the drug, which can cost up to $10,000 a month, according to a news release from the University of California, Los Angeles.

UCLA researchers examined 82 people who had surgery and radiation to treat glioblastoma, the most common and deadly form of adult brain cancer. Half of them were given infusions of Avastin every two weeks, and all had monthly MRI brain scans to monitor changes.

An analysis of the scans showed that there was greater water movement in the tumors of people who later had the best response to Avastin. By using MRI to measure the amount of water motion within the tumor, the researchers were able to predict with 70 percent accuracy which tumors would progress within six months and which would not.

Increased water movement in tumors is linked with higher levels of a growth factor called VEGF, which is secreted by a tumor to promote the growth of new blood vessels that provide the tumor with oxygen and nutrients. Avastin blocks VEGF, the researchers explained.

"When we realized that high levels of VEGF are linked to greater cell death and increased water movement, we were able to predict the patients' response to Avastin before they began treatment," lead author Dr. Whitney Pope, assistant professor of radiological sciences at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, said in the news release.

"We were correct 70 percent of the time," Pope said. "Previously, identifying which patients would respond was like flipping a coin. This is a huge improvement."

The study appears in the July issue of Radiology.

"Knowing this information ahead of time will help doctors personalize therapy for each patient and decrease exposure to side effects," Pope said.

He and a co-author are consultants for Genentech, which makes Avastin, and are working with the company on several research studies.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about brain tumors.

SOURCE: University of California, Los Angeles, news release, July 30, 2009

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