health

As prostate cancer progresses, treatment options become more limited. Tulane Cancer Center is heading a clinical trial for a new drug that could be successful in treating late-stage prostate cancer while sparing healthy bone marrow tissue.

Tulane Cancer Center to be first location for testing prostate cancer drug

NEW ORLEANS –– Dr. Oliver Sartor of Tulane Cancer Center, one of the only medical oncologists in Louisiana, Mississippi or Arkansas specializing in the treatment of prostate cancer, will be heading a Phase III randomized clinical trial for a late-stage prostate cancer drug.

Alpharadin, an injectable treatment, appears to target cancer cells in the bone while sparing healthy bone marrow tissue. Sartor, Piltz Professor of Cancer Research in the departments of medicine and urology at Tulane University School of Medicine, is the first oncologist in the United States to offer Alpharadin.

“If successful in clinical trials, this compound could make a significant difference for the large number of men whose cancer has spread to the bones,” Sartor said in a press release. “Patients most often die as a consequence
of the metastases –– not the primary cancer –– so preventing cancer from spreading and controlling cancer that has spread is a major clinical challenge.”

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately one in six men will be affected by prostate cancer each year, making it the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men in the United States.

To learn more about the clinical trial or find out how to enroll, contact the Tulane Cancer Center at (504)
988-7869 or e-mail Sartor at osartor@tulane.edu.

Free clinic gets some help from Chesapeake Energy
SHREVEPORT –– The Martin Luther King Health Center, the oldest free clinic and pharmacy in the state, recently received a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado from Haynesville Shale natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Formerly of Chesapeake’s work fleet, the Silverado will be used to transport medication and medical equipment to serve the 3,000 patients seen annually.

The health center, which meets the needs of uninsured and low-income residents with chronic health conditions, has until now relied on the personal vehicles of staff members and volunteers.

“We are thrilled with Chesapeake’s donation,” said Janet Mentesane, the center’s executive director, in an article in the Shreveport Times. “The truck will be an asset for us. … We haven’t had the use of a truck until now, and I know it will definitely come in handy.”

For more information on the center and its services, visit www.mlkhealth.com.

Louisianian appointed to National Cancer Institute
 NEW ORLEANS –– Dr. August Ochoa, professor and director of the Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center at LSU Health Sciences Center, was named to the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Cancer Institute in Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology, where he will serve a four-year term. He is the only Louisianian currently serving on the board and the third one from the state to serve.

The board members, all appointed by the director of the NCI, provide scientific advice and review the progress of the intramural clinical and epidemiological research programs of the NCI Center for Cancer Research and the Division
of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. The board also advises the directors of the Center for Cancer Research and the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics and the director and deputy director of the NCI on matters of scientific program policy and progress and future direction of research programs.

In addition to his position as director of the Cancer Center at the LSUHSC, Ochoa is a professor of
pediatrics and an adjunct associate professor of biochemistry and is also a practicing physician
specializing in allergy and immunology at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.
 

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